Sunday, July 25, 2010

Trouble Afoot in Disneyland

I'm not sure what to think about this, my Southern California spies sent me this photo, accompanied by several reports of Cal/OSHA closing it for safety reasons (yeah, right, it's only been open and operating for 52 years) leads me to believe something dreadful is happening.


Joe Shelby said...

From Wikipedia: The ride was temporarily closed on July 15, 2010 after California's Department of Occupational Safety and Health pointed out that it needed handrails on the second floor outdoor portion of the ride. A date for re-opening has not been set.

Matt said...

Yeah, that was one of the articles sent to me. But here's thing: The vine has been in place on this attraction since it opened in 1958. Why now? This is why I am afraid that Disneyland is doing something else. It just doesn't make sense that suddenly after more than 50 years of operation OSHA and Disneyland close the ride because it is 'unsafe'. Call me paranoid. No, really, call me paranoid, I kinda like it.

Curt said...

A face lift I could handle. But they better not get rid of this ride!

cheshire-cat said...

Please keep us updated Matt. This would be a tremendous loss if this ride were to close.

Joe Shelby said...

I work as an entertainer at a park in Maryland (specifically, a renaissance festival), and really these types of things happen all the time. At any moment, on a dime, some new inspector could come in and decide X is non-compliant where every inspector before them had no problem.

This happens regarding AADA, fire safety, food safety, water drainage, everything can be exactly as it was an incur no comment for years and suddenly NOW it is wrong and has to be fixed.

Government inspectors are like that. Disney just deals with it, as most of these types of places have to. One can either fight it or fix it - Disney could probably "win" the legal fight, but the issue is cost: is it cheaper to fix the problem or fight it? Disney's taken both routes over the course of history, and in this case it looks like "fix" was the answer.

Good companies keep an "instant repair, just add workers" budget for these sorts of things.

Again, I see no sign of a permanent closure, especially considering how open they've been about so many other changes going on and the closures resulting from them throughout DCA and WDW-MK.

Rich T. said...

Matt, I'm sure you've heard by now that Disney voluntarily closed the ride after an OSHA rep pointed out that the elevated track with no safeguards could pose a problem.

Now, the Alice ride is one of my very favorite attractions of all time, both in its original form and 1984 remodel. I love the way that it functions not only as a great ride, but as kinetic sculpture for that area.

That said, I'm sure I'm not the only one who's ridden along the outer elevated track and thought for just a split second..."Wow, I'd hate to have to walk along this when it was wet or something..."

I think Disney was lucky to get away with that no-safety-features-at-all design this long.

Hopefully, they'll come up with a short term solution followed by a more permanent fix that blends nicely with the design. The ride is very popular, unique to Disneyland, and shoehorned into a weird layout over Mr. Toad's Wild Ride that would make it very difficult to replace with a new attraction. It ain't goin' anywhere!

I'm thinkin' that, since the caterpillar "doors" are located on the left side of the vehicles, maybe they could get away with installing the safety feature only along the inner side of the the vine track, making it almost invisible to people looking up from below.

If they decide to go ahead with a complete rebuild of the outer track, I suggest a big drop and a loop!

Major Pepperidge said...

Ugh, so stupid. Has there ever been a problem on this ride? Hand rails are going to ruin that great feeling of "we're heading over the edge!" that you get.

Wonder what Cal OSHA will ruin next?

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