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Andrew
07-10-2004, 01:07 AM
Fans of Disneyland Ride Starting to Have Doubts (http://www.latimes.com/news/local/orange/la-me-thunder10jul10,1,7580587.story?coll=la-editions-orange) -- LA Times, 07/10/04
By Kimi Yoshino and Sara Lin, Times Staff Writers

State inspectors investigated the accident Friday, and the ride remained closed. Employees posted at the ride's entrance told curious park patrons that "two cars bumped" and said they did not know when the ride would re-open. Disneyland and state officials said they would not comment until the investigation is completed.

"People are saying this ride is cursed; it's doomed. Tear it down. I've seen that across four different [Internet message] boards," said Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, a columnist for mouseplanet.com, a consumer-oriented Disney watchdog website.

"I'm seeing people be almost speechless on this one. It's like, 'What is it going to take for them to fix this ride, because obviously a fatality wasn't enough?' "

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TikiGeek
07-10-2004, 05:14 AM
"People are saying this ride is cursed; it's doomed. Tear it down. I've seen that across four different [Internet message] boards," said Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, a columnist for mouseplanet.com, a consumer-oriented Disney watchdog website."

I may have missed it and I'm not questioning AVP but I don't recall people on this message board "saying this ride is cursed; it's doomed. Tear it down". I am very concerned that there was another accident. I rode this 2 days after it reopened from the "fatality refurb" (sorry for that description) and I noticed that all of the couplings, wheels and pretty much all of the "stuff" under and connecting the cars was new. Not to mention, new braking and sensors on the track. So why a failure would occur after that, after the ride went 20+ years with no major incidents??? I don't know. Some people say it's because of less maintenance or outsourcing of - or reduced staffing but PLEASE, it's not cursed, it's not doomed and please don't tear it down - just fix it and fix it right. This is too great of an attraction to lose.

MousePlanet and MousePadders rule!

Tinker Bell
07-10-2004, 09:07 AM
I think the cursed stuff came up in the thread about the last train bumping.

AVP
07-10-2004, 09:38 AM
Kim asked me about the reaction of Disney fans to this accident. I relayed some of the comments - negative and favorable - I had seen across a number of sites. There wasn't a single post I was quoting.

AVP

bassett1976
07-10-2004, 09:40 AM
[i]So why a failure would occur after that, after the ride went 20+ years with no major incidents???

I think the ride did have incidents in the past but the law said that DLR did not have to tell anyone. Now the law says that DOSH is in charge of safety issues and that they have to report to DOSH when an incident occurs.

GoldenEars
07-10-2004, 09:57 AM
I have to admit I'm more skeptical now of going on roller-coaster type attractions at either Park. Just last night I went on California Screamin' and even tho I loved it (as I always do), I couldn't help but think of the possibility that CS isn't being well maintained, and that a major accident could happen on that ride.

It's just a shame that Big Thunder has gone thru 3 accidents in less than a year, and that the first 2 were by human error. I'm not sure if anyone has determined if this latest accident was by human error too. But then again, when I see a guy/gal who looks to be no more than 17-18 managing certain rides (like Big Thunder), I have to wonder just how competent they are or how well they really care about their jobs. Personally, I believe a lot of the younger cast members don't really care about Disneyland the way the verterans do who have worked there for years! The younger ones just seem to have an *I don't really care* attitude about being there. It's just a job to them until something better comes along. I see it so much when I'm at the Parks, and it's sad. And with that attitude can come problems when working at Disneyland/DCA (i.e. Big Thunder). How many times does Disney have to re-train their cast members to handle Big Thunder??? You think after a fatal accident, it would be BIG for them to get it right!

So, would I still go on Big Thunder when it re-opens? The answer is yes, but believe me, it would be with a lot of hesitation!! It used to be that I always went on any Disney attraction and never once worried about an accident occurring. Unfortunately, those days are over to a certain degree. Let's just hope this latest incident wakes up the people at Disneyland and they FINALLY get their acts together!

TikiGeek
07-10-2004, 10:16 AM
Kim asked me about the reaction of Disney fans to this accident. I relayed some of the comments - negative and favorable - I had seen across a number of sites. There wasn't a single post I was quoting.

AVP
Thanks for the clarification AVP. I think that it's way-cool that you were quoted.
"mouseplanet.com, a consumer-oriented Disney watchdog website", That too is way-cool :).

rentayenta
07-10-2004, 11:40 AM
By no means am I condoning an unsafe ride. However there are always risks when riding roller coasters or doing any sort of adventerous activity. Heck, there are risks crossing the street. I don't think they should put BTMRR to pasture. They should make it as safe as possible. Remember though that there are no guarantees in life. If you are willing to take the chance then ride it, if not, then don't.

If BTMRR is open in December, we will be riding it.

Alf
07-10-2004, 11:51 AM
I wouldnt worry about California Screaming, it's safety and upkeep are a bit different than BTMRR. That being said, nothing is completely safe, but I'd wager you have a better chance of getting hurt crossing Harbor BLVD towards the gates than getting hurt on a ride.

annemerson
07-10-2004, 12:26 PM
I have to admit I'm more skeptical now of going on roller-coaster type attractions at either Park. Just last night I went on California Screamin' and even tho I loved it (as I always do), I couldn't help but think of the possibility that CS isn't being well maintained, and that a major accident could happen on that ride.

But then again, when I see a guy/gal who looks to be no more than 17-18 managing certain rides (like Big Thunder), I have to wonder just how competent they are or how well they really care about their jobs. Personally, I believe a lot of the younger cast members don't really care about Disneyland the way the verterans do who have worked there for years! The younger ones just seem to have an *I don't really care* attitude about being there. It's just a job to them until something better comes along. I see it so much when I'm at the Parks, and it's sad. And with that attitude can come problems when working at Disneyland/DCA (i.e. Big Thunder).


Like you, I sometimes worry about that kind of stuff too at any amusement park and on any ride especially after an accident has just occurred somewhere. (I didn't go on the paddlewheel boat at Disneyland because I had heard about a man being killed by the rope snapping; I hadn't heard about the Big Thunder accident before I went or I would have thought twice about it)

I don't know that the employee competence is age related or not...I think it just depends on the person and their work ethic. Most of the employees we interacted with (not at the rides, but at other places) were great, but there were a few who seemed grumpy or bored (especially at Goofy's Kitchen which is why I'm surprised that so many people rave about it). I can think of several rides where safety seemed like a high priority to the employees, both young and old.

I think with any job where safety is of upmost importance,the employees should be carefully screened before they're hired. After that they should check in with their supervisor daily at the beginning of their shift to make sure they're mentally motivated to do a good job and physically up to the task since everyone has a bad day from time to time.

I don't know if they do anything like that at Disneyland , but I'd feel a lot better at all amusement parks and even more importantly when I get on an airplane if I knew that the high standards we all hope for (and often take for granted that they're happening) were being met .

SCUBAbe
07-10-2004, 12:37 PM
Like you, I sometimes worry about that kind of stuff too at any amusement park and on any ride especially after an accident has just occurred somewhere. (I didn't go on the paddlewheel boat at Disneyland because I had heard about a man being killed by the rope snapping; I hadn't heard about the Big Thunder accident before I went or I would have thought twice about it)

go ahead and go on the paddle boat ride. The accident happened with the pirate ship/saling ship columbia.

I don't just worry about the young kids I also wonder about the elderly people working there. When people age their reflexes get slower. I have never seen so many elderly peeple working there as I saw on the last visit. My Mother thinks it's because they need to work to help pay for their medication. I thought it was just because they liked the park until we went on indy. That man was so rude. He kept snapping with no smile, "if you want to get on the ride faster than fill up all the space up front. The slower you move the slower you'll get on the ride"...I was shocked, but chaulked it up to maybe he was just having a bad day....?

annemerson
07-10-2004, 01:02 PM
go ahead and go on the paddle boat ride. The accident happened with the pirate ship/saling ship columbia.



Thanks for clearing that up...I'll have to go on that ride in September. :)

Too bad about that grumpy old man. There was a younger employee at the Splash Mtn Ride who seemed half asleep on his job (he was probably worn out after spring break!) till he heard my daughters and I say we were from Santa Cruz. Then he perked right up and started asking us about good surfing spots, but he was still paying attention to his job.

disNeytEen
07-10-2004, 01:20 PM
It's just amazing how WDW is doing so much better then DL!

nintendestined
07-10-2004, 01:29 PM
Wow, Big Thunder Mountain is the ONLY Disneyland ride that makes me nervous, safety-wse. Ever since what happened last fall, I've felt uncomfortable going on it. 'tis a shame, as Disneyland never made me think twice about my safety at all throughout my 18 years of living. That is, until all of these accidents. The fact that they're on the news everywhere makes it even more unsettling. It's like everything's going downhill these days. :(

RowboatWillie
07-10-2004, 02:33 PM
Well, yeah im sure everyone gets that feeling when they go on that ride, But lets look at it in different eyes; Before the Ride closed down last year the waits for the ride were most of the time 30 minute waits. I went a month after it opened back up and the wait was 120 minutes, the line started over by the Thunder ranch. so people do on of 2 things, dont know about the problem that it had or know but feel safe with the ride still, Im one of the second kinda people, so im hoping that the same thing will happen again.

Although I could go with out the lines i guess :D

CoasterChickie
07-10-2004, 02:53 PM
Wow, Big Thunder Mountain is the ONLY Disneyland ride that makes me nervous, safety-wse. going downhill these days. :(

But only because of the accident...right? Coaster-wise Big Thunder is pretty tame...one that most people aren't afraid to go on (especially if they haven't heard about the accident)

How badly were the people injured?
Was it a little tap or a hard slam?
Is the car supposed to stop automatically or is the employee supposed to stop it manually?
Which way is safer?

Crispy
07-11-2004, 11:06 AM
Personally, I believe a lot of the younger cast members don't really care about Disneyland the way the verterans do who have worked there for years!

Keep in mind that unlike in the past, Disneyland and Walt Disney World pay their castmembers just above minimum wage and have increased their number of castmember hires to avoid paying overtime. Try supporting yourself on $6.20/hour owrking less than 40 hours a week. Advancement is limited as castmembers who have worked there for 5 or 6 years may only make $8/hour.

As a result castmember jobs now attract those that don't mind earning low wages and who often don't have to worry about supporting themselves. This often includes teenagers and the elderly who are retired and seek a job to have something to do. Even die hard Disney fans who don't mind making low wages because of the chance to work at a Disney themepark often end up reliquishing their jobs, seeking other employment, and just returning to "Disney fan" status. The whole castmember culture has changed in the past 10 years, I would say.

Cris

Crispy
07-11-2004, 11:16 AM
Is the car supposed to stop automatically or is the employee supposed to stop it manually?
Which way is safer?

I regurlar operating mode, the computer system controls when a train may enter a break zone to prevent trains from colliding. It should be assumed that the ride was operating in regular operating mode for a couple reasons. 1) Under new Disneyland policy, when a coaster is e-stopped, all guests must be evacuated from the ride before it is restarted. Guest were not being evacuated from the trains during the collision, as the collision in the station during regular loading and unloading procedures. 2) trains were not stopped elsewhere on the track. If there were an e-stop, the traisn would have been stopped in their respective break zones before being reset in maintenance mode. Descriptions of the incident seem to indicate that a train coming into the station was allowed to enter into the side of the station occupied by a train rather than the empty side of the station. In regular operating mode, this is controlled by the computer system.

Cris

SCUBAbe
07-11-2004, 11:16 AM
Keep in mind that unlike in the past, Disneyland and Walt Disney World pay their castmembers just above minimum wage and have increased their number of castmember hires to avoid paying overtime. Try supporting yourself on $6.20/hour owrking less than 40 hours a week. Advancement is limited as castmembers who have worked there for 5 or 6 years may only make $8/hour.


DL pays less than min wage? How do they get away with that? Min wage in california is $6.75...isn't it? Which is still not enough to live on in california. Especially if they live near the park...

Crispy
07-11-2004, 12:09 PM
I was speaking of both WDW and DL. I know that in the recent past, the starting pay was $6.20 at WDW for castmembers. My point was that at either DL or WDW, pay starts at just above minimum wage. I suppose since this is discussing Big Thunder at Disneyland, I should have referenced hourly pay at DL, but instead was just referencing castmember pay in general. There are some articles at Jimhillmedia about castmember wages and hours. You can also search a number of employment sites for the same information. My point was, however, that pay is just above minimum wage and Disney employs enough castmembers to avoid paying overtime. In addition pay increase and advancement is minimal even for those that have worked at the park several years. After doing a little research, I found that $7.40/hr is listed as the starting pay for an outdoor vending at DL. An article on JimHillmedia this past year quotes a Great Movie Ride guide at Disney World as making $6.35/hr. I would imagine that starting pay for castmembers are comporable to those.

Cris

SCUBAbe
07-11-2004, 12:13 PM
cost of living in considerably higher in california than florida. Rent is higher, insurance is higher, and gas is out of control here....but it may all equal out in the end. Either way nobody can support themselves working part time there. Maybe not even full time unless they are in management.

rentayenta
07-11-2004, 12:16 PM
I have come across some very sweet and caring young cast members.

Examples from our last trip in March:

My daughter stepped on her cotton candy and smashed it. It was still in the bag but the CM gave her a new one free of charge.

My other daughter wanted some beads from the band in NOS. She wasn't lucky enough to be given any so the working the candy cart gave her three of his strands.

On Gagdet's Go Coaster in Toon Town my hubby and I assummed that the our son was too small to ride. When did the swap and all. When we had all finished riding the CM asked why he didn't ride. We told her that he was too small. She said that he wasn't and measured him and she let us ride two more times so we could each experience it with him.

I had never tried a Mint Julep in all years at DL so they CM gave me a taste. Very sweet.

My son is a Buzz Lightyear junkie. During the entire show he was in awe and stood there with his mouth agape. After the show he was the first one in line for an autograph; some older kids pushed in front of him. The CM brought him back up to front and told Buzz that he was his biggest fan.

One night we were lucky enough to be on ToonTown right before it was closing. Goofy, Donald, Minnie and Mickey were all there. They all came together for a group photo for us.

My kids all picked out glowy toys to buy at night. My little girl changed her mind-about 10 minutes later- and wanted to change toys. The CM traded her with no questions asked and was very gracious.

All of the CMs mentioned appeared to be under 25.

Crispy
07-11-2004, 12:56 PM
Using the $7.40 posted on Disney's job site for an outdoor vending position at Disneyland, and assuming that you would be working 40 hours per week, that would still be less that $300/week before taxes. Making $6.35 per hour as a castmember at Walt Disney World and working 40 hours a week would be $254/week before taxes. And that is assuming you get scheduled for 40 hours.

No one is saying that there aren't caring castmembers out there, but I don't think anyone can deny the castmember culture has changed in the past ten years. I read an interesting article that divided castmembers into three categories The Die Hards, the Died Hards, and the McJobbers.

Die Hards: Are those who love working at Disney,do a good job at it, and have been working there for some time. They have learned to live off low wages and stick with their jobs no matter what. They are the type that would be working at Disney for $2 a day, even if Universal was paying $4.

Died Hards: Younger castmembers that began working at Disney in high school or perhaps part of the college program. They enjoy their work, do a good job at it, and look up to the Die Hards. They may work at Disney for a short time after graduation, but move on to other careers following their education. However, they always look back with fondness at working for Disney.

McJobbers: Those that view Disney as an entry level job with entry level pay. Because of law pay do not put in extra effort.

I suppose you could add the retiree group as a separate caegory to that, or include them in the Die Hard group. I don't think anyone is saying that there aren't good castmembers out there, or that younger castmembers don't try to do a good job. However, as Disney has lowered wages (taking into account inflation) from the levels they used to be, you are geeting more McJobbers, and a higher turnover rate.

Cris

nintendestined
07-11-2004, 04:08 PM
But only because of the accident...right? Coaster-wise Big Thunder is pretty tame...one that most people aren't afraid to go on (especially if they haven't heard about the accident)


Yep, it's all of the media attention with that accident that made me nervous. Ride-wise, I agree with you, as I've been on much worse than Big Thunder Mountain. Before the accident last year, I've never been afraid of going on BTM. After the recent events however, things have changed for me. Again, I've never questioned my safety at Disneyland before. -_-

Disney Vault
07-11-2004, 04:24 PM
This is a little of topic but if i ever won that mega million dollar lottery I would definitly move to Florida or California and become a cast member. I love hearing those great stories and it would be so fun to creat memories for people.