2nd Death in One Year for Mission: Space at Epcot

Sad news to report today. A second fatality in less than a year of a guest who complained of feeling ill after riding Epcot’s Mission: Space attraction. This time a 49 year old woman from Germany was reportedly ill after riding the g-force intensive space simulator. She was transported to a hospital and later died. There are some reports that she may had suffered from some pre-existing conditions.

Previously a 4-year old boy died after riding Mission: Space. An autopsy later revealed an undiagnosed heart condition that was the cause of death.

Mission: Space was closed after the park learned the woman was in grave condition. State inspectors were then called in. It is unknown if the ride will return to regular operation tomorrow. But it did open the next day after the 4-year old boy died and the ride was found to be operating as normal.

The Orlando Sentinel has more including a statement from Disney and some injury statistics from the attraction and Jenn at Irish Wake is tracking the news coverage and any bias she detects.

Update: Disney has re-opened Mission:Space less than one day after closing it for inspection.

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11 thoughts on “2nd Death in One Year for Mission: Space at Epcot

  1. whit

    That is very sad. I am begining to wonder at what point should a rider’s pre-existing conditions be considered. Are there that many people that aren’t aware of their own problems or is the threshold for triggering said factors too readily available on this ride?

  2. Boing Boing

    Epcot’s Mission: Space kills a second rider in a year’s time

    Epcot Center’s Mission Space ride — a centrifuge that simulates a “voyage to Mars” — has killed a second rider in a year’s span (it made me sick as a dog, but the friend with me loved it and would have ridden it the rest of the day if it wasn’t for m…

  3. JoAnn Favitta

    I sad that someone lost their life. It also makes me sad that we immediately look for blame. Easy blame goes to the ride but is that realistic or fair. It is a sad statement for the USA that we have lost our sense of personal accountability. That is one fantastic ride. Disney posted the warnings and takes great care to make sure the ride is operating safe. Disney did not force the person to ride this ride. This was free will or the person’s choice however you want to look at it. When a ride is operating correctly, Disney is certainly not at fault because any one of use chose to ride a ride. Sometimes there is no blame. Nothing is perfect including our bodies. We all take chances every day realized or not. Let’s quit trying to shut rides or activities down because 1 in several million people had an issue no one could forsee. We each make personal choices and need to live with the consequences of those choices. Let’s quit making it everyone else’s problem and accept our personal role in situations like this.

  4. Cameron Liner

    I hate to see this happening again. When are people going to learn to actually read the warning signs and listen to the warning in the pre-shows. I don’t think Disney should be at fault for someone who is determined not to follow the warnings.

    Of course, in the little boy’s case they didn’t know he had a medical condition, but that’s not Disney’s fault either.

  5. deanna

    As someone with pre-existing conditions (i.e., high blood pressure) at a very young age, I can assure you that the temptation is there at Disney!! However, when a park clearly lists a detailed warning, I’d be crazy not to adhere to it. Of course, one might wonder if there is a language barrier? But truthfully, there are plenty of other thrilling attractions within Walt Disney World that I have used my better judgement and (sadly!) stayed away from the ones I am asked to avoid.

    I guess the lesson from these two incidents is that Disney is not lying in their warning – if you suffer from ANY of the listed conditions, do no ride. Also, keep your small children off. I was shocked at the number of people trying to take babies on Space Mountain! Use some common sense, folks!

  6. Sarah

    I’d think that, especially considering the attraction is in EPCOT (which has a higher percentage of foreign language speakers than the other WDW parks,) anyone with a language barrier would have seen the frankly scary warning signs and asked for a translation. Disney goes a lot further on the “making sure your non-English speaking guests are aware of what’s going on” path than any other US theme parks I’ve been to. And, if anything, the non-English speakers I ran into at Disneyland behaved far more responsibly than English speakers (and California natives behaved least responsibly of all.)

    It is terrible that another guest has lost their life. It seems to me, however, that either they were acting irresponsibly or they had a dangerous condition they weren’t aware about — either of which is likely to be fatal, with or without a trip to DisneyWorld.

  7. chris

    Uhhh, you keep saying “read the warning signs, I can’t believe people dont read the warning signs!”

    What decision are you expecting people to make?

    I dont understand your point. Is your point that NO ONE should ride it? (Thats rhetorical, I know thats not your point) So what makes this woman any different from any of the people you deem “ok” to ride it?

    “I don’t think Disney should be at fault for someone who is determined not to follow the warnings.”

    What warning did she not follow? And now, try and do some logical induction to apply that behavior you expect of her to Every Visitor, and then explain to me exactly why the ride should exist in the first place. (Since, by logical induction, you seem to imply that no one should ever ride the ride, and instead leave upon reading the warning signs.)

  8. nona

    Chris, Disney warns you not to get on the ride if you have any of a list of medical conditions– off the top of my head, people with high blood pressure, heart conditions, and pregnant women are told repeatedly that they should not get on the ride. Since I don’t have any of those things, I *did* get on the ride, and had a lovely time. That’s what the warning signs are for: they tell you whether or not it is safe for each guest to get on any particular ride.

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