Thanks in no small part to the blockbuster film, Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” flume ride is a hugely popular attraction. But in light of a recent incident, that popularity may be about to temporarily decline. This week, an unfortunate passenger from the U.K. was injured on the ride at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Florida, losing the tips of two fingers in an amusement park accident.
Disney Theme Park Accident
The Pirates of the Caribbean attraction first opened at Magic Kingdom in Florida in 1973. Since then, it’s delighted thousands if not millions of riders — but one man had a less than pleasant experience.
While the victim of the accident hasn’t been publicly identified, accident response teams have confirmed the man was aged in his forties, and came to Magic Kingdom as a tourist from the United Kingdom. The man was reportedly visiting the park with his family.
Reedy Creek Fire Department communication manager Bo Jones says the man’s right hand was seriously injured, reporting the victim lost the tips of his pinky and ring fingers. He was immediately hospitalized for treatment.
“He was very calm,” says Jones, “and just said he needed a band aid for his fingers.”
The victim’s degree of composure is impressive, considering he reportedly “lost the tip of his ring finger down to the bottom of the nail, while the little finger was about down to the first knuckle. From the medical reports they were sliced clean off.”
Investigation Into Magic Kingdom Accident Ongoing
The ride was promptly shut down after the incident took place, but was reopened several hours later. Investigation is ongoing, with Disney officials reporting the park hadn’t come to any firm conclusion.
There has been unconfirmed Twitter speculation that the man’s hand was dangling outside the confines of the flume boat, though the source of that speculation, WDW Theme Parks, is not affiliated with Disney World. Ride actors and safety notices both warn passengers to keep their hands inside the ride at all times.
On the surface, the Pirates of the Caribbean ride seems completely harmless. It doesn’t involve dangling upside down, being flung through the air, or anything else particularly extreme. According to the Disney World website, Pirates is rated as being appropriate for guests of any height, and the points cited on the “thrill level” scale — “dark, slow rides, small drops” — hardly seem to be risky or dangerous.
However, as this incident demonstrates, accidents and injuries aren’t always synonymous with roller coasters. Ride passengers need to stay vigilant and be mindful on all types of rides, even family-oriented attractions.
Along with the ride at Magic Kingdom in Florida, other Pirates attractions around the world are featured at Tokyo Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris. In 2013, a 5-year-old boy was injured on the Pirates ride in Paris after he fell out of his boat, only to be hit by another. Though seriously injured, the boy fortunately made a recovery.
After the Paris accident, a statement from park officials said, “This news is a relief, even if we must remain cautious.” The statement goes on to add, “We are systematic about safety and our procedures are among the strictest in the industry.”
If you or someone you love was injured in an amusement park accident, you may have a personal injury claim. To schedule your free and private legal consultation, call the Pennsylvania amusement park lawyers of Reiff & Bily at (800) 861-6708 today.