Girl, 12, dies at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon


August 05, 2005
Girl, 12, dies at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon

A 12-year-old girl died Thursday evening after passing out at the wave pool at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon near Orlando. It was the third time in three months that a youth has suddenly and mysteriously fallen critically ill while visiting Walt Disney World.

The girl was sitting by herself on one of the simulated islands that dot the water park’s wave pool at about 6 p.m. when a lifeguard approached her to check on her, Crystal Candy, an Orange County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, told the Orlando Sentinel.

The Virginia girl, who was visiting with cousins and an aunt, reportedly told the lifeguard she was fine and asked to be left alone. But when she stood up, she immediately passed out and the lifeguard signaled for help.

Employees dialed 911 and monitored the girl’s vital signs, Disney spokeswoman Kim Prunty told the newspaper.

The girl’s pulse stopped and she stopped breathing, so lifeguards began cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Reedy Creek Fire Rescue transported the girl to Florida Hospital Celebration Health, where she was pronounced dead, the newspaper reported Friday, citing Candy.

The Sheriff’s office declined to identify the girl pending notification of her parents, who were not on the trip.

Officials did not know what the girl was doing before lifeguards approached her. Family members, who were nearby when the lifeguard first approached her, told deputies the 12-year-old had no known medical conditions.

Thursday’s incident is the second fatality and the third sudden critical illness of a youth in three months at Walt Disney World resort. On June 13, Daudi Bamuwamye, 4, of Pennsylvania collapsed on Epcot’s Mission: Space ride and later died. Inspections showed no signs of ride malfunction, and investigators are awaiting results of an Orange-Osceola Medical Examiner’s report (AB, 6-14)

On July 12, Leanne Deacon, 16, of Kibworth, England, suffered cardiac arrest shortly after exiting Disney-MGM Studio’s Twilight Zone Tower of Terror thrill ride (July, 7-12). A CT scan after her collapse showed she was bleeding in her brain. The girl’s mother told deputies that she had no known medial conditions, according to the Sentinel.

Deacon remained in critical condition Thursday at Florida Hospital Orlando. Officials from the Florida Department of Agriculture Bureau of Fair Rides Inspection and Disney found the Tower of Terror operated properly.

The incidents have renewed calls from some U.S. legislators and ride-safety activists for greater federal regulation of the amusement industry.

They say that the industry in Florida is largely self-regulated and that no uniform standards exist nationwide for reporting and investigating incidents involving rides and attractions.

In June, the California Supreme Court ruled that operators of amusement rides can be considered “common carriers” under state law and as such are required to provide the same level of care as operators of airlines, buses and trains.

The ruling only applies in California but could be cited as a precedent in civil cases outside the Golden State.


Yeah, I read this article earlier. Ugh, that’s terrible. :frown:


This happened a year ago this week? :huh:


What a tragedy :frowning:


oops sorry! I was sent this as an e-mail by a friend who knows were are wanting to visit TL. I did not notice that it was from last year.

We have never been, but now I am concerned that TL may be too much for my youngest who is not a strong swimmer.

Sorry for any confusion!


I was thinking the same thing, the date says 2005. We were at BB the following day and the park was about 45 minutes late opening, we were guessing because of a staff meeting.


Don’t be worried, it’s just a water park like all the others. Sadly, things happen. This girl could have died at her own home watching TV or taking a walk with a friend, you just don’t know.


I hate hearing about all of these deaths at disney. Has it always been this bad or just in the past year and a half or so? My prayers are with their families.


My youngest knows how to swim, but is not very strong and panics if his head goes under. My main concern is that he will be overwhelmed in the wave pools. Are they really strong to where they could knock him over and drag him under water.

We have never been to a water park and he is really concerned about it, but wants to go badly.


I HATE wave pools at any water park so I try to avoid them if I can. In May my DH made a friend and both of our families went to the wave pool for an hour or so. My DS is a pretty good swimmer but I still felt like I had to be right next to him the whole time. The waves feel pretty strong but they are crashing, rolling waves. My concern is that they sort of pull you out to deeper water and you don’t notice it.

There’s so much else to do at both BB and TL that your kids won’t miss it if you skip the wave pool. Normally my DS spends very little time in it and we still manage to fill most of the day.


Wow, what is going on??? So sad.


I don’t think accidents happen at Disney any more than any other park. The media just like to report these accident more.


I would recommend keeping him out of the wave pool than. As an adult, I get nervous standing there waiting for the waves to hit. It’s a very strong current, and no matter how hard I stable myself just before it hits, I get knocked down. He could surely run into problems. But, no worry, there are plenty of other water rides to participate in.


I remember this story. I didn’t even notice (at first) that it was from a year ago, but I kept thinking it sounded really familiar.

So sad. :sad: And unfortunately, a tragedy that happens at Disney gets lots of press, whereas this could have happened anywhere at any time. Don’t worry about it - this stuff happens, and it doesn’t sound like it had anything
to do with the girl being at Typhoon Lagoon!