Monday, April 1, 2013
It seems that some time back a disabled person in a wheelchair got stuck on It’s a Small World. They were stuck on the ride for approximately one hour. In this time the music played on and on and on... This disabled person claims they were so inconvenienced in their opinion they sued Disney. In the last week they were awarded $8000 for this incident. While I can understand it would be distressing, frustrating and inconvenient to be stuck on a ride for that length of time I would not find a reason to sue Disney.
Names are not important but let me talk about how I feel about what happened. This person was stuck on a ride that has no easy way to evacuate. Unless the ride cannot be brought up in a semi-reasonable amount of time they will not evacuate by unloading in the ride. I’m sure this is done due to safety concerns and because there’s really no where for guests to walk their way out of the attraction. Instead they begin the slow and laborious task of manually bringing each boat to the dock and unloading. This takes quite a bit of time to make sure it’s done safely. I would rather sit on a broken ride longer and be evacuated safely than to try to climb out and possibly put myself and others in the situation were someone might be injured.
I have been to the Disneyland resort approximately 900 days or more in my lifetime. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been stuck on a ride for more than a few minutes. Only once have I been evacuated from a ride. It was interesting to be evacuated off of a ride and taken to the backstage area and see things that very few guests get to. The average amount of time I’ve been stuck on a ride is less than five minutes and other than once the longest hours stuck was about 15 minutes.
Only once was I stuck on a ride for an hour. We could not be evacuated due to the fact it was Disneyland’s other dark boat ride, Pirates of the Caribbean. We got stuck in the Yo ho room next to the three Pirates singing Yo ho Yo ho a pirate’s life for me. It was dark, the music was incessant and our young daughter (about five years old at that time) needed to go to the restroom. There was no way for us to get out of the boat safely. We could not step out onto the shore. Were we happy about the situation? Obviously not. Did we sue? No!
First off we are not the litigious type. Cast members frequently came in and checked on us and tried to keep us calm. They gave us a go to the head of the line pass for any ride once we did get off. And most of all going to Disney is already expensive enough. Who do you think really pays when Disney has to pay out thousands, tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands in a silly lawsuit. It is us, the guests that go to the parks. Obviously Disney has to raise prices to cover the losses. A little bit extra information here, Disney is self-insured. What that means is they have a fund that they put money into to resolve any issues like this. They don’t pay insurance fees they insure themselves.
I believe it is pretty silly to sue over something as inconsequential as being stuck on a ride for an hour. To claim ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) discrimination is ludicrous. Not only does this frivolous lawsuit cost Disney and therefore all guests to the parks it also affects all taxpayers because we pay to keep the court system going.
Thinking that a big company especially one as big as Disney is an easy target for a lawsuit is just wrong. Trying to use them as a quick payday is tantamount to theft. If I see someone talking about suing Disney was something that I saw that was either not Disney’s fault were truly not that big a deal I will stand up and speak out.
Now don’t get me wrong if Disney or any other company does something wrong and you are injured or mistreated you have every right and my opinion responsibility to stand up and do something about it. If you don’t stand up for fair treatment you will just be walked on all the time and not only you but others that come after you. If I see someone being mistreated it Disney or anywhere else I will stand up and speak out.