PHOTOS, VIDEO: Plexiglass Dividers Testing on Boats at “it’s a small world” in the Magic Kingdom
There’s so much that we share, but COVID-19 shouldn’t be one of those things. That’s why plexiglass dividers are being tested on the boats in “it’s a small world” at the Magic Kingdom.
There’s a large section of hard plexiglass installed behind each row.
We did notice that these dividers still have a gap along the bottom edge.
As on most rides, the dividers have been retrofitted onto existing ride vehicles. Here we see the base of the metal rod that runs along the upper edge of the plexiglass for stability. The extent of damage that will inevitably have to be repaired once these are no longer necessary is still to be seen.
A strip of black-and-white striped caution tape was added to all of the edges, to ensure guests don’t hit themselves with the plexiglass when loading.
The transparent screens allow Cast Members to seat guests in all rows of the boat, which should hopefully reduce wait times for the beloved attraction while keeping everyone as safe as possible. We rope-dropped the attraction this morning and got our very own boat, but reports have already indicated that multiple parties are being seated together on boats with dividers. Parties are still distanced by an empty row on boats without dividers.
Now, let’s take a look at what it’s like to ride “it’s a small world” with plexiglass in your face…
Since these are generally new and still clean, the main issue we found was glare when looking straight on. If you’re looking to the sides, you’ll definitely have a sliver of plexiglass in your sightline.
We’ll have to see how clear and visible these remain over time.
You can see what “The Happiest Cruise that Ever Sailed” looks like from behind a screen in our YouTube video below:
The attraction is just the latest to have dividers installed on the vehicles. Back in October, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance had them installed on all ride vehicles, with Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway following suit several days later. In early November, Frozen Ever After at EPCOT also had them installed, being the first boat ride to offer them. From that report, the barriers had water on them after the ride was complete, but “it’s a small world” is a far less intense ride. As of the writing of this article, this is only being tested on a small handful of boats.
The outside of the attraction has also had some work done, with a large refurbishment giving the façade a bold new color scheme of bright pinks, greens and blues. Inside and out, big things are happening ahead of this attraction’s fiftieth anniversary.
Keep reading WDWNT as we continue to cover this story, including any possible expansion of the dividers into other attractions.