Thrills That Kill

Scariest Theme Park Accidents


Rebekah Carbajal, Secretary


Amusement parks. It doesn’t sound like something deadly or terrifying, right? They are one of the best trips if you ever crave the feeling of fun, excitement, adventure, or joy. Some of the many attractions that cost at amusement parks are restaurants, souvenir shops, snack bars, shows, and other entertainment, and of course, you cannot forget the rides! Roughly 375 million people visit amusement parks every year!

So, it seems like a family-friendly trip to go on. You may have never heard of an accident at a theme park before. The most frightening thing you remember at a theme park is the screaming, but that comes from the thrill, right?

Well, in some fatal situations, it isn’t. Sometimes, there are some freaky malfunctions, and things don’t always end up cheery and happy. Here are some spine-chilling events that happened at amusement parks.

The latest tragic amusement park accident happened at ICON Park on March 24, 2022, when a 14-year-old boy plummeted to his death while riding the Orlando FreeFall. The boy fell out of his seat and dropped 430 feet due to a locking malfunction that is still being investigated.

One of the more terrifying amusement park accidents occurred on July 15, 2018, at an amusement park in Karachi, Pakistan. A ride that swings passengers back and forth from a large pendulum broke down in the middle of the operation. This incident injured 25 people, and a 12-year-old girl was killed during the accident. 

On December 24, 1998, a large, metal cleat ripped free from the side of a ride called Sailing Ship Columbia at Disneyland. As it fell, it hit two park guests and one Disney cast member. One of the visitors, a 33-year-old man, suffered a severe head injury, and later died in the ICU. It was the first-ever Disneyland ride death in which the guest wasn’t at least partially at fault. 

Now, I’m not saying that you should be scared of theme parks at all, theme parks are very safe! The odds of being injured or killed by a theme park ride are slim, but never zero. 

 The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) has reported that the odds of being seriously injured on an amusement park ride in the United States are 1 in 15.5 million rides taken. Overall, amusement park rides are an amazing and safe way to have a fun day. What is your favorite theme park?