China: Around The Nation

Shanghai Disneyland ride breakdown leaves visitors suspended in air for half an hour

The 4D-ride, Soaring Over the Horizon, which can carry up to 90 people, stops working temporarily, leaving some people reportedly up to six storeys in the air

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 January, 2017, 10:15am
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 January, 2017, 11:10am

Some Shanghai Disneyland visitors were reportedly left hanging up to six-storeys in the air for half an hour after one of the theme park’s rides broke down because of a mechanical problem on Tuesday night.

The 4D-ride, “Soaring Over the Horizon” – an indoor flight motion simulator attraction that shows scenes from around the world on a big projection screen, and can accommodate up to 90 people – stopped working at about 7.40pm, the news website reported.

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Visitors are clipped into seat belts in rows of seat as they are lifted into the air on a mechanical arm, as their feet are left dangling in the air.

However, the attraction stopped working after five minutes, leaving people suspended in the air, the report said.

The lights around the attraction then went off and a message was broadcast to visitors asking them to be patient while staff sorted out the problem.

Later people were able to climb off the ride, a section at a time, with the final group of people able to step on to the ground at 8.18pm.

One Shanghai visitor, Leo Hou, who was on the ride at the time, told the South China Morning Post that some people were hanging up to six storeys high when the ride broke down.

People were not scared initially, but once the lights went out, most people became shocked when they saw how high up they were, he said.

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“People then became too scared to talk and later some people grew impatient and started shouting to ask what was going to happen,” Hou said

The report said some people grew angry and increasingly impatient when they realised they were missing the daily 8pm fireworks display.

“After the problem occurred, no one came to comfort the visitors,” Hou said. “We received no apology or compensation from them in the end. I feel that this will have affected Shanghai’s image for foreign tourists that were there.”

The ride was open again to visitors on Wednesday.

Shanghai Disneyland, which opened last June, had not responded on Wednesday afternoon after twice being asked to comment on the incident by email.