Parents of Dead Boy Want New Restrictions on Mission: Space

The parents of the four-year old boy who died after riding Mission: Space at Walt Disney World’s EPCOT theme park want height restrictions changed to restrict younger passengers from riding. Disney, of course, is balking. There is little or no evidence that the boy died due to some defect with the ride. They set their existing height limit, 44", based on heavy testing and manufacturer recommendations. Why should they change?

They should change, but not the way the boy’s family is suggesting. There is not always a direct correlation between height and constitution. Instead attractions should be given an ‘intensity’ rating. Red for very intense (not recommended for children or repeated experiences), Yellow for Moderately intense (parents should ride before boarding with young children), Green for appropriate for all ages. Very few attractions would get a red (Mission: Space, Tower of Terror). Yellow is great for rides that may be scary, not just intense (Great Movie Ride, Haunted Mansion, etc). Green would be the majority of rides. Other indicators would remain, Height Restrictions as per manufacturer recommendations, back, neck, pregnant, etc. These symbols could be added to the maps almost immediately, and to attraction signage as time progresses.

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1 thought on “Parents of Dead Boy Want New Restrictions on Mission: Space”

  1. I think I agree with you in concept, but I don’t think the Red/Yellow/Green idea would work very well, especially in the eyes of the Disney Management. Marketing-wise, I would imagine a “Red Alert” style warning would turn off people subliminally that might have ridden it just fine otherwise. Something about the negative connotation of a Red colored warning, really.

    I still think the warnings are ok the way they are, and parents still can’t abrogate responsibility when the decisions are obvious – although the child met the height requirement, he was obviously too young to be on the ride.

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