PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WJHL) – Dollywood officials issued new guidance for park guests that end up taking their phones on rides despite park rules, which they say should prevent accidental 911 calls on their rides.
Signage on some of the park’s high-thrill rides includes language that tells guests to consider turning their phone off or to activate airplane mode before riding, and park administration said the move was proactive to avoid activating a new feature in some iPhones.
Crash detection was added as a default feature to all new iPhone 14s and other Apple devices, and uses device data to detect signs of a car crash like loud noises and shocks. As the feature began to make headlines for calling 911 on rides throughout the country, local E-911 leaders reached out to the park to help mitigate the issue.
“We work closely with our local authorities who suggested this may become an issue as smart device usage continues to increase,” a statement from the park said. “We wanted to assist them in preventing these unintended calls by making our guests aware their devices may inadvertently call emergency services during the rides.”
Regardless of the warnings and features, however, park officials said loose items like phones were already prohibited on rides before the new language was added.