Disneyland Deaths - The Most Famous Deaths at Disneyland

I am the type of girl who appreciates sophisticated pairings. I particularly love combinations like good and evil, cute and morbid, and innocent and deranged. Therefore, in addition to harboring a lifelong love of Martha Stewart, collections of both aprons and knives, and an appreciation for Gloomy Bear, I have a very special place in my heart for Disneyland.

Anyone who knows the park somewhat well understands that beneath the magic is an even more fascinating network of underground tunnels (both literal and metaphorical) stuffed with dark secrets and twisted undertones.

One could fill an encyclopedia with all of Disneyland’s hidden worlds and histories, but for now I shall focus on something simple and morbid: famous deaths in the park.

Let’s have a look at the most famous ones, shall we? Let the magic begin!

A skeleton in Adventureland. No deaths there, ironically!
A skeleton in Adventureland. No deaths there, ironically! | Source

The People Killer

Though the People Mover no longer exists at Disneyland, it claimed several victims. The first was 17-year-old boy who left his car just as it was passing through a tunnel in 1967. The young man fell and was crushed beneath oncoming cars.

In 1980, the People Mover killed again, crushing another young park visitor in the SuperSpeed tunnel as the recent high school grad attempted to move from one car to another. His body was dragged for more than 100 feet before an operator stopped the ride.

Beware the Monorail

In June of 1966, a 19-year-old attempted to sneak into Disneyland by scaling the Monorail track. Though a guard attempted to warn him of an oncoming train, the young man was not able to get out of the way quickly enough, and was hit by the train and dragged about 30 feet along the track. He died on site.

Bet you didn't think so many people died here, huh?
Bet you didn't think so many people died here, huh?

Disneyland Drownings

In the summer of 1973, 18-year-old park visitor and his 10-year-old brother managed to achieve the common dream of hiding out in the park past closing time by stowing away on Tom Sawyer Island. Instead of asking cast members for help off the island several hours later, they decided to swim off the island across the Rivers of America to avoid detection. Being an accommodating older brother, the soon-to-be drowning victim pulled his younger brother along on his back through the river, but grew exhausted and drowned. His brother managed to stay afloat by dog paddling and was eventually rescued by cast members, but by then, his older brother was nowhere to be seen and was found dead the next morning.

In 1984, another drowning took place in the Rivers of America when an 18-year-old park goer and a friend (both somewhat drunk) stole a maintenance motorboat for a nighttime joy ride. After hitting a rock, the young man was tossed overboard and drowned before his friend was able to get help.

Shipwreck

While most of Disneyland’s deaths are a result of recklessness on behalf of park attendees, one tragic 1998 event was caused by negligence on behalf of the park. On Christmas eve of this year, three people (two guests and one cast member) were killed after being struck by a cleat on the sailing ship Columbia (which can be found on the Rivers of America) that was set loose after the rope to which it was attached tore loose. This event caused Disneyland to rethink its operations and safety procedures, which are now more rigorous than ever.

Buckle up! No. Seriously.
Buckle up! No. Seriously.

Matterhorn Incidents

In May 1964, a 15 year old boy died three days after sustaining injuries to his head and torso on the Matterhorn Bobsleds after being thrown from his car onto the tracks below. Either this teen or his friend unbuckled his seatbelt, and he had attempted to stand near the peak of the mountain.

20 years later, the first female Disneyland death took place in a very similar fashion, as a 48-year-old park visitor was thrown to her seat as her car went full throttle down the mountain and run over by an oncoming bobsled. The woman's seatbelt was not fastened, but because she was alone in her car, nobody knows if she had deliberately freed herself.

Two deaths in Tomorrowland
Two deaths in Tomorrowland

A Violent Future

Some Disneyland deaths are more situational than ride or feature-related. In 1981, a park guest who was only 18 years old, died from injuries sustained in a knife fight that took place in Tomorrowland.

The Wall of Death

In 1974 a hostess responsible for greeting audiences at America Sings (a refurbished version of the Carousel of Progress) was crushed between the rotating theater wall and the stationary stage.

The walls have since been changed to prevent an accident like this from ever taking place again.

Lesson: Follow the rules!

In writing this article, I by no means wish to make light of these tragic deaths. My heart goes out to the victims and their families, and I regret that any of these events took place. Rather than mock these violent deaths, I hope to point out that every seemingly perfect place has more depth and complexity than one might expect.

Having worked as a ride operator at the theme park for children, I understand full well how dangerous rides can be, and I want to point out that most of these tragedies could have been prevented. When visiting a park, follow the rules and instructions of park officials and rider operators. They have your safety and happiness in mind.

Derailment in one of Thunder Mountain's tunnels was due to improper maintenance
Derailment in one of Thunder Mountain's tunnels was due to improper maintenance

Ominous Thunder

Though most Disney deaths are consequences of park attendees' failure to follow park rules and guidelines, the most recent Disneyland death (and several injuries) was not a result of visitor recklessness.

One 22-year-old visitor bled to death from blunt force trauma to the chest after the cars separated from the locomotive in one of the roller coaster’s tunnels and crashed into the locomotive’s underside. It was found that the accident was a result of improper maintenance.

Weigh in!

Which is the scariest Disneyland ride?

