World’s Most Horrifying Amusement Park Accidents

in Theme Parks

most horrifying amusement park accidents

Credit: KWWL

Amusement parks are places where Guests from all over the world can visit their favorite places on Earth and enjoy attractions, live shows, dining experiences, and so much more. But sometimes, due to unforeseen circumstances or powers beyond our will, some of the most horrifying amusement Park accidents have led to injuries, delays, closures, refurbishments, or worse – death.

In this article, I will cover the world’s most horrifying amusement Park accidents.

I will use caution and ensure that the incidents I discuss do not disrespect those who have lost their lives because of a misfortunate and untimely accident. A lot can happen in just a few seconds. A lot of information will be in this article, so make sure to reach the end of the most dangerous theme Park in the country.

most horrifying amusement park accidents
Credit: Inside The Magic

Most Recent Theme Park Fire: ‘Fantasmic!’ – Disneyland Resort

Just last weekend, the dragon animatronic used in the iconic Disneyland Resort ‘Fantasmic’ show went up in flames as Guests looked in horror. Aside from some Cast Members getting treated for smoke inhalation, no one was seriously injured or died during the chaos.

The fire was captured on social media via TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter. Since the unfortunate accident, no reason aside from pyrotechnical malfunctions was to blame. Disneyland has suspended all shows until further notice, with the official Disneyland Resort website indicating that the show will not return through May 14.

The fire sparked a scorching debate online as people flooded social media outlets to voice their concerns about the fire, leading many to speculate which theme Park has had the worst fires or the most similar incidents.

In a Twitter thread shortly after the incident, people took sides on whether or not Disney, Universal, or any other central theme Park has had the most incidents. Besides fires, there has been some awful destruction across the country’s most beloved amusement Parks. But before we get into that, let’s find out the worst fires ever that have occurred at amusement Parks in the United States.

Worst Theme Park Fires in the United States

Some of the world’s worst theme Park fires have occurred in the United States. The most recent being the Disneyland Resort ‘Fantasmic!’ animatronic dragon. But on June 1, 2008, an even bigger fire devastated a central amusement Park (well, technically an amusement Park, at least)

On June 1, 2008, a fire broke out on the backlot of Universal Studios Hollywood, an American film studio and theme Park in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County, California. The fire began when a worker used a blowtorch to warm asphalt shingles applied to a facade.

Before checking that all spots had cooled, he left, and a three-alarm fire broke out. Nine firefighters and a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy sustained minor injuries. The fire was extinguished, but it took a whole day until they could put it out completely.

Universal Studios Hollywood suffered 3 acres of fire damage, including the beloved timeless attraction, King Kong Encounter. The attraction was based on the 1976 King Kong film and was the base for the stand-alone Kongfrontation located initially at Universal Studios Florida.

most horrifying amusement park accidents
Credit: Universal Studios Hollywood

But after two years, the ride was rethemed and rebuilt to King Kong: 360 3-D, which opened on July 1, 2010, in the LA amusement Park.

Another insane fire within a theme Park was last year’s The Lost Island fire, which took place before the Park ever had the chance to open In Waterloo, Iowa.

most horrifying amusement park accidents
Credit: KWWL

The Lost Island is a $100 million, 90-acre theme Park under construction when a fire broke out just before 8 a.m. on March 10. The cause of the significant incident was a heating blanket that caught fire. Yikes.

We also have a fire that broke out at a Chicago Six Flags in December last year. Six Flags Great America reported on December 13 that a maintenance building had risen in flames. Thankfully, the local fire department was called immediately, and the fire was contained without maximum damage.

No injuries were reported, and the building could be saved and refurbished for the coming season. No photos were available to showcase the extent of the damage or even what the fire looked like.

A few other fires also broke out in Playland Amusement Park in 1953 and another Six Flags location where a haunted attraction went up in flames. The haunted attraction was located in Jackson Township, New Jersey. Here is a Wikipedia article I found detailing what happened.

