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| Wooten Kimbrough Damaso & Dennis, P.A.

In a recent tragic theme park injury a 21 year old Disney employee was killed while operating a Monorail that collided with another Monorail in the Magic Kingdom in Orlando. After the crash the NTSB took jurisdiction and began its own investigation into the crash. Finally we will have some independent evaluation and oversight of the safety procedures at the big Florida theme. We have discussed many times in this blog that the theme parks in Florida have minimal oversight or independent governmental inspection of their safety. Again, why should the big three theme parks that cater to millions of residents and tourists be subject to less governmental safety oversight than is provided to the local County Fair?

In addition to the lack of governmental regulation, Florida has civil laws that bend over backwards to favor the theme parks over consumers. As an example, take the law of Common Carriers. Legally a common carrier is subject to an extremely high duty of care, that of a very careful person. As they should, after all, by offering to transport passengers for a fee they are subjecting them to the very real dangers of high speed traffic. In California, the theme parks are considered common carriers and subject to the high duty of care. Not so in Florida. Here the theme park transport systems and rides are not considered to be operated as common carriers and are not subject to the very careful person standard. Instead, the theme parks get away with the same standard of care in operating the transport systems and rides as the everyday motorist. Surely one would expect these large operations to be held at least to the same standard of care as, say, a Greyhound bus. Sadly they are not.

Perhaps with the intervention now of the Federal Government we can get some oversight and safety nets in place at the big parks.


  1. Gravatar for giselle cox
    giselle cox

    Keep the government out of it! Disney has a great safety record, because of their own high standards. Should their standards fall, so will their revenue. Look at Six Flags for an example.

    The government would NEVER be able to run a high quality business like Disney World. I shudder to even consider it!

  2. Gravatar for Matthew

    I think it is obvious whoever wrote this article has no knowledge of the Walt Disney World Resort. #1: The monorails did not collide in the Magic Kingdom. It happened at the Transportation & Ticket Center. #2: There are FOUR parks, not three. #3: Walt Disney World is ran great. They do not need any help from the government. They have gotten along fine by themselves for years. The Disney Company has VERY HIGH standards. People expect this from them and that is why so many people go there. Walt Disney World is the most visited place in the world. They are doing great. So this whole article is a joke if you ask me. I can't imagine the government running Walt Disney World, my favorite place in the world.

  3. Gravatar for Cliff Brown
    Cliff Brown

    I believe the Disney monorail system has run some 38 years and Disneyland some 50...add the total miles covered and the passenger carried as compared to say the airlines has an immpecable safety rate; I bet you don't even come close to a single midair collision of two small single enging aicraft or a single two car accident on the 240 loop in Memphis! Disney does not and we should all standup and yell...need any governmental regulation. I personally rode the front cabin of, I recall, monorail red on 06/16/2009 celebrating my birthday traveling to Epcot from Disney...I would do it again tomorrow with no fear. I grew up with Disneyland as a park right down the street...I remember the Flying Saucers...yes, that is dated. Please, extend your thoughts to Austin's family. Bottom line; a single individual that should have been staffing the controll tower, for what ever reason, was not...again, as a retired Naval Air Traffic Conntroller, when someone falls short of their duties, someone could get hurt or worse yet...killed. Austin, my heart felt thoughts and prayers go out to your family.

  4. Gravatar for Birdie

    Yes. If the Disney were overseeing the saftey of the Washington rails on June 23, maybe only 1 fatality would have occurred instead of 9. Or, vica versa.

  5. Gravatar for Pat

    I am an engineer by education and a technology expert by trade. In all my years of going to Disney World I have been very impressed with their attention to detail, cleanliness and safety.

    I have ridden in the front car of the monorail many times along with riding buses and water transportation and they are beyond safe and knowledgeable. I have gotten so much trvia info from my rides its been amazing.

    In fact in all the times I have been to Disney World any accident I saw was never with a Disney Vehicle, which are very clearly marked by the mouse!!

    I challenge anyone to show facts that Disney Safety is not far better than any governmentaly regulated transportation or theme park.

  6. Gravatar for john

    Yes, spoken like a true money and fame hungry attorney. What other transportation system around you Mr Normand has the same safety record as Disney's monorail system. Yet you will use this to change Florida law. What have you done to make the highways safer? You mention Greyhound Bus. I assume you helped make that the safest mode of transportation. Your arrogance is overwhelming.

  7. Gravatar for Rob

    I shudder to think what would happen if the government took control of safety on Disney Property. Prices would go even higher, more people to do the job that needs only a few. Yes no system is ever perfect and sadly a Disney Cast member lost his life. Yes this sccident will bring about new changes of safety in all of the Disney Resorts and Rides. The NTSB itself has stated that in the 38 years since Walt Disney World opened it has NEVER had to assume its athority on Disney Property, adding that Disney has the highest safety standards of any public transportation system in the country. Personaly when it comes to public transportation I think more cities and states should look to Disney as the perfect role model. I will be at WDW in October and will have no problem stepping onto the monorail or any other ride system that Disney offers.

  8. Gravatar for Michael T. Gibson
    Michael T. Gibson

    If there is any help the consumers need in regards to theme parks is they need help in pricing. It is unnecessary however to place any restrictions and government regulations over Disney's transportation systems because it is in Disney's best interest to have safe attractions in order to keep their attendance up.

  9. Gravatar for Nick Carroll
    Nick Carroll

    Ed Normand posted a follow-up to this post on 7/14/09 at titled Theme Park Oversight Redux.

  10. Gravatar for Donald

    They have such a great record because they don't report the injuries they just cover them up. But covering a death is really hard.

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