  • The ferry to Tom Sawyer's island... jeez, it's like crossing the River Styx!
  • The Matterhorn. Two deaths??? And the seatbelts remain unchanged???
  • Big Thunder Mountain. Heck, even if I FOLLOW the rules I might die!
  • Small World. Hands down.
See results without voting

The Happiest Place on Earth

Perhaps you came into this article thinking that Disney was all smiles and laughs. I hope that I have allowed you to see that the park is much more sophisticated than that- that all magical places have dark secrets.

These dark historical details only scratch the surface of all the strange things that happen not only in Disney parks and resorts, but with Disney employees, business ventures, and branding.
I treasure these anecdotes because they illustrate how nothing in this world is all dark or all light. Though for all its sugar-coated magic, Disney illustrates exceedingly well that a story is dreadfully flat without conflict, villains, and evil plots.

Let us acknowledge the dark along with the light! It allows us to appreciate the world for what it is.

More by this Author


Comments 130 comments

iain-mars profile image

iain-mars 5 years ago from United Kingdom

ewww some nasty deaths there! just goes to show the importance of "keeping your arms and legs inside the ride"... interesting reading.


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada

Hi Simone...

Having spent my formulative, high school years, living in Orange County...I've spent my fair share of hours in the park.

I had always heard the stories but was always unsure as to which ones to give credence to.

This Hub would certainly have proved helpful as we whiled away a good portion of those 'park hours' standing in lines...talking about who may/may not have perished on any particular attraction.

You are correct...most of them could have been avoided.

Thanks for a Great Hub!

Thomas


Mikeydoes profile image

Mikeydoes 5 years ago from Fl,IL,IND

Interesting hub! I never thought and wondered if people died at Disneyland or Disney world


shea duane profile image

shea duane 5 years ago from new jersey

my son is fascinated by deaths at theme parks. you're right though, people should follow the rules. very interesting idea for a hub. thanks


raakachi profile image

raakachi 5 years ago from Madurai / Tamilnadu / India

Hi, Simone thank you for revealing the dark side of the Disney land, since i think that it would be one among the most protected place in the world. This would warn the people who propose to go there in the coming future.voted up as useful!


waynet profile image

waynet 5 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

I was put off going on rollercoaster rides from that movie Final Destination 3....you never know when Death is about and a terrible chain of events such as a deranged Mickey Mouse is going to club you to death with a Ham Sandwich!

I stay clear of those types of rides now and even Mickey!


Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

You did a great job here. People should be aware of what could happen if rules are not followed. They are put in place as you say for a reason, and not just there to spoil the fun.

It is so sad that these deaths occurred and my heart goes out to their families. On the whole when you consider just how long DisneyLand has been going for and the volumes of visitors I think they do a wonderful job of keeping everone safe.


carcro profile image

carcro 5 years ago from Winnipeg

I love Disneyland but have heard of accidents causing death. This is a reality of life no matter where you go or what you do. My thought is you can't stop living your life for fear of what might happen or you will not have lived your life at all...


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco Author

Yeah, really iain-mars! Those words are so important, they're even saying them in spanish on all the Disneyland rides now!

I've verified all of these on Snopes ThoughtSandwiches, so they're legit! I bet there are some more obscure, un-verified stories out there that might still be true though :D

Now you know, Mikeydoes!

And I was pretty fascinated by this stuff too when I was a kid, ThoughtSandwiches. I went through a huge amusement park phase in general. They're great fun!

Raakachi, I still think Disneyland is one of the safest places in the world. This is just a reminder that if you're not careful, you could die just about anywhere.

Yikes! I'll have to steer clear of Final Destination 3 then, waynet!! I'd hate to start avoiding roller coasters!

Thanks so much Rosemay50, and it is dreadfully sad what happened to these people- and equally impressive how FEW people have died or been injured in the park!

You're so right, carcro, and those are very wise words. I am of the humble opinion that our mortality is one of the things that makes life so sweet, so I like to maintain a nice mix of not sweating the small stuff, but still appreciating every moment. Remembering that one could die at any moment helps that along sometimes!


livelonger profile image

livelonger 5 years ago from San Francisco

How gruesomely interesting! I'm heartened by the fact that it seems most of the deaths you mention occurred decades ago, so the measures Disneyland is taking to keep the park safe (even for people who deliberately flout the rules) seem to be working. I have to admit reading this was a bit like rubbernecking at a highway accident!


Garrett Mickley profile image

Garrett Mickley 5 years ago from Jupiter, Florida

I wonder how many deaths have happened at the Orlando Florida Disney World. I live near that one and go all the time.


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 5 years ago from the Ether

Hmmm. I didn't know anything about these deaths. Very intriguing...in a morbid way. :)


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 5 years ago from The Midwest, USA

Simone, Its so sad to hear of so many deaths there. Its one of my favorite places on earth. At least some of the deaths seemed to be older, and hopefully they have fine tuned things more since then. Thanks for sharing, many of those I never heard of before. My heart goes out to those families.


christinepurr profile image

christinepurr 5 years ago

Interesting hub, and while some deaths seem to be Disney's fault for lack of maintenance, etc, it's clear that even more are the result of stupidity in people. It certainly isn't Disney's fault people unbuckle their belts or try to sneak in through any ridiculous means, or swim across a vast expanse of water!

Still, very interesting. I've always wondered which of the rides/attractions were involved in such tragedy.


