A quadriplegic man from California has filed a lawsuit against the Walt Disney Co., alleging that the staff at Disneyland did nothing to help him exit the park’s “It’s a Small World” ride when it stalled out for 40 minutes.
The lawsuit, filed earlier this week in an L.A. court, says Disney violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to have adequate evacuation procedures for visitors with mobility disabilities.
From the OC Register:
During a Nov. 27, 2009 visit to the park, [the man] was left inside his wheelchair on a ride boat for about 40 minutes while other visitors were evacuated, according to the lawsuit. The rides boats stalled because of a computer glitch near the exit of the final tunnel in the ride, which repeatedly plays the catchy “it’s a small world” song…
While waiting for help, [he] suffered from dysreflexia, a medical condition that can cause death if untreated, the suit states.
“It feels like an ice pick going through your temples,” the man, who says he alerted staff that he needed to be evacuated, but who was unable to exit until the ride restarted, recalls. “especially when you couple that with the continuous, ‘small world’ music in the background.”
When the man was finally able to leave the ride, he was met by a nurse who took him to a first-aid station and called paramedics.
Unfortunately, the decision to send Mickey and Minnie Mouse to perform for the man while he was being tended to, “was like insult to injury.”
About the lawsuit, the man says, “We’re not just trying to sue because it’s available. To us, it’s to make the proper changes (at the park).”
A rep for Disney released the following statement:
“Disneyland Resort is accessible to guests with varying needs, including those with mobility disabilities. If it is necessary to evacuate an attraction, we have procedures in place for all guests.”
Quadriplegic visitor sues Disney after stuck on ride [OC Register]