Waiting In Line To Die
January 7, 2003 4:51 PM   Subscribe

Waiting In Line To Die is the title of this brilliant expose of the relentless homicide factory that is Disneyland, Anaheim's death camp, and siren lure of the unfortunate and unwary. To those who would visit the "happiest place on Earth" unawares, I encourage you to read this article first, and then head elsewhere. The life you save could be your own.
posted by jonson (46 comments total)
Don't forget the death camps in Orlando as well! There are *five*magical kingdoms of death waiting for you there.

When I visited last spring there were two deaths in one weekend. One guest was found drowned and washed up on the beach by one of the hotels. He had disappeared after a drunken fight with his wife the previous night. The next night the monorails had to close down because an employee had jumped off the balcony at the Contemporary Resort and almost missed the monorail track.

The mouse is not to be trifled with.
posted by illusionaire at 5:01 PM on January 7, 2003

Phil, a football player, was no match for the power of the Rivers of America, whose four feet of cold, cruel water closed in over his head.

posted by GriffX at 5:02 PM on January 7, 2003

It's all worth it to see Flash Mountain*.

*Features human nudity. Those with tender eyes may wish to avert them, or better yet, avoid following the link.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:06 PM on January 7, 2003

As a result of viewing this overly magenta site, I have temporarily developed colorblindness. Caveat viewor!

at least I hope it's temporary
posted by Slothrup at 5:06 PM on January 7, 2003

Ditto what Slothrup said. MeFi has taken on a greenish-grayish hue.
posted by TBoneMcCool at 5:12 PM on January 7, 2003

jeez, really. I'm no fan of Disney or its theme parks, but when you have a location with lots of moving parts and any standing water more than three inches deep that sees visits from millions and millions of people, not all of whom are possibly going to match up to the highest intellectual or behavioral standards, some of them are going to die. And on top of the magenta background, the prose itself is pushing puce.
posted by babylon at 5:15 PM on January 7, 2003

Wow, what a lot of idiotic deaths. With the exception of the middle aged woman with the faulty seat belt and the helicopter crashes, most of the accidents seem to stem for people doing something worthy of a Darwin Award.
posted by kayjay at 5:20 PM on January 7, 2003

I agree with kayjay and babylon. Sounds like the writer may be pissed of at Disney for another reason.
posted by RunsWithBandageScissors at 5:25 PM on January 7, 2003

And the tale of one of the more recent 1998 death by boat cleat to the head at high velocity (and the only one where the mouse was 100% responsible) was left out of the story. This, and the evidence cover up by Disneyland Security has lead to some recent reforms.

Also left out was the recent shooting suicide of one of the guests (an Annual Passholder who was unemployed and had previously spent a lot of time at the park) in the parking lot.

At least he didn't jump, which is the preferred method of disgraced Japanese businessmen, whom visit Disneyland, stay in a room at the Disneyland hotel (preferably in the upper stories), then jump to their death (or severe injury) from said Disneyland Hotel room instead of returning home to shame.

Also visit Snopes' excellent rumor quelling guide to Disney deaths. For excellent non-death related coverage of the Disney parks visit LaughingPlace.com.
posted by IndigoSkye at 5:27 PM on January 7, 2003

chopper crashed on a Compton playing ground, killing all 21 would-be "guests" and crew on board

maybe it's because there are 21 people on it!
posted by tomplus2 at 5:35 PM on January 7, 2003

Kayjay, Bablyon, RWBS: Sigh.

The article's intensely sarcastic; it's mocking stupid people for misbehaving in ways that led to their untimely deaths. Man... I know the bgcolor was ugly, but did you read the article?
posted by jonson at 5:40 PM on January 7, 2003

Indigo - the article is from July, 1996, which would explain the boating omission. It would appear that Stim ("The Ultimate Men's/Ultimate Women's Magazine" - see home page) ceased publication in 1997.

As an aside, I'd like to note that, generally speaking, people do not begin referring to a mechanism of demise as "The Widowmaker" until at least two persons have left behind spouses. And in this case it really ought to have been The Widowermaker.