KatieB456 profile image

KatieB456 5 years ago

Jesus christ for a wonderland it seems a tad depressing doesn't it? Seriously, where did you find all this?? Disney would be interested to know who gave away the info :P


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco Author

I'm heartened by that fact too, livelonger! And yeah... I'm kind of embarrassed by my interest in such matters, but such is the art of rubbernecking!

I would be very interested to know that too, Garrett Mickley! Perhaps I'll have to do some research!

I'm not surprised, kittythedreamer! One doesn't expect to hear about such gruesome things when contemplating the Happiest Place on Earth, right?

It is very sad indeed, oceansnsunets. I do think Disneyland is a safer place now than it has ever been, though- and it is definitely several times safer than the REAL world!

It's true, christinepurr- most of these deaths were not the fault of Disney.

And indeed it does, KatieB456! I first heard about these deaths in a radio show, then did more research via Snopes and articles linked to from the Wikipedia entry on Disneyland incidents. I don't think Disneyland is overjoyed about this information being out, but it's hardly a secret.


buddy 4 years ago

uhhh article writer you left the t off of heart in your article

Lesson: Follow the rules!

In writing this article, I by no means wish to make light of these tragic deaths. My hear goes out to the victims and their families, and I r


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco Author

Thanks buddy! Fixed it :)


bruzzbuzz profile image

bruzzbuzz 4 years ago from Texas , USA

Amazing. I never knew any of this. Disneyland is such a place of joy I never gave any thought that people had died there. Great hub. Voted up!


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 4 years ago from Oakley, CA

Right. Most of the deaths were caused by the victims themselves doing something stupid. Only a couple by negligence or faulty equipment. In all the years that park has been in operation, I'd say those are damned good odds! It's probably much more dangerous to cross the street.


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco Author

Good odds indeed! I am sure that if we actually ran the numbers, it would be several times more dangerous to walk the streets of any major city than to go on the most radical of Disneyland rides.


Mary Stuart profile image

Mary Stuart 4 years ago from Washington

Last time I was at Disneyland Splash Mountain was closed because a guy climbed out of the ride at the top and then got squished by the cars. Uh-oh. I have no idea why he climbed out.


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco Author

Oh my gosh, seriously? That's horrible!


LauraD093 profile image

LauraD093 4 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

Simone Smith- I will never visit Disneyland again without thinking about this particular hub-article. As a chronic macabre addict I found this really interesting and entertaining. Maybe your work isn't for the faint of heart but I personally will be looking forward to more hubs written by you if they are along this line of research. (smile)


RedElf profile image

RedElf 4 years ago from Canada

Which only goes to show there is a dark side to everything - yes? Makes you look at the rides with a new respect - they are, after all, just really, really, fancy amusement park rides.


malić 4 years ago

Nikad nisam znao Disneyland imali toliko smrtnih slu?ajeva!


epigramman profile image

epigramman 4 years ago

..love this one Simone - great homework you have done - extensive world class research too - I died at Disney World in Orlando years ago when I was thrown off Space Mountain and this is my 'ghost' talkin' to ya at the Hub now ......


HattieMattieMae profile image

HattieMattieMae 4 years ago from Limburg, Netherlands

I think these happen at all amusement parks not necessarilry just Disney land. Thanks for sharing, I would say it probably is at every amusement park we just don't hear about it.


Rachel Murray profile image

Rachel Murray 4 years ago

Only being to Disneyland twice, it hashes been the "happiest place on earth." This definitely opened up my eyes to the dangers and reasons for rules that seem pointless. Thanks!


Amberjewell profile image

Amberjewell 4 years ago

This was very informative and interesting. I have never been to Disneyland or DisneyWorld, but where there are that many people, accidents are bound to happen. It's just a shame these people chose to make such bad decisions.


NC4Life078 profile image

NC4Life078 4 years ago from United States of America

I enjoyed this article because it brings light to the importance of following the rules. Notice how the majority of the deaths are due to immaturity, Complacency Kills.


Eric Calderwood profile image

Eric Calderwood 4 years ago from USA

I never realized how far back the deaths at this park went. I didn't think about park deaths happening as far back as the 1960s. Probably because they are not recalled in news articles about more recent deaths. I guess it is not surprising though. Machines wear out, rules can be broken, and not everything can be taken into account in advance.


Lovelovemeloveme profile image

Lovelovemeloveme 4 years ago from Cindee's Land

Whoah! Nice hub! How did you find these information? Usually tragic events like this are craftily concealed from the press .

Most of these deaths could have been avoided . tsk tsk tsk. what a shame


MomsTreasureChest profile image

MomsTreasureChest 4 years ago

Oh my!


randslam profile image

randslam 4 years ago from Kelowna, British Columbia

Voted up and interesting! What a great balance in your approach to a mixture of dark and light...love it. It is so important to make a story, morbid tho' it may be, fascinating and illuminating at the same time.

I love this technique and can appreciate your POV in life...gotta take the good with the bad...keeps things interesting. Wonderful job and I'll be reading more of your work.

Thanks for the great ride.


Ashley Gisell profile image

Ashley Gisell 4 years ago from New York

Informative and interesting. Great job:)


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 4 years ago from Croatia, Europe

Bravo, Simone! Like yourself, I was a Park employee and we all knew of the park's "dark side". Like a performance, the image of happiness and order must be maintained - at any cost. Some of us complained that lives were endangered because of the secretive ways that heart attack victims and other accident victims were not rushed to the hospital but put in the medical center and quietly escorted out the back. My dad and brother also worked at the Park and I love it, despite its duality (bipolarity!) Up, interesting and awesome, Very very interesting reading. - Anastasia


Green Art profile image

Green Art 4 years ago

So glad I didn't know this before both my kids went to Disneyland for high school band trips. Nice write up despite the tragic outcomes for some of the workers and visitors at the park.


