A classic Disneyland ride could be shut down for a lengthy period of time due to possible flooding. Earlier this month, Disneyland officials closed down "it's a small world" due to an accidental flooding issue, caused when technicians were re-filling the ride's waterways after adding holiday decorations. Some of the machinery for the ride was damaged due to the flooding, leading to Disneyland not opening the ride to kick off its annual holiday transformation last week. Disney has remained quiet on when the ride would re-open, but one Disney insider speculates that the ride could be shut down for a year or longer.
David Koenig, a Disney parks expert and historian, notes that the flooding in "it's a small world" was significant and that it's possible that the ride's machinery will need to be replaced. Koenig notes that the flooding incident is similar to one that occurred at World of Color at Disney California Adventure (an adjacent park to Disneyland) that kept World of Color shut down for nine months. In this case, the replaced parts could take longer to replicate as they were original to the ride, which was first built in 1964. The ride would then need to be re-certified before it could be opened once again.
First reports of the delayed reopening of It’s a Small World at Disneyland made me think of the 2018 flooding of a control room at Disney California Adventure that kept World of Color closed for nine months. Little did I realize how similar the two events were.— David Koenig (@davekoenig) November 18, 2021
Cast members I’ve heard from say the damage is far worse than Disney is letting on. Apparently, the Small World flume began leaking when it was being filled in the early hours of last Wednesday Nov. 10. The problem was not discovered until several hours later.— David Koenig (@davekoenig) November 18, 2021
By that time, water had filled up the basement levels of the attraction and the basement stockroom for the adjacent Small World Toyshop. But, just as with World of Color, there was massive damage to electrical and mechanical equipment that runs the attraction.— David Koenig (@davekoenig) November 18, 2021
Fears are that a considerable portion of the machinery—some dating back to the 1960s—may have to be replaced, and then recertified by CAL-OSHA.— David Koenig (@davekoenig) November 18, 2021
One Maintenance worker said “the attraction could be closed indefinitely.” Worst case scenario? Up to a year before everything is working again.— David Koenig (@davekoenig) November 18, 2021
While "it's a small world" isn't as popular as the Matterhorn or Space Mountain, it's still a beloved part of Disneyland for many visitors. Losing the ride for a prolonged period of time would definitely hurt the spirit of the park. Koenig does note that the "up to a year" timeline is a worst case scenario and that Disney is doing everything in its power to get the ride re-opened in early 2022.