30 August 2010 by By Jason Garcia and Sara K. Clarke Orlando Sentinel
Two of Orlando's newest roller coasters recorded multiple rider injuries during the second quarter of the year, according to updated filings from Florida's big theme parks.
At Universal Orlando, a 36-year-old man and a 45-year-old woman each experienced back pain after rides on the year-old Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit coaster at Universal Studios Florida.
And at Walt Disney World, a 54-year-old man had trouble breathing and later had a heart attack, and a 74-year-old man became dizzy and ill, after riding the 4-year-old Expedition Everest in Disney's Animal Kingdom.
The Rockit incidents were the only guest injuries reported by Universal during the period, while the Everest injuries were among nine reported by Disney World during the April-through-June quarter.
The two theme-park operators reported basic details of the injuries as part of a longstanding agreement in which the state's big parks avoid government ride-safety regulation in exchange for submitting quarterly reports documenting noteworthy injuries.
The remainder of the injuries reported by Disney World included: a 68-year-old woman with chest pain after riding Spaceship Earth at Epcot; a 27-year-old man who felt ill after riding Mission: Space, also at Epcot; a 54-year-old woman who fell and broke her tibia at Castaway Creek in Disney's Typhoon Lagoon; a 72-year-old woman who had a seizure and a 65-year-old man who had chest pain after riding Kilimanjaro Safaris in Animal Kingdom; and a 68-year-old woman and a 61-year-old woman who each fell while exiting the Mad Tea Party in the Magic Kingdom, with the first breaking her hip and the second breaking her left arm.
Neither SeaWorld Orlando nor Busch Gardens Tampa Bay reported any injuries for the quarter. Wet n' Wild reported a 54-year-old woman who experienced chest pains in the water park's wave pool.
Antennas of Terror
From the reality-meets-fantasy files:
Walt Disney World's semi-autonomous government, which is attempting to improve emergency-services radio coverage, has struck a deal with the resort to install new radio-transmission equipment — inside the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
The agreement will allow the Reedy Creek Improvement District to install and operate new transmission equipment from a 4th-floor mechanical room inside the popular Disney's Hollywood Studios thrill ride. Reedy Creek will also install two new radio antennas atop the roof of the attraction.
The 13-page agreement — which also allows Reedy Creek to add extra radio equipment at separate backstage sites — offers a glimpse at the quirks involved with working inside a theme park. The agreement makes it clear, for instance, that the installation can occur only after Tower of Terror has closed to the public for the day, and then only with a designated Disney World rep watching.
Reedy Creek says the amplification upgrades will substantially improve its radio coverage, particularly in the Downtown Disney area. GO BACK