Guests Fall From Dozens of Feet up When Disney Park Ride Malfunctions

in Disneyland Resort

Feet dangling on Soarin' Over California in black & white, a photo of the blue screen on Soarin' Around the World.

Credit: Inside the Magic, u/jenniferann223 via Reddit

Disneyland Resort guests experienced perhaps one of the most terrifying attraction malfunctions last week when a Soarin’ Around the World ride vehicle suddenly fell straight down. It took Disney cast members almost an hour to rescue the guests.

Guests board Soarin Around the World by sitting in one of three rows in three distinct ride sections. Flip-flops, Mickey ears, and all other loose items must be secured. Once everyone’s seatbelts are secured, the ride slowly lifts guests upward in front of a gigantic screen.

From there, they traverse the world’s most majestic sights. Subtle movements and smells make it feel like guests are really soaring above the Eiffel Tower or the Taj Mahal!

Guests riding Soarin' Over California at EPCOT in Walt Disney World Resort
Credit: Disney

Typically, hydraulics slowly lower the ride vehicles until guests’ feet are back on the ground. Last Thursday, though, only a backup safety mechanism prevented one of the three sections from crashing to the ground.

Redditor u/jenniferann223 shared this photo of the incident’s aftermath. According to the guests, they heard a mechanical noise before one of the sections rapidly dropped. Even after Disney cast members successfully evacuated the guests, the section on the right was noticeably higher than the other two.

Scariest Moment on Soaring Around the World When One Section Dropped….WTH


Scariest Moment on Soaring Around the World When One Section Dropped….WTH
byu/jenniferann223 inDisneyland

“We were right toward the end of the ride when all of a sudden we heard the ride make a noise and the section to the right of us the whole entire section fell down a few feet,” the guest recalled. “Thank goodness there was a mechanism on the ride that [kept] them from falling further.”

Disney cast members took almost an hour to evacuate the guests on the broken ride vehicle.

A futuristic corridor with vibrant lighting leading to the 'soarin'' attraction, featuring sleek metallic designs and colorful projections on the walls.
Credit: Disney

“Our middle section went straight back down to the floor which we were very grateful for, but as you can see in the photo below, these other two sections of the ride were stuck up in the air for a good 30 minutes if not longer,” they continued. “We were so petrified because on the right side the people fell a couple of feet.”

According to the guest, everyone on Soarin’ Around the World received a free Lightning Lane as compensation. Still, they felt it wasn’t enough for the people sitting in the broken rows.

“Disney needs to do something,” they wrote. “This was so horrific to see…Then they [gave] all of us the free pass but those poor people who fell…deserve more than just one free ride.”

Guests on Soarin' Over California in black and white.
Credit: Inside the Magic

The Grizzly Peak attraction was still operational when this article was published. Disneyland Resort has not commented publicly on Thursday’s incident.

Soarin’ Around the World plays for hundreds of guests daily at Disney California Adventure Park and EPCOT at Walt Disney World Resort. Tokyo DisneySea and Shanghai Disneyland Park operate alternate versions of the simulator attraction.

Take a peek behind the scenes of Soarin’ Around the World in this exclusive Inside the Magic video!

Has a ride malfunctioned during your Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort visit? Share your experience with Inside the Magic in the comments.

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