Disney's animatronics seem to be failing all over the place
January 29, 2018, 1:33 PM ·
Confession time: How many of us secretly hope to see something go wrong when we visit a theme park?
I'm not talking about the "And then something goes horribly wrong" narrative that drives so many attractions, from Star Tours to Transformers. I am talking about an actual malfunction — something that disrupts the normal flow of planned operation and forces a park off script for a moment.
Visitors to Disney California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort got a doozy of a malfunction this weekend, when Ursula literally lost her head on the Little Mermaid ride.
The worst animatronic fail I ever witnesses in person was at the Country Bear Jamboree in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom when I was working there. It was during the "Vacation Hoedown" version of the show when Henry fell victim to a hydraulic leak. Those aren't necessarily noteworthy, except that this particular leak happened right behind Henry's khaki camp shorts, creating a very convincing illusion that the host of the Country Bear show was peeing his pants in front of the audience.
No one heard my "101" "show's over, please leave the theater" spiel over their laughter. (BTW, if any of you were in that theater and got a photo — and at least 100 people did — I would love to have a copy!)
Last week brought another alleged animatronic "fail" when talk show host Ellen DeGeneres brought out what she said was the former animatronic of her that once appeared in the Ellen's Energy Adventure ride at Epcot.