Are you looking forward to an exciting time at Disney World but worried about the risk of theme park injuries? Find out all the information you need here.

Did you know that Walt Disney World Resort in Central Florida is the world's most visited amusement park? From Epcot to Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom, there's no way to run out of rides and attractions. Florida is also home to some of the most popular amusement parks in the world, like Universal Studios and Lego Florida. So, if you're wondering why Orlando personal injury attorneys handle numerous theme park injury claims, you've got your answer.

Florida's amusement parks have more visitors than any country in the world. With millions of people visiting these tourist attractions annually, accidents at these locations are almost inevitable. Regardless, these tourist centers must take extra measures to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries as much as possible. In addition, they must ensure that their guests are safe and protected against dangerous conditions.

So, if you've sustained injuries at Florida's amusement parks due to someone's negligence, you can file an injury claim against them. This article will examine the likelihood of suffering ride-related injuries at Disney World. We'll also let you know how you can get damages if you were in a ride-related accident at the theme park.

How Often Do Theme Park Injuries Happen?

First, it's important to note that before 2021, Florida's laws didn't mandate Disney World to report injuries at their parks. So, it's impossible to verify the exact number of injuries since Disney World opened. 

Fortunately, Florida now mandates Disney World to submit accident reports of guests who sustained injuries, fell sick, or required hospitalization beyond a day. Official sources with records of these theme park injuries include the National Safety Council, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Technical Standards and Safety Authority, etc.

Despite this law, there's still the possibility that amusement parks downplay the severity of accidents and give unclear official reports. However, we've been able to confirm some notable accidents that happened at various Disney World theme resort attractions:

Animal Kingdom

Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park, the largest in the world, opened on April 22, 1998. It's a zoological theme park that features numerous live animal species at Walt Disney World Resort.

These are some of the accidents that have happened at Disney's Animal Kingdom over the years:

  • Central Florida News 13 reported that a 52-year-old employee, a Disney cast member, died after sustaining head injuries as he worked on the Primeval Whirl. Russell Roscoe died on March 14, 2011, a day after the accident. This is the second fatal accident occurring on this ride (the first was a Disney staff member who fell from the ride in 2007). Orlando Sentinel stated that federal investigators cited the company with four workplace safety violations following the accident.
  • There was a small electrical fire at a Festival of the Lion King performance on March 21, 2016. Although officials quickly put out the fire before anyone was hurt, it was scary. 


Epcot (formerly EPCOT Center), one of Disney World's oldest theme parks, opened on October 1, 1982. This park boasts numerous attractions that center around technological advancement. Epcot's futuristic rides are awe-inspiring, and it's the perfect park to experience global culture. 

Sadly, like other theme parks, many guests have sustained varying degrees of injuries at Epcot. They include:

Hollywood Studios 

Magic Kingdom 

Magic Kingdom Park is the most visited park in the world. It comprises Adventureland, Enchanted Forest, Tomorrowland, Storybook Circus, Castle Courtyard, Fantasyland, Liberty Square, and Frontierland.

Magic Kingdom has also had its fair share of accidents:

There have been other accident reports in Splash Mountain, The Haunted Mansion, The Tomorrowland Speedway, etc.

Other Disney World accidents worth noting include:

  • A 61-year-old woman suffered fractured ribs, collapsed lung, and back pain after a boating accident on April 22, 2010.
  • On November 27, 2007, a 63-year-old employee succumbed to a fatal brain injury from a ride accident four days earlier.

These reports show that you're at significant risk of major and minor injuries when you hop on a theme park ride. So, ensure that you take all necessary safety measures to avoid being a statistic.

Here are some theme park safety tips to keep in mind when on a ride:

  • Be sure to follow the appropriate health and age restrictions when choosing a ride. You may also want to ensure that you have the suitable height and weight for every ride.
  • Never disobey an instruction from a ride instructor. Ride instructors are trained professionals, and their duty is to keep you safe.
  • Some ride-related accidents happen because guests keep their arms, hands, feet, and legs outside the ride. Avoid doing this at all costs.
  • Make use of all the safety equipment available whenever appropriate. 
  • If you notice any dangerous condition or anything amiss on a ride, don't get on it. Instead, inform a riding instructor of your concerns. Also, report any suspicious activity to Disney security.

Common Theme Park Injuries 

Common injuries you may suffer in a ride-related accident in Disney World include:

Broken Bones or Fractures 

Broken bones or fractures are one of the most common theme park injuries. They happen when your bones come in contact with an overwhelming external force. Your bones can break if you get stuck between machine parts. A significant number of guests have also suffered fractures by falling from heights.

Fractures cause excruciating pain and inflammation around the affected body part. It's a debilitating condition that requires long-term recovery.

Head Injuries/Traumatic Brain Injuries 

You may suffer a head injury when you hit your head against a hard surface in an accident. Head injuries may also happen when a ride makes your head shake violently. Common head injuries on amusement park rides include concussions, scalp wounds, and skull fractures. 

Some guests may also sustain traumatic brain injuries. This happens when a jolt or blow to your head damages brain tissue. Common symptoms of traumatic brain/head injuries include headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, loss of consciousness, etc. This injury can leave you in a critical condition.

Cardiac Arrest

Cardiac arrest happens when your heart abruptly stops pumping blood or stops beating. This is a dangerous condition that can cause disability or death. Common symptoms include heart palpitations, shortness of breath, vomiting, dizziness, etc. The affected person may also collapse, lose consciousness, and develop chest pain. 

The real cause of cardiac arrest is often an underlying heart condition like a congenital heart defect or high blood pressure. However, an exciting activity like an adventure on a ride at Disney World can trigger it. When you get excited on these rides, your body may release adrenaline and noradrenaline hormones. These hormones can make your body go into flight-or-fight mode and trigger a heart attack or cardiac arrest.

