Why Rides Stop At Walt Disney World


Often I’ve heard guests at Walt Disney World panic when an attractions stops. Don’t worry, it will be okay. Most times when an attraction stops or slows down it isn’t due to mechanical error. When working an attraction at Walt Disney World you learn that it’s not a matter of if a ride will stop, or slow down, but how many times it will happen. Additionally it is not the cast member’s fault, most of the time when it stops the cast members are actually stopping or slowing the ride on purpose. That’s right, when you are stopped on an attraction it means the cast member is doing their job, and that everything is in control, so no need to panic.

Here are the top reasons an attraction will stop in Walt Disney World:


1) Guests Ride To The End of The Conveyer Belt

On omnimover attractions that are constantly loading guests there is a conveyer belt, or a loading belt, that allows guest to easily step into their seat. Elderly guests sometimes take a little longer to load into an omnimover attraction, so the conveyer belt will slow. This is done for their safety so that they can step into the omnimover easily. Unfortunately some guests cause the ride to slow or get stopped just because choosing their seat is a game amongst their family. While Walt Disney World is a place to goof off, there are times like this when they need to take their safety a little more seriously.


2) A Guest Got Off In The Middle Of The Attraction

You’ve probably heard an announcement at the attractions say, “Keep your hands, arms and feet inside the vehicle.” It says this for a reason because believe it or not, guests try, and do, get off attractions while they are moving. Obviously this is very dangerous, and it is why the ride is stopped immediately. Disney is keeping you and the guest that got off the attraction as safe as possible. On slow moving attractions this actually happens rather frequently. Working on Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress it was something that happened almost daily, and on Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin it happened once or twice a week while I was working. Even slow moving attractions like these could cause serious injury if you try and get off of them. I’ve heard many stories of guests attempting to get off of thrill rides like Space Mountain while the ride was ascending. Clearly this wasn’t something that guest should have done because he could have seriously injured himself. As long as you aren’t the guest that is attempting this stunt then you really have nothing to worry about when the ride stops for this reason.


3) A Guest Dropped Something Heavy Off The Ride

When a person steps off an attraction most likely it will be stopped automatically. Many rides have ways to detect that a guest has gotten off the attraction. For this same reason when something heavy is dropped the attraction it might mistakenly believe that their item was a person that had gotten off the ride. This happens pretty frequently and is no reason to panic because the attraction is working perfectly fine. Typically when I thought someone had gotten off the attraction it was just a purse or backpack that had fallen off the ride.


4) Boats Are Backed Up

Sometimes known as “cascading” to cast members, this is when the unloading process is acting slower than the loading process on an attraction. There is no reason to panic, this is normal, and it is something you have probably seen happen at Pirates of the Caribbean and on “it’s a small world”. While it is not ideal, it is something that the cast members know how to handle, and you have no reason to worry.


5) Loading A Guest With A Wheelchair

Walt Disney World is great at accommodating all guests and the inclusion of guests in wheelchairs is something the Walt Disney Company should be proud of. As a company, the Disney parks go above the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, as they should. Rides might slow down or stop when guests in wheelchairs are being loaded into an attraction.

*The information contained in this article represents the opinion of the author, and not necessarily the opinion of the DIS.

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