Disneyland sells its popular Jungle Cruise boat ride this way:
"Board a trusty tramp steamer for a 7-minute guided tour of jungles from around the world, brimming with exotic animals and lush tropical foliage. Keep an eye out for potential perils -- and stunning beauty -- as your daring skipper navigates untamed waters with a skilled hand, a brave heart and a clever joke."
We all know the hype rarely meets reality, but in Feb. 2010, a Southern California couple claims the ride really was perilous and the skipper wasn't just daring but recklessly speedy before the boat crashed.
Those allegations are contained in a Feb. 3 lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court by Jeffrey and Maria Lee, who claim they were seriously injured in the accident.
"[The couple] noticed the ride operator was driving the boat very fast," the lawsuit states. "As the Jungle Cruise ride approached the Hippopotamus area of the ride, the boat crashed straight into the island and trees."
The crash threw the couple from their seats, they claim.
In the seven-page lawsuit, Anthony F. Wiezorek, the couple's Long Beach private attorney, described the crash as "substantial" and the "negligent" cause of injuries that required medical attention.
The file does not list specific injuries or medical expenses, however.
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Disneyland officials, bombarded every year with dozens and dozens of personal injury lawsuits, haven't yet filed a formal response to these latest allegations.
Superior Court Judge Kirk Nakamura will handle the case.
The Jungle Cruise ride premiered in July 1955, as one of Walt Disney's first theme park attractions.
--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly