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A Popular Disneyland Holiday Attraction Won’t Open On Time And You Can Thank Flooding

It's a Small World at Disneyland
(Image credit: Disneyland Resort)

We may still be a couple of weeks away from Thanksgiving but Disneyland Resort is getting ready to celebrate Christmas and the other winter holidays very soon. There’s always something new to enjoy when the holiday season comes to Disneyland, along with several returning favorites, but one holiday stalwart of Disneyland, It’s a Small World Holiday, won’t be opening on schedule as the attraction is recovering from some accidental flooding. 

It’s a Small World Holiday was set to open to guests tonight as part of the first Merriest Nights after hours event, and open to all guests Friday morning, which is also Disney+ Day in the parks, when the holiday season officially kicks off at Disneyland Resort. However, the OC Register reports that some accidental flooding that occurred yesterday when the ride was being refilled will delay the attraction. Some of the machinery that operates the ride was damaged.  No estimate for reopening is being given beyond a promise that it will be up and running as soon as possible.

Every holiday season since 1997, It’s a Small World gets an internal and external update to turn the boat ride into It’s a Small World Holiday. The exterior of the attraction is done up in lights and the inside is covered in festive decorations. The popular, and infamous, song is also given a themed update that turns it into a mash-up of “It’s a Small World” and “Jingle Bells.”

The nightly lighting of the exterior will still happen as planned, it’s simply the ride itself that will remain closed. That’s at least one positive, as the beauty of It’s a Small World at night, especially this time of year, cannot be understated. 

While certainly there are those people that like to give It’s a Small World a hard time because of its song, that will absolutely get stuck in your head for the rest of the day now that you’ve read this, it’s still an incredibly popular ride and the holiday season version is maybe even better. Seeing the ride building done up in lights is beautiful, and perhaps, due to the addition of “Jingle Bells,” the song will actually drive you slightly less crazy. 

Since It’s a Small World Holiday is only planned to run until early January, hopefully the ride will only be down for a few days. It’s a Small World is a pretty extensive attraction with around 300 dolls that sing to the guests. With that many moving parts, getting it changed over, and changed back, is a lot of work for a ride that only spends about eight weeks in that state. As opposed to something like Haunted Mansion Holiday, which spends almost four months in its Nightmare Before Christmas inspired version.

Even if the ride opens a week late, that's a significant period of time lost. Especially considering that since the park was closed last Christmas, fans haven’t been able to ride this version of It’s a Small World for two years. 

Dirk Libbey

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.