The Breakdown

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Disney temporarily closes Space Mountain, rider safety not an issue

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48612 full

After temporarily closing Space Mountain, Soarin' Over California, and the Matterhorn Bobsleds at its Disneyland and California Adventure parks, the company put Matterhorn Bobsleds back in action on Sunday. 

Space Mountain and Soarin' Over California remain closed.

The company couldn't comment on when the rides might reopen, but it is conducting an internal review of safety issues related to what it calls "cast members" — park employees — and maintenance contractors, not guest safety.

Disney made the decision voluntarily after it received seven violations from the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health related to an accident last year in which a maintenance worker was injured. Cal/OSHA noted that, after a review of maintenance safety in 2006, Disney had "failed to adequately correct [...] known fall hazards" at Space Mountain.

"We have received notification of the citations and are working with OSHA to fully review them," said Disney spokeswoman Suzi Brown in a statement.

The temporary closures at Disneyland and California Adventure are occurring in the context of Disney parks business performing well financially. Along with the company's broadcast division, parks are outpacing the the film business. 

Morningstar analyst Michael Corty commented on this while speaking with The Breakdown about layoffs at Disney's movie studio last week.

"The film unit is still a solid business and there are ways they can improve it," he said. "But parks and broadcast are better in today's marketplace. They have advantages."

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