Also, those animations are farking HILARIOUS. As are the constant quotes around "guests".
posted by babylon at 5:40 PM on January 7, 2003

The article actually predates even that. It's from a zine called Murder Can Be Fun, and it's been published online a number of times. I should have linked to one with less horrendus background color, apparently.
posted by jonson at 5:43 PM on January 7, 2003

Jonson, I did indeed, but that didn't come across from either the article or your FPP...the only tipoff was the author's credit - "Murder Can Be Fun" (which I assumed was a book, not a zine, especially given the lack of link) - and it's presented in a publication that died years ago, thus negating, in my case anyway, any popular consiousness of their potentially sarcastic nature.

Besides, have you seen the internet lately? This is the sort of item that is presented with the straightest of faces on a VERY regular basis.
posted by babylon at 5:44 PM on January 7, 2003

(PS - Please insert smiley face of choice in my above post. Upon rereading, I realize I sound far more serious than I actually was.)
posted by babylon at 5:46 PM on January 7, 2003

Yes I read the article. Still figuring out what makes it worthy of a post/link.
posted by RunsWithBandageScissors at 5:48 PM on January 7, 2003

Nice to see Johnny Marr pursuing a writing gig in his post-Smiths days. I expect to see Morrissey lurking gloomily in line for Pirates of the Caribbean the next time I take my nephew to visit. ("To die on this ride, would be a heavenly way to die...")
posted by scody at 5:55 PM on January 7, 2003

speaking of homicide factory.
posted by specialk420 at 6:08 PM on January 7, 2003

i read the article before reading any of the posts here and was dumbfounded (horrified, even petrified(!), you could say) by some of the more serious responses. sarcasm there abounds in the land of plenty!
posted by poopy at 6:20 PM on January 7, 2003

I viewed the source and there were no sarcasm tags at all. Without proper markup how are we to tell?
posted by srboisvert at 6:41 PM on January 7, 2003

What a silly, and stupid article.. I've read a lot about Disney deaths (having grown up near Disneyworld) and from what I read most of the incidents he talks of sound familiar. But when dealing with large amounts of human traffic, and lots of moving parts.. sadly enough - it's gonna happen. Survival of the Fittest? Darwinism?
posted by shadow45 at 7:19 PM on January 7, 2003

If I remember correctly, there are at least a couple books on all the deaths that happened at disneyland, but searches at Amazon just now are turning up nothing.
posted by mathowie at 7:19 PM on January 7, 2003

"Brilliant expose"? It sounds more like it was written on behalf of a lawyer who'se trying to drum up business.
posted by dws at 7:28 PM on January 7, 2003

Try Mouse Tales.
posted by litlnemo at 7:28 PM on January 7, 2003

Here's a page of books.
posted by staggernation at 7:29 PM on January 7, 2003

The "Flash Mountain" link is intriguing. Apparently, you have to be dumpy and/or old to expose yourself at the Magic Kingdom.

(Yes, I'm the ultimate authority on the merits of public nudity. Consult me before you expose yourself.)
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:41 PM on January 7, 2003

Point of order:

The Johnny Marr of 'Murder Can Be Fun' and the Smiths' Johnny Marr are two quite different people.

MCBF was an excellent zine, by the way.
posted by chicobangs at 8:13 PM on January 7, 2003

posted by luckyclone at 8:35 PM on January 7, 2003

I grew up in Southern California and routinely visited Disneyland in my youth (my much derided favorite attraction from that period: Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse--it ruled!). The Disney death I remember being captivated by was the story about the "America Sings" hostess who was slowly crushed to death by a moving wall of this musical journey through American history. Odd how timely this seems.
posted by donovan at 8:52 PM on January 7, 2003

Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse
posted by donovan at 8:56 PM on January 7, 2003

Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse

I recently went to Disneyland with the wife, and the one thing that stood out in my mind as the greatest memory from my single childhood experience at Disneyland was the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse.

Then I get there, and it's Phil Collins music and some stupid cartoon movie.

