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  1. #1

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    Need help tracking down a Disneyland Urban Legend

    My wife repeats an urban legend (I think) that she insists is true, ever year at grad night.

    She claims that a high school in Los Angeles is banned from attending Grad Night, (i.e., any students cannot go to Grad Night) because one night, about 10 years ago, they pushed a Mickey character into the Rivers of America, and he drowned when he couldn't get out of his costume fast enough.

    Seems to be those involved would be charged with negligent homicide, manslaughter, or worse punishments than being banned from the park, but who knows.

    I can't find ANY information confirming. Has anyone here ever heard of such a thing? All tips appreciated, so I can put this to rest once and for all, one way or another!

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    Re: Need help tracking down a Disneyland Urban Legend

    First time I heard this one. At Grad Nights, the characters don't walk around the park but are at preset locations with photographers. All the security that is there on GradNights would never let this happen.
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    Re: Need help tracking down a Disneyland Urban Legend

    First off, I don't know if any characters are out for Grad Night.
    Secondly, that would be big news if someone were to die while in costume.
    Third, drowning would be caused more by being unconscious after hitting (or getting impaled on) whatever protrudes from the bottom, not from "can't tread water in a costume." It's not that deep. (See mp's latest update, as it notes someone decided to jump off the Mark Twain.)

    There are certainly some schools not allowed to participate in Grad Nights due to the acts of of the students. I don't know if assaulting a character is one of those reasons.
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    Re: Need help tracking down a Disneyland Urban Legend

    This is a new one; I've never heard that before... ever. I would guess you've already checked out the urban legend reference sites?

    http://www.snopes.com/snopes.asp

    http://www.breakthechain.org/index.html

    http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/int...nt_netlore.htm

  5. #5

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    Re: Need help tracking down a Disneyland Urban Legend

    If it involved a DEATH, it seems like it would have been in one of the David Koening books, and I don't remember reading that before.

    There are several L.A. area schools that have been banned, but I assumed it was due to rival gangs, shoplifting, etc, etc.
    Last edited by Mac Daddy; 06-01-2006 at 04:08 PM.

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    Re: Need help tracking down a Disneyland Urban Legend

    The list of deaths at Disneyland is as follows...

    · May 1964: Mark Maples, a 15-year-old Long Beach, CA, resident, was killed when he tried to stand up on the Matterhorn Bobsleds. Maples (or his companion) foolishly unbuckled his seatbeat and attempted to stand up as their bobsled neared the peak of the mountain. Maples lost his balance and was thrown from the sled to the track below, fracturing his skull and ribs and causing internal injuries. He died three days later.
    · June 1966: Thomas Guy Cleveland, a 19-year-old Northridge, CA, resident, was killed when he attempted to sneak into Disneyland along the Monorail track. Cleveland scaled the park's sixteen-foot high outer fence on a Grad Nite and climbed onto the Monorail track, intending to jump or climb down once inside the park. Cleveland ignored a security guard's shouted warnings of an approaching Monorail train and failed to leap clear of the track. He finally climbed down onto a fiberglass canopy beneath the track, but the clearance wasn't enough -- the oncoming train struck and killed him, dragging his body 30 to 40 feet down the track.
    · August 1967: Ricky Lee Yama, a 17-year-old Hawthorne, CA, resident, was killed when he disregarded safety instructions and exited his People Mover car as the ride was passing through a tunnel. Yama slipped as he was jumping from car to car and was crushed to death beneath the wheels of oncoming cars.
    · June 1973: Bogden Delaurot, an 18-year-old Brooklyn resident, drowned trying to swim across the Rivers of America. Delaurot and his 10-year-old brother managed to stay on Tom Sawyer Island past its dusk closing time by climbing the fence separating the island from the burning settlers' cabin. When they decided to leave the island a few hours later, they chose to swim across the river rather than call attention to their rule-breaking by appealing to cast members for help. Because the younger brother did not know how to swim, Delaurot tried to carry him on his back as he swam to shore. Bogden Delaurot went down about halfway across the river. The younger boy remained afloat by dogpaddling until a ride operator hauled him aboard a boat, but Bogden was nowhere to be found. His body was not located by searchers until the next morning.
    July 1974: On the evening of 8 July 1974, a 18-year-old woman from Santa Ana named Deborah Gail Stone was working the attraction as a hostess. Her job was to greet each new audience as they settled into the seating area. Standing to the left of the stage, she welcomed the guests over a microphone before the outer ring rotated and carried the audience to the first scene of the carousel. About 11:00 PM that evening, Stone approached too closely to the area between the rotating theater wall and the non-moving stage wall and was crushed to death between them. Ride operators were notified by a guest who heard Stone's screams from an adjacent theater.
    Immediately after the accident, America Sings was closed for two days while a safety light that alerted the attraction's operator whenever someone got too close to the danger area was installed. Eventually the solid walls were replaced with breakaway ones to prevent similar accidents from occurring.

