Evacuations of theme park attractions are rare, but they certainly happen. Anything with that many moving parts is going to break now and then, forcing people to leave a ride before they get a chance to ride it, or even while they’re on it. Sometimes the reason can be something potentially dangerous. The worst was feared yesterday when Disney World’s Space Mountain had to be emptied and the fire department called. The good news is there was no fire in the attraction, there was just a smoking refrigerator in the break room.
Yesterday afternoon, sometime before about 3:30pm, a fire alarm was pulled inside the Space Mountain attraction and the Reedy Creek Fire Department was called. According to the Orlando Sentinel, a Cast Member had noticed smoke inside the building and pulled the alarm. When firefighters arrived they discovered the cause of the smoke was a malfunctioning fridge. A firefighter unplugged the offending device and cancelled the alarm.
The ride was closed for about an hour or so but reopened later in the afternoon. The PeopleMover, a ride that just has the worst luck recently, which takes riders into Space Mountain, also had to shut down and was closed for about two hours. Firefighters from Orange County Fire Rescue were called to provide assistance to the Reedy Creek First Department but that call was cancelled before any assistance was actually provided.
So the good news is that the worst thing that may have happened is that some Magic Kingdom cast members may have lost their lunches when the fridge broke down. Luckily nobody was actually hurt.
While fires are rare at theme parks, they certainly do happen. Last year at Universal’s Islands of Adventure a fire broke out in a portion of the park that was undergoing refurbishment. Just this past December, Magic Kingdom did see a small fire in the park, leading to the incredibly rare event of seeing fire trucks rolling down Main Street U.S.A.
Walt Disney World sits within the Reedy Creek Improvement District, a special district created by the state of Florida in the 1960s specifically to allow Disney a significant amount of freedom when building “The Florida Project.” The original plan for Disney World was going to include an actual functioning city, and Walt Disney knew he’d never be able to make that work without more freedom. Even then it was going to be difficult.
So Disney World essentially has its own fire department, it’s own police force, and handles many of its own municipal needs. Technically these people don’t work for Disney World, they’re not Cast Members, but they only deal with issues that crop up within the property owned by Disney. Whether that’s a good or bad thing when a malfunctioning fridge calls the fire department, is unclear.
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CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.