A few more fires have taken place around the country, but the point here is that incidents can happen at any given time, so it’s always best to watch your surroundings, listen to the ride operators, and, if possible – help each other out.

Let’s move on now to some pretty bad fires outside of the United States.

most horrifying amusement park accidents
Credit: Canada’s Wonderland

Worst Theme Park Fires Outside the United States: Most Horrifying Amusement Park Accidents

Let’s start things off with Canada’s Wonderland, which is a famous theme Park located in Ontario.

The fire broke out last summer, on July 31, at 10:45 p.m., inside a small structure, leading to the entire Park needing to be evacuated as the smoke was billowing, leading to smoke inhalation.

Thankfully, the entire amusement Park was safely emptied before severe injuries occurred. A Twitter user who was in the Park when the fire broke out was able to capture some footage.

In 2018, an amusement Park in Germany experienced a horrific fire that resulted in multiple injuries.

Europa Park, one of Europe’s largest theme Parks, experienced a storage building fire that spread throughout some of the themed lands.

Witnesses around the Park were able to capture intense footage of the fire.

As you can see, the fire erupted and overtook large portions of the Park, leading to the firefighters fighting the blaze to sustain multiple injuries. Thankfully no one was killed, and no public Guests were injured. The Park opened the following day despite the large flames damaging the building the night before.

The cause of the fire was never discovered, and once again, no one was seriously harmed despite the Park having to evacuate 25,000 people.

Now, not all stories have good endings.

Unfortunately, our final theme, Park fire, leads to death, chaos, and a community forever impacted.

most horrifying amusement park accidents
Credit: Formosa Fun Coast – Taiwan

Formosa Fun Coast, located in New Taipei City, Taiwan, suffered a significant and devastating fire resulting in 15 people killed and another 199 left in critical condition.

In 2015, a dust fire occurred at the water Park. The staff had sprayed an outdoor “color powder party” that spewed clouds of corn starch toward everyone in attendance. It was this starch cloud that ignited the fire.

Although only lasting 40 seconds, the fire burned over 500 people, sadly killing 15 and leaving another 200 in critical condition. On that fateful June day in 2015, 50 Guests were treated for severe and life-threatening injuries in hospitals. Most of those who died and were treated were teens and young adults who attended the popular yearly event.

After the incident, the government adopted several emergency-related protocols, like easing the requirements for National Health Insurance coverage for burn victims and importing large amounts of artificial and cadaver skin in case this would ever happen again.

For those wanting to view footage from the Water Park fire, there is a YouTube video below you can click on.

Viewer discretion is advised.

Sadly, a few other deadly fires have taken place around the world, but these mentioned above make up the top list of fires leading to unfortunate and untimely death.

Fires and incidents are serious matters that should not be taken lightly. Although theme Parks are fun and inviting for the entire family, one should always try to demonstrate awareness of their surroundings; you never know when you might need to get yourself, your family, and others out of a situation and bring them to safety.

Now, fires and incidents aside, there is a Park deemed the most dangerous amusement Park in the world. The sad part is the theme Park in question is located in the United States, a country known for some of the safest amusement parks in the world.

most horrifying amusement park accidents
Credit: Action Park

The World’s Most Dangerous Amusement Park: Most Horrifying Amusement Park Accidents

Action Park was an amusement and water Park in Vernon Township, New Jersey, United States. It was part of the Vernon Valley/Great Gorge Ski Resort. The Park consisted of mainly water-based attractions and was initially opened to the public in 1978 under the ownership of Great American Recreation.

The number of non-safe structures in this Park is too long to list. This Park was so dangerous that there are multiple documentaries about it on streaming platforms today.

Even after all these years, the water Park still haunts many. Class Action Park, a documentary released in 2020 detailing all the events that went down at this infamous water Park.

The documentary is available on HBO Max, and below is a trailer you can manage.

So what happened that made this Park so dangerous? 

For starters, at least six people have died due to mishaps on rides at the Park. Action Park’s popularity went hand-in-hand with a reputation for poorly designed rides, undertrained and underaged staff, intoxicated Guests and staff, and a poor safety record.

