EARTHQUAKE! Rockin’ ‘n Rollin’ at Disneyland, 5.4 Earthquake Style on Tues., July 29

We experienced our first earthquake Tuesday 7/29/08’s earthquake in Orange County CA — kinda…

KABC-TV Earthquake Coverage
Here’s a photo of KABC-TV (a Disney-owned TV station) doing a newscast about the earthquake. We saw this in the Innoventions “house” of the “Elias family” Tuesday afternoon. The quake broke the fancy kitchen sink in the house! It would not raise up and down after the quake.

photo

Bottom line: All three of us are safe and well and so were most people in the parks that day. 🙂

Even though we were there, all I know about the earthquake is what can be read in the Orange County (CA) Register online.

OK… here’s why: While Disneyland was rockin’ from a 5.4 scale earthquake, we were rollin’ on the river and hardly felt it!

We rode sailing ship Columbia on Rivers of America and it’s so cool! You can go below deck and see where it’s crew lives, and they fire cannon twice off of it while it sails. We liked it so much we rode twice in a row.

We saw a group of ducks swimming in the water and the ship actually stopped for them to pass “we brake for ducks” kind of thing. We rode and didn’t pay attention to time of day except we knew Rich got us Splash Mountain Fast Passes and that was next on our agenda.

During our second ride was when the earthquake apparently happened. We felt nothing! Rich observed the Cast Members seemed busy with their radios, but we didn’t have any dots to connect about that. We disembarked and people were walking around calmly as they do in theme parks. Maybe the ship (other than being on a track) was in the water and maybe the water kept us from feeling the quake.

So it was when we got to Splash Mountain in Critter Country that the Cast Member had a rope over the Fast Pass entrance and was doing the explaining thing why no one could get in, it was due to “the earthquake”, and we’re exclaiming “What earthquake?!”. The CM had lived in Louisiana before and commisserated with us about Katrina hurricane there three years ago.

All rides were closed so safety inspections could be done or damage assessments, if needed, could be done. Indefinite when rides could accept guests again. According to the Orange County Register the quake happened 11:40 am PDT or so, before lunch hour. Without working attractions to absorb crowds off of walkways, people either walked around or went to dine. We ate at River Belle Terrace in New Irkeans Square and it was busy!

After the Splash Mountain CM said about the earthquake, I looked for news on Orange County Register online using the iPhone. Their first story was posted at 11:43 am PDT. I E-mailed the link to relatives and friends to let them know what happened and that we were OK.

People in line with us at River Belle Terrace remarked on the quake. We felt nothing on board the Columbia, but on the ground people definitely felt it. One couple said they could see windows shaking. Everyone talking about it. After awhile though hunger took over and they quickly returned to what is normal: Having lunch. Cast Members worked their device jobs as if nothing were out of the ordinary, selling and serving counter service meals, bussing tables, returning trays to the kitchen, picking up trash or sweeping food off the floor when guests leave tables, etc.

I phoned Rich’s 91 year old mom during lunch to let her know we were OK in case she heard about the quake on national news.

At 1-2 PDT in the afternoon we rode Jungle Cruise and there was not a problem with it, no mention of the quake in the comedy spiel. Rides went back to normal…. Except wait times were 20-30 minutes on a July weekday when school’s out. Short waits! In line in Jungle Cruise I was able to see an update on Orange County Register online, mentioned Disneyland and that Knotts Berry Farm closed their rides for awhile, Disneyland did too, to perform safety inspections. I attempted to E-mail that around too, but AT & T Edge network very slow. It’s been painfully slow all day. Either due to huge volume of use by those wanting to talk about the earthquake or the network might have had damage in Southern California or both. I don’t know. IPhone does not have copy and paste. A third update on Orange County Register website late this evening I tried to post to the travel blog by sending the story URL but it wouldn’t send properly.

