“Horror” in Disney California Adventure as Park-Goers See Animatronic Ursula with Detached Head in Little Mermaid Ride

What makes Disney theme parks so wonderful places to visit is the reputed efficiency of the people who work in them, from the very visible “cast members” to the behind-the-scenes technical and maintenance staff who oversee the mechanical and tech aspects of operating the attractions. But even they miss things.

Just this Sunday, January 28, guests of Disney California Adventure in Anaheim were treated to some unexpected body horror when they went on the Ariel’s Undersea Adventure dark ride, which showed scenes from the world of Disney’s The Little Mermaid in a visual digest form. They weren’t expecting Ursula’s new look.

Normally the scene with Ursula the Sea Witch has her imperially singing “Poor Unfortunate Souls” while sneaking glimpses of Ariel in her crystal ball. Last Sunday however, the Ursula animatronic literally lost her head, still partly attached to her body with wires while dangling down her chest, and still singing.

For those who saw the gruesome spectacle, they’d say Ursula was the only poor unfortunate soul in that case. Needless to say, video snippets of the headless animatronic in Anaheim went viral on Twitter, with commentary both serious and silly; like how the Queen of Hearts was on a “rampage”.

Anaheim’s Disneyland Resort Complex wasn’t the only sighting of a headless animatronic lately. In the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction in Disneyland Paris, the auctioneer suffered a similar malfunction. Let’s hope Disney’s gotten the memo on both and had their theme park teams address them accordingly.

Here’s a video of the complete ride (with normal Ursula) for comparison.

Leave a Reply