Today the Florida Department of Agriculture’s quarterly MOU Exempt Facilities Report came out and shows two separate incidents that recently happened at the Universal Orlando Resort.
Two Injuries in Quarter One 2023 at Universal Orlando Resort
The first injury stated in the report comes from early February when a 64-year-old female reported a headache after riding Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit. No further injury was indicated.
Additionally, a 47-year-old man had complaints of abdominal pain in mid-March after riding the Jurassic World VelociCoaster.
The MOU Exempt Facilities Report, Inspections, and DeSantis
This report, called the MOU Exempt Facilities Report, is submitted by major theme parks quarterly in lieu of inspections. In an agreement that the state of Florida has had with these major entities for decades, parks may employ their own mechanics and inspections crews to help alleviate some of the strain on the state’s resources. This report is intended as a way to show the public that the parks are well cared for and safe places to visit.
The top of the report states: “The following report is a compilation of data collected from the exempt facilities and reflects only the information reported at the time of the incident. Due to privacy-related concerns, the Department does not receive updates to initial assessments of a patron’s condition.” This means that if further complications happened with any of these guests, it would not be listed in the report.
Despite the injuries and medical complaints listed above, this quarter saw some of the lowest injury counts in recent history. Both Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort have a lower injury report count than they have had for over a year.
Recently, the Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, has taken it upon himself to change the way these parks and their transportation systems are operated and maintained. He recently signed a bill mandating state inspections of the Walt Disney World Monorail System, taking over the responsibility of upkeep from Disney themselves.
The bill is known as SB 1250 and deals with a number of small changes to the operations of the Florida Department of Transportation. One amendment, in particular, is designed to target the Walt Disney World Monorail System specifically. While the original bill filed in February as well as subsequent revisions in March and on April 14, did not contain this provision, an amendment was attached on April 26, the same day Disney filed suit against Gov. DeSantis and the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District on First Amendment grounds. The bill goes into effect on July 1.
Should this trend with state governance continue, inspection mandates could be extended to other major theme parks, including Universal Orlando Resort, Sea World, and Busch Gardens.
What do you think of these events? Do you think the stated injuries or pains were related to the respective rides? We’d like to see your opinions in the comments below.