Classic Disneyland Ride Set to Reopen After Major Flood

A classic Disneyland ride will be reopening after a major flooding incident. The Orange County Register reports that "it's a small world" will reopen next week after several weeks of repairs following a major incident that damaged the machinery that operates the ride. The flooding occurred on November 10th after the ride's waterways were being refilled after Disney cast members outfitted the ride with its annual holiday decorations. A maintenance room was flooded during the process, damaging both the electrical systems and ride controls. 

While repairs on this scale would usually take "months" to complete, Disney Parks assembled a team made up of 20 different departments to quickly repair the ride before Disneyland's holiday season ended. 75 employees were involved with the actual repairs, with Disney bringing in parts from other "it's a small world" rides at other Disney attractions. An industrial-strength dehumidifier was also dropped into the ride via crane to help dry out the flooded machinery in about 48 hours, giving the Disney crews a better sense of the damage and the needed repairs.

"Small World equals Christmas at Disneyland," Disney ride systems manager Jason Tomlin told the Orange County Register in an interview about the repairs. "That theme really brought the team together towards the common goal." Tomlin noted that the team worked 24/7 to repair the ride, contending with both crowds and various after hours events and filming in the park to get the job done.

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The reopening of the ride in just a few weeks is a pretty huge turnaround, given that some unofficial estimates expected the ride to be closed for a year or longer. Because "it's a small world" dates back to 1964, many of the parts used to operate the ride are no longer available on the open market. Coupled with the ongoing supply line crisis, it's a bit of a Christmas miracle that the ride opened at all. However, Disneyland facilities asset project manager Joelle Medina noted that the ride being operational was crucial to bring a holiday spirit to the park. "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.