(TFC) – You can clearly see the signs in the media pointing toward a fundamental change in the amusement park industry. After a series of accidents and lawsuits, you could soon see the closing of amusement parks to lower costs.
You can also see a cultural shift, particularly with large amusement parks like Disneyland, where steady price increases will likely affect attendance and cultural relevance by pricing out the average customer. This could equally be a sign of the coming amusement-apocalypse and may be influenced by increased lawsuit case numbers.
Does this signify the fast-coming end to the cultural phenomena of amusement parks? Probably not. However, you should still acknowledge the signs suggesting an oncoming end to amusement parks
What Has Happened to Amusement Parks?
On 24th June 2017, a girl fell over 25 feet from a ride at Six Flags Amusement Park. She received only non-life-threatening injuries but still required hospitalization. This is only the latest in a long list of amusement park accidents, many of which have caught the media’s attention. Over 1,500 people were injured at amusement parks in the United States in 2015, as highlighted by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA).
What effect does this have? Many of these accidents result in lawsuits and criminal charges of negligence taken out against the parks itself:
- A $1.5 million settlement occurred after an accident at a Six Flags’ waterslide caused heavy bleeding and hospitalization
- $1 million in damages were sought after the death of a girl at U.S National Whitewater Centre from carnivorous bacteria
- A $23,300 settlement occurred after an accident at Festival Fun Parks resulted in two broken legs
You may think this should affect the parks by resulting in tightening safety standards and inspections. However, this is not the case. While at a lower level compared to 2008, amusement park accidents have steadily increased from 2009-2015 according to the IAAPA. This trend signifies the beginning of the end of amusement parks if proper action is not taken.
How Does This Impact Amusement Parks?
The main impact these accidents and lawsuits have on amusement parks is a financial one.
Action Park in New Jersey, renowned for controversy, is one such case. A long series of claimants filed an even longer series of personal injury lawsuits against the park, eventually causing massive financial losses through settlements and attraction closures. This eventually led to the Action Park’s closure, and its reputation as ‘Class Action Park.’
This impact could be a sign of a diminishing market for amusement parks, especially parks which become known as dangerous. However, other signs point toward amusement parks surviving past this small turbulence.
‘Class Action Park’ reopened in 2014 as a result of “the strength of… passion” people had toward the park, according to the owner Andy Mulvihil. However, Mr. Mulvihil also categorically stated “[he] refuse[s] to be involved in any ride where anybody can get hurt.” This potentially suggests amusement parks will not see their end soon as a result of legal troubles. Instead, they will respond positively to those troubles and make changes based upon them.
How Could This Affect You?
The increase in accidents is not simply from careless safety standards. You are subject to a variety of accidents while at amusements parks.
While you should continue to watch out for the obvious danger of ride-related accidents, vehicular accidents, illness, and heat exhaustion are all prominent dangers for you.
The increasing rates and settlements of lawsuits against amusement parks may also significantly affect the cost to you and other people across America. Disneyland, the largest amusement park in the United States, is rapidly increasing their prices. Would this affect your chances of choosing Disneyland as a holiday destination?
While the current dynasty of amusement park supremacy in America is certainly not ending soon, cracks are appearing and signs foreshadowing their eventual and inevitable downfall.