Introducing the Walt Disney World Maintenance Report: A Running List of Broken Effects, Damaged Items, and More from the Parks

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Welcome to a new, weekly WDWNT.com feature – the Walt Disney World Maintenance Report. In this weekly report, the goal is to create a comprehensive list of broken effects, damaged props, and more at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Surely, someone will comment that an article like this is mostly negative in nature. While that is true, based on the current financial success of the Disney Company and the continuous rise in ticket prices, why should any guest settle for a list this long? I’ll admit, I lived in the dark for a long time, sometimes thinking my memories of extraordinarily clean paths and immaculate rides were just nostalgic visions of something that never existed. My recent trips to the Tokyo Disney Resort were an eye-opening experience. In the over 20 days I’ve spent there in the last year, I noticed that broken audio-animatronics and effects, dirty paths, and such simply just don’t exist. Over time, Walt Disney World has cut budgets or changed policies related to custodial, maintenance, and such to the point where it has become an inferior product to nearly every Disney resort around the world.

This post comes from a place of love. We love Walt Disney World and we want to see it looking as good as it can. We also realize that WDWNT.com has a tremendous reach, read by millions of park guests each month, and even thousands of cast members. We even know, for a fact, that many high-ranking Disney executives like to check out our stories from time to time to stay in the loop, so we figured a post like this might help everyone out. Perhaps the maintenance woes at Walt Disney World need some attention and we can provide the spark that lights the fire that reverses any decline.

It’s also important to note that the goal is to see this list shrink and we’ll tell you every week when anything listed below actually gets repaired. A “fixed” section will be added to the report starting next week. This isn’t about knocking the job anyone is doing, it’s about getting things to where they should be. It should also be noticed that this list is currently incomplete. These are only attractions and areas I have visited over the last two weeks.

The Magic Kingdom

Pirates of the Caribbean – Reported 1/14/19

  • The waterfall mist screen effect that shows Davy Jones, Blackbeard has been off for months now. The audio continues to play.
  • The “screaming pirate” added to the dark cave where boats take the plunge is missing. This was just added not long ago.

The Jungle Cruise – Reported 1/1/19

  • Only one of three native drummers was actually drumming
  • The hippo scene is particularly bad. Almost none are wiggling their ears and many were not moving. Some hippos had holes in them, destroying the illusion of them being living hippos.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – Reported 1/14/19

  • The falling rock projector in the cave-in sequence is completely off.

Splash Mountain – Reported 1/14/19

  • The Brer Frog projection in the queue was frozen
  • The Brer Frog audio-animatronic at the beginning of the attraction has a broken neck. The motion is pretty odd looking.
  • The signing frogs in the fishing scene have cracks and damage to their eyes. One of the fishing birds also has a damaged eye.
  • Brer Bear’s tail has been missing for at least 15 years in the scene where he’s hanging from a rope trap. I’ve been staring at this for so long, waiting for someone to notice it that it inspired the creation of this entire weekly report. You can see the tail in most videos of the ride recorded in the 1990’s.
  • One of the turtles in the Laughing Place is covered in black stains, including over his eyes. The other turtle wasn’t moving.
  • The “FSU” possum who comes out of the ceiling is not functioning
  • The projection of Brer Fox at the top of the lift hill is out of sync with its audio
  • Even though it was broken for most of last year, Mr. Bluebird in the finale scene is broken AGAIN. He’s completely immobile.

Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid – Reported 12/30/18

  • The first Sebastian audio-animatronic figure did not having the moving eyes accomplished by screen technology.
  • The Ursula animatronic still has some tentacles that do no move. At least 4 did when the attraction opened, it always seems to be half of that.

Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station – Reported 1/14/19

  • Still needs to be cleaned and repainted in places
  • Many of the moving components no longer move

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – Reported 1/14/19

  • Projection of leaves blowing in The Blustery Day scene is off
  • The smoke canon in the Heffalumps and Woozles scene hasn’t worked in quite a bit
  • There is a lot of visible filth in the Heffalumps and Woozles scene. Anything yellow looks disgusting for the most part.
  • The speaker which plays audio from Tigger and Piglet going over the waterfall is blown out

“it’s a small world” – Reported 12/31/18

  • The “tick-tock” noises of the clock tower is off and has been for some time now
  • The balloon poodle in France was immobile
  • One light has a strobe effect on one of the can-can girls
  • The magic carpet carousel was immobile in the Asia room
  • The bicycles on wires in the finale scene are missing
  • The Native American at the ride’s finale is not drumming

Tomorrowland – Reported 1/14/19

  • The paint is already peeling off of the recently repainted rocks at the entrance to the land. The old red/orange coloring is showing through.
  • The Robo-Newz newspaper robot and the fake payphone interactive elements are completely off.

Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin – Reported 1/14/19

  • The light-up panel in the center of the queue area is still missing. Even if it isn’t going to return, something has to be done with this strange, plain blue podium that guests have to stare at.
  • The spinning red light tunnel effect isn’t working and hasn’t in a very long time.
  • The speed tunnel projection looks horrendous. The film is clearly extremely dirty and is jumping all over the place. I think the time has come for this to go digital or at least be repaired.
  • The final Buzz Lightyear figure has a projected face that isn’t aligned correctly.

Epcot

Test Track presented by Chevrolet –  Reported 12/31/18

  • “Laser Trees” that appear while the car passes them did not function
  • Dashboards of cars and inside of show scenes are covered in dust and filth, extremely noticeable in blacklight environments

Gran Fiesta Tour starring the Three Caballeros – Reported 12/31/18

  • Speakers are low or some are off in the opening scene with Jose and Panchito, character are nearly inaudible
  • The screen with Donald taking photographs was not on
  • One of the elderly men in the Fiesta scene was not stomping his foot
  • The Three Caballeros audio-animatronic figures are not in great shape, Donald and Jose both had arms moving in unnatural ways

Frozen Ever After – Reported 12/31/18

  • Olaf’s mouth during his first appearance isn’t working correctly. It appears as if he says every other word.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – Reported 1/15/19

  • The eyeball in the 5th Dimension scene is once again broken, displaying the default image of an elevator filled with guests. Guest photographs are not being taken to make this effect work.
  • The lights on the door that opens to the drop shaft have seen better days. The effect did not work as intended.

Toy Story Land – Reported 1/15/19

  • Woody’s Lunch Box is in horrible shape: chairs have large black stains, tables have tears in their covering, every prop shows some signs of damage, decals ripped in places

Slinky Dog Dash – Reported 1/15/19

  • Tails on roller coaster trains are still missing
  • Temporary covers hide damage on coils attached to train cars

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Expedition Everest – Reported Probably A Decade Ago

  • The yeti audio-animatronic doesn’t move

DINOSAUR – Reported 1/1/19

  • The smoke in the first time travel scene was off, causing the laser effect to no function correctly
  • The running Carnotaurus audio-animatronic is missing, replaced with an immobile dinosaur head
  • The asteroid smoke trail effect before the drop past the Carnotaur head has not worked in several weeks. A trail of smoke would lead guests to believe that an asteroid has whooshed by them.

Primeval Whirl – Reported 1/1/19

  • Running dinosaurs on the Dino-Rama promenade were not moving, Their legs typically move back and forth. Not one was on.

How To Do Your Part

To report broken effects, damaged props, or anything else out of the ordinary, please submit photographic or video evidence of the malfunction or disrepair to [email protected] or through WDWNT’s social media avenues (Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram). You can also submit proof that anything listed above has been repaired. Again, the entire purpose of this weekly post is to get Walt Disney World looking how it is supposed to look, so we are hoping to see this list shrink rather than grow over time.

About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]

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Adam
Guest
Adam

The smoke cannon in winnie the pooh worked today as i rode it this morning.

The laser trees in test track go on and off with about every other vehicle. It worked for me about 2 days ago.

Leanne
Guest
Leanne

I can not tell you how happy/sad this post makes me. I have been an avid WDW visitor for over 25 years but noticed ALOT of these items over the last couple visits. It seems sad that Bob Iger just received a $65.5 million dollar raise and these things are so prevalent at Walt’s beloved parks.

Robert Iger
Guest
Robert Iger

But I didn’t get my $60 million bonus so don’t blame me for Robo Chapek skimming funds for his new hydraulic lines

default
Guest
default

good to see this and hope it gets noticed by those with power. i’ll be seeing toy story land for the first time in a couple months. would hate for slinky dogs current state to be our first impression.

Mike
Guest
Mike

Thank you for doing this. We saw several things on our trip the first week of December last year. For example, it’s utterly disappointing to read that now only 1 of the native drummers is drumming now. When we went on the ride, the middle drummer was the only one out. Meaning that it seems the ride has just further degraded and no one has done anything about it. I expect better, especially when they’re charging so much to enter the park and stay at their resorts. I’m a shareholder so it’s not like I want to air dirty laundry… Read more »

Heather
Guest
Heather

I rode this on Jan. 19 and the middle drummer is the only one not working on Jungle cruise

DomIII
Guest
DomIII

Makes me pine for the old WDWBlues.com site.

Mike H
Guest
Mike H

This is a great idea, but also makes me sad. Especially that some of these items have not been attended to in a long time.

