Iconic Walt Disney Attraction Faces Permanent Closure, Damage and Health Concerns Reported

in Walt Disney World

A gloved hand giving a thumbs-up is prominently displayed on the left side of the image. On the right side, there is a colorful and whimsical Disney building with various decorations and two small fountains in front, all under bright sunlight. A red arrow points to a small circled area on the left side.

Credit: Inside The Magic

Walt Disney World Resort is having issues keeping one of its first Magic Kingdom attractions safe as reports of damage and unhealthy safety concerns are pouring in.

"it's a small world" entrance in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park.
Credit: HarshLight, Flickr

Disney World Struggling To Keep 53-Year-Old Attraction Up-To-Date, Damage, Health Risks Reported

The boat ride known as “it’s a small world” at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World Resort debuted on October 1, 1971, coinciding with the park’s opening day. Situated in Fantasyland, it stands opposite Peter Pan’s Flight. This enchanting journey lasts approximately 10 minutes and 30 seconds and carries passengers through international waters, surrounded by singing dolls, animals, and floral displays.

The attraction boasts an impressive array of elements, including 472 animated and non-animated figures, 289 Audio-Animatronics dolls, 147 toys, and 36 animated props. Its motto, “The happiest cruise that ever sailed the seven seas,” captures the essence of the experience. Originating at the 1964 New York World’s Fair, the ride relocated to Disneyland in Anaheim, California, in 1966. Its widespread popularity has led to its replication in numerous Disney theme parks worldwide.

Mary Blair, renowned for her whimsical design and color styling, was pivotal in shaping the attraction’s enchanting aesthetic. With a background as an art director on various Disney animated classics such as Cinderella (1950), Alice In Wonderland (1951), and Peter Pan (1953), Blair brought her distinctive touch to “it’s a small world.”

Doll in wheelchair on "it's a small world"
Credit: Disney World

Animator Marc Davis contributed to the attraction by designing its scenes and characters, while his wife Alice Davis crafted the costumes for the dolls. Additionally, Rolly Crump created the toys and other supplementary figures featured throughout the ride.

The animated dolls were meticulously sculpted by Blaine Gibson, with facial designs collaboratively developed by Gibson and Greg S. Marinello. Notably, Walt Disney played a hands-on role in the design process, ensuring that each animated doll’s face was identical in shape.

The ride first opened in 1971, making this attraction 53 years old. Being in operation for that long comes with a heavy price. Recently, guests have noticed some pretty extensive damage to the ride, with photos circulating on social media indicating that WDW has yet to address these concerns. This could lead to some health problems for guests and, especially, those cast members who work day in and day out.

The It’s A Small World attraction inside Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World is literally falling apart. This damage is seen in the ride queue.

@OrlandoAmusmnt on X

Orlando Amusement, a prominent and successful theme park social site that posts daily news and updates on Universal and Disney parks in Florida, posted the above image, showing just how bad the ride seems to be doing these days.

As you can see in the photo, there appears to be damage to the building, showing drywall and more falling into the water, which could lead to mildew and things like black mold. Disney is usually on top of refurbishments, but there is no word yet on whether or not “it’s a small world” will close down for a lengthy time.

The inside of "it's a small world" at Magic Kingdom Park in Disney World with soldiers standing around wearing gas masks.
Credit: Inside the Magic

Deteriorating indoor attractions at Disney World can pose significant health concerns and potentially lead to building code violations due to several factors. Firstly, decaying structures or materials within the attraction may create safety hazards for visitors and employees, increasing the risk of accidents or injuries. For example, rotting wood, corroded metal, or crumbling concrete could lead to structural instability or collapse if not addressed promptly.

Moreover, deteriorating indoor environments can contribute to poor indoor air quality, exacerbating respiratory issues or allergies among guests and staff. Mold growth, caused by moisture infiltration or inadequate ventilation, can thrive in deteriorating areas, posing severe health risks, especially to individuals with respiratory conditions or weakened immune systems. Additionally, aging infrastructure or neglected maintenance can malfunction mechanical systems, such as HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) or fire suppression systems.

Furthermore, deteriorating indoor attractions may fail to comply with accessibility requirements, jeopardizing the safety and inclusion of guests with disabilities. In summary, neglecting the maintenance and upkeep of indoor attractions at Disney World can have far-reaching consequences, ranging from safety hazards and health risks to potential violations of building codes and regulations.

Regular inspections, proactive maintenance efforts, and timely repairs are essential to ensure indoor attractions’ safety, integrity, and compliance, thereby safeguarding the well-being of guests and employees alike.

in Walt Disney World

Be the first to comment!