Following an unexpected, and quite serious, flood at “it’s a small world” in Disneyland, the fan-favorite holiday overlay was delayed indefinitely as Disney officials were not sure when the ride would be able to safely reopen.
The good news is thanks to more than 20 Disneyland departments working around the clock in attempt to repair “it’s a small world”, the classic Disneyland attraction will officially reopen next week!
According to OC Register, Disneyland officials confirmed that “it’s a small world” is now fully repaired and will reopen to Guests next week, in plenty of time to showcase the iconic holiday display!
The flood happened on November 10, which was just before the iconic “it’s a small world” holiday overlay was set to make its 2021 debut. “I don’t think you could have planned this to happen at a worse time,” Tomlin said during an online video interview.
“Once the water level metaphorically and literally drained, we got some clarity on what we had to do,” Tomlin said. “We’ve had to really embark on a scale that we’ve never done before in such a short amount of time.”
The flood would have normally taken months to fix, but Disney only had a few weeks if they wanted to display the iconic “it’s a small world” holiday overlay. So, the 20 Disneyland departments got to work and began repairing the iconic ride. To start, they had to pump all of the water out of the maintenance room, which they did with the help of “an industrial-grade dehumidifier the size of an Autopia car”. According to OC Register, this tool was lowered by a crane onto the “it’s a small world” loading station to “help remove moisture from the maintenance room as fast as possible”.
Once the room was cleared, Disney had to assess the damage and figure out what could be saved and what needed to be replaced. The next step was to find replacement parts and get them delivered as quickly as possible, despite the current supply chain issues due to the ongoing pandemic.
“We’re reaching out to the other Small Worlds and other rides around the world at Disney parks and saying, ‘Hey, do you guys have this part and can you have it here by tomorrow?’” Tomlin said.
The more than 20 Disneyland teams worked around the clock to get the opening day attraction repaired and reopened as quickly as possible, especially since they wanted to ensure Guests were able to see the iconic holiday display. The teams ended up finishing this repair project, which normally would have taken months, in about three weeks.
“It literally takes a village and we’ve had to talk to almost everyone in that village in such a short amount of time.” Tomlin said. “That’s the exclamation mark on all of this: The scale of what we’ve done in such a short amount of time that’s involved so many people.”
“It’s just one of those attractions that it doesn’t feel quite like Christmas time if it’s not working and guests can’t enjoy it,” Medina said.
More on “it’s a small world”
If you have never ridden the opening day attraction, “it’s a small world”, at Disneyland, it is described as:
“The Happiest Cruise That Ever Sailed”
Voyage along the Seven Seaways canal and behold a cast of almost 300 Audio-Animatronics dolls representing children from every corner of the globe as they sing the classic anthem to world peace—in their native languages.
Amid vibrant backdrops, you’ll travel through country after country, and by journey’s end, you’ll see that it really is a small world after all.
Spot Familiar Faces
The ride opened in 1966, but additional characters debuted in 2009—thoughtfully placed in the appropriate nations.
During your cruise, keep an eye out for Peter Pan and Tinker Bell in England, Cinderella in her native France, Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket in Italy, Aladdin and Jasmine in the Middle East, The Three Caballeros in Mexico, Ariel and Flounder under the sea, Lilo and Stitch in the South Pacific, and Woody, Bullseye and Jessie in the southwestern U.S.A.
Are you excited to see “it’s a small world” reopen? Let us know in the comments below.
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