The photo above demonstrates just how unsafe this water Park was. The famous loop shown above in the picture was not inspected by anyone of the amusement Park safety team anywhere.

The loop was only tested via decapitated dummies, lost limbs, and shot out at speeds that should not have been cleared for actual human beings.

The water Park eventually closed after multiple lawsuits were filed, and millions of dollars were lost due to the lack of accurate safety measures implemented during its operation.

But Action Park, although deemed the most dangerous amusement Park in the world, isn’t the most tragic incident to have taken place in the country or the world.

As I said, some sad and devastating theme Park incidents are not for the faint of heart. Before ending this article, I would like to touch on such incidents that are a cautionary tale for everyone and anyone visiting an amusement Park.

Credit: Daytona Fire Department

The Most Horrifying Amusement Park Accidents

Let’s keep in mind that the accidents we are about to discuss are, in fact, nothing more than unfortunate accidents that resulted in lives lost and changed forever.

The most recent accident that comes to mind when discussing theme Parks is the Orlando FreeFall incident that occurred not too long ago in Orlando, Florida.

Icon Park, located just moments away from Universal Orlando Resort and Disney World, suffered the most accident in their history in March of 2022.

A 14-year-old boy joined his friends on Orlando FreeFall, a record-breaking drop tower-type ride that launches Guests high in the sky above Orlando before swiftly dropping them back down.

most horrifying amusement park accidents
Credit: CNN

Sadly, the boy fell out of his seat due to a locking malfunction that, to this day, is still being investigated by authorities.

Orlando FreeFall was dubbed the world’s tallest free-standing drop tower. Once news of the boy’s tragic death broke out, another theme Park around the country decided it was time to update their safety measures for similar attractions.

most horrifying amusement park accidents
Credit: New Haven Register

Another incident at an amusement Park was the accident in the summer of 2010 at Extreme World, located in Wisconsin Dells.

A 12-year-old girl was brave enough to hop on a ride called Terminal Velocity, which drops Guests over 100 feet into a net without using safety harnesses.

As she took that leap of faith on that fateful summer day, her life would forever change as the operator in charge of the netting did not place the net for her to be caught in time and safely as she dropped.

The girl fell directly onto the concrete, breaking her back and pelvis. She was rushed to the hospital, where she miraculously lived with numerous other serious injuries.

The Park was later sold after her parents filed a lawsuit, and the operator was charged with negligence. But it seems the Park has been bought out and will open under a retheming.

most horrifying amusement park accidents
Credit: Disneyland California

Our final incident occurred at a place no one thought such an accident could be possible – Disneyland Resort in California.

On January 3, 1984, a 48-year-old woman was unfortunately and sadly tossed from one of the bobsled cars.

She was immediately hit by the following bobsled, resulting in instant decapitation. Twenty years prior, on the same ride in the same amusement Park, another death happened as a 15-year-old boy from Maples of Long Beach got on the ride with his friends.

Although details are a bit hard to recover, according to his friends and officials,  the boy stood up on the bumpy ride, hitting his head hard enough to be thrown out of the bobsled.

The boy was unconscious when paramedics arrived. He was rushed to the hospital and put on a ventilator, where he sadly passed away four days later.

most horrifying amusement park accidents
Credit: Disneyland California

One should always stay alert and aware of what they are doing, especially if one gets on a bumpy and unsteady ride, which means you stay put and keep your hands and feet inside the ride vehicle at all times.

The tragic incidents mentioned above are sad, and our hearts go out to those who lost someone at a theme Park due to an accident, a fire, or anything else outside their power.

Even still, theme Parks are happy places where no one should feel unsafe. Don’t use the most horrifying amusement Park accidents above as a reason never to visit an amusement, Park.

Instead, use the most horrifying amusement Park accidents to educate yourself on what to look out for and what not to do when visiting your favorite places on Earth.

in Theme Parks

Comments Off on World’s Most Horrifying Amusement Park Accidents