TripleAMom profile image

TripleAMom 4 years ago from Florida

Hey Simone, great article and great reminder that we need to FOLLOW DIRECTIONS. I am often amazed by people who think they are immune to the rules. Less problems if rules are followed. voted up.


belleart profile image

belleart 4 years ago from Ireland

I am so shocked. I had never heard of ANY of these until now. Voted up!


Josh Bell profile image

Josh Bell 4 years ago

Fascinating hub. Thanks for sharing.


Becky Bruce profile image

Becky Bruce 4 years ago from San Diego, CA

I am a Disneyland enthusiast! In fact, I'm about to write a Hub about Disneyland now- may I link your article through mine once it is complete? It is always interesting to me that the happiest places on earth can hold some rather dark days. Have you heard the tale of the woman who secretly dumped her son's ashes into Pirates of The Caribbean ride? The story goes, she asked if she could since it was his favorite ride and they said no because of sanitation issues and she did it nonetheless. I have no idea if this story is true or not. But great hub :) I will be voting up and checking out what else you've written!!


Marissa Adams profile image

Marissa Adams 4 years ago from Mahomet, Illinois

creepy!


letswriting profile image

letswriting 4 years ago

hope not happen again on the future


danielabram 4 years ago

I think the scariest is when you are sitting there, minding your own business, when all of the sudden the Mickey Mouse statue next to you comes to life! Now that'll make you jittery wherever you go ;)


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

You're so right, Simone! Life is about contrasts like sweet and salty, crunchy and smooth. These were tragic incidents but even driving a car carries its risks. Amusement parks can be dangerous. That's why they pay such a high insurance premium. But it seems measures have been taken to improve safety. We have to accept the risks, take precautions and do our best to enjoy life! This is very insightful. Voted up!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

I loved this hub-like you, I am fascinated with the contrasts of life. Where in the world did this topic pop into your mind? Very interesting info! I'm passing it on for others to read...rated up and U/I/A


kelleyward 4 years ago

Hi Simone! What a great topic for a hub! I loved reading this because I have to admit, I've never thought about tragedy at Disney World. I've been there a couple of times and loved it. Sharing this one with others. Voted up and interesting. Take care, Kelley


Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

Read this after seeing it being shared. This was so funny and interesting and a great way to wake up this morning. Now I want to go to Disney, but that will have to wait until our next vacation and until I do a bit of safety research. Thanks for a great hub!


Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 4 years ago from Hawaii

Wow - my eyes were glued to every word! I work with the public and a lot of people think they will be fine if they don't follow the rules. Most rules and guidelines exist for a reason, as this hub shows!


daskittlez69 profile image

daskittlez69 4 years ago from midwest

I never knew so many people had died there. Thanks for the Hub. Here is your Up!


Jeff Gamble profile image

Jeff Gamble 4 years ago from Denton, Texas

Great article Simone - Interesting how most of the folks who were doomed were teens breaking the rules. Not to make light of their tragic deaths, but there is something Scooby Doo-like to that karma.


Rfordin profile image

Rfordin 4 years ago from Florida

This comes at the perfect time as my family is now at Disney World (in Florida). However I agree with you that some of the deaths were caused by park malfunction but others were simply caused because kids were stupid and above the "rules".

I never imagined that there were this many deaths at "The Happiest Place on Earth" but if you take into account the number of visitors each day times 365 days a year it seems the loss of life is minimal (albeit tragic). Thanks for sharing I must now call my loved ones at the park and threaten them to follow EVERY posted sign, warning, suggestion etc.

~Becky


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Crazy! I live about 45 minutes fro Six Flags - I really worry when they are there because of the accidents that happen. Our park is getting really old and I am afraid they don't maintenance it well enough because it's taken such a big hit with the economy as it is here recently.

Thunder river had a huge problem when the whole boat flipped over and people drowned because they couldn't get out.

Gosh pretty tragic to get killed in Tomorrowland?


Dreamhowl profile image

Dreamhowl 4 years ago from United States of America

Thanks for the interesting read! It's strange to think how a place like Disney can have so many accidents in its resume. We don't always think how dangerous things can be until someone gets hurt on rides like these.


lucky2bealive profile image

lucky2bealive 4 years ago from Maryland

I will never look at Disney the same ! :)


MichaelJohnMele profile image

MichaelJohnMele 4 years ago from Seffner, Florida

I knew Disney was EVIL! Thanks for helping others see that too.

Great read!


talfonso profile image

talfonso 4 years ago from Tampa Bay, FL

Being a Disney Parks enthusiast I voted this Hub up and interesting. Even Walt Disney World (which is obviously closer to me than Disneyland) has its share of deaths. You may be thinking that no one dies at Disneyland, but due to Cast Members' or Guests oblivions to safety or ride malfunctions, accidents happen.


one2recognize2 profile image

one2recognize2 4 years ago from New York

Very insightful glance to Disney, very well done and thank you for sharing...


FreezeFrame34 profile image

FreezeFrame34 4 years ago from Charleston SC

Very interesting. Like the majority of the other readers, I've never heard of any of these stories. No matter how much fun the parks are, you still have to follow the rules to stay safe!


