7. Two boys drowned in the”Rivers of America” surrounding Tom Sawyer’s Island.
In 1973, Bogden Delaurot and his 10-year-old brother stayed on Tom Sawyer’s Island past close and decided to swim back across the river, even though the younger boy couldn’t swim. Bogden drowned while carrying his brother on his back, whereas the younger boy survived by doggy paddling the rest of the way.
A decade later, Phillip Straughan was killed while trying to pilot a rubber emergency boat from Tom Sawyer’s Island. He and a friend had stolen the raft from a restricted area of the island and the raft flipped over.
8. A child almost lost his entire foot at Big Thunder Mountain.
In 1998, a 5-year-old boy stuck his foot out before it was time to disembark and accidentally got it wedged between the car’s running board and the edge of the platform. The safety bar kept his body in the car, but the “friction against his foot virtually tore it in half”.
The operator of the ride stopped it immediately, but it took almost an hour for Disneyland employees to release him and another 20 minutes for the paramedics to arrive. All his toes were amputated.
9. People regularly try to dump the ashes of their deceased loves ones at the park.
“The craze seems to have gotten its start at the Haunted Mansion,” blogger Al Lutz wrote, “with the earliest incident taking place in the late 1990s. Ever since, the practice has become more popular by the year.”
This practice has become so common that park staff are actually briefed on how to deal with these incidents and custodial crews use special vacuums to collect the ashes.
10. A visitor was killed waiting in line to board the Columbia.
In December of 1998, a heavy piece of metal came off “one of the park’s oldest and tamest rides”, hitting two guests in the head and a Disneyland employee in the left foot and ankle. The rope connected to the metal cleat of the boat was normally made of inelastic hemp but had been recently replaced by nylon, a stretchy fabric which when yanked off the ride “became a projectile”.
The 34-year-old man died of subsequent head injuries, whereas the 48-year-old woman was left severely disfigured. This was the first death in Disneyland history where negligence on the part of a guest did not play a role.
11. In 2004, Tigger molested a 13-year-old girl.
Disney cast member Michael C. Chartrand was prosecuted on criminal charges after the girl complained that he had fondled her breast while posing for a photo in the Magic Kingdom park. One week after being charged with lewd and lascivious molestation of a child and simple battery, 24 similar complaints about Chartrand had been lodged with authorities.
12. A recent high school graduate and park employee was crushed to death between the walls of Disneyland’s America Sings ride.
Debbie Stone was a hostess on the ride in 1974. At the end of every 24-minute show, a 45-second interval took place in which the stage moved to start a new cycle. Debbie was trapped between the moving theater wall and the stage wall, the casualty of poor ride design.
13. An 18-year-old man was fatally stabbed in 1981.
The only homicide in the park’s history came as a result of the victim’s alleged pinching of the assailant’s girlfriend in Tomorrowland. Booze was involved.