"Small World" reopens at Disneyland this Friday

Posted Thursday, February 5, 2009 12:40 PM | Contributed by Jeff

A favorite Disneyland attraction returns to Fantasyland, Friday, Feb. 6, when "it's a small world" opens with some new storytelling magic. With the premiere of a new "Spirit of America" scene, new musical enhancements and a new look for some of the attraction's familiar child dolls, "it's a small world" will once again take guests of all ages on "the happiest cruise that ever sailed."

This classic attraction has been renovated and enhanced while retaining the world-renowned charm that holds such a special place in the hearts of Disneyland guests. The "it's a small world" journey continues to celebrate children of the world and their message of harmony and friendship. And now, for the first time, guests will be able to find some of the child dolls dressed as their favorite Disney characters, in the countries where their stories take place. For example, dolls dressed in Aladdin and Jasmine costumes are in the Middle East scene, and a doll dressed as Alice from "Alice in Wonderland" appears in the Great Britain scene.

Guests will enjoy riding "it's a small world" again and again as they search for the 29 Disney and Disney-Pixar characters now represented in the attraction. The new doll costumes and playful toy decorations are fashioned in the same artistic style that was created by art director, color stylist, Disney Legend and Imagineer Mary Blair, whose sense of design shaped "it's a small world" from the beginning.

Read the press release on PR Newswire.

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Thursday, February 5, 2009 1:36 PM

Is it just me, or does this ride go down for refurb an awful lot? It seems every time I am at the park, this ride is closed.

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Thursday, February 5, 2009 1:44 PM

I gotta say that, love it or hate it, it sounds as if they've destroyed the purity of the theme.

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Thursday, February 5, 2009 3:40 PM

When they put Jack into PotC, I had a feeling it wouldn't be the last time something like that would happen. I can understand that, as the PotC movies were based on the ride, but I don't see why IASW needed to be added to like this. It was refreshing to go through a Disney attraction and not have Mickey and friends staring back at you. (Yes, I know it's still Disney, but it was as non-Disney as it got, if you get what I mean.)

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Thursday, February 5, 2009 4:44 PM

Yeah, I don't get it. I fully agree with Jack in Pirates, as that's what children will expect when they ride it.

I see no reason to do this to small world. Are they afraid that you'll forget you're in Disney for 4 minutes if they don't throw the rat in your face?

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Thursday, February 5, 2009 5:50 PM

Clearly they don't feel those Disney characters are marketed enough . . .

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Thursday, February 5, 2009 7:26 PM

What makes the ride torturous is that damned song!

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Friday, February 6, 2009 12:18 AM

I have never really liked this ride but I agree that by doing this they have damaged it even more. I also think that they killed POTC when they rehabed it. The Jack character is cool but the whole ride now seems kind of dull.

Last edited by Iceman3, Friday, February 6, 2009 12:19 AM
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Friday, February 6, 2009 12:47 AM

I saw a segment about this on the local news tonight. I agree that they destroyed the purity and the message of IASW. They have turned it into a blatant self promotion of the Disney brand. People don't need to see Mickey every minute they are in the park to know they are at Disneyland.

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Friday, February 6, 2009 10:01 AM

Meh. I'm not a purist, so I don't really care.

But, the purists are vocal, even if they may not necessarily be numