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little mermaid moldy building

Is Disney World Hiding This ‘Moldy’ Mermaid Attraction?

Mold and mermaids don’t sound like they would go together — and they certainly wouldn’t normally, but (as rumor has it) the little mermaid Ariel and mold are supposedly too close for comfort in Walt Disney World Resort!

The Voyage of the Little Mermaid is a Hollywood Studios attraction that (until 2020) was often labeled as a Disney vacation staple among enthusiastic Disney World visitors. Like the 1989 animated Disney movie on which the 17-minute musical performance was based, Voyage of the Little Mermaid was a fun, vibrant, and classic Disney experience.

Voyage of the Little Mermaid

Ariel, Prince Eric, King Triton, Sebastian, Flounder, Scuttle, and Ursula all make an appearance during this musical performance. Credit: Disney Fanatic

Unfortunately, this stage show (which first came into being back in 1992) has not reopened since the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020. In the Animation Courtyard-located show, the characters from The Little Mermaid (i.e. Ariel, Prince Eric, King Triton, Sebastian, Flounder, Scuttle, and Ursula) all made appearances.

Classic songs like “Poor Unfortunate Souls” and “Part of Your World” played a part in the performance, and so did plenty of fun lighting and water effects that worked beautifully alongside the intricate and colorful costumes worn by the performers. Unfortunately, the same water effects that made this show feel particularly atmospheric might be what led to the new rumors about the real — and unpleasant — reason behind the show’s closed doors!

@helenjp1313

Replying to @jaytasmic that fin looks familiar… #ariel #thelittlemermaid #fantasmic #fantasmicreturns #voyageofthelittlemermaid #partofyourworld #dhs #disneyhollywoodstudios #hollywoodstudios #hallebailey #hallebaileyismyariel #recycling

♬ Part of Your World (The Little Mermaid) – Shirtless Violinist

lIn a recent TikTok video (shown above), TikTok user Helen @helenjp1313 pointed out that Ariel’s fin had been moved over to the new rendition of the Fantasmic! show and interpreted the costume’s transfer as a sign that Voyage of the Little Mermaid was really not coming back (even though Disney has not announced anything of the sort).

Although the Disney fan Helen meant to focus on the fin, comments arrived from other TikTok users that brought up a whole new topic: water damage that had supposedly caused a huge mold problem in the Voyage of the Little Mermaid building!

Ariel

A Cast Member and Disney performer playing Ariel. Credit: Disney Photo Snapper

It is unclear if the comments discussing the rumors about mold are from Cast Members who are choosing to remain anonymous. One TikTok user wrote that “the urban legend is that the theatre is covered in mold and in order to clean it they’d have to condemn the building and build it again which they’ll never do.”

Another TikTok user and supposed “private citizen” wrote that, even though they were “not speaking as a studios cm”, the Voyage of the Little Mermaid’s building “is full of mold” and “was damp pre COVID.” Another TikTok user, who also did not confirm or deny being a Cast Member, wrote that “the building flooded during the pandemic and the only way for them to get the show back is to rebuild the building due to lots of mold.”

Maintenance is of course a constant issue in a theme park, particularly in a location as big as Walt Disney World Resort, and it would not be surprising if the water effects in the stage show had indeed led to water damage and, eventually, a whole lot of mold.

If the rumors and “urban legend” about a moldy mermaid building are true, however, then this paints a less than flattering light on the bright, happy, and clean-cut show that used to bring so many Hollywood Studios Guests a lot of Disney magic on the average Disney vacation!

Do you think that this rumor has any merit? Let us know on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

About Sharon

Sharon is a writer and animal lover from New England. Sharon's two main focuses in her work are Disney's correlations with pop culture and the significance of Disney princesses (which was the basis for her college thesis). When she's not writing about Disney, Sharon spends her time singing, dancing, and cavorting with woodland creatures!