    · 7 June 1980: Gerardo Gonzales, a recent San Diego high school graduate, was killed on the People Mover in an accident much like the one that had befallen Ricky Lee Yama thirteen years earlier. Gonzales, in the early morning hours of a Grad Nite celebration, was climbing from car to car as the People Mover entered the SuperSpeed Tunnel adjacent to the former America Sings building. Gonzales stumbled and fell onto the track, where an oncoming train of cars crushed him beneath its wheels and dragged his body a few hundred feet before being stopped by a ride operator.
    · 4 June 1983: Philip Straughan, an 18-year-old Albuquerque, New Mexico, resident, also drowned in the Rivers of America in yet another Grad Nite incident. Straughan and a friend -- celebrating both their graduations and Straughan's eighteenth birthday -- had been drinking quite heavily that evening. They sneaked into a "Cast Members Only" area along the river and untied an inflatable rubber maintenance motorboat, deciding to take it for a joyride around the river. Unable to adequately control the boat, they struck a rock near Tom Sawyer Island, and Straughan was thrown into the water. His friend travelled back to shore to seek help, but Straughan drowned long before his body was finally located an hour later.
    · 3 January 1984: Dolly Regene Young, a 48-year-old Fremont, CA, resident, was killed on the Matterhorn in an incident remarkably similar to the first Disneyland guest death nearly twenty years earlier. About two-thirds of the way down the mountain Young was thrown from her seat into the path of an oncoming bobsled, her head and chest becoming pinned beneath its wheels. An examination of Young's sled revealed that her seatbelt was not fastened at the time of the accident, but because she was riding alone in the rear car of a sled no one could determine whether or not she had deliberately unfastened her belt.
    · 24 December 1998: In a tragic Christmas Eve accident, one Disneyland cast member and two guests were injured (one fatally) when a rope used to secure the sailing ship Columbia as it docked on the Rivers of America tore loose the metal cleat to which it was attached. The cleat sailed through air and struck the heads of two guests who were waiting to board the ship, Luan Phi Dawson, 33, of Duvall, Washington, and his wife, Lieu Thuy Vuong, 43. Dawson was declared brain dead two days later and died when his life support system was disconnected.
    This accident resulted in the first guest death in Disneyland's history that was not attributable to any negligence on the part of the guest (it was the result of a combination of insufficiently rigorous ride maintenance and an insufficiently experienced supervisor's assuming an attraction operator's role) and prompted a movement for greater government oversight of theme park operations and safety procedures.
    · 5 September 2003: A 22-year-old man, Marcelo Torres of Gardena, California, died, and several other guests were injured, when a locomotive separated from its train along a tunnel section of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Torres bled to death after suffering blunt force trauma of the chest.
    Last edited by OogieBoogie; 06-01-2006 at 03:44 PM.
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    Re: Need help tracking down a Disneyland Urban Legend

    My school got banned from grad night because some idiot decided to pee in one of the fountains. Instead I paid over 180 dollars just to find out we went to boomers.

