The world's most authentic roller coaster and amusement park expert!

Cell phone on roller coaster injures guest and cause rides to go down more often

This past week, a guest at Six Flags Great Adventure sued the New Jersey park, because a loose cell phone smashed into them on the “El Toro” wooden roller coaster – giving the riders “substantial injuries.” Here’s the link.

Earlier this month, trains on California Screamin’ at Disney California Adventure were e-stopped when a guest whipped out a cell phone selfie stick (apparently to film themselves) all while the ride was in motion. As a result, guests had to be evacuated and the ride was down for over an hour.


It doesn’t help when companies encourage this sort of reckless behavior, either…GoPro did pull this post down after massive backlash.

Three days later, a ride attendant at Carowinds was assaulted when they refused to allow a guest to retrieve their dropped cell phone from the show building of a dark ride. The operator was shoved to the ground as the guest proceeded to walk along the track to retrieve their precious cell phone. The ride was immediately e-stopped and security arrived shortly thereafter.

Nearly a year to the day that Disney Parks officially banned selfie sticks and phones on rides, guests are still not getting the message – leave the phone in the station or in your secured pocket – and parks have not heeded the call to make it more clear that filming on a ride isn’t safe, or tolerated.

Our partner site, Thrills By The Bay had two guests whip out their cell phone on Twisted Colossus at Six Flags Magic Mountain – and when they told the operators, “…they practically shrugged their shoulders and said, ‘Well if they lose their phone it’s on them.'”

Actually, it won’t be on them – it’ll be on the face of an innocent rider, who never saw it coming.

Cell Phone carnage at Six Flags St. Louis. Photo (c) 2013 Great American Thrills and Kris Rowberry

Cell phones litter the infield of Mr. Freeze at Six Flags St. Louis

Loose articles have always been a problem on rides. Anyone remember when Jaguar! at Knott’s got stuck because of a guests’ jacket somehow got loose and jammed a wheel assembly? But the proliferation of phones on rides adds to the increased danger, coupled with the dense nature of the devices.

Enthusiasts have been trying to warn parks and ride operators for years now about this – but no one seems to want to listen. Sadly, it may take more suits like the one against Six Flags Great Adventure before the industry steps up and tackles this problem properly.


2 responses

  1. TheMakeupCase17

    This is why we can’t have nice things.

    Once while riding SheiKra at Busch Gatdens Tampa, the dumb kid next to me dropped his phone as the ride was pulling in to unload. The kid said something to the ride op & the ride op told them they were SOL. Kid wasn’t happy and I did all I could to keep from laughing.

    My phone once almost slipped out of my back pocket on a coaster & I learned my lesson from that. Phone goes in a locker with my bag & sunglasses now.

    May 31, 2016 at 1:45 pm

  2. Cathy Bates

    I used to be a ride operator at Hershey Park. One day when operating a roller coaster a car came back with a guest covered in blood. He was hit in the head with the cell phone from the person in front of them. They have rules no cell phones rides but obviously it’s not so easy with stupid people wanting to record themselves.

    May 31, 2016 at 4:56 pm