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 4 years ago from sunny Florida

It is so sad that at a place where everyone hopes to check the 'cares of the world' at the gate that tragedy strikes. As you pointed out many could have been prevented. It is a cautionary tale reminding us to remember we are responsible for our own safety. Of course as you point out, there are those cases where it was not the deceased or injured party's fault.

We had an incident at Disney World in July 2009 where a young man was killed on a monorail. So sudden and tragic and it was not his fault. Lots of rumors surrounded the disaster. None of them brought him back.

It is important for all who plan to attend theme parks to be aware. Thanks for sharing this.


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

Amusement park tragedies have been news headlines a lot! It is always good to be aware of lurking dangers, even when we think everything is OK. Thanks for an informative article that will no doubt be very useful!


grand old lady profile image

grand old lady 4 years ago from Philippines

As a child who lived in Los Angeles, Disneyland was always a wonderland for me of everything beautiful and fascinating. Two years ago I went to Disneyland in Hong Kong, considerably smaller but no less fabulous. Interesting to know that there were deaths in such wonderland places as these. Nice hub:)


umbertoobrian profile image

umbertoobrian 4 years ago from Speedway, Indiana

Voted Up, interesting reading. I was unaware of so many tragic deaths at Disneyland. It appears that most of them were due to poor judgement or misadventure.


Distant Mind profile image

Distant Mind 4 years ago

Very interesting hub. It's a very sad topic, but happiness and death are often found at the same places. Death is the substance of life and we should not forget it, because of how fragile our bodies are.


Msmillar profile image

Msmillar 4 years ago from Valley Springs

It's a deadly world after all, its a deadly world after all....I knew they had to be hiding something!

Hey, none of that was listed in the vacation pamphlet!

All in good fun but interesting as well.


NateB11 profile image

NateB11 4 years ago from California, United States of America

Fascinating, I had no idea these deaths occurred at Disneyland; I assumed they took many precautions to avoid such things, but some things are hard to avoid; seems like lots of young partiers made some fatal errors. Some of it was learned along the way, in maintenance and structure of the features at the park. Fascinating, because the place has a certain reputation, good to hear about another aspect of it.


JP993 profile image

JP993 4 years ago from England

Wow, I'm glad you're not trying to sell disney land tickets. This hub has well put me off the place. It's surprising how long the place has been running too.


Daphne Shadows 4 years ago

Good warning! Amazing history, I've never heard of any deaths at Disneyland.


Marie Eiland 4 years ago

except for america sings, and big thunder deaths, the people who died all did very dumb things! and didn't follow the rules, so naturally they were killed!


grand old lady profile image

grand old lady 4 years ago from Philippines

I love Disneyland. This was quite an eye opener.


billd01603 profile image

billd01603 4 years ago from Worcester

Very enjoyable Hub


shelbytaylor profile image

shelbytaylor 4 years ago

Wow, I had no idea! You never hear about this type of stuff. Very cool hub.


lisasuniquevoice profile image

lisasuniquevoice 4 years ago from Michigan

Thank you very much for all of the information about the parks. I would have never know. I've been there a few times and everything looked magical.

Lisa


Loveless City boy profile image

Loveless City boy 4 years ago from LAS VEGAS!!!!!!!!

Good hub


Hezekiah profile image

Hezekiah 4 years ago from Japan

Interesting to know. I haven't heard many issues for the Disney here in Tokyo.


Music-and-Art-45 profile image

Music-and-Art-45 4 years ago from USA, Illinois

Dying at Disneyland, this was fascinating. I knew it had happened but I never knew how. Thanks for sharing. Voting up/sharing.


Pete LeBeef profile image

Pete LeBeef 4 years ago from Cheshire, UK

If you're time is up, at least it's at the happiest place on Earth!


photographybyar profile image

photographybyar 4 years ago from Bakersfield, California

The happiest place on earth seems so damn ironic now... what an interesting hub!! I knew people had died at Disneyland (as they die everywhere) but you wrote a very interesting hub! Great job and awesome topic!


carlajbehr profile image

carlajbehr 4 years ago from NW PA

The freaky side of Disney no doubt.


teddi6 profile image

teddi6 4 years ago from Northern California

This is definitely the side of Disneyland that Walt wanted kept hidden behind all of the painted smiles.


RichusFridum profile image

RichusFridum 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Though for all its sugar-coated magic, Disney illustrates exceedingly well that a story is dreadfully flat without conflict, villains, and evil plots.

Let us acknowledge the dark along with the light! It allows us to appreciate the world for what it is.

Awesome...

Bravo...


RadAdMusic profile image

RadAdMusic 4 years ago from Dryden

This should be made into a documentary, similar to the ancient aliens series, that would be sweet i would watch that for sure!


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 4 years ago

Man, I had not realized that there have been so many deaths at Disneyland. I do know that these things happen more often than people realize.

I can attest to a near fatal accident (not Disneyland) as a teenager. Me an my sister were on a Gravity type ride that holds you against the wall while it spins a 1000 mph. The ride involved no safety belts. This ride was me and my sisters favorite and we must have rode it at least 10 times in a row. We finally got off and the next Gravity ride was filled with unusual intense screaming. The operator of the ride had been drinking and had spaced out the timing of the ride. People were holding on for dear life. Me and my sister got the operator attention and soon the ride was under control. Thank goodness no-one got seriously injured but for a few nicks and bruises.

