Disney Park’s Rubber Duck Race Sweeps Through “it’s a small world”

it's a small world
Credit: Disney

Disney provides special Cast Member-only festivities to celebrate their outstanding employees each year. Some of the perks at these exclusive events include free food, after-hours parties, attraction experiences, giveaways, and photo ops.

One of the most popular occurrences is Disneyland Park’s annual Rubber Duck Race which first commenced in 2009. Located in the “it’s a small world” ride, Cast Members purchase and decorate their own rubber ducks before racing them through the attraction.

There were 229 ducks involved in this year’s race. The event returned last year after being canceled in 2020 due to Disneyland’s closure during the pandemic.

Disneyland Rubber Duck Race

Credit: @disneylandcastandcommunity on Instagram

The festivities take place before the Park opens to the public. In addition to being a fun event for employees, the Rubber Duck Race is also a charity fundraiser. All proceeds go to Goodwill of Orange County. Goodwill, which has partnered with the Disneyland Resort for many years, helps people that are struggling to find jobs.

In an adorable TikTok video, shared by @disney.darin, we see Cast Members eagerly watching as the bar is lifted and the ducks are off on their trek around the attraction. At first, they seem to move along the water in unison, but soon enough, they break off into their own adventures.


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♬ Funny Song – Funny Song Studio & Sounds Reel

As the current takes them through the arches and into the ride’s interior, the ducks disappear from sight. Once they exit the ride and round the corner, a couple of designated Cast Members await their arrival.

With special tongs to grab the top winners, each rubber duck is pulled out one by one. This year, first place went to Rosanna! Along with the race, there is a design contest Cast Members can enter their ducks into.

Disneyland Rubber Duck Race

Credit: @disneylandcastandcommunity on Instagram

Many rubber ducks also received unique awards such as most creative and even last place! This is not the only Duck Race in Disney’s repertoire. The annual event inspired Disney Cruise Line’s own “AquaDucky Derby.” Initiated in 2013, the charity event’s proceeds go to Make-A-Wish International.

About Christy Weinberg

Christy is a West Coast writer with a special place in her heart for Disneyland Resort and Aulani. Growing up near the Parks, she was an Annual Passholder for about twenty years, often frequenting the Resort several times per week. Though she recently moved to the Pacific Northwest, she carries the magic with her by writing about Disney and connecting with the Disney community on social media.