Lap Bars installed on Splash Mountain
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|Wed, 02-02-2011 - 2:00pm|
From the Orlando Sentinel's The Daily Disney:Disney's Splash Mountain gets safety bars
By Jason Garcia, Orlando Sentinel
"WDW's Splash Mountain reopens today after a month-long refurbishment with a new feature: lap bars.
The restraints have been installed in each of the 18-year-old flume ride's 64 log-shaped boats. They are designed to prevent riders from standing up or getting off before the end of the 9-1/2-minute ride, which carries guests through enclosed areas with animatronics and includes a 52-foot drop at a 45-degree angle.
It's an issue that has vexed Disney for years, posing both a safety hazard and an operations headache, as workers are forced to bring the popular Magic Kingdom attraction to a halt when someone tries to exit early.
"From time to time, we have had guests attempt to prematurely exit the ride vehicle. It is our hope that the new lap bars will prevent this from happening in the future," Disney World spokesman Bryan Malenius said Monday.
Disney has considered installing safety bars on Splash Mountain before. The subject drew attention in 2000, when a 37-year-old St. Petersburg man was killed after climbing out of his seat midway through the ride and was struck by another boat.
Capacity constraints are one of the primary reasons Disney is expanding the Fantasyland section of the Magic Kingdom."
Disney said the lap bars installed on the Splash Mountain boats will not significantly affect the ride's load time, nor will they reduce the number of people each vehicle can carry."
Personally this makes me happy - I'm always amazed every time we ride Splash that nothing really holds you in your seat.