While theme parks in general are meant to be places for family fun and excitement, they can also be very dangerous and sometimes deadly. The later was the case for one unfortunate individual. It is being widely reported this afternoon that a 67-year-old man died after climbing abroad the Star Wars ride at Disney World.
The OrlandoSentinel reports that the man in question actually passed away this past September. He has been identified as Ralph Lyles of Memphis, Tennessee. And he is said to have died after the Star Tours ride at Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios came to a halt.
Star Tours – The Adventures Continue is a motion-simulator ride that has been a featured attraction at the park since the late 80s. The attraction takes guests through various scenes based on the Star Wars movies. Medical examiners on the scene stated that the man had a pre-existing heart condition. And he fell ill after riding the attraction.
Cause of death is listed as hypertensive cardiovascular disease. And obesity is said to also be a contributing factor to his untimely passing. News of Ralph Lyles’ death comes as part of a regular report sent to the state of Florida about recent injuries and illnesses. As stated, Walt Disney World and Universal Studios are not required to undergo state inspections. They do, however, have to report any ride-related illnesses or injuries that require a hospital stay of 24 hours or more.
While several other minor injuries were reported between July and September of this year, Ralph Lyles was by far the most serious, though it is also reported that a 53-year-old woman had a seizure on the Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid attraction. And another park patron complained of chest pain while riding Space Mountain.
It was during this time that Walt Disney theme parks launched the unfortunate new ad campaign theme “The Magic is Endless.” With Disney describing their parks as a place ‘where happiness can be found around every corner.’ That slogan replaced their previous slogan “Unforgettable Happens Here” , which was part of a big TV campaign last year.