Shanghai Disneyland ride breaks down, leaving visitors suspended in mid-air for half an hour

A thrill ride at Shanghai Disneyland broke down on Tuesday (Jan 10), leaving riders hanging in mid-air for half an hour.
A thrill ride at Shanghai Disneyland broke down on Tuesday (Jan 10), leaving riders hanging in mid-air for half an hour. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SHANGHAI - Thrill-seekers at the newly opened Shanghai Disneyland got more than what they bargained for when their ride broke down on Tuesday (Jan 10) night, leaving them hanging in mid-air for half an hour.

The "Soaring Over the Horizon" 4D ride, an indoor flight motion simulator that shows scenes from around the world on a big projection screen, stopped working five minutes after lifting visitors into the air on a mechanical arm, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.

"It was pitch-black. The background audio began to play an English message telling everyone there was a malfunction and we should all keep calm and wait for the machine to get fixed," a student, Xiao Wan, who was among the visitors stuck on the ride, was quoted as saying by the Shanghai Morning Post.

Even though the machine broke down, fear did not sink in until the lights came back on, said Xiao Wan.

"It was then when everybody realised they had been elevated so high from the ground. Many people started to freak out," said Xiao Wan. "Our legs were dangling, it was rather terrifying."

One visitor, Leo Hou, who was on the ride at the time, told the SCMP some people were hanging up to six storeys high when the ride broke down.

Later, the hapless visitors were able to climb off the ride one group at a time with help from theme park workers who arrived with rope. The last group of people who got off the ride were very upset and many tourists said their travel plans were disrupted, said Xiao Wan.

Affected visitors were later given a "Fastpass ticket" each as compensation.

Shanghai Disney Resort issued an apology statement on Wednesday (Jan 11).

"One attraction within the theme park stopped working briefly last night. We offer our deepest apology towards the affected visitors. The cast members on the ground rendered their services and assistance to the visitors in a timely manner."

Since its debut on June 16, 2016, Shanghai Disney Resort has been marred by a string of malfunction cases. Its "TRON Lightcycle Power Run", a steel roller coaster attraction, broke down for one hour just one day after its opening.

Another attraction, "Pirates of the Caribbean Battle for the Sunken Treasure", a water-based ride, malfunctioned on August 1, followed by wet adventure ride "Roaring Rapids" on August 6.