Disney World Rides “Going Downhill” Without Maintenance

in Walt Disney World

Ariel reaches out from the helm of ship at Journey of the Little Mermaid

Credit: Disney

Magic Kingdom is packed with classic attractions – but some Guests are concerned about the state of one of its more recent additions.

When Walt Disney opened Disneyland in 1955, he vowed that the Park will “never be completed” as long as there’s imagination left in the world. Other Disney Parks have since taken this mantra to heart, constantly adding new, updated attractions to entertain Guests of all ages.

Guests in front of Cinderella Castle at night
Credit: Lee (myfrozenlife), Flickr

Related: “That’s It?” Fans Severely Disappointed With Disney’s New Ride

Disney World’s flagship Park, Magic Kingdom, has been a little slow on updates in recent years. Its newest attraction, TRON Lightcycle / Run, debuted in April 2023, marking the roller coaster as only its fourth new addition in the past 20 years.

Prior to that, its newest additions came in 2014 (Seven Dwarfs Mine Train) and 2012 (Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid). But despite technically being one of the newest Disney World rides, Guests have some concerns over the state of the latter.

Guests riding Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Credit: Disney

In a recent Reddit post, a Parkgoer noted that Journey of the Little Mermaid is “slowly going downhill” thanks to what appears to be “neglect” from Disney in terms of upkeep and maintenance.

“Some animatronics weren’t working or becoming stiffer due to age,” wrote user Heman200303_21. “Most notable is the first Ariel when she sings, “Part of your world.” I feel like Disney will continue to neglect this ride and others like they have until a new attraction is announced to take its place.”

Ariel and Eric in Journey of the Little Mermaid
Credit: Disney

Their worry is that replacing the animatronics wouldn’t make the ride more popular – which therefore means that the Disney Park would find it hard to justify the cost of the upgrade. However, without it, they believe that the ride will go from a “staple” to a shadow of its former self.

As other fans pointed out, Journey of the Little Mermaid isn’t the only ride in this state. User Sp4rt4n423 claimed that Disney isn’t “only neglecting the older rides,” but that newer Disney World rides – such as Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway – also feature broken effects or sections that have been left unfixed for long periods of time. “It’s just the state of the place the last couple of years,” they wrote.

Stormtrooper stare ahead in the Rise of the Resistance queue
Credit: Disney

Related: Disney World’s Newest Rides Facing Technical Issues

Considering how popular these attractions are with Guests, it both does and doesn’t make sense why Disney hasn’t carried out the necessary fixes. Closing a ride to make these kinds of changes takes time – which means closing the ride and potentially deterring Guests (and their wallets) away from Walt Disney World Resort. However, it’s also the Disney quality that brings Guests flocking back to Orlando year after year. Experiencing a fraction of the magic just doesn’t have the same allure as a Disney World that’s operating at the best of its capabilities.

Have you noticed any issues on your favorite Disney World attraction? Let us know in the comments!

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