06/14/2005: I've only been to Disney World once....
for the annual International Sybase Users' Group conference in August, of 2000, and unfortunately I was both so broke and so busy that I didn't get around to getting to EPCOT. In the light of a recent AP story, I should probably be grateful: Boy, 4, dies after spin on Disney ride.
This ride was apparently a "simulation" of a space flight to Mars, complete with a centrifuge allowing riders to experience acceleration effects of up to 2g. At this point, I've not read anything to indicate what the child died of. But apparently the ride is rough enough that there are a number of disqualifying medical conditions (I'm hypertensive, though controlled well by medication, so I would be disqualified), so it's possible some hidden medical condition caught up with the unfortunate child.
So it wasn't the typical amusement park tragedy I'm familiar with. At Six Flags St. Louis there was a notorious case of a rather rotund woman--so rotund she couldn't lock the safety bar over her belly--who rode a roller coaster by simply holding the unlocked bar against her belly, and the operator let her ride that way. Of course, when the roller coaster, in the course of the ride, zigged, her body, governed by Newton's First Law of Motion, continued to zag. Unfortunately for her, that path was basically away from the roller coaster car and into empty space.
Needless to say, she didn't survive the failure to follow her car and the rest of the riders, as her body, after following the dictates of the First Law of Motion, proceeded to follow the principle of Universal Gravitation.
However, she provided some morbid Six Flags St. Louis wag with a new principle of roller coaster operation:
"The ride isn't over 'til the fat lady flings."
Len on 06.14.05 @ 08:23 PM CST