We Need to Talk About This BIG Issue at Walt Disney World

There are a LOT of things going on at any time in Disney World, technology-wise. In fact, it’s impressive that it all runs so smoothly! Between digital technology like My Disney Experience and Mobile Order; ride animatronics and special effects; and the sheer amount of people needed to run the parks, Disney is a huge operation.

Cinderella Castle

But sometimes, things don’t go as planned — and it seems as if that has been happening more frequently lately! In recent memory, we’ve had quite a few instances of rides (or even transportation like the Skyliner) malfunctioning and going down. And if you’re visiting soon, you’ll want to be aware of these issues.

Let’s talk about this BIG issue at Walt Disney World.

Power Outages

Three times in June, the Disney parks experienced power outages that caused many of their rides to close. Two of these instances happened in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, while the other happened in all four parks due to a massive power surge from a storm.

It’s Tough to be a Bug was closed longer than the other attractions.

While the issue was resolved that same day in all three cases, many rides were temporarily unavailable throughout the outage. When all four parks lost power recently, both indoor and outdoor attractions were closed, resulting in the few open rides to spike way up in wait times. And that will naturally affect your vacation!

Some gift shops were open!

This has not been a big issue in the past, but the frequency we saw it happen in June was a little eyebrow-raising. So what should you do if you’re in the park when this happens? Well, if you want to wait 110 minutes for Soarin’, go for it. Otherwise, grab a snack (if available), window-shop a little bit, and wait for things to start to go back up. You’ll want to keep a close eye on the My Disney Experience app to see what’s available at any given time.

Learn More About the Most Recent Power Outage!

Ride Malfunctions

While the power outages result in many rides being closed at one time, sometimes, a single ride will go down. And while we will see intentional closures due to refurbishment or planned maintenance, sometimes, a ride will shut down unexpectedly.

Big Thunder Mountain Temporarily Closed

Recently, we’ve seen Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and the PeopleMover suffer from this more than most other rides. And while it’s tricky to say what causes such a shutdown (it could be a technical issue or something entirely different), the end result is that you’re unable to hop aboard.

Rise of the Resistance

If you happen to already be ON the ride when it goes down, you may be evacuated. We’ve seen this happen quite a few times lately on the PeopleMover in particular! If this happens to you, you’ll want to remain calm and follow all Cast Member directions. They may also provide some indication of when the ride will go back up or give you a FastPass for your troubles (but this is never guaranteed, and should not be expected).

PeopleMover Evacuation

If your favorite ride is down for some reason or another, keep checking that My Disney Experience app! It’ll notify you when it’s back up. And pro tip: if you can catch a ride right when it reopens, you should experience a significantly shorter wait!

Check Out the PeopleMover Being Evacuated!

The Skyliner

Now, a post about attraction malfunctions would not be complete without mentioning the Skyliner. This form of transportation has gone down a few times since its first instance in 2019.

Disney Skyliner

The most recent incident was in early June this year. These collisions occur at the stations — not in the air — and no injuries have been reported. However, if you’re in the sky when such an incident occurs, you’ll encounter a delay in your journey.

Skyliner Crash | Source: @camerondudeck on Twitter

During that most recent crash, a guest was stuck in the sky for 30-45 minutes. This tends to happen, as the entire Skyliner needs to be stopped to deal with the situation. There is an emergency kit in each gondola with water, a notepad, cups, and a lightstick, for extreme circumstances. But only the October 2019 incident lasted long enough to merit those kits being used.


While these crashes happen incredibly rarely (there are only three instances since the Skyliner’s opening in September 2019) and don’t tend to be severe, you do need to keep in mind that it could happen when you’re onboard. If it does, remember to stay calm (as difficult as that may seem) and wait for updates from Cast Members over your loudspeaker. 

Read More About the Most Recent Skyliner Crash!

While all of these situations don’t happen often, when they do, you’ll want to be prepared. Have you ever had any of these issues? Let us know in the comments!

Check Out Some Disney World Ride Tech!

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3 Replies to “We Need to Talk About This BIG Issue at Walt Disney World”

  1. Our last trip was in January 2020. We always rope drop. Seems like every morning we were at Magic Kingdom Splash or Thunder was closed. I talked to a cast member about it and she hesitantly stated they didn’t have enough cast members to work both rides. Cast members are trained to work in different sections of the the park on those particular rides. Not enough workers, something has to close. I’m sure Disney, like other companies, are having issues finding people who want to work nowadays. If it was bad in 2020, I’m sure it’s even worse now.

  2. We visited Disney World last month (June 12 – 20) and went into the parks on 6 different days during our trip. We visited all 4 theme parks. Everyday we were in the parks there were multiple ride closures throughout the day (and I’m not counting during periods of rain). It became very frustrating and we were wondering if it is an indication that Disney has been lax on their regular maintenance. We just don’t remember so many ride closures in any one day in the past, much less every day for an entire week.

  3. The frequency of ride stoppages etc. happened way back in 2017 during our last trip. This has made me question all the new building additions and added expenses for guests when they can’t keep up with what they have. It ultimately affects the vacation experience and Disney Magic.