A Walt Disney World Attraction Caught Fire, And A Guest Shared Video

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, these moments can be shocking in a not-so-great way. Just ask the Walt Disney World visitors who happened to witness an attraction catch fire.

It’s not uncommon to see bright lights in the sky at Disney World. After all, the nightly fireworks displays are some of the park’s most popular draws. It is rare, though not unheard of, to see an uncontrolled blaze on the park’s premises. But that was a sight that many visitors had on March 12 after the Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid ride caught fire. At least one guest, CD Howard, got footage of the attraction lit up in the night sky: 

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There's no official word yet on how the fire was started, or whether anyone was injured. Both CD Howard and WDW News Today speculated that, due to high winds, debris from the “Disney Enchantment” fireworks show may have had something to do with it. Hopefully, no one was harmed amid the emergency.

This isn’t the first time in recent history that park attendees have dealt with unexpected fiery occurrences. In February, Space Mountain was evacuated after a refrigerator malfunctioned and began emitting smoke. Last December, guests on Main Street USA were shocked to see firetrucks driving down the drag – apparently to put out another fire somewhere within the Magic Kingdom. That was definitely a change of pace from the usual Disney parade. 

The parks have seen other occurrences 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 about the time that a topless sunbather at one of the resorts caught the eye of some Monorail riders. But while both these incidents were likely unforgettable, they were also a little less dangerous than a real fire on the park grounds. 

In the past, local firefighters have expressed concerns about staffing shortages. These days, Disney theme parks are getting busier and busier, so it’s understandable why they’d want to make sure they have enough staff on hand to deal with emergencies. And the fire at the Little Mermaid attraction is a good example as to why. 

Luckily, Disney Parks have seen some equally thrilling, but much less dangerous, light shows in recent weeks. At Disneyland Paris, a new drone display has been added to their nighttime show. And at Epcot, a new fireworks show has had fans talking since last fall. Hopefully, the pyrotechnics will remain limited to these kinds of shows in the future. After all, guests who make the trip to see Disney World’s newest attractions this year already have plenty of excitement in store for them. 

Katherine Webb