Skip to content

Disney World Death Update

Dr. John Kuluz, an associate professor and expert in pediatric critical care and brain injuries at the University of Miami, said the mother’s report of her son’s rigidity suggests that the brain was a more likely suspect.

"That episode of being rigid makes it sound as if the brain was having increased pressure," said Kuluz, who does research in children’s brain injuries.


CNN and the Orlando Sentinel have the latest information (including soem from medical experts) on the investigation into the death of a 4-year old child while experiencing Mission: Space at Epcot. The Setinenl also has a downloadable file of the 911 call (9.7 mb RAM file).

  • The preliminary autopsy report shows no sign of trama from the attraction. It may take 3 months before the final cause of death is determined.
  • Many news stories are reporting that the ride only puts 2.5Gs of force on the rider. But they fail to mention that this is for an extended period of time. Your body experiences G-forces everyday. Heck just falling down into a chair can be a 10G experience.
  • Also there has been some misconception around exactly what regulations are involved and what government oversight Walt Disney World must submit to. The answer, none. As long as Disney staffs its own trained inspectors, they have no oversight body. Visit for more details on federal and state level regulations in your area.

This accident may just be a matter of numbers. According to Disney 8.6 million people have ridden Mission: Space since its opening. As time goes on the odds increase that someone with an unknown heart or brain defect just waiting to be triggered by an experience with heavy or extended G-forces will ride. The fact that it was a child is doubly tragic.

Will I ride Mission: Space again? Most likely, but due to my back injury it will be  have to wait until I am in better physical condition. If I knew I had a family history of heart problems I might chose not to ride.