Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

ETC and Disney settle

Mission: Space case resumed

According to the Philadelphia Business Journal, Environmental Tectonics Corp (ETC) and the Walt Disney World Company have reached a confidential settlement in a legal dispute over the Mission: Space ride at Epcot in Florida.

The dispute began in late July 2003 when ETC sued Walt Disney and three Disney subsidiaries over Mission: Space, which was scheduled to open about two weeks later. In the suit, ETC sought more than $15 million in damages for Disney’s alleged failure to pay all it was owed for work on the ride, to have Disney include it in the safety testing of the ride, a judgment affirming its right to be the designer and builder of similar rides for Disney, and a judgment affirming its rights to the technology that went into Mission: Space so it could build similar rides for others, provided they weren’t placed within 100 miles of a Disney theme park.

Mission: Space uses centrifuge technology developed by ETC for air-crew training systems to give riders the experience of an astronaut on a mission to Mars. Two people died after completing the ride, including a four-year-old boy in 2005 and a 49-year-old woman in 2006. In both cases, the deaths were attributed to pre-existing medical conditions.

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