16 Dark and Horrifying Accidents at Disney Parks

#1 The first fatality
It was May of 1964 when the magic ended for the first time. 15-year-old Mark Maples was injured when a companion in the Matterhorn Bobsled unbuckled his restraints and he stood up. He died three days later.

#2 1984
In early January of 1984, Dolly Young was horrifically killed when she was thrown from her Matterhorn Bobsled car, and struck by the next oncoming bobsled. The investigation determined her seat belt was not buckled but it was never confirmed if it was done intentionally or a ride malfunction.

#3 The Death of a Stuntman
47-Year old Mark Priest, a cast member playing the role of a pirate in the “Captain Jack’s Pirate Tutorial” died in August of 2009. Before he died from complications of his head injury it was noted that he suffered a broken vertebra in his neck and severe lacerations on his head that required 55 stitches.

#4 Shocking!
A Paris employee was performing maintenance on Phantom Manor when he was electrocuted to death in April of 2016. The attraction in Frontierland at Disneyland Paris was closed while the death was investigated.

#5 Rivers of America
Two young boys have died by drowning in the artificial rivers of Rivers of America. First, in 1973, 18-year-old Bogden Delaurot drowned after trying to carry his 10-year-old brother (who couldn’t swim) on his back across the river after they stayed on the island past its closing time. His little brother survived by doggy paddling until he was rescued. The second boy was Phillip Straughan who drowned in June of 1983 after a rubber emergency boat he and his friend stole from a restricted area of Tom Sawyer’s island flipped.

#6 Small enough to grope?
in 1976 a woman sued Disney when she claimed an employee in a 3 Little Pigs costume groped her. The suit was dropped when Disney Lawyers showed her pictures of the pigs with tiny, virtually inoperable arms.

#7 Tomorrow Land
In March of 1981 a man was fatally stabbed after he supposedly pinched the buttocks of the stabber’s girlfriend. In a surprising twist, when the family sued the park, a jury found the park negligent for not summoning outside medical help and awarded the family $600,000.

#8 Big Thunder Mountain Death
In September of 2003, Marcelo Torres died at only 22 years old after suffering severe blunt force trauma and extensive internal bleeding in what is referred to as the “catastrophic derailing” of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Marcelo was the only death but ten other riders suffered injuries and it was determined that the cause of the accident was due to “improper maintenance” and “improper safety checks.”

#9 Psycho Suicide
On the night of September 12, 1992, a 37-year-old man entered the already closed Epcot park and threatened three security guards with a shotgun, demanding to see his ex-girlfriend who worked at the park. After firing four blasts at the guards he took two of them hostage in a restroom. Once Orange County sheriff’s deputies surrounded the area, the intruder released his hostages and exited the restroom but after exchanging words with the police, he put the gun to his head and fired.

#10 The Death of Deborah Stone
On July 8, 1974, 18-year-old, Deborah Stone, a Disneyland employee was horrifically crushed to death between a revolving wall and a stationary platform inside the America Sings attraction. The ride had only been open for 2 weeks at the time and Deborah was standing in the wrong area during a ride intermission and was consequently trapped and crushed by the wall when it came down.

#11 The Measles Outbreak
In December of 2014, patrons of Disneyland were exposed to the highly contagious disease, measles. “Patient Zero” was traced back to an unvaccinated international traveler coming from a country experiencing an outbreak and most of the 127 directly exposed children who contracted and suffered from the disease were also unvaccinated.

#12 Hyperion Theater
In late April  2003, a stage technician fell 60 feet from the catwalk. The man died a month later, having never regained consciousness. Hyperion Theater at Disney’s California Adventure ended up being investigated by the local OSHA because of the horrible incident.

#13 Attack of the Nacho Cheese
In March of 2010, a 4-year-old named Isaiah Harris suffered some seriously severe burns to his face and neck after being scalded by a cup of hot nacho cheese. It may sound ridiculous but when Isaiah sat down on an unstable chair and grabbed a food tray to prevent himself falling, the cup of cheese fell off the food tray and into his lap. His family sued Disney on the grounds that “the cheese should not have been that hot” and that Disney made no effort “to regulate and monitor the temperature of the nacho cheese which was being served to young children.” Disney settled for $50k.

#14 Cinderella’s Moat
On August 11, 1977, a 4-year-old boy wandered away from his family instead of waiting to watch the parade and ended up drowning in the moat surrounding Cinderella’s Castle. The family sued Disney and won a reduced settlement because they were found to share the burden of negligence

#15 Indiana Jones Stunt Incidents
This fun-filled live-action show premiered in 1989 and since then has had no shortage of incidents with stunt performers. On five separate occasions, stuntmen have had major falls, one of which resulted in death.

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