The incident could have resulted in some serious danger.
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The Walt Disney Company has been at the pinnacle of top-quality theme park entertainment for decades — with the near-perfection of Disney’s formula giving all its international Parks an extremely honed Guest experience as well as theming, cutting-edge technology (think: the augmented reality additions to the Haunted Mansion), full-sensory immersion, and fun rides and attractions for the whole family. At least, most of the time.
Sometimes, however, incidents will happen — and Disney is rather prone to minimizing or downplaying them to prioritize the Guest’s Park experience.
Ever since Walt Disney himself started the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim California, “The Happiest Place On Earth”, the Disney Resort umbrella has grown to span the globe, with the Walt Disney World Resort and the Magic Kingdom, as well as international Parks like the Disneyland Paris Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Shanghai Disney Resort, and the Tokyo Disney Resort.
Pirates of the Caribbean is another example of a classic Disney ride — described on the official website as a pirate-themed adventure and “masterpiece that fires the imagination”. It was rather fortunate that this time, no one was actually hurt while taking a visit to the ride (or well, to its exterior).
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On Monday the week prior, 6 February 2023, Twitter user Yoko R. reported something they noticed while at the Tokyo Disney Resort‘s Tokyo Disneyland Park, outside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride in Tokyo Disneyland’s Adventureland. The Disney Park Guest referred to a “cave-in” that occurred that day, and contributed a photo of the cordoned off area along the walkway of Adventureland.
The translation reads:
Next to the cave-in incident is the water pipe burst incident, and the inside of the fence is flooded.
In front of Pirates.
— よこあーるちゃん (@z324yoko_r) February 6, 2023
User @TDL20232026 expands, giving their input as to why this might be happening, specifically outside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride:
(translated) Pirates of the Caribbean has been dormant for a long time so it’s possible
— フリールーム🏰 (@TDL20232026) February 6, 2023
In fact, Pirates of the Caribbean has indeed been laying “dormant” for quite a while — a whopping closure period of around seven whole months as cited from the official Tokyo Disney Resort page — from 5 September 2022 to 7 June 2023.
It stands to reason that perhaps something is going on behind the scenes, either to do with some heavy animatronic and/or ride vehicle and system maintenance, or perhaps for more permanent changes currently unrevealed to the public. This extended period of closure absolutely could have resulted in the pipes for the water ride freezing over during the winter months, or perhaps some age-related structural issues (as the Park is currently celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year), leading to a “cave-in” or collapse.
Twitter user @ seemed to corroborate this idea, adding:
(translated) Bursting water pipes are dangerous
— フリールーム🏰 (@TDL20232026) February 6, 2023
Whatever the true cause of this incident — it’s never nice to see burst pipes, flooding and collapsed paths while at a theme park — we can only hope that Disney and the Oriental Land Company is dealing with this in a careful and timely manner. Hopefully, the Pirates ride will be back up and running soon — and ideally without any lasting damage!
Do you think this is a case of Park and ride neglect? Or just an unfortunate incident? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Unlike other entirely Walt Disney Company-owned Parks like the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort, the Tokyo Disney Resort located in Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, Japan is The Walt Disney Company’s first international Disney Park and is owned and operated by the Oriental Land Company. Located right beside the train system at the JR Maihama Station, and connected to Narita Airport and Haneda Airport by convenient transport networks, Tokyo Disney Resort comprises two theme parks – Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, all connected by the Disney Resort Line monorail. Nearby are official hotels, the Disney Ambassador Hotel, Tokyo Disney Celebration Hotel and Tokyo Bay Maihama Hotel.
Tokyo Disneyland is only a short distance from the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel and Toy Story Hotel. It has a similar castle to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, with another edition of Cinderella Castle. Tokyo Disneyland offers more many unique attractions, including the Tokyo-exclusive, trackless Winnie the Pooh ride, Pooh’s Honey Hunt, as well as Monsters, Inc. “Ride & Go Seek!”. Familiar faves from other parks include Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, It’s a small world and Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blaster.