From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: Disney World’s bad few weeks of ride breakdowns points to a bigger issue at the theme park
It’s been a rough few weeks in the Magic Kingdom. A Jungle Cruise Boat loaded with passengers sank. Two PeopleMovers smacked into each other. The super-popular Haunted Mansion was shut down on and off for five days. And guests on the Carousel of Progress were horrified when the animatronic host’s hand fell off mid-gesture.
Anyone can have a bad day or two, but experiencing this many breakdowns in such a short period points to more than just bad luck. Disney’s legion of devoted fans are starting to wonder if this rash of ride failures is actually a systemic problem.
It’s not easy for the parks to balance their desire to keep guests happy with the need to close rides periodically for scheduled repairs. But the constant daily grind on the attractions in the most visited theme park in the world make it necessary.
Disney watchers are hoping the latest round of budget cuts haven’t led to a decrease in preventive maintenance. After all, Disney’s record-breaking profits aren’t simply due to price increases – cost-cutting also boosted that bottom line.
If shareholders stay more worried about the next quarter than the next decade, though, they may wear out more than their rides – they may wear out the goodwill of their guests.