Bruises, Cuts, and Lacerations 

Bruises, cuts, and lacerations are some of the most easily diagnosable injuries on an amusement park ride. While many cuts are not medical emergencies, deep ones need medical attention. 

Spinal and Back Injuries 

Many spinal cord injuries on amusement park rides are from slip and fall accidents. Meanwhile, sudden movements on a ride can strain the muscles at your back. Guests who sustain back and spinal injuries, especially broken vertebrae, may complain of back pain, numbness, weakness, loss of bowel control, etc. Spinal cord injuries may cause permanent disability.


Fox News once reported that Disney warned "Incredibles 2" moviegoers of seizure risk, especially for epileptic guests. A seizure happens when something interrupts a nerve cell's normal connections in the brain. Worry, fear, and anxiety can trigger seizures on an amusement park ride. Common seizure symptoms include temporary confusion, loss of consciousness, uncontrollable jerking movements, a staring spell, etc.

Burn Injuries 

You may suffer severe injury from an electrical fire at Disney Parks. Depending on your degree of burn, you may need urgent transportation to a nearby hospital to reduce your risk of complications/infection. Burn symptoms include blisters, swelling, pain, peeling skin, redness, etc.


You may lose some body parts in a Disney World accident. However, an amputation refers to removing some parts of your body through surgery. Amputation often becomes necessary when you've suffered tissue damage from an accident or to prevent infections from spreading. Amputation is usually a last resort to manage irreparable damage.

Emotional Distress and Mental Anguish

Theme park injuries can go beyond physical injuries and cause you psychological, emotional, and mental trauma. Signs of emotional distress include confusion, mood swings, anxiety, confusion, anger, etc. PTSD is one of the most common mental injuries you may suffer after a ride-related accident.

Fatal Injuries

Although rare, amusement park injuries can be life-threatening and cause death. Under Florida's laws, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit if you lost a loved one due to such injuries.

What Should I Do After a Disney Park Accident? 

Here's what to do after sustaining any form of injury on an amusement park ride:

Report to an Employee

Even if you have minor injuries, you should let a Disney World employee know. When they're aware of your injuries, they'll fill out an incident report that can help your injury claim later on.

Gather Evidence 

If you're alone, ensure that you take photos and videos of your injury and the accident scene before leaving. You may delegate this task to someone else if it's impossible for you to do so. Also, take statements from eyewitnesses when possible.

Call for Medical Assistance 

Disney World has first aid stations for minor injuries that don't require professional medical assistance. However, for more severe injuries, you may need to be transferred to Orlando Regional Medical Center or other nearby hospitals like Celebration Hospital. The earlier you access quality medical care, the higher your chances of recovering from the injury.

Speak With an Amusement Park Injury Lawyer 

Never forget to dial your Orlando personal injury lawyer immediately after an amusement park accident. Your attorneys have your best interest at heart and will instruct you on maximizing your chances of adequate compensation. In an amusement park injury claim or lawsuit, you may receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, emotional distress, etc.

Who's Liable for Amusement Park Accidents?

A generic accident or acts of God may be responsible for these amusement park accidents. An act of God means the occurrence was uncontrollable and not caused by humans. However, many times, accidents are a result of someone else's negligence. 

These are the primary reasons guests often sustain injuries on a ride:

  • Mechanical Failures/Inadequate Maintenance: A ride vehicle may fail and cause severe injuries to guests. This may be due to a manufacturing defect or lack of maintenance.
  • Unclear Instructions/ Failure to Warn: Sometimes, Disney World accidents are due to the staff's failure to warn guests about existing dangerous conditions through signposts and other markers. Other times, it's due to unclear instructions.
  • Inadequate Security and Staff: Disney World has a large influx of guests worldwide every year. It only follows that they should employ adequate staff to attend to the teeming guests. For example, a crowded pool at Disney World with only one lifeguard reeks of negligence. The park should also have an adequate security presence to quell threats and fight breakouts. For example, Disney security near Space Mountain once arrested people who spat and harassed guests at the park. 
  • Inadequate Training: Some of Walt Disney World's employees don't have adequate training for their job roles. As such, they may not know what to do in an emergency. Sometimes, their strict adherence to protocol in emergencies can worsen the situation. Staff members must learn to think on their feet and use their discretion to handle some situations to save guests' lives.
  • Guest Negligence: Sometimes, guests may be at fault for their accident. This mostly happens when they fail to follow instructions and general safety best practices.

When filing personal injury lawsuits or claims, the first thing to do is determine who the responsible parties are. These are the people whose breach of their duty of care towards you led to your injuries.

Different persons may be liable for your theme park injuries depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident. Generally, the following persons may share liability in your injury claim:

  • Walt Disney World staff
  • Walt Disney World Resorts 
  • Ride Manufacturers
  • Other guests
  • Product suppliers, etc

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in Orlando, Florida For Help With Your Theme Park Injuries

Did you suffer psychological and physical injuries in a ride-related accident at Disney World? We understand how traumatic it must be. No one sets out to leave an amusement park with injuries and in pain. However, you must leave the past behind and focus on your recovery as soon as possible.

Besides medical care, one of the best ways to feel better after an accident is by getting justice. While it may not turn back the hands of time, getting compensation for your theme park injuries will lessen your financial burden.

If you're looking for an experienced Orlando amusement park injury lawyer to handle your case, we are here for you. Our compassionate attorneys at VG Law Group will assess your claim and discuss the legal options available to you. 

Contact our law office to learn more about how we can help you get compensation for your theme park injuries.

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