Orlando amusement park pauses new sniper-like laser shooter after criticism

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The wheel at Icon Park is seen in the background image of the amusement park entrance in Orlando, Florida.

https://iconparkorlando.com/attractions/the-wheel/


Orlando, Florida. – The Orlando amusement park, where a teenager fell from a ride and died earlier this year, has paused a new sniper-like laser shooter amid criticism at following a recent series of mass shootings.

The Bullseye Blast game lets riders of the 400-foot wheel at ICON Park pay an additional $5.95 to fire laser blasters at 50 strategically placed targets along the park’s rooftops.

In a statement on Saturday, park officials said while the ride had been “well received” by guests, some had questioned whether it was appropriate following mass shootings in a 4th of July parade in a suburb of Chicago, a primary school in UvaldeTexas, and a grocery store in Buffalo, New York.

“Some non-guests and members of the community said they consider the toy-shooting device to be unresponsive,” the statement read.

“The amusement industry has many similar games that use similar shooting devices, so that’s what we were limited to when exploring the game. However, we believe that a device can and should be designed without offending anyone in the community.”

Park officials said they “look forward to leading this new innovation.”

Although the park removed the game from its website, earlier this week it offered the following description of Bullseye Blaster: “To get the highest score, players must hit as many of these as possible with their laser blaster. during the 18-minute ride.”

CBS Orlando affiliate WKMG-TV reported that a photo showing teenage boys, both apparently women, the game’s toy guns that had been part of a press release was no longer available in the press kit. It was unclear why the photo was deleted.

Critics and supporters of the race have weighed in on social media over the past few days.

“It’s in bad taste!” Florida State Senator Linda Stewart, a Democrat from Orlando, said in a tweet in response to a report on the ride. Others on social media mocked the park for pausing the game.

Controversy has surrounded the park, located along Orlando’s International Drive, since he was 14 Tire Sampson of Missouri fell from the freefall tower and died earlier this year.

An inquest later revealed the teenager was nearly 100 pounds over the ride weight limit. His family filed a complaint.

The park announced the Bullseye Blast in a press release Thursday.

“The ICON Park Wheel is the only Observation Wheel in the world to deliver this amazing new infrared technology, and effectively gamify and invigorate the experience for a whole new audience of gamers,” the statement reads,

The blasters featured a scope and infrared beams that help players aim for rooftop targets.

Dennis Speigel, founder and CEO of International Theme Park Services Inc., told the Orlando Sentinel on Friday that he was surprised that executives at ICON Park, the creators of the blaster game – Amusements LLC and Steradian Technologies – did not considered the negative.

“Seeing these simulated guns pointed at you from these heights, from all these cars, just doesn’t seem like the right decision,” Speigel told the Sentinel. “It’s a little weird.”

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