The Disney Parks have seen their fair share of warranted and unwarranted lawsuits over the last 62 years. Sometimes, it’s the guest’s fault. Someone trips on a loading platform, forgets to watch where the path intersects with a parade route or deliberately chooses to disregard the instructions of a cast member. In one of the more ludicrous cases to attract Disney’s attention, a man sued Disneyland four months after the park opened its gates for the first time in 1955, claiming injury when he slipped on a pile of orange and banana peels.
Other times, the parks themselves are at fault. The very worst cases have involved permanent injury or death, as was the case in 1998 when an untrained cast member attempted a premature docking of the Sailing Ship Columbia, causing an iron cleat to rip loose from the ship and fly through the crowd, killing one guest and injuring both the cast member and two others. These are the lawsuits that not only remind guests of the real-world dangers lurking behind Disneyland’s pristine façades, but often lead to permanent changes in protocol and the attraction designs themselves.
1. Haunted Mansion
Ever wonder why cast members are so adamant that you “Move into the ‘dead center’ of the room” when you enter the Haunted Mansion? Just ask Maria Miranda, who sustained a head injury after the wall she was leaning against unexpectedly gave way. Not realizing she had been resting against the elevator door, Miranda fell out of the room and banged her head on a railing – then promptly settled with the park out of court.
Following the incident, guests noticed a rather spooky addition to the cast member spiel at the beginning of the preshow, though it had a lot more to do with their general safety than giving them the perfect spot to watch the stretching room’s haunting finale.