I was crushed. Crushed, I tell you.
posted by oissubke at 9:29 PM on January 7, 2003

Stim! Funny, Marr repurposed that article for this Gettingit.com piece.
posted by waxpancake at 10:19 PM on January 7, 2003

Act like prick
Death comes soon
Falling leaves
posted by wackybrit at 12:15 AM on January 8, 2003

I was born and raised in the shadow of Disneyland. In 1982 I was on the Matterhorn when there was this crack!-thunka-thunka sound and the sled started to slow down, apparently a broken wheel of some sort. We were instructed to get out into the scenery and the sled was magically retracted out of view on a section of track for this purpose. When later recounting this story to my friends who weren't there, I embellished it shamelessly to sound like a harrowing brush with death. I never saw the basketball half court hidden somewhere in the Matterhorn scenery, nor did I find out whether we had hit Walt's frozen head. On another visit I got hassled by security for dropping parachute men from the skyway. BTW, Walt had a little apartment on the second floor above the firestation on Main Street USA, just inside the park entrance on the left.
posted by planetkyoto at 1:27 AM on January 8, 2003

Oh, the horrors! And by that, I am of course referring to the prose:

"The crowd included 260 graduates of San Diego High. Only 259 would survive to receive their diplomas. "

That level of hyperbole must be for sarcastic effect.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 6:41 AM on January 8, 2003

planetkyoto - that link was way cool. I've been to Disnelyand more times than I could count and I never knew. I'll definitely be looking for it next time.
posted by widdershins at 7:30 AM on January 8, 2003

Thanks, TBoneMcCool and Slothrup, for explaining MeFi's temporary sickly pallor - it honestly didn't occur to me.
posted by Songdog at 8:12 AM on January 8, 2003

babylon: Jonson, I did indeed, but [the sarcasm] didn't come across from either the article or your FPP

"...the relentless homicide factory that is Disneyland, Anaheim's death camp..."

If that sort of hyperbole doesn't strike you as sarcastic, maybe it's time to take a little vacation from the online world.
posted by pitchblende at 9:03 AM on January 8, 2003

Pitch - agreed; like poopy above, I'm flabbergasted by some of the responses here; rarely has such obvious sarcasm been so completely mis-interpreted. Next time, I'll try not to be so... subtle.
posted by jonson at 9:09 AM on January 8, 2003

Fodder for the Darwin Awards?
posted by blue_beetle at 9:53 AM on January 8, 2003

Statistically, isn't waiting in line at the DMV "waiting in line to die?"
posted by ParisParamus at 9:56 AM on January 8, 2003

Point of order: The Johnny Marr of 'Murder Can Be Fun' and the Smiths' Johnny Marr are two quite different people.

Um, thanks, but I had hoped the line about Morrissey skulking around the Pirates of the Caribbean would have given the joke away, without having to resort to [joke] tags.
posted by scody at 10:29 AM on January 8, 2003

Man, how about a not safe for those who wish to retain normal vision message. Who needs mushrooms?
posted by Fat Buddha at 1:07 PM on January 8, 2003

And the worst part of the whole thing is, after you die, you go to the Haunted Mansion.
posted by MrBadExample at 4:45 PM on January 8, 2003

Having grown up very close to both Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm (when we said "You can see our house from here!" at the top of the parachute drop, we meant it!), I've been to both parks many times. It was still fun to go through this site and remember the things I'd been on. It was always the doofy stuff that enthralled me as a kid, as much as I liked the thrill rides; Mission to Mars, Journey Through Inner Space, America Sings. We never left the park before closing and we never left the park with tickets -- my father had a dogged insistence that we use them ALL.

I'm glad that Disneyland's "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride" is still there. I'm sad that Knott's Corkscrew and -- if the website tells true -- Parachute Drop are no longer there.

And here's a few fascinating amusement park links:

Coney Island History
Defunct Amusement Parks
posted by atholbrose at 8:15 PM on January 8, 2003

Here's some more John Marr wacky goodness. Enjoy! If you enter "Murder Can Be Fun" and "by John Marr" into Google, you can find some more as well.
posted by jonp72 at 9:36 PM on January 9, 2003

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