Bill
Guest
Bill

Kudos for doing this. We noticed a general lack of cleanliness in many of the restrooms during our visit just before Christmas. My personal opinion is that much of this is a result of the pressure felt by very senior management to deliver outstanding financial results in order to be considered as a successor to Iger. While I certainly understand the need to have solid financial performance, it is paying attention to the little things that has always distinguished Disney from everyone else. For those enough old enough to remember, a similar situation occurred during Eisner’s tenure and it was… Read more »

Kevin
Guest
Kevin

The yeti really does need fixing. 10 years+ is too long for Disney to let this major problem continue. My 6 year old doesn’t believe me that the moving Yeti actually existed. For a new area like Toy Story Land even though the problems are largely cosmetic they should have had enough experience for this to have been avoided.

KristinHolly
Guest
KristinHolly

I thought the Yeti was purposely stopped becasue it was scaring children. But I could be wrong.

A.L. Phillips
Guest
A.L. Phillips

The size of the yeti and the force of its movements started to affect the structural integrity of the mountain and ride itself. It was purposely stopped to prevent damage.

Em
Guest
Em

No, the animatronics size caused the internal structure of the mountain to crack. Turning the animatronic on could further the damage to the mountain and cause severe issues with the ride, such as complete structural collapse of the section that he is in.

Papa Mouse
Guest
Papa Mouse

“The waterfall mist screen effect that shows Davy Jones, Blackbeard has been off for months now. The audio continues to play.”

Good, they need to remove this effect and all other references to the movies.

Buck
Guest
Buck

Good for you Tom. It was high time someone pointed these things out, rather than hope that it will all be addressed at some point in the future… maybe. Pride and maintenance are supposed to be part of the magic and with the budgets rumored over budget already for Star Wars and the other new attractions, what hope is there for taking care of what is. Overflow Christmas crowds hasn’t helped any of this, but I am hoping that your publishing of this list will catch the attention of the higher ups that this sort of thing does matter EVERY… Read more »

Brian
Guest
Brian

In both October and December the Test Track “vehicle comparison” screens worked less than half the times I rode and when they did most showed data from other vehicles. Not sure if that’s an ongoing issue or just random flukes.

If we want to expand to resorts: the men’s rest room stall doors in the Yacht Club lobby area are in horrible shape. The paint is peeling off the wood and the wood itself has been badly scuffed over the years.

CATHERINE
Guest
CATHERINE

We noticed this about the TT screens too. My daughter worked so hard to build our vehicle yet the only screen that worked showed vehicles that were not ours. Disappointing.

Thank you for this article Tom!!

Heather
Guest
Heather

Thank you for “putting” this out there for all to see. I am also a huge, lifelong Disney fan. It is sad to watch a slow deterioration of the parks, rides and overall cleanliness over the last 30 years. I long for the old days of Disney. As the years go on we pay more and more for less of the “Disney Magic” we love.

Mike23802
Guest
Mike23802

I could be wrong, but didnt Expedition Everest have a smoke/fog/mist effect whent he train climbs the hill to stop before going backward? I feel like that hasnt existed in 5+ years.
And I wont mention the piles of disgusting hair elastics that are littered on that area…

Katie
Guest
Katie

So happy to see this new weekly feature, because maybe it will draw some much needed attention to these issues. One of many glaring problems we noticed during our trip in August was that one of the penguins in Antarctica of Small World was missing an arm. I’m not sure if that’s been fixed since.

Ed
Guest
Ed

But what can you expect if you only have to pay 110+usd entrance fee?
Bad food, old and damages rides and other rip off are the norm nowadays! But hey, it’s Disney.

Heather Greene
Guest
Heather Greene

And somebody should start a calendar that logs day/time of which rides are running at half capacity, especially when waits go well over 30 minutes.

Fake Len Testa
Guest
Fake Len Testa

They call it the Lines App on TouringPlans.com

Disney Mama
Guest
Disney Mama

Thank you for this! I think it’s a terrific idea. It is also eye opening. We were there the week after Thanksgiving and I was very upset by a lot of things we saw. First of all, the bathrooms were disgusting and smelled absolutely terrible. I was so disappointed to see this. I also noticed a lot of damage/wear in many attractions and it’s so disappointing. We stayed deluxe this trip at Beach Club and our room was filthy. Covered in dust, stains on the headboards and pillows, and someone else’s dirty laundry in the closet. I absolutely love Disney… Read more »

Mike
Guest
Mike

Love this!!! For how much you pay to go there, these things shouldn’t be happening, I wish they would take note!

Loz
Guest
Loz

Someone should check the glass eyes on the elephants at JC, also trader sam’s neck, Hopper AA at TTBAB.

Janet
Guest
Janet

Disneyland has similar problems. I don’t remember noticing so many things needing repair or rides breaking down so often in the past.

Roby
Guest
Roby

Tree lasers do not work properly only for certain cars