California · Disasters · Workplace Violence

Teenager crushed to death while working at Disneyland

July 8, 1974
Anaheim, California
18-year-old Deborah “Debbi” Stone is crushed by an attraction while working at Disneyland

Disneyland had recently renovated an attraction called Carousel of Progress changing it to America Sings, featuring animatronics that “sang” Americana songs such as Yankee Doodle. The attraction was comprised of a stationary, inner theater which housed the animatronics and a rotating, outer theater where the audience was seated. The stages were separated by a narrow canal. Somehow, either by standing too close to the rotating and stationary walls, stepping backwards, trying to jump between the stages, or falling down, Stone was caught between the walls and was crushed. A park guest informed the attraction’s operator after hearing Stone’s screams from another theater.

The attraction was shut down for cleaning and safety upgrades, including safety lights. Later, break-away walls were installed to prevent further deaths or injuries. The attraction was permanently closed in 1988.

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