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Disneyland's Alice in Wonderland ride closed to install safety equipment

The attraction is shut down temporarily after state inspectors note a lack of handrails for maintenance crews.

July 22, 2010|By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times

One of Disneyland's oldest attractions, the Alice in Wonderland ride, has been closed since last week while workers install safety barriers recommended by California work-safety inspectors. Park officials said they hope to reopen the ride in the next few weeks.

Disney officials said the Anaheim park voluntarily closed the ride July 15 after California Department of Occupational Safety and Health inspectors pointed out that it lacked handrails needed for maintenance crews who work on an elevated segment of the ride.

The Cal/OSHA inspectors were in the park on a separate matter and did not order closure of the ride, Disneyland spokeswoman Suzi Brown said. "We like to have all of our rides ready for our guests," she said.

The ride, which opened in 1958, takes guests on rail-guided cars that resemble caterpillars into a dark tunnel that features glowing characters from Disney's 1951 animated version of the Lewis Carroll classic. Toward the end of the ride, the cars roll outside, along an elevated rail segment with no handrails or barriers to prevent maintenance workers from falling off.

Brown said park workers would install scaffolding or barriers along the elevated segment.

In 2000, a 15-year-old Arizona boy suffered a broken foot and leg on the ride when his foot was pinched between a guardrail and the car in which he was riding. The ride closed for about six hours. Police said they believed the boy was dangling his leg outside the ride.

Earlier this month, Disney's California Adventure Park temporarily shut its newest attraction, World of Color, after a July 7 earthquake near Borrego Springs.

Only hours after the 5.4-magnitude quake, Disney's officials said malfunctioning equipment forced them to cancel three of the night-time water, light and fire displays that erupts from Paradise Bay Lagoon.

Disney officials said they could not determine if the quake caused the malfunction, but the shows resumed the following night.

hugo.martin@latimes.com

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