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Disneyland Trip From Hell: Quadriplegic Stuck on 'It's a Small World' Ride for 40 Minutes

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Fri, Feb 11, 2011 at 5:30 AM

click to enlarge Satan's little helpers
  • Satan's little helpers
We're pretty sure we had a nightmare about this.

But for quadriplegic Jose Martinez, who made the mistake of taking a nice, relaxing trip to Disneyland in November 2009, there was no waking up from the terror: Due to a computer glitch, his "It's a Small World" boat got stuck in its tracks right before the end of the tunnel.

Unfortunately, the "It's a Small World" theme song did not get stuck along with it. Oh, no. It just kept going. And going. And going. And going.

This, of course, did not pair well with his pre-existing spinal-chord injury.

"It feels like an ice pick going through your temples," Martinez tells the OC Register. "Especially when you couple that with the continuous 'Small World' music in the background."

Weird. that's EXACTLY how it felt in our nightmare. To experience a fraction of the poor man's pain, backtrack infinitely:

But this horror story isn't over yet.

Just when it seemed things could not possibly get any worse for Martinez that November afternoon, Disneyland workers decided to push his wheelchair over to the First Aid tent -- where he was forced to witness a personal performance by Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

"It was like insult to injury," Martinez told reporters.

click to enlarge Our hero. Seriously. - ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
  • Orange County Register
  • Our hero. Seriously.
His legal claim? (What, you mean aside from cruel and fucking unusual punishment?) According to the Register:

Jose Martinez of San Pedro filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Monday, saying the Walt Disney Co. violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to have adequate evacuation procedures for visitors with mobility disabilities.

Martinez says he suffered from dysreflexia, or stress-induced high blood pressure that could have led to stroke or death, while he was stuck in the ride. And so, in perhaps the most justified lawsuit in the history of our "35 percent beef" nation, Martinez is suing the park for all its worth.

Cue the violins (no, really, do):

Martinez told employees that he needed to get off the ride immediately, but he wasn't able to leave until the ride started up again and went to the dock exit, he said.

And still, through it all, the "Small World" survivor maintains his dignity, hoping only that he lives to see a better day. "We're not just trying to sue because it's available," he says. "To us, it's to make the proper changes [at the park]."

And for this reason, we realize that we will never, ever be able to complain about anything, for the rest of our lives.

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