BY Bryan Chai, The Western JournalJanuary 1, 2023
1 year ago

Amusement Park's Critical Failure Gives 62 People New Year's Eve They'll Never Forget - Rescue Team Called

It is often said that how you spend your New Year's Eve represents how your new year will be.

So what in the world does that mean for the more than 60 amusement park riders who had to be rescued from The Wheel at Orlando's ICON Park on New Year's Eve?

Multiple outlets, including Fox News and the New York Post, have reported that a power failure stranded 62 riders on the popular Ferris wheel ride at ICON Park, forcing Orange Country Fire Rescue to send ladders up the structure, which towers 400 feet from the ground at its highest point.

The Wheel went dark when a power failure occurred, with ICON Park telling outlets that the problem occurred about 6:20 p.m.

Orange County Fire Rescue provided some updates and images of the rescue operation via its Twitter account:

As Orange County Fire Rescue noted, the rescued riders were scattered throughout 20 pods.

Elsewhere on social media, video of the power failure itself began circulating, providing a harrowing visual -- complete with sparks flying -- of what ultimately necessitated the fire-rescue team's operation:

In a statement to WOFL-TV on Saturday night, ICON Park acknowledged the power outage and fire-rescue's assistance in evacuating the riders.

"The Wheel lost power Saturday night and we’re working with the Orange County Fire Department to safely evacuate guests," the statement read.

This was the second time in 2022 that The Wheel, specifically, has raised some eyebrows.

Back in July, ICON Park actually announced it was pausing a new game that was playable from within The Wheel.

Originally dubbed "Bullseye Blast," the game involved park goers using prop guns from within The Wheel's pods and shooting various targets scattered about the park from the unique vantage points that a Ferris wheel provides.

The ride was met with fierce backlash and criticism because it was "insensitive" to the issue of gun violence.

An ICON Park statement to WKMG-TV noted that because of the backlash, the park was pausing and ultimately redesigning the game.

[firefly_poll]

"Some non-guests and community members expressed that they considered the toy shooting device used to be insensitive. The attractions industry has many similar games which use similar shooting devices, so that is what we were limited to when exploring the game. However, we believe that a device can and should be designed which does not offend anyone in the community. We look forward to leading this new innovation.

"During the design process we will pause the current version of the game. Just like all electronic games are improved over time, we will pursue a new design that will deliver the same level of customized fun for guests, in a way that the entire community can embrace."

The Wheel remained closed on Sunday, according to WFTV-TV in Orlando. It was not clear when it would reopen.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Bryan Chai, The Western Journal

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