Questions loom after closures at Worlds of Fun leave visitors disappointed

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A day after many metro families said they left Worlds of Fun unhappy, FOX 4 is trying to get answers and learning state law says about ride closures.

FOX 4 was outside the park Tuesday trying to get answers about why rides either got stuck or weren't working. The park wouldn't answer a long list of questions, including whether the issues were mechanical or staffing-related. A statement read in part, "we experienced downtime."

FOX 4's Megan Dillard spoke with families who made it clear Tuesday wasn't the first time this has happened this season.

Eric McPherson said he didn't get his $300 worth when he took his kids to World of Fun May 10.

"There are free parks where we can just sit under trees and go watch things. We went to go ride rides. Not walk around and look at rides." He and his five-year-old girl snapped a selfie while waiting for the Scrambler to take off. Twenty minutes later, crews asked everyone to get off the ride.

"Finally they just said hey we don’t know what’s going on, we have to call, we have a power issue, we have to call somebody, everybody off and that was kind of it."

The dad said they tried about a dozen rides but none of them were running. He said ride operators had no explanation. McPherson went to Guest Services who he said offered him a Fast Pass as consolation -- a ticket to cut to the front of the line, good only for that day.

Missouri state law does not require a park to report repeated outages or ride closures. Customers on Tuesday reported the Steel Hawk ride got stuck with riders about 300 feet above the ground for 10 minutes; at the least the second time reported this season.

McPherson said, "If a ride gets stuck consistently, then it should be reported. They should be notified. Someone should be checking up on this besides the internal inspectors at the park."

The state only requires a report and sends out an inspector if someone dies in an accident, if someone is injured and spends the night in a hospital, or if three or more people suffer minor injuries. McPherson said that's not enough accountability.

"How about before somebody gets hurt? Let’s be proactive before we have someone get injured, killed, maimed."

Worlds of Fun did not respond Wednesday to repeated written requests for more information. A phone operator at the park said all rides were up except Zulu, but did not explain why that one was not running.