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    Re: Need help tracking down a Disneyland Urban Legend

    Quote Originally Posted by speederscout
    Thanks, SpeederScout. I did check out the urban legends sites, (one of which you listed that I didnt' know about) and the listing of deaths and injuries at http://www.rotten.com/library/travel/disneyland/, which seems to be fairly comprehensive also.

    Which is another factor that leads me to believe this may be one for the "myth busted" category, to borrow a phrase from another form of media...

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    Re: Need help tracking down a Disneyland Urban Legend

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneyfreak
    My school got banned from grad night because some idiot decided to pee in one of the fountains. Instead I paid over 180 dollars just to find out we went to boomers.
    Wow. That truly sucks.

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    Re: Need help tracking down a Disneyland Urban Legend

    Quote Originally Posted by OogieBoogie
    The list of deaths at Disneyland is as follows...

    ... July 1774: ...
    Thanks OogieBoogie. By the way, I'm leaving in 10 minutes to get your esplanade photo.

    But 1774??? I am familiar with the snopes list, where you got that list from, but the list at http://www.rotten.com/library/travel/disneyland/ seems to be more comprehensive, as it includes injuries, as well as a death in California Adventure I didn't even know about from Snopes.

    Leads me to believe Snopes may not update their entries, and that this myth might be unverified and true out there somewhere...

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    Re: Need help tracking down a Disneyland Urban Legend

    Quote Originally Posted by Frogberto
    Thanks OogieBoogie. By the way, I'm leaving in 10 minutes to get your esplanade photo.

    But 1774??? I am familiar with the snopes list, where you got that list from, but the list at http://www.rotten.com/library/travel/disneyland/ seems to be more comprehensive, as it includes injuries, as well as a death in California Adventure I didn't even know about from Snopes.

    Leads me to believe Snopes may not update their entries, and that this myth might be unverified and true out there somewhere...
    LMAO!!!!! See.. I was right.. Disneyland is the FIRST theme park. It even predates Disney. LOL!!!!

    Actually Crazy Legs got me the picture last night. Thank you for remembering though.
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    Re: Need help tracking down a Disneyland Urban Legend

    Quote Originally Posted by Frogberto
    Wow. That truly sucks.
    Yeah my school is one of those that does not tell you where the location of the grad night is. So it is a surprise. Boy was I surprised and pissed. Not only that but it was not even the palace park boomers, it was this run down one that had a joke of a go cart track.

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    Re: Need help tracking down a Disneyland Urban Legend

    Quote Originally Posted by sediment
    First off, I don't know if any characters are out for Grad Night.
    Secondly, that would be big news if someone were to die while in costume.
    Third, drowning would be caused more by being unconscious after hitting (or getting impaled on) whatever protrudes from the bottom, not from "can't tread water in a costume." It's not that deep. (See mp's latest update, as it notes someone decided to jump off the Mark Twain.)

    There are certainly some schools not allowed to participate in Grad Nights due to the acts of of the students. I don't know if assaulting a character is one of those reasons.
    Someone jumped off the Mark Twain?! What an idiot.

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    Re: Need help tracking down a Disneyland Urban Legend

    Quote Originally Posted by OogieBoogie
    LMAO!!!!! See.. I was right.. Disneyland is the FIRST theme park. It even predates Disney. LOL!!!!

    Actually Crazy Legs got me the picture last night. Thank you for remembering though.
    Damn... first pictures of the attic bride, and now this?!? That crazy legs always beats me to it!

    Looks like Disneyland even predated our own country! More like "Disney's Mexican Territories Adventure"....

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    Re: Need help tracking down a Disneyland Urban Legend

    Quote Originally Posted by Frogberto
    Damn... first pictures of the attic bride, and now this?!? That crazy legs always beats me to it!

    Looks like Disneyland even predated our own country! More like "Disney's Mexican Territories Adventure"....
    Actually at that time Alta California was still a colony of Spain. Mexico didn't gain its independence until 1821.
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