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Response from Disneyland Guest Services re: EM fields


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  • Response from Disneyland Guest Services re: EM fields

    This is the response I received from Disneyland Guest Services in regard to the use of electromagnetic fields in park attractions. I want to point out that this should not be taken as any sort of advice but rather a generic, inconclusive response to a question. Specifics should be directed at the appropriate parties, whether it's the ICD/pacemaker manufacturer or a doctor.

    I also want to point out that the letter makes no mention of the Maliboomer ride in Disney's California Adventure. This is one of those rides where riders are propelled to the top of a tower at high speed. I remember Lisa S. warning against those.

    The Disneyland Resort incorporates a number of devices that generate Electromagnetic Interference (EMI), Magnetic fields (MF) and electromagnetic Fields (EMF), Electric fields (EF), and Radio Frequency (RF) in our attractions and on property. Most of these devices such as motors, transformers and hand held radios, are the same types of devices that are found in our lives on a day-to-day basis. We do, however, have some devices worth mentioning that are not frequented on a daily basis outside the Resort.

    There are devices used in a few of our attractions that are specifically
    designed to emit Electro Magnetic fields to propel vehicles. These devices are called Linear Induction Motors and are used in Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and California Screamin'. Guests and Cast Members are not in close proximity to these devices during normal operation and we are not aware of any issues.

    Other attractions employ electric motors to convey the vehicles from point to point like the 2000 hp motors found in Tower of Terror or the small 2 hp washing-machine-size motors found in attractions like Snow White. During normal operation, the EMI from the motors in our attractions do not produce any more EMI than in similar devices used every day.

    Additionally, in regards to Electric Fields and Radio Frequency, most of our
    wireless communication around the Parks and Resorts is done with low-powered radios (2 watts or less) and cell phone technology. Again, this is similar to common radios and cell phones.

    Once again, thank you for taking the time to write. We hope you will find this information useful when planning your upcoming visit to the Disneyland Resort. Please consult with your physician or device supplier for their specific advice.
    Life is a banquet...and I got botulism! -- Me

    If time flies when you're having fun, will I age faster at Disneyland? -- Joel Perry

  • #2

    Typical Disney stuff! When I asked the guest relations people down here Guess what they said?

    "I'd stay away from microwaves if I were you!". The guest relation people have no idea about the rides. I've even talked to their managers and they didn't know either.

    Oh by the way the signs in front of the ride are not entirely helpful either. When the carousel has pregnancy and heart condition warnings. come on!. All rides have those to cover Disney's hind end!

    Tim, if there is a specific ride you want to know about let me know. I will ask my Disney engineering buddy. He knows alot about DL too!

    Mary S.


    • #3
      I don't see much wrong with the Disney statement. I think it contains some useful info when it's put in the context of the device manufacturer's the warnings. In the case of my Medtronic ICD manufacturer has explicitly stated that typcial RF devices (handheld radios, cell phones) are okay if held to the user's side opposite the ICD. Typical electric motors aren't identified as an issue unless in close physical proximity, such as bending over too closely to a car's alternator (which isn't really a motor but has a similar EM field). Take the info together and for the most part there is no problem. Your ICD maunfacturer may have different guidelines and you should check them out against the Disney info.

      I don't think the induction motors they mention would be much of a problem either, otherwise alot of strange things would happen to tourists, but I'd stay away from Thunder Mountain and the other ride mentioned just because of the g's that are pulled! The g-loads can't be good for a questionable heart or the physical implantation of the ICD and its leads. (The electronics in the ICD are pretty much immune to this type of g-loading.) Also, from what I remember from Space Mountain a couple of years ago it left me feeling like I shouldn't have been on that ride! Last year I had gotten to the point that even Thunder Mountain started feeling like it might have been a little too much (and that was pre-ICD for me).

      Recently (this past week!) we visited Hoover Dam and *they* have warnings posted outside the tour that goes down to the generator room (8 generators on the Nevada side and 9 on the Arizona side). Those warnings definitely caused me to pause and I wound up not going on that part of the tour.

      Sometimes the engineer in me has to jump out and speak up .. these are my views, only, and your mileage as a coaster fan my vary somewhat considerably!

      --Living life on the edge .. of a continent!
      Charter member: Tinman Club


      • #4
        I actually used to work in Frontier Land with Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain. The BTMs are identical at DL and WDW. I've ridden it so many times that I could have fallen asleep. Part of the job! Honestly, its pretty tame. So, tame (SSSHHH don't tell anyone) But we used to ride it all of the time without the lap bars!

        Also, both Space Mountains are identical. It only goes 28mph! Actually, BTM is faster if I remember correctly clocked at 30mph! Wanna make space a little more fun? Ride it with your Sunglasses on! Wanna make Splash a little more interesting. Just before you go down the big drop focus on something then raise your feet about an inch. Gives the feeling of weighlessness!

        After five years at Disney going to the parks after work and on days off. I've ridden these rides thousands of times. Each person feels them diferently though.

        And for all of you who really want to know how many G's Mission Space puts out. It's barely 2Gs. . When I was opening crew we got to ride it before it was toned down it was almost 3Gs then! That Rocked. Being opening crew on a ride was awesome. In between test shows, runs, etc we hopped in and took it for a spin. If there is anyone who wants to see what the inside of the ride is like without having the G-force. I have it recorded I can download and send it to ya!

        Mary S.


        • #5

          Did the DL coasters many times over the years without problems and never thought they were particularly high-g rides (the nifty little coaster in DL ToonTown is actually the most fun of the group, in my opinion--not sure if the same ride is in WDW). However the past couple of years even those rides have become a little too much and I stay off of them now. Forget the big coasters in other parks!

          I did run the giant ferris wheel in Asbury Park NJ (in Pallace Amusements) for half a summer--it was the *most* boring job I've ever had. Does that count towards good ride operator kharma?

          --Living life on the edge .. of a continent!
          Charter member: Tinman Club


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