Well, you have definitely sparked my interest on this subject and created a fabulous Hub. Thanks for sharing. Voted up for useful, interesting and awesome. :-)


Kasman profile image

Kasman 3 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

Very nasty deaths in some of those spots, especially the bobsledding ones. Enjoyed this immensely.


SoundNFury profile image

SoundNFury 3 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

Great hub! I am also fascinated by these types of stories, as you would not expect them from a place like Disneyland. They are all tragic, but the two boys trying to swim from Tom Sawyer island really resonates. Voted up, awesome and interesting!


iguidenetwork profile image

iguidenetwork 3 years ago from Austin, TX

Ugh... the dark side if Disneyland which it is trying to hide to preserve its wholesome image. I thought the lawsuits would be enough to make up for that dark side, but there is more, sadly. Well-researched hub. Voted up.


GetitScene profile image

GetitScene 3 years ago from The High Seas

I had no idea! This was a really good idea for an article.


shai77 profile image

shai77 3 years ago

Wow, Disney is such a happy place you never realize these kinds of tragedies take place there. Truly tragic is when people follow all the rules and there is a mishap. Interesting hub, VU


tedbatchelor profile image

tedbatchelor 3 years ago from Melbourne

Great Hub. Follow the rules or die. Disney's new motto!


Cristale profile image

Cristale 3 years ago from Florida

This is an awesome hub. I would go to Disneyland every year for my birthday when I was a child. It's creepy to know about the deaths now that I am much older.


nuffsaidstan profile image

nuffsaidstan 3 years ago

Great article, i was planning to come over to the states to visit Disneyland soon, now im not so sure, its a bit like Final Destination 3 in there!


LisaKoski profile image

LisaKoski 3 years ago from WA

Wow, this just proves how important it is to follow all the rules and safety procedures! Very interesting hub idea. I will definitely keep this in mind next time I plan a trip to Disneyland or Disney World.


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 3 years ago from San Francisco Author

Very true, shai77.

"Follo the rules or die." Love that, tedbatchelor!

I know what you mean, Christale! And that's a nice birthday tradition you had. :D

Hahaa, Disneyland is hardly like Final Destination 3, nuffsaidstan- though it certainly is thrilling at times!

You're quite right, LisaKoski. Rules are very important- and we should all be careful to follow them!


Relationshipc profile image

Relationshipc 3 years ago from Alberta, Canada

I need to show this to my husband. I am one of those people who will break rules in life to have fun, but who also follows all the safety rules (and common sense rules) to a tee (and maybe even more) because I believe in the power of getting yourself killed over something silly. I mean really, safety procedures are put there for a reason!


Wakerra profile image

Wakerra 3 years ago

I really appreciate how you stated that these happen, and you don't wish to show how horrible Disney is. I actually just wrote a bit of a rant hub about how no one is perfect in this world. Seems every time something bad happens somewhere, somebody has to make a huge stink about it


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 3 years ago from San Francisco Author

Very true, Relationshipc! I suppose the key is to know which rules are OK to break.

Wakerra, it's very true. Making stinks is one of humankind's greatest strengths. As you say, we're imperfect!


kellylipp profile image

kellylipp 3 years ago from North Dakota

Wow, never thought of people not making it out of Disneyland alive! I enjoyed your hub, though. Interesting stuff, and nice emphasis on just following the rules...they're there for a reason!


solidblue profile image

solidblue 3 years ago

I worked as a ride hostess on a roller coaster in the summer of 1984 at Cedar Point, in Sandusky, Ohio. It always amazed me that so many people refused to follow safety measures. These are the same people, mind you, of the 'slip- and-fall-artist' variety, who're always on the lookout for someone to sue when they get hurt. Fortunately, there were no deaths or serious injuries while I worked there, but the crew sure cleaned up its share of vomit. Lesson: Don't eat a bunch of junk and immediately ride a roller coaster. Yuck!


NotPC profile image

NotPC 3 years ago

The Matterhorn is by far the best ride. Unless you count the roller coaster at California Adventure.


Jmillis2006 profile image

Jmillis2006 3 years ago from North Carolina

I thought this hub was great, who knew there where so many tragic accidednts a disneyland.


torilouise profile image

torilouise 3 years ago

I loved this article! Everyone imagines Disneyland as this magic place but this was so intriguing!


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 3 years ago from San Francisco Author

I know, kellylipp! Who would have imagined? That's why I love this subject. It's so counterintuitive.

Solidblue, that's scary to hear! You'd think people would value their health and lives a bit more... I'm glad you didn't have to deal with any serious injuries- or worse! And... thanks for the lesson. Yech!

I love the Matterhorn too, NotPC!! Though that roller coaster at the California Adventure *is* a blast- I love the acceleration at the beginning!

Thanks a ton Jmillis2006. :D

Disneyland *is* a magic place, torilouise! It's just full of surprises is all... heh...


Little Grandmommy profile image

Little Grandmommy 3 years ago from Small Town Tennessee

I went to Disneyland several times in the 1960s when my age was still in the single digits. Moved to Tennessee in 1970 and haven't been back. Good article. Never knew there were so many tradedies there.


