Disney World is not just sunshine and roses as several accidents occur yearly. Learn about Disney World accidents in Orlando, causes, and settlement options. 

Orlando, a city in central Florida, and the county seat of Orange County is home to several theme parks. One of the most famous is Walt Disney World Resort, owned by the Walt Disney Company. Yearly, millions of people save to visit this park and have the time of their lives with their families. 

Although the ticket price is expensive, the experience visitors get is worth it. Another reason for the popularity of Disney-owned parks is that it is clean, well-run, and filled with the magic of fairytales. It features special parks like the Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, and the Typhoon Lagoon Water Park. 

In addition, there are also several crowd-pleasing rides like the Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, and Splash Mountain. Unfortunately, as fun as Disney World is, it is prone to different accidents. From faulty park rides to a ride operator's negligence, several factors cause accidents in theme parks. 

Consequently, you may be eligible for financial compensation if you suffer injuries despite following all ride safety instructions. Hire an Orlando personal injury lawyer at VG Law Group before starting the claims process. Our attorneys will examine your case and get a fair settlement. 

A History of Disney World Accidents in Orlando

Walt Disney World started in Bay Lake, Florida, in 1965, a decade after the company opened Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California. By 1971, the Orlando Disney World commenced business. Since then, there have been several incidents and settlements between visitors and the Walt Disney Company. 

Below, we look at some of the occurrences. 

Pirates of the Caribbean 

In February 2005, a 77-year-old woman lost consciousness and died after riding the Pirates of the Caribbean. That same year, a 12-year-old boy lost his fingers when he dangled his hand over the end of the boat. 

Blizzard Beach 

In March 2007, a 51-year-old man collapsed near the Downhill Double Dipper. Medics took him to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His family later revealed he had a pre-existing condition, and an autopsy confirmed he died of a heart attack.

Expedition Everest 

In December 2007, a 44-year-old man who suffered a dilated cardiomyopathy died at the Orange County Medical Center. He had lost consciousness while riding a roller coaster. 

Guest Altercations

In May 2007, five guests from Shirley, New York, attacked an Orange County sheriff deputy. They were being detained by Disney security after spitting and harassing other visitors. When the deputy arrived to effect their arrest, one of the five punched him in the face with closed fists. 


In July 2009, there was a failed track switchover from the Epcot line of the Disney World Magic Kingdom express line. A Monorail train named Monorail Pink backed into Monorail Purple, killing the 21-year-old pilot. 

Disney Springs 

In April 2010, a 61-year-old woman suffered collapsed lungs, fractured ribs, and back pain from a boating accident near the Treehouse Villas. The rented Sea Raycer she was in collided with a Disney ferryboat. 

Cosmic Ray Starlight Cafe

In March 2010, a 4-year-old boy suffered burns to his face after getting scaled by a cup of hot nacho cheese. His parents sued Disney claiming the cheese should not have been that hot. 

Primeval Whirl 

In March 2013, a 52-year-old employee suffered head injuries while working. An air ambulance took him to a nearby hospital in critical condition, and he died from his injuries. The ride involved in the accident was undergoing maintenance and closed to the public at the time. 

Disney Hollywood Studios

Since its creation in 1989, several performers have suffered severe and fatal injuries. The latter could be from costuming issues or bad props. In August 2009, a 30-year-old performer died after hitting his head while rehearsing a tumbling roll.

In October 2016, the Orlando Sentinel reported that a 67-year-old man died after riding Star Tours. Hollywood Studios has also received several fines from OSHA for violating federal safety codes. 

2021 Incidents

According to WDW News Today, Walt Disney World reported nine serious medical incidents in 2021. 

  • In June a 58-year-old female guest felt dizzy and fell after exiting Toy Story Mania!
  • In September a 39-year-old male had a seizure after experiencing Splash Mountain attraction
  • In October a male, age 82, and a female, age 20 experienced seizures after experiencing Expedition Everest and the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, respectively. That same month, an 82-year-old man passed out while on the Kilimanjaro Safaris Expedition. Lastly, an 18-year-old male passed out after experiencing the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Spring Aerosmith.
  • There were two incidents in December. A 69-year-old man fell ill while a woman of the same age felt disoriented after exiting Avatar Flight of Passage. 

Other Occurrences 

The list of accidents at Disney parks has by no means been exhausted. Other known occurrences are snake bites, Gondolas crash, falling after stepping out of a ride, etc. There have been fire outbreaks caused by frictional heat from a flat tire getting dragged across a concrete beam.

Other famous places for incidents are:

  • The Riviera Resort Station
  • Kali River Rapids
  • Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort
  • Haunted Mansion 
  • Wave Pool

Some incidents involve characters like Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Dopey, etc. These characters could be the fault parties or the victims. For example, in June 2009, a 60-year-old man from Cressonna touched Minnie Mouse while visiting the Magic Kingdom. 

Lastly, these occurrences sometimes involve a park bus driver, shop panel operator, scooter driver, etc. The thing to note is that accidents happen at different places, for different reasons, and involve both guests and staff. 

Injuries Suffered in Disney World Accidents in Orlando

Accidents at Walt Disney World have resulted in minor injuries, severe/catastrophic wounds, and life-threatening medical conditions. Some of them include: 

  • Compound fracture
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Acute anxiety
  • Emotional distress
  • Broken vertebra
  • Increased blood pressure

Theme park incidents have also led many to discover unknown health issues or worsened a pre-existing heart condition. Most people have been diagnosed with a congenital heart defect after collapsing at the park. Others have died from an arrhythmia caused by an early-stage viral heart infection.

Guests with minor injuries get treated by Disney medical staff. Others with medical emergencies or severe wounds get transported to various hospitals. Some of the most common ones are Florida Hospital, Celebration Hospital, and Orlando Regional Medical Center. 

How Do Accidents Occur at Disney World?

Accidents at major theme parks are caused by one of several factors. They could result from human error or deliberate intent. Most accidental occurrences happen due to one of the following: 

  • Guest's negligence. E.g., disobeying park rules, failing to use emergency stairs or the emergency exit platform when needed, etc. In December 2010, a 69-year-old man died after stepping in front of a moving Disney transportation bus. 
  • Failing to provide adequate training for employees.
  • Acts of God or a generic accident. E.g., slipping and falling.
  • Failing to provide adequate safety warnings. E.g., failing to warn guests about alligators. 
  • Getting hit by a ride vehicle 

Sometimes, guests having domestic issues create situations where someone suffers injuries. 

Can You Get a Settlement After a Park Accident? 

Any accident that causes hospitalization means medical bills. Thankfully, you don't have to foot the bill yourself, especially if a park staff caused the incident. Walt Disney World has settled several lawsuits against them to avoid bad publicity. So chances are, they will do the same in your case. 

Apart from medical expenses, you will also get compensated for emotional anguish. If a fatal accident happens, the decedent's family will file a wrongful death claim. However, the victim must not have contributed to the occurrence. Note that just because you allege injuries does not mean you'll get a settlement. You must be able to link your wounds to the park's negligence. 

VG Law Helps Victims of Disney World Accidents in Orlando

Whether a guest hit you or a Disney World Park employee caused the incident that harmed you, seeking compensation is your legal right. Our lawyers at VG Law Group want to fight for your rights and get you maximum compensation. Contact us today for a free case review. 

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