A trip to a Disney theme park can be full of surprises – that’s to be expected in the most magical place on earth. Sometimes these surprises create happy memories for guests. Other times, those moments can be shocking in a not-so-great way. Just ask Walt Disney World guests who have witnessed an attraction fire.
It’s not uncommon to see bright lights in the skies of Disney World. After all, the night fireworks are some of the park’s most popular draws. It is rare, but not unheard of, to see an uncontrolled fire on park premises. But it’s a sight many visitors got on March 12 after the Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid ride caught fire. At least one guest, CD Howard, filmed the illuminated attraction against the night sky:
#fireworks caught Under the Sea Journey of the Little Mermaid on fire tonight. #WDW #DisneFireworks #Disney pic.twitter.com/DbxNz2vHHjMarch 13, 2022
There’s no official word yet on how the fire started, or if anyone was injured. CD Howard and WDW News Today speculated that due to high winds, debris from the “Disney Enchantment” fireworks display might have something to do with it. Hopefully no one was injured in the midst of the emergency.
It is not the first time in recent history that visitors to the park have faced unexpected fiery events. In February, Space Mountain was evacuated after a fridge malfunctioned and started emitting smoke. Last December, Main Street USA guests were shocked to see fire trucks drive on the drag – apparently to put out another fire somewhere in the Magic Kingdom. It was definitely a change of pace from the usual Disney parade.
The parks have experienced other events that are out of the ordinary. There was that time a guest was handcuffed at Disney Springs after failing to follow COVID safety protocols. And we can’t forget the time that a topless bather at one of the stations caught the eye of some monorail riders. But while those two incidents were probably unforgettable, they were also a little less dangerous than an actual fire on the park grounds.
In the past, local firefighters worried on staff shortages. These days, Disney theme parks are getting busier and busier, so it’s understandable that they want to make sure they have enough staff available to deal with emergencies. And the fire Little Mermaid attraction is a good example of why.
Thankfully, the Disney parks have seen equally thrilling, but far less dangerous, light shows in recent weeks. At Disneyland Paris, a new drone screen was added to their night show. And at Epcot, a new firework has been making fans talk since last fall. Hopefully pyrotechnics will remain limited to these kinds of shows in the future. After all, guests making the trip to see Disney World’s new attractions this year already have plenty of excitement in store for them.