Around 2:50 pm today, pieces of decorative faux rock at Disneyland Paris’ Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster attraction fell and struck guests riding the attraction. Five guests were hurt. Four were treated at the park, however one ‘serious’ head injury was taken to the hospital. Our best wishes are with him and his family while he recovers.
The fallen ‘rock’, made of a special mix of fiberglass and wood, was said to be from the final lift hill scene (“Lift C”), during the simulated earthquake scene. The attraction is closed pending inspection as is standard procedure for incidents like these.
It’s definitely too early to speculate as to the cause of this accident. However, I think a good place to start looking would be the maintenance records for the attraction. Reports from guests who have visited Disneyland Paris resort in the last few years indicate that the park appears to be saving money by cutting back on some of the day to day upkeep that is required for a themepark with attractions as complicated as Disney creates. On the other hand, it might just be something weather related.
Also, it’s notable that the sister Big Thunder attraction at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom has been missing a huge section of faux rock work from that very section of the attraction for at least a couple of months now. All you see when riding through is a black tarp covering a hole that’s approximately 3 feet tall and 8 feet wide. Is there something in the structure of Lift C that’s inherently unsafe?