Disabled man stuck on Disneyland ‘Small World’ ride awarded $8,000


A disabled man who was stuck inside Disneyland’s “It’s a Small World” ride after it broke down — though the music played on — has sued the amusement park and been awarded $8,000, the man’s attorney said Tuesday.

Santa Monica-based attorney David Geffen said his paraplegic client, L.A. County resident Jose Martinez, 52, went to Disneyland with his wife for the first time since he was a child on Nov. 27, 2009.

They were having a great time, Geffen said, but the “It’s a Small World” ride “stopped working as he was just exiting the goodbye tunnel. The music was still blaring.”


“They started evacuating other guests and weren’t evacuating him,” Geffen said. “They said they couldn’t move him out of the cave.... They didn’t summon the Fire Department right way.”

Martinez was stuck on the ride for about 30 minutes, and then required medical assistance.

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana. Geffen said the court awarded $4,000 for pain and suffering and $4,000 related to other access violations.

“Disneyland Resort believes it provided all appropriate assistance ... and is disappointed that the court did not fully agree,” said Suzi Brown, spokeswoman for Disneyland Resort.

Geffen said Martinez’s disabilities took a back seat as the couple enjoyed the park, but then “hit him hard and right in the face as soon as the ride broke down.”