In a world where guests are stripping down to their undies and walking behind the scenes at it’s a small world in Disneyland or soaking up some of the smell-good water at Pirates of the Caribbean at Walt Disney World, concerns are being raised regarding how easily guests can and do exit their ride vehicles at Disney Parks. Disney ride safety is becoming a concern.
Notorious for building inclusive ride systems that are designed to facilitate guests of all shapes and sizes, Disney World and other Disney Parks, including Disneyland and Magic Kingdom, have all fallen victim to guests up and exiting rides like Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion, and others during operation.
When it comes to theme park rides, safety, and guest satisfaction are paramount concerns for Disney. Unlike Universal Studios, which is notable for creating restrictive ride systems that aren’t as friendly to larger guests, Disney’s emphasis, although on safety, is also on inclusion.
With a focus on providing unforgettable experiences like Avatar: Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom or Rise of the Resistance at Hollywood Studios, it is crucial to strike a balance between thrill and safety. One aspect that often comes under scrutiny is the effectiveness of ride restraints in keeping guests securely in their seats.
Exploring the question of whether Disney rides should have tighter restraints, meaning they become less friendly for larger guests, as well as discussing factors that contribute to guest safety and comfort, should be on everyone’s mind.
Although the most recent event, which video surfaced showing a young man removing his clothes and exiting his boat its a small world in Disneyland, other instances on popular rides at Walt Disney World Resort have indicated that Disney may be facing a pandemic of riders refusing to follow the rules, and the answer comes down to safety restraints.
Ride restraints on both Disneyland Resort and Disney World rides serve as a vital safety measure, ensuring that guests remain in their seats during the immersive and sometimes high-speed attractions Disney offers. These restraints are designed with meticulous attention to detail, incorporating advanced technologies and engineering principles to guarantee the utmost safety for riders.
While the primary purpose of ride restraints is to ensure guest safety, it is equally important to provide a comfortable experience. Disney understands the significance of allowing guests freedom of movement without compromising their safety. Tightening restraints excessively may restrict movement, leading to discomfort and a diminished enjoyment of the ride.
However, as guests to popular parks like Magic Kingdom continue to remove themselves from their vehicles during ride operation, comfort is quickly becoming less and less important, as seen at neighboring and competing parks like Universal Studios.
Disney’s comprehensive approach to ride design recognizes that different attractions demand varying levels of restraint. For intense thrill rides, such as roller coasters, snug restraints are essential to secure riders during inversions and high-speed maneuvers. However, for gentle attractions and family-friendly rides, it is crucial to strike a balance that allows guests to feel secure without causing unnecessary discomfort.
The Walt Disney Company is committed to employing state-of-the-art technology and continuous staff training to enhance guest safety. Ride restraints are rigorously tested and regularly inspected to ensure they are functioning optimally. Additionally, Disney’s well-trained ride operators play a crucial role in ensuring that restraints are properly secured, providing an additional layer of safety for guests.
While Disney goes to great lengths to design and maintain safe ride restraints, it is important to emphasize the role of guest responsibility. Guests must follow all safety instructions, including properly fastening their restraints and remaining seated throughout the ride. Adherence to these guidelines is vital in maintaining a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.
Despite the recent string of rulebreakers, including the Disneyland streaker, Walt Disney World and Disneyland place the highest priority on guest safety and comfort across its theme parks. The design and implementation of ride restraints are carefully considered to provide a balance between safety and an enjoyable experience.
“Universal rides are too restrictive!!
Meanwhile at Disney we have another guest getting out of a ride vehicle… pic.twitter.com/EkPMxhGFjW
— Derek Burgan (@derekburgan) November 27, 2023
While it is essential to ensure that restraints keep guests securely in their seats, excessive tightening may compromise comfort and detract from the magic of Disney’s attractions.
By employing advanced technologies, customizing restraints for different rides, and emphasizing guest responsibility, Disney and other amusement parks continue to set the standard for thrill and safety.
The opinions in this article are solely of the author and not reflective of The Walt Disney Company.