I wonder how many kids were freaked out when the animatronic Ursula on the Little Mermaid ride in Disney lost her head and just kept on singing. That seems like it would either ruin the ride for a lot of kids, scare the heck out of them, or make some of them cheer. Keep in mind that she’s the villain in the movie and some kids might think that it would be fitting for the villain to suffer such a fate. But the idea of her still singing might give them nightmares as her head lolled from her body. It’s one of the more macabre moments in Disney since normally they’re right on top of such things to maximize the enjoyment and wonder of the place.
Accidents do happen however and slip-ups can occur. There hasn’t been a full explanation that I’ve seen yet but given what it looks like it seems that Disney techs might need to check the durability and perform a bit of upkeep on their attractions. Apparently there was also a character in the Pirates of the Caribbean that had lost his head as well, leading me to think that perhaps some Disney employee had a grudge and started taking it out on the attractions or there are some serious glitches going on in the park that need to be addressed. Hopefully such things would be confined to the animatronic characters and not the rides themselves, because that could be disastrous.
This isn’t enough to cause an overhaul of the entire park, which would be a devastating loss of revenue right now, but it seems that it might bear some looking into just to make certain that a couple of incidents don’t become a cascade of woes that might spill further into the park. At this point it seems like it would be more cosmetic than anything since despite her head popping off Ursula’s functions were still up and running thanks to the fact that her head wasn’t completely severed from her body. Man that sounds horrible when discussing a Disney attraction.
It had to be disturbing for kids that got to see a bit of the inner workings of the sea witch as they went by, some of them perhaps finally realizing just what went into these characters and that the magic isn’t quite as real as they want it to be. The upside is that a lot of kids that saw this might be too young to remember, but some of them will no doubt recount the time when they went to Disneyland and saw Ursula literally lose her head. It’d make for a great story to tell others years from now.
As it stands one can only hope that this is an isolate incident and nothing else. If the park were to start showing signs of failure it could mean that things would have to be looked at in a manner that might force rides to shut down and in some cases entire sections to be given a thorough overhaul. It’s not a for certain thing obviously since if this gets fixed and nothing else happens then there won’t be any need to jump the gun and start waiting for other things to go wrong. But it is kind of troubling all the same.