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Playing with Fire at Walt Disney World

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Were you aware that some Walt Disney World guests have to escape a burning building each day?  It’s true!  I know because my daughter was one of those guests!


We were enjoying a day at EPCOT when our daughter, Bella, had her experience.  We were waiting on line for the Disney Visa Character Meet and Greet in Innoventions West, and Bella wanted to take a look at the fire truck that was nearby.  We took a few pictures with the truck and Bella was checking out this little house that you could walk through when a Cast Member appeared with some other guests.  The Cast Member was leading these guests into the same house Bella was exploring and she didn’t hesitate to add Bella to her following.

After some discussion, the house burst into flames! Bella and the other guests had to evacuate the burning home and regroup at a designated spot near the fire truck.

Okay, the flames weren’t real.  They were a lighting effect that was turned on to simulate fire.  They would reset and do this exercise a few times, playing out different scenarios. It turns out that this was a portion of an attraction called “Where’s the Fire?”

 

“Where’s the Fire?”

If you’re like me, you’ve never seen the inside of this attraction.  Sure, I’ve cut through Innoventions on more than a few occasions, but admittedly, it’s not somewhere we stop to look around for too long.  EPCOT is huge, and we’ve got so much to see and do that we just never get around to it.  Now, this is just my impression, but judging by the lack of crowds inside Innoventions, I’m hazarding a guess that these attractions go overlooked by many guests.

If you want to see a little of what’s inside Innoventions, then check out this site:  https://innoventions.disney.go.com/site/
Alright, so now back to “Where’s the Fire?”

 

This attraction is presented by Liberty Mutual Insurance and is divided into 4 parts.
  • The Game House – Guests compete against each other to search rooms of the house for fire hazards, using special “flashlights” to uncover dangerous situations.
  • “Burning Questions” quiz – At kiosks, guests can take the fire safety quiz to test their knowledge.
  • “Play it Safe House” –  This model house is geared toward kids and is used to instruct on the best ways to leave a home in case of a fire.
  • Interactive Fire Truck – a 30-foot fire truck is not just a photo op, but also demonstrates how a pumper-truck operates.  It also has a display of firehouse badges from around the country.

Bella only participated in the one part of this experience, but she not only had fun, but learned something too! Hopefully we’ll have time in the near future to do the entire attraction!

 

Now, the “Where’s the Fire?” attraction has been around less the 10 years, but Disney has been thinking about fire safety and its guests since the very beginning of the Walt Disney World project!
Did you know?
  • Walt Disney World has its very own Fire Department: the Reedy Creek Fire Department.  In 40 years, there has never been a loss of life at Walt Disney World due to structural fire.

https://www.reedycreek.org/index.cfm?section=1https://www.facebook.com/reedycreekemergencyservices

  • Walt Disney World’s structures are held to a unique fire and building code, called the “EPCOT code”.  Updated every few years, the EPCOT code is often more strict than other codes in the nation.  It is unique in that it emphasizes safety as well as provides flexibility for technological innovation.
  • Walt Disney World was the first location in Florida to implement the 9-1-1 emergency phone system, as well as mandating sprinklers and fire suppression systems in all of its buildings.
  • Response time to fires and emergencies on property average 6-8 minutes.
  • There are fire hydrants in the theme parks, but you won’t always see them.  While a fire hydrant wouldn’t be out of place on Main Street, USA..
It would definitely not fit the theme of Fantasyland.  So the fire hydrant is disguised, yet labeled in a way to make it easy to locate, if you know what to look for.

 

I think it says a lot that if you google “fire in Walt Disney World”, you’ll only find a handful of incidents, and none of those with major injuries or loss of life.  It’s amazing that there are so few incidents when you take into account the number of people who visit each year, and the numerous kitchens, miles of electrical cables, nightly campfires, and amount of pyrotechnics that are set off every day.
I think if Walt Disney World wants to share some tips on fire safety, we all should be listening.

 

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Nikki Bonilla

Monday 14th of October 2013

I love this. I would never have thought to even look for the fire hydrants. One of my favorite pictures is of my oldest two boys on the fire engine at Disneyland. Treasured memories for sure and now something fun to look for.

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