‘If there’s a sadder commentary on the state of American society, we can’t think of it — we’ve grown so fat we sink the boats of It’s A Small World.
According to Miceage, the boats routinely bottom out under the weight of super-sized riders, bringing the popular ride to a grinding — literally — halt. That’s increased the wear and tear on the fiberglass boats, which have been in use since the ride opened during the 1964 World’s Fair, when Americans, on average, weighed 25 pounds less than we do today. [..]
Employees — Disney calls them “cast members” — have been aware of the issue for some time now and so discretely leave empty seats in boats carrying heavy riders. But backups persist, and in some cases no one realzes there’s a problem until boats stop emerging from the ride.’