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Man trapped on Disneyland ride wins $8,000

Disabled man was stuck on “It’s a Small World” for a half-hour

A judge has awarded a man $8,000 for the suffering he endured after getting stuck on Disneyland’s famous cultural ride, “It’s a Small World.”

The day after Thanksgiving in 2009, “It’s a Small World” broke down. Disneyland employees evacuated passengers who were onboard the tiny boats that cruise through the ride—all except for Jose Martinez, who is paralyzed and uses a wheelchair.

According to his lawyer, Martinez, who has high blood pressure and is susceptible to panic attacks, was stuck in the ride’s “Goodbye Room” for a half-hour until help arrived and had to listen to the ride’s theme song play repeatedly.

Martinez sued Disneyland in February 2011, and this week, a district court awarded him $8,000 in damages. Judge James Selna of the District Court in Santa Ana, Calif., said that besides failing to properly care for Martinez while he was stuck in the ride, Disneyland didn’t notify disabled riders that they could become trapped in “It’s a Small World” if the ride broke down.

For more legal stories about theme parks, read:

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Contributing Author

Ashley Post

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