Update: 4/24/11 – Orlando Sentinel reports that the woman is still in intensive care at the hospital but is showing signs of recovery. She was on the ride with her two children and was visiting from Cromwell, England. Again, The Disney Blog wishes a speedy and full recovery for the injured party. No one wants to visit Walt Disney World and have something bad happen.
While I’m not at Walt Disney World today, I was yesterday. The weather was brutal. Unseasonably hot and muggy with guests (myself included) stumbling around looking for hydration. I personally saw one guest pretty much unconscious being tended to by Disney cast members in the exit queue for Star Tours. It’s hard to tell what she was suffering from, by if I had to guess, she probably hadn’t hydrated properly. I will not they didn’t shut down Star Tours after she was discovered and EMTs were called.
I tell you that story because around (update: possibly as early as 8:30AM)
11:30 AM this morning a guest was found unconscious at the end of the Space Mountain attraction, which did cause Disney to shut down the ride. There is no word on what caused the 48 year old woman to pass out. She was treated by Reedy Creek Emergency Services and then taken to the hospital for treatment.
According to reports in WESH, park officials say that the woman had a medical issue and it wasn’t the result of a malfunction that resulted in injury. Park officials did shut down the ride for inspection which is normal procedure in cases like this. Which I understand, since the nature of a roller coaster is a bit more severe than a motion simulator.
Guests in the park are being told the ride is closed due to technical difficulties, which is the standard message given. Reports are that the Orange County Sheriff’s Department is now on scene. This could be standard, or it could say something about the seriousness of the woman’s injury. In either event, we wish the injured party and her family the best.
The ride is expected to reopen to guests once the inspection has been complete.
Space Mountain at the Magic Kingdom travels at speeds of up to 27 miles an hour with g-forces topping out at 3.7. The attraction originally opened in 1975. It recently came out of a refurbishment that added new sound elements and updated lighting effects.
I will be updating this story as more news comes in.
Update: 7:35 PM – The attraction remains closed.