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Disneyland's First DeathIn May 1964, Disneyland had its first fatality. 15-year-old Mark Maples was injured and died three days after he stood up in the Matterhorn Bobsleds and fell out of the car. It was later reported that his restraint had been undone by his ride companion.
Listen to more crazy stories about death and chaos here.
Paris Cast Member Dies in Phantom ManorIn April 2016, a cast member was electrocuted while performing maintenance on Phantom Manor, a "fun-filled mystery" with "ghoulish ghosts and spirits" that's part of Frontierland at Disneyland Paris. The attraction was closed while the death was investigated.
Hyperion Theater DeathOn April 22, 2003, a stage technician fell 60 feet from a catwalk in the Hyperion Theater at Disney's California Adventure, prompting an investigation and fine by the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA).
The victim did not regain consciousness following the incident and died a month later.
The Measles OutbreakIn December 2014, a measles outbreak originated in Disneyland, resulting in 133 cases of the disease, including 40 in visitors to Disneyland between December 17 and 20. Most of these were unvaccinated children. The likely patient zero would have been an international traveler visiting the park from a country currently experiencing an outbreak.
In total, at least 127 cases of measles have been directly traced to the Disneyland outbreak.
1984 Matterhorn DeathOn January 3, 1984, Dolly Young was killed when she was thrown from her Matterhorn Bobsled car, and struck by the next oncoming bobsled. A subsequent investigation found that her seat belt was not buckled, but because she was riding alone, it was never clear if she deliberately unfastened her belt or if it malfunctioned.
Big Thunder Mountain Foot IncidentOn March 10, 1998, a 5-year-old boy was seriously injured on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad when his foot became wedged between the passenger car's running board and the edge of the platform after the train temporarily paused.
All of the toes on his left foot required amputation and Disneyland made major safety improvements to the ride.
Sailing Ship Columbia IncidentOn December 24, 1998, a metal cleat (a heavy pin designed to tie rope down) fastened to the hull of the Sailing Ship Columbia tore loose and flew into the crowd, striking one employee and two park guests. One of the guests subsequently died of a head injury. It was soon determined that the tie line the cleat was holding, which was normally an inelastic hemp rope designed to easily snap, had been replaced by a nylon rope that stretched to the point of tearing the cleat out.
Disney was fined by OSHA and settled an eight figure lawsuit with the guest’s family. It was the first death in the park's history where negligence by a guest played no role in the incident.
It's a Small World BreakdownOn November 27, 2009, It’s a Small World broke down while a guest with quadriplegia was on the ride. The guest was stuck in the "Goodbye Room," was unable to leave, and found himself forced to listen to the horrific earworm of the ride’s theme song.
It took between 30 and 40 minutes before he was finally evacuated. He sued Disney for not having adequate evacuation procedures for disabled guests, and in March 2013, he was awarded $8,000.