I found this posting on another website and thought it be a good discussion topic for here.
Is Disney held to a higher standard?
In my opinion, without a doubt. Is it fair? No way.
Over the weekend, a kid fell out of a roller coaster at Cypress Gardens Adventure Park (between Orlando and Tampa). The media covered the incident, but not in the same fashion they've covered incidents at any of Disney's parks. I just saw a brief article that you never would read about Disney. It simply stated the boy was at fault.
But last year, the media coverage of the death of four year old Daudi Bamuwamye after riding the Mission: Space ride at EPCOT was completely different. Despite the fact that he had heart problems and there are 13 (estimated) warnings posted before riding the ride, the media made it look as if Disney was to fault for the incident.
Don't believe me? Check my references from a paper I completed last semester in my Crisis Communications class (graduate level) on this topic.
Associated Press. (2005). Federal oversight of theme parks urged. PittsburghLive.com,
AV Stop Magazine Online. (2005). A Hazard In Aerobatics Effects of G-Forces on
- 18 June 2005. Available online at: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/trib/newssummary/s_345358.html
Pilots. 26 October 2005. Available online at:
Balancia, D. and Peterson, P. (2005). Death Raises Ride Questions. Floridatoday.com,
Boyd, C. (2005). Experts differ on how Disney should handle tragedy of child’s death.
- 15 June 2005. Available online at: http://www.floridatoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050615
Orlando Sentinel, 16 June 2005.
CBS News. (2005). Boy, 4, dies after Disney ride. 14 June 2005. Available online at:
Collect Space Online. (2003). Mission: SPACE – Choose to go! Available online at:
Curtis, H.P. (2005-1). Autopsy shows boy died at Disney from heart condition. Orlando
Sentinel, 15 November 2005.
Curtis, H.P. (2005-2). Bad heart killed boy. Orlando Sentinel, 16 November 2005.
Deaner, D. D. (2003). Environmental Tectonics Corporation Statement, ETC Sets the
Record Straight On Mission: Space. Released 14 October 2003.
Falcioni, J.G. (2005). Engineering Theme Parks. Mechanical Engineering Online,
August 2005. Available online at: http://www.memagazine.org/backissues/aug05
Foglesong, R.E. (2001). Married to the Mouse: Walt Disney World and Orlando. New
Haven, CT and London, England: Yale University Press.
Foglesong, R.E. (2005). Personal interview conducted in-person at METROPLAN
Fox, G. (2005-1). Disney employees’ response questioned. WESH.com, 15 June 2005.
- ORLANDO (315 E. Robinson Street, Suite 355, Orlando, FL 32801), 26 October 2005.
Available online at: http://www.wesh.com/news/4614063/detail.html
Fox, G. (2005-2). Heart ailment blamed for Disney ride death. WESH.com, 15
Frost, J. (2005-1). Blink before riding: Steps to better decision making at Disney World.
- November 2005. Available online at: http://www.wesh.com/news/5328073/detail.html
Frost, J. (2005-2). Breaking: Child dies after riding Mission: Space. The Disney
- The Disney Blog, 14 June 2005. Available online at: http://thedisneyblog.typepad.com/tdb/2005/06/blink_before_ri.html
Fun World Magazine Online. (2003). G Force Misconceptions. March 2003. Available
- Blog, 14 June 2005. Available online at: http://thedisneyblog.typepad.com/tdb/2005/06/breaking_child_.html
online at: http://www.funworldmagazine.com/2003/Mar03/Features
Garavagila, J.C. (2005). Report of autopsy, Office of Medical Examiner. Released on 15
Hudson, T. H. (2003). A New World Standard for Amusement Rides. ASTM.org, August
Key, P. (2003). ETC sues Disney for breach of ride contract. Bizjournals.com, 8
- Available online at: http://www.astm.org/SNEWS/AUGUST_2003
Levine, A. (2005). It’s a Small Solar System After All. About.com, 26 October 2005.
- November 2003. Available online at: http://www.bizjournals.com/losangeles/stories/2003
Available online at: http://themeparks.about.com/cs/disneyparks
Marr, M. and Cutler, K.M. (2005). Disney balances family image, need for wild rides.
The Wall Street Journal, 2 July 2005.
MSNBC.com. (2005). No trauma found in death tied to Disney ride. 15 June 2005.
Available online at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8214870/
Pollak, J. (2005). Walt Disney World Resort Statement. Released on 14 June 2005.
Available online at: http://www.local6.com/print/4605977/detail.html
Powers, S. (2005). Disney road paves way to skip I-4, enter park. Orlando Sentinel, 13
Schneider, M. (2005). Disney World death raises calls for more theme park oversight.
Shafer, J. (2005). Boy on Disney ride didn’t suffer trauma. WESH.com, 14 June 2005.
- September 2003. Available online at: http://www.mouseplanet.com/mike/ms030917.htm
Available online at: http://www.wesh.com/travelgetaways/4605206/detail.html
Stock, S. (2005). Designer questioned Mission: Space’s safety, testing. WESH.com, 15
Walt Disney World Information. (2004). Available online at: http://www.wdwinfo.com
- June 2005. Available online at: http://www.wesh.com/news/4614321/detail.html?subid=10100244
Yancey, K.B. (2005). Another vacationer collapses. USAToday.com, 15 July 2005.
- Available online at: http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/life/20050715/dd_disney15.art.htm