How many people have died at Walt Disney World

I think this most recent death, while tragic, needs to be understood with in the context of time. While it seems like there has been death after death at Walt Disney World there have been only nine deaths in three years (source, Orlando Sentinel) and 15 deaths since 1989 (source, the AP). Even more importantly, in none of these deaths was Disney found at fault (although there is some debate over the deaths of two cast member and changes were made subsequently) and many of them were as the result of pre-existing conditions.

Who can say what an acceptable level is, and for the family affected, nothing is acceptable, but 15 deaths in 16 years for a place the size of Manhattan is really a remarkable record of safety.

The Orlando Sentinel does pick up on an area where Disney could improve. The availability of automatic external defibrillators or AEDs.

Portable defibrillators, called automatic external defibrillators,
determine whether a heart is quivering without pumping blood and will
automatically shock it to try to restore a normal beating pattern. The
procedure is not always successful.

The availability of portable defibrillators at Walt Disney World
became an issue earlier this month when a wrongful-death lawsuit was
filed by the parents of a child who died last year after riding
Mission: Space at Epcot.

There were AEDs available at Disney-MGM Studios, just none at Rock ‘n’ Roller coaster. The autopsy will help us know if it would have made a difference in the 12-year old boys death, but it seems like the AEDs should be stationed nearest the most extreme attractions.

Update: The Sentinel has updated their site with a chart listing the last seven deaths after experiencing an attraction at Disney World. However, I don’t think they should count the first one. The child died while waiting in line for Space Mountain. If they count that one then they should count the pool drowning at the Coronado Springs Hotel.

 

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About Whit

Whit Honea is a writer/editor/producer living in the L.A. area with his wife and two boys. You can find his writings and other works all over the Internets. Also available on Twitter.
This entry was posted in DVC, Themepark Industry, Travel Planning, Walt Disney World. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to How many people have died at Walt Disney World

  1. I always thought the AEDs in the Mickey and Friends parking structure at Disneyland were somewhat funny. I’ve never seen one in either Disneyland or California Adventure, but there they are in the parking structure.

  2. Dying to go to Disneyworld

    Following this weekend’s tragic death of a 12-year-old boy–believed to have a heart defect–on Disneyworld’s Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, The Disney Blog has has a round-up of Disneyworld Deaths. 15 in 16 years seems kind of high to us, but…

  3. Sally says:

    I think that the only reason that people have died on the Rock’n’Roll roller coaster at Disney Land is because they have bad heart conditions. So really you should not be scared of them.

  4. me says:

    people do not die in disney world.
    they cannot be pronounced dead until the go to the hospital.
    so still the happiest place on earth :)

Comments are closed.