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Aug 31 2011

WW: Doubly-Safe? Or Double-Trouble?

Category: Egress,Panic Hardware,Wordless WednesdayLori @ 12:02 am Comments (15)

Today’s Wordless Wednesday photo was sent in by David Sochaczevski, an architect with the Soltron Group in Montreal.  David saw this door near the Stitch ride in Disney’s Magic Kingdom.  At first glance this application clearly looks like a code problem, but I just couldn’t imagine Disney purposely installing hardware that would require two motions to exit.  I asked Disney about it but I was told that any information about this door was proprietary.  I asked the local fire marshal and received this reply:  “Thank you for bringing this safety concern to our department.  The configuration in the picture you provided is not as it appears and the door does function according to code requiring only one motion to open the door.”

So…does anyone want to venture a guess as to how this code-compliant door operates?  I have a theory but I’ll keep it to myself for now.  Unfortunately, I won’t be able to confirm whether we’re right unless one of the minions is headed for Disney and is willing to take a closer look.  😉

Update#1: As Dan Wiltse pointed out, this door is actually on the Monsters, Inc. ride (David’s email said that he saw it while waiting in line for the Stitch ride but it must be on an adjacent building).  That explains the design of the door – the lite at the top is for Sulley, and the low lite and panic are for Mike Wazowski and Boo.  Dan (who happens to be a fire marshal) volunteered to check out this door and report back shortly!

Update #2: The local fire marshal called me this morning and we had a nice chat about the door as well as their inspections in general.  They walk through each and every building and look at the doors (and other things) every 2 months!  Impressive!

15 Responses to “WW: Doubly-Safe? Or Double-Trouble?”

  1. john gant says:

    My guess is that the bottom exit is just for appearances. I believe it has no functional latch, or is missing the strike.

  2. Michael Rebbec says:

    The only thing I can think of is maybe it’s Concealed Vertical Rod devices with both devices operating the same two latches so that when either one is pushed, the door operates…

  3. Justin Ritter says:

    I’m guessing the top one is operable and the bottom one is a dummy bar. My first assumption is that it is a rim exit, and a closer viewpoint (where we could see the strike) in the picture would verify that one is operable and the other isn’t. Then it occurred to me that one could be a mortise device, or possibly even a CVR, and the strike wouldn’t be visible. I still don’t have a good theory as to the reason for the bottom bar.

  4. Bob Caron says:

    How about concealed vertical rod and either bar will operate it. It’s been a long time since I was that short but it seems like a small child that could only reach the lower bar would have a tough time pushing open a door that big.

  5. Dan Wiltse says:


    As a member of a Disney fanatic family, I can safely tell you that this is not on the Stitch ride as you can clearly see the Monsters Inc. logo on the wall next to the door. 🙂

    I will actually be traveling to Disney this Friday once I am released from the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, MD. I will make it a priority to check this device while I am there and report back to inform your community on how the device actually operates.

  6. Nolan Thrope says:

    I will venture a guess. I think it is a concealed vertical rod with the top device connected to the bottom device. The 8847 only requires an upward motion to release the top and bottom latches.

  7. Debbie Davis says:

    Hello Lori, I have not seen this door, but I do know all about Lilo and Stitch. For the monsters from outerspace this is their code in order to escape being chased by meaner aliens. Stitch has multiple arms and this is only one operation for him but not for the little kiddies that will be confused. I suppose the lower exit has no latching mechanism, only the top exit actually latches. I had heard that the Intergalactic Building Code would be available in about 500 years so get ready……
    Love Our Business!

  8. CLIFF COHEN says:

    Being from Florida and having seen how Disney does things I would venture to guess that the bottom bar has no strike or latch. the higher bar is at code and the bottom bar is for “Stitch” to go through. This would explain the window at the lower level.
    Although I have to wonder if this is completely kosher. I always though that even if the lower bar is not functioning that the public may think that this is the bar to use to exit. I would think this defeats the no prior knowledge clause.

  9. Ken Adkisson says:

    My guess…The device is a concealed vertical rod actuated by either crossbar. this allows for a lower bar height for little people as well as normal bar height for people of average height.

  10. Rachel Smith says:

    I have seen that opening (as I am a Disney Fanatic), and never gave it another thought other than how cute! I look more at the doors typically than the hardware. For those of you visiting Disney this is at the Monsters Inc Laugh Factory (a great show). Since Disney says it complies with safety my guess is either a concealed VR with two actuators (either bar), or that the bottom panic bar is for looks only. But if for looks only, wouldn’t that be implied that it would work in an emergency? Hmmmmm.

  11. Jerry Richmond, AHC/CDC says:

    I agree with all above opinions that the lower bar is probably non-functional and part of the sight gag of being for “Stitch”. We’ll wait and see what Dan Wiltse finds out after his on-site investigation. If the lower bar is indeed non-functional, I do not see it as a good idea to be on an exit door as it is misleading, especially to hardware nuts like us. If this puppy is actually customized, operable and linked to the top device, then it goes against the recommendation for operating mechanisms being mounted no lower than 34″ AFF. We’ll just have to wait and see.

  12. Martin grealish says:

    I think the reason for this is perfectly obvious. The top crash bar is for Snow White and the bottom one is for the seven dwarfs.

  13. Bob K says:

    Gotta Love Disney. They are what keeps the hardware companies in business and guessing. I would like to see two closers on the door as well. Disney then can have a direct affect and improvement to the economy. I’m guessing that this application and operation was hard to explain (well) in the hardware schedule.

  14. Darren Patton says:

    I think they are CVR LBR and they both operate the top latch. it could also be a 8875 and both work on latch point with internal linkage.

  15. Dan Wiltse says:

    Guys and Gals-

    Sorry it took me so long to respond back, but it has been crazy here at work since I got back. The lower bar does not have a strike on it. So, I must assume that either there is a concealed bar, or this bar doesn’t function at all. It is good to see/hear that they walk through their rides to check the doors every two months. That’s proactive!

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