Children Permanently Scarred After Traumatic Disney World Incident

Expedition Everest ride breakdown
Credit: Disney

Taking your children to Walt Disney World in Florida is supposed to give them everlasting and amazing memories. The experience is supposed to shape their young minds positively. However, one family now claims that a recent incident at the theme park has left their children traumatized and fearful of Disney World.

broken train track with mountains and dark skies

Credit: Disney

Children Traumatized After Expedition Everest Ride Breakdown

In an online interview with Fox Business, the father, Joe Sherman, explained that his family has often attended the Orlando theme park. However, his children have become afraid of it after getting stuck for over 30 minutes on the Expedition Everest roller coaster at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Expedition Everest is a thrilling roller coaster ride at the Orlando theme park. The attraction takes riders on a high-speed train journey through the Himalayas, featuring twists, turns, and encounters with the mysterious Yeti creature. The highlight is a backward segment halfway through the experience. Furthermore, the attraction is the tallest roller coaster at the theme park.

Recently, an Expedition Everest ride breakdown caused the coaster to stop on the upward ascent of the mountain. Guests, including Sherman’s young children, were trapped at a steep angle for 30 minutes. The parents had allowed their two daughters to board the ride together while they watched from below.

Disney's Expedition Everest

Credit: Disney

Magic Ruined

Ride stops are common at theme parks to prevent incidents. However, the length of time left at this steep angle without any updates could definitely cause anxiety. Cast members assured the parents that this was normal and the children would be fine.

Nevertheless, the two girls returned to their parents in tears. Sherman explains in the Fox Business interview that they no longer want to go to theme parks or ride roller coasters and “require therapy” from the traumatic incident.

Furthermore, he explains that the Expedition Everest ride breakdown caused his wife a lot of stress at the moment as well. They scold Disney World for not being able to provide his wife with adequate updates to comfort her during the ordeal.

Expedition Everest Disco Yeti

Credit: Disney

Related: Disney World Guests Stranded For More Than Half an Hour When Technical Problems Leave A Ride Non-Operational

Disney’s Declining Guest Service

The family then contacted Disney for compensation. However, they were unimpressed with the results, which they claim was a “corporate response.” Disney apparently offered them Fast Passes and nothing more.

The entire situation has left this family feeling jaded about Walt Disney World. What was once their consistent destination is now a nightmare for the children. Further still, these parents now say Disney’s reputation for quality service has gone downhill.

Do you agree with this family? Do you believe Disney’s guest service has declined in recent years? Does this incident call for more compensation from Disney? Let us know in the comments below.

About Michael Stoyanoff

Michael is a goofball with an entertainment background and a passion for writing. He has a long history of being a Disney fan and is still a lost boy at heart. In his free time, he enjoys running, playing video games, and traveling the world. He is also unnaturally obsessed with pugs and spends a lot of time with his dog Mr. Pippers the Pug.


  1. It is not unusual for a ride to stop sometimes. It sounds like the kids were too young to be on that ride especially alone. Are they tall for their age? Because usually children that too young are not allowed on the ride. If Disney were to offer any real compensation to everyone who is on a ride that may stop then the company would be broke. Stuff happens, get over it. And don’t allow children that are too young onto a ride like that one especially alone. I think Disney was fine in their response and customer service

  2. I feel so sorry for your traumatic experience and needing therapy. Sounds like the entire family needs a lot of therapy to learn that life is not perfect and you all need life coping skills. Another alternative is to keep your family in the safety of your home and never let them leave. Problem solved. Seriously, your children will survive the ordeal and likely remember it as one of their life experiences.

  3. I have some empathy for the parents because their kids had a scare. HOWEVER, a lot of kids responses and longer term effects are greatly affected by the parents response to an event. The parents need to respond to their kids with understanding of their fears but reassurance that they are fine, all came out well, and so we go forward. What does not help is the parents responding with entitlement and reinforcing their kids fears.
    It is telling to me that the ages of the children were not shared. How old are the kids? Was it an error in judgement that the parents allowed the kids to ride alone? I am suspicious that that is a big part of this case, and so the parents are blaming Disney because they refuse to take responsibility for their decision.
    Sadly, our culture is currently in a place of supporting “blame someone else” rather than “learn from mistake” and make better decisions next time. That is life.
    I’m sorry the parents made a decision that put their kids in a situation that scared them. I go to Disney often. I have been on numerous rides over 30 years that have had a stop. Every time cast members have done their best and I appreciate that. ONCE (out of many) I felt staff moved slower than hoped to evacuate us from a ride that could not restart. But I also know they have lots to do and were doing their best.
    I make the decision to ride. Disney does not force me to go or to ride any rides. Come on parents – parent.

  4. I’m Sorry that the children were scared or afraid while they waited for the ride to resume. However, before you ever put your children on a ride they should be old enough to understand this stuff happens, what to expect and what to do. How OLD were they?? Too young that their parents should have been riding too??

    I’m Sorry they feel life is perfect and they should be compensated. When rides break down it’s nice you get a fast pass. They do not compensate anything more.

    Children should be taught life is not perfect, life is messy, life goes on. Parents reactions to a situation leave lasting impressions on children.

    They should have reassured that they were safe, there was a mechanical issue with the ride, it happens and off we go either back on the ride with their parents if it was open or on to another one.

    Children are resilient unless taught or stressed by their parents otherwise.

    Shame on these parents for their Crazy response and action to the situation and even more for thinking Disney owes them an Entitled Amount of Money.

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