News March 2013 – It’s A Small World – Man sues Disney for being stuck for 30 mins!
A News article broke this week, as a man sues Disney for being stuck on the Californian Disneyland version of It’s A Small World. Due to disability, the guest was reported as being trapped in the ride vehicle for around 30 minutes, a misdemeanour that is said to have cost Disney damages of $8000. The incident occurred in 2009 and caused the guest, Jose Martinez, severe distress.
Without all of the facts, it would be completely unfair for us to comment about this particular case, but the latest news report did prompt us to consider the wider subject of taking legal action against Disney.
When The Magic Stops!
Whenever something goes wrong in life, we can either shrug it off and move on, or we can take legal action and make someone pay.
Each specific event has unique circumstances, and litigation can be either wholly justified or completely fuelled by ill advised greed.
While the courts decide the outcome, it’s really down to the ‘victim’ or complainant’s own decisions as to whether that court decision is ever sought.
When a huge organisation such as Disney is involved, the potential compensation sums aren’t necessarily as important as a ‘no win no fee’ Lawyer rubbing his hands at the prospect of a headline case.
Disney’s Guest Experience is at risk of eroding!
Whenever there’s a law suit, the theme park executives must always consider corrective actions.
A payout of a few thousand dollars is always unpleasant, but whenever reputations take a much bigger dent, businesses must take steps in order to mitigate the risk of repeated law suits.
Our personal experiences of Disney strongly suggest that they offer a high level of fairness and goodwill towards their guests.
We’ve not heard of a reasonable complaints going unsupported by a fair response, such as a credit note, refund or even a sincere apology.
Disney after all, are in the business of making and keeping people happy. That’s their game.
Sadly, as law suits continue to hit the desks of the Disney Executives, justified or not, our beloved park attractions will inevitably become harder to access.
In order to avoid legal challenges, rides will increasingly become unavailable to youngsters, less available to larger guests, unavailable to guests with disabilities, slower to load, and probably less exhilarating as well. The guests always lose out in the end.
Future Theme Park attractions run the real risk of being designed by insurers, rather than the talented Disney Imagineers!
For a database of all recent law suits in the Orlando Parks check out the Orlando Sentinel’s database.