Flashwente profile image

Flashwente 3 years ago

I worked at Club 33 1973-1974, Busboy. Very formal, Disney in character, I played a busboy, Cast Member. Lots of booze, the occasional celebrity, Robert Goulet and his lovely wife Carol Lawrence being the highlight. We worked late into the night many times for corporate events and such. We closed the park at about 1 AM stealing OJs from the Sunkist stand in Adventureland, in front of the Trading Post. We would trip through Frontierland; the backstage door to the dressing/locker rooms was at the end (beginning?) of Main Street USA. The barely audible background music loop during the day was blaring and loud when the park echoed and you felt the unfamiliar unDisney-like cold drafts. The troupe of four or five of us servers from the Club would climb up into the Matterhorn, there was a basket in there to shoot hoops. We threw coins from the top into the Lagoon below. My favorite part? Meals underground at the crew Diner. A short order cook would make anything he could fry, grill, or broil and the company paid. good times!


onegreenparachute profile image

onegreenparachute 3 years ago from Greenwood, B.C., Canada

Whoa. Who woulda thunk? The happiest place in the world isn't - sometimes.


StayAwakeNow profile image

StayAwakeNow 3 years ago from Belgium

I've never been to a Disney park before. Everything listed here are horrible things, but they won't keep me from going there. But still it makes you think.


teddi6 profile image

teddi6 3 years ago from Northern California

Disneyland is still a magical place, a place for the ageless. You really can go there and be a kid again - if not through the rides and entertainment, then through the sheer beauty of the place. Disney makes sure every sense is involved in the experience.

That being said, no place is perfect and any place that offers a version of perfection, one need only look beyond the perfect facade to find there is an eerie opposite to all of that beauty.

Most of us choose to pay our money to enjoy the facade and pray the eerie backside stays in its place and nothing goes awry during our visit.

I have visited the parks with my children many times and have had great times, but given the fact that my eyes have been opened with the help of this Hub to the "other Disneyland", I will rethink my next visit. Why temp fate.


Wakerra profile image

Wakerra 3 years ago

really you only tempt fate if you risk and ignore rules. Sometimes we are helpless victims, but that goes for any situation: Work, school (Sandy shooting is a perfect example, same with Columbine) getting in a car or airplane, swimming in the local community pool...the list goes on


raising humans profile image

raising humans 3 years ago from North Carolina

What a strong reminder that mistakes can happen, and rules exist for a reason! Interesting hub.


ZAS profile image

ZAS 3 years ago

I often question these types of things when I go to a place like Disney, I mean it is typically not part of the advertisements, then when I finally hear it, It's like, AH-HA, I knew it, thank you fo sharing, not a fun thing but I am into reality, and this is all just part of it.


newusedcarssacram profile image

newusedcarssacram 3 years ago from Sacramento, CA, U.S.A

These are horrible incidents! I’m seriously having a problem relating these incidents with a place like Disney Land. But you are right, these kinds of places are run by very complex systems, so we need to be very careful and always follow the rules. Thanks a lot for sharing this post...


Flashwente profile image

Flashwente 3 years ago

First of all, my sympathies to those unlucky ones who passed on inside The Happiest Place On Earth. Tragic Kingdom.

In a morbid, dark, and disturbing way, I can see how Disney may value these tragic "accidents" for their contribution to the park's legend and myth. A ride is scarier, more authentic , REAL if that little seed of doubt, "Am I getting out of here alive?" has been planted.

Ghosts, poltergiest, loose rails, unqualified operators... c'mon in, the water's

fi-hi-hi-hih-ha-hah-HAHAAAAaaaaaahhh....!


HubPages profile image

HubPages 3 years ago from San Francisco, CA

I second that, and agree with your viewpoint, Flashwente. :D


busillis22 profile image

busillis22 3 years ago

I had to stop reading partway through,unfortunately. Gosh, how sad and disturbing.... very interesting, though. thank you for writing.


Ruth Lanham 3 years ago

Wow...I had no idea.


dbo 3 years ago

Very innacurate information. Only one guest and no employee was killed on the ships swinging rope. Where are your references?


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 3 years ago from San Francisco Author

They are embarrassingly missing, dbo! I am glad you pointed that out. I should have included them when I wrote the article. I shall now have to go back and find them!! At least one was a great This American Life episode- I'll start there. :D

Thanks for keeping me honest!


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Great contrast of the dark and the light, Simone. I would have thought most of these would have occurred at the Haunted House. We've been to Walt Disney World many times along with the other theme parks in Florida. With the volume of traffic they see on a daily basis it is no wonder there have been tragedies and accidents. This hub was a reality check and an interesting glimpse into the not-so-published details of park operations. So sorry for the families of those who were lost due to accidents and malfunctions.


disney 3 years ago

dag all the death they should shut dwon disney land


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 2 years ago from California

Simone, I miss you. Love your sense of the extraordinary .


christy 2 years ago

My Dad worked at Disneyland as an engineer for 20 years, and there is a lot more to some of these stories. ;)


WriterJanis profile image

WriterJanis 2 years ago from California

I love Disneyland and was familiar with some of these deaths, but not all of them so this was quite an interesting read for me. It is also rumored that the park is haunted.


baybpnk profile image

baybpnk 2 years ago from Michigan (the Mitten), United States

So many people are idiots, I'm surprised there are not more deaths due to this. I'm not surprised, however, that there are several deaths due to the park error. Humans make mistakes or are too lazy to do their jobs. Machinery is not always 100% obviously, too. You really never expect to die in Disneyland, though. It might be nice to have a bunch of Disney characters surrounding me at death so as to be my last vision. Kind of happy childhood memory moments. I am a Disney fan, if that is not obvious.

