Dollywood Closes Drop Ride After Teen Dies on Similar Attraction in Orlando

by Jonathan Howard
(Photo by: Jeff Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Following an incident at an Orlando amusement park, Dollywood has closed one of its rides due to safety concerns and the manufacturer. There have not been any issues with the Dollywood ride, however, “out of an abundance of caution” the drop ride is going to be closed for the foreseeable future.

A tragic accident happened at Orlando’s ICON Park last Thursday. 14-year-old Tyre Sampson fell off of the 430 feet tall FreeFall Ride and died.

Why Dollywood is Closing ‘Drop Line’

  • Last Thursday at Orlando’s ICON Park, Tyre Sampson, 14, fell off the ride and died
  • Dollywood, out of caution, closed its Drop Line ride which was made by the same manufacturer
  • The rides are not the same, however, they are both drop tower-style rides that lift riders up and then drops them

Dollywood notes that there wasn’t an issue with their ride. However, after the awful event in Orlando that resulted in Sampson’s death, they have made the decision to close Drop Line. These rides are common at amusement parks. Riders are put into a seat and usually secured with a seatbelt or harness. Then, they are lifted up high into the air and dropped like a free-falling elevator.

“Although Dollywood does not have the specific ride involved in this tragic incident, the safety of our guests is our top priority. Out of an abundance of caution, and until further details about the accident at ICON Park are known, we have temporarily closed Drop Line, our drop tower ride that was developed by the same manufacturer,” a Dollywood spokesperson said.

Accidents like this are absolutely tragic. What should have been a fun day at the park was turned into a nightmare. According to a personal injury lawyer, ICON Park is set to be held liable. The family of Sampson has hired civil rights lawyer Ben Crump. Bob Hilliard, a personal injury lawyer, is also set to represent the family.

Dollywood Closes Ride After Saying Goodbye to Older Attractions

The news of Drop Line closing comes soon after the park got rid of some old attractions. Dollywood is undergoing some transformations and that means changing things up. The old mine shaft tunnel will be no more. Instead, the area will be repurposed. Over the years, it became less and less used, a far cry from its once important role in the park’s geography.

A spokesman for Dollywood commented on the tunnel and new renovations.

“Much like the construction efforts we completed last season, these projects are designed to provide the best guest experience for our visitors,” Wes Ramey said.

Change is the only constant in life they say. With new things being done at Dollywood, park-goers will find new things to love. It is always hard to see old things go. However, the park will likely make the area new and exciting for its customers.