A new attraction replaces Carousel of Progress and it’s called House of the Future. Very cool attraction about high tech stuff for the home. In it’s high tech kitchen a CM explained the quake damaged the kitchen sink faucet, which has sensors of some kind. They had a wide screen TV tuned to KABC-TV which Disney owns in Los Angeles and KABC did extensive live quake coverage.

And although most attractions went back to being operational, Indiana Jones and The Temple of The Forbidden Eye states closed into the night hours, don’t know why but it’s a highly technical and special effects pack ride, it’s computers might be out of whack, it goes down quite a but even without earthquakes happening.

I am concerned whether there will be a ‘big one’ or aftershocks. Hoping we can finish the trip and leave Saturday morning as planned, safely and with fond memories.

By the time of fireworks at the Castle most people were into the lifestyle of just having fun at Disneyland, Cast Members were doing their jobs ably and without apparent changes that Guests would notice. Fireworks ” Wishes” happened on time, normally, no ill effects.

Had we not ridden the Columbia twice we would have been on the ground and have felt the earthquake. We’re fine, not scared, moving on.

We did have to evacuate Hurricane Katrina August 29, 2005 and the levee failures caused flooding that damaged the Fox TV station in New Orleans where Rich works, but our house except for a couple of ceiling leaks was fine. What are the chances we’d be in California for one of their earthquakes!! About the same as the owner of the New Orleans Saints NFL football team buying the TV station where Rich works for $41 million after the owner owned it for 10 years, fixed it up after Katrina and it was for sale with 15 other stations Emmis Communications owned and had for sale since May 2005 and the other 15 sold within a year. About as likely as all that, and all that happened July 18, 2008 just a week ago or so! Never say never, ’cause even unlikely things have been known to happen!

Pray for us to have a safe uneventful travel time through Saturday, that the people in Southern California and at Disneyland all stay safe and well.

When I left the park after fireworks Tuesday 7/29/08 night who came in through the turnstyles as I exited the turnstyles, and I am sure it’s him 60%-80% sure…. I swear…. Geraldo Rivera now with Fox News Channel entering Disneyland with family and not working. Too quick for me to react and try to follow or photograph him. Maybe worked the story for Fox, who knows??And after his assignment “I’m going to Disneyland!”. Who knows?

That’s all I have to tell, sorry not more dramatic or spooky, but most other guests were calm and philosophic and safe and well, too.

Carol Koster from iPhone

-From Rich: Check out Part 2 of our trip report about the earthquake we “experienced” at Disneyland, including many more pictures.

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2 Responses to “EARTHQUAKE! Rockin’ ‘n Rollin’ at Disneyland, 5.4 Earthquake Style on Tues., July 29”


  1. 1 sadizney July 30, 2008 at 9:44 am

    I’m glad to hear you are all safe and sound. I hope for no aftershocks and a wonderful rest of your trip!

  2. 2 Anthony Wurthmann April 7, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    This I remember was the the best visit of a lifetime. I am now 60+ and wish I could afford to go again.


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The Disney Echo at DisneyEcho.emuck.com is your interactive online magazine to discover new wonders and share magical Disney memories.

The display on this page is set up to show the posts in reverse chronological order of when they were posted originally, so if you want to read the reports from the beginning, go to the last post on the last page and work forward. The first entry about the Koster family's July 2008 Disneyland trip can be found by clicking here and the first entry about their Easter 2008 Disneyland trip can be found by selecting this link.

That link goes to the very first travel-related article on this website: Welcome to our Trip Report.

The entry made after that first one is found after clicking the link named "Our Vacation Plans At-A-Glance" and that link is found above and below the first entry.

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FTC-Mandated Disclosure: As of December 2009, bloggers are required by the Federal Trade Commission to disclose payments and freebies. Unless otherwise noted, Rich Koster did not receive any payments, free items, or free services from any of the parties discussed in these articles. He pays for his own admission to theme parks and their associated events, unless otherwise explicitly noted.

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