As to the deaths that took place in the "Happiest Place on Earth"; Sorry for your death and respect to your families who had to suffer such bad losses of loved ones as these.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Hi, Simone ,

I really enjoyed this fantastic hub. It was well-written. Loved the lay-out and use of graphics. I couldn't vote any other way but Up and all of the buttons. Your Fan Mail option was not working, so will this note suffice?

You have a wonderful gift for writing. I admire you for the job that you do.

I am going now to ask you to look at my hubs, maybe two or three and I want you to read them.

I am honored to follow you. I simply ask that after you look at two or three of my offerings and be one of my followers.

Thank you sincerely.

Kenneth

P.S. loved your profile


Glutathione PRO profile image

Glutathione PRO 2 years ago

This certainly took some of the majesty away from the park. Well documented Hub though, very well done!


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 22 months ago

Should have known there was something strange and creepy about that place!


minecrafter 21 months ago

OMG that is so evil

why is walt disney doing

this.


Abby thomas 20 months ago

That was scary if i died at disney land and I could come back to life

I would not go there but now if I could I would be there right now

And I would ceep my hands and feet inside the ride!!!!!!!!!!

That was scary too!!!!


Jill Sandwich 11 months ago

Here's a reasonably complete UPDATED list of everyone who has ever died at Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, & Disney World, & oh boy, is it long.

1964: Mark Maples (age 15) tried to stand up while he was riding the Matterhorn.

1966: Thomas Cleveland (age 19) tried to sneak into a Grad Night by climbing over the Monorail Track...The Monorail hit him, dragged his body several hundred feet, and killed him.

1967: Rickey Yama (age 17) tried to jump from his car to another on the People Mover track, he slipped and fell and was crushed to death.

1973: Bogden Delaurot (age 18) drowned trying to swim across the Rivers of America. Him and his 10 year old brother stayed on the island after the park closed. The younger boy couldn't swim so he was on Bogden's back. The younger boy lived.

1974: Deborah Stone (age 18) was working on America Sings (Now the Innovations Building), and was crushed by the rotating wall.

1979: Sherrill Anne Hoffman (age 31) fell into a coma after riding Tomorrowland’s Space Mountain & died a week latter.

1980: Gerado Gonzales (age 19) was crushed to death under the wheels of the People Mover.

1981: Mel Yorba (age 18) stabbed to death by James O’Driscoll in the Tomorrowland area.

1983: Philip Straughan drowned near Tom Sawyer Island in the Rivers of America. He was drunk at the time.

1984: Dolly Young (age 48) was killed in an incident similar to Mark Maples...She died when she was thrown from the car on the Matterhorn...Nobody knows if she unbuckled her seat belt on purpose or if it accidentally came undone.

1987: Salesi Tai (age 15) was shot by Keleti Naea in the Disneyland parking lot.

1994: Joachim Chi Tu (age 75) jumped from the 9th story of the Disneyland Hotel.

1996: David Daigle (age 23) jumped from the 14th floor of the Disneyland Hotel.

1998: Luan Phi Dawson (age 33) was declared a brain-dead human vegetable after begin struck by a metal cleat from the Columbia ship on the Rivers of America attraction.

1998 again: Luan Dawson (age 33) was struck in the head with a spike used to secure one of the boats in the Rivers of American to the dock. The rope pulled the spike out of the dock and struck him. He died two days later.

2000: Cristine Moreno (age 23) died of complications sustained from 2 months after having an aneurysm on the The Indiana Jones Adventure ride.

2003: Reuben Castillo (age 6) fell from the farris wheel when his cart reached the summit & tipped over.

2003 again: Christopher Bowman (age 36) fell off the catwalk of the Magic Carpet Ride.

2003 yet again: Marcelo Torres (age 22) was killed when the front locomotive came detached from the train on Big Thunder Mountain and fell on top of him.

2004: Employee Javier Cruz (age 38) was crushed to death by the Beauty & the Beast parade float.

2005: Daudi Bamuwamye (age 4) died of a heart condition on the Space Termination ride.

2007: Unnamed employee (age 63) Sustained head trauma after falling off a platform on the Primeval Whirl roller coaster & getting struck by a vehicle.

2007 again: Unnamed Spanish girl (age 14) died mysteriously on the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster ride.

2008: John Newman Jr. (age 48) also jumped from the 14th floor of the Disneyland Hotel.

2009: Another unnamed employee (age 47) slipped in a puddle of water & hit his head on a wall.

2009 again: Austin Wuennenberg (age 21) died when the Monorail Purple & Monorail Pink collided at the ticket station.

2009 yet again: Brandon Zucker died of lingering complications he sustained from the Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin ride he was tossed from in 2000.

2010: Employee (age 53) Died at the hospital shortly after being crushed by a vehicle while cleaning It's A Small World.

2010 again: Ghassan Trabulsi (age 61) jumped from the Mickey & Friends parking garage.

2011: Russell Sherry Roscoe (age 52) was another victim of the Primeval Whirl roller coaster.

2012: Christopher Tran (age 23) jumped from the Mickey & Friends parking garage.

2013: Michael Zarcone (age 63) lost his balance & suffered a fatal heart attack while simply walking around the park.

2015: Unnamed construction worker (age 44) fell from the scaffolding of Disneylad Paris's Newport Bay Club hotel.

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