Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park Won't Help You If You Break Your Ankle On Their Rides

When Adam got stuck on one of Blizzard Beach’s tube rides, he injured his leg and had trouble getting out of the ride. He had to wait over 15 minutes for a wheelchair, and then the medical staff at the water park treated him more or less the way a school nurse would treat someone—with a brochure, some water, and some ibuprofen.

Here’s the letter he sent to Disney describing what happened on his visit last month:

My name is Adam Roca, and I recently visited Blizzard Beach Water Park on August 14, 2008. On one of the rides, I became ejected from my tube and stuck on the ride. In addition, one of my legs became awkwardly stuck underneath me. In attempts to free my leg and move down the slide, I applied pressure on my other leg to free myself. My ankle turned sideways and I fell down the remainder of the ride.

At the bottom of the slide, I called to my girlfriend for help. She told the lifeguard we needed help, and was ignored. Being a trained lifeguard herself, my girlfriend got into the pool to help me away from the slide. She pulled me to the stairs, where she again demanded help. The lifeguard said she was phoning someone. After several minutes, she said that someone would be coming with a wheelchair to assist us.

In the meantime, people kept coming down the slide and haphazardly running into my leg. More time passed, and the lifeguard said the wheelchair had been moved, so we had to wait longer for someone to come and help.

In total, I waited more than 15 minutes, writhing in pain at the bottom of this water slide. Once the person came with the wheelchair, I was assured that the nurse at the on-site medical center would be able to assist me.

At the center, the nurse simply asked if I was able to bear weight on my ankle. When I replied that I was not able to, she handed me a brochure and said I could go there to get X-rays. I told her that I didn’t have health insurance and this wasn’t an ideal solution. She said it was up to me, and that they couldn’t do anything else for me. I told her I was at least hoping for some ice and maybe some ibuprofen, and she complied.

We then drove straight to Sarasota Memorial Hospital, a place where we knew I would be treated regardless of insurance status. They took X-rays and informed me my ankle was broken. I was then referred to a orthopedic doctor and set up an appointment. Within the next business day or two (either 8/15 or 8/18 around 2 pm), I called Blizzard Beach and filed an injury report and issued a complaint against the staff at the park.

At the doctor’s appointment, Dr. Klein confirmed I had broken my fibula, and in addition, I tore my ligament on the other side of my ankle. He said that I would need to get surgery to heal properly so that I could walk again. I had surgery on 8/22/08 at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, and I had a metal plate permanently screwed into my leg.

I have spoken to several lawyers since the accident. They seem fairly confident that at least a claim can be made to recuperate some of the money lost due to my ever-increasing medical expenses (at the moment, they total more than $13,000). Without medical insurance and living below the poverty level, I know this serious debt will mire my possibilities in the future.

I know Disney prides itself in providing entertainment for working families that’s safe and memorable. I would very much like Disney’s help in this time of need. I would particularly hope Disney would take responsibility for its loyal customers while they are on its very property.

Adam, we’re actually surprised Disney didn’t contact you to resolve this. If your letter doesn’t get a response, check out our post on how to write an Executive Email Carpet Bomb, and look here for Disney email addresses.

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