Disneyland Closes Space Mountain Over Safety Violations; Matterhorn Bobsleds, Soarin’ Over California Shut Down

Space Mountain
Space Mountain was reopened Friday after three weeks of being shut down following unsafe working condition violations. Reuters

It wasn’t a magical visit for Disneyland guests this weekend who were greeted with a “closed” sign at two of the Anaheim, Calif., attraction's most popular rides: Space Mountain, Matterhorn Bobsleds and Soarin’ Over California.

The rides were shut down Friday over safety concerns, receiving a total of six citations and a notification of penalty from the Division of Occupational Safety and Health in Santa Ana, Calif., totaling more than $234,000 in fines.

The Walt Disney Company was fined for hazardous window cleaning operations that resulted in a November 2012 accident. According to the citation, an employee suffered serious injuries when an unapproved anchorage point failed, causing him to fall down the exterior of indoor roller coaster Space Mountain.

Other citations included failure to locate fire extinguishers, floor and roof openings, lack of guardrails and protection platforms for workers, unsafe ladderways and heating and air conditioning ventilation issues.

While citations only included violations for Space Mountain, the other thrill rides, fellow Disneyland coaster Matterhorn Bobsleds and Soarin’ Over California at neighboring Disneyland’s California Adventure, were also shut down.

The Los Angeles Times reported Sunday that Matterhorn was reopened but that a re-opening date for the other two attractions has yet to be announced.

The Walt Disney Company has 15 days to pay the fines before further action is taken.

Spokeswoman for Disneyland, Suzi Brown, said safety regulations are being reviewed.

“We constantly strive to maintain a safe work environment for our cast members and contractors -- and we are reviewing certain protocols,” Brown said.

Disneyland revamped Space Mountain in 2009 to mirror the 34-year-old attraction to the more intense versions of it located at its sister parks overseas. Sudden drops, a darker interior, on-board speakers and a new track were some of the additions.

Guests this weekend shared updates on the ride closures via social media.

Space Mountain closed the whole day at @disneyland. #Disneyland

This is a disaster...fastpasses and we come back to a closed ride #FML #disneyland #facepal @ Space Mountain instagr.am/p/SwnLQ3ph-d/

Space Mountain is closed down for safety regulations. How many times have I said that ride is a death trap.

Space mountain @ disneyland is closed for SIX safety violations & 230,000$'s in fines!? WHAT IS MICKEY THINKING?

Quiet morning at #Disneyland, from Jolly Holiday, all open but Space Mountain twitter.com/Chachalina55/s…

#Disneyland fails- Matterhorn & Space Mountain have bn down all day, 2 churro carts smoking, and vry crowded! twitter.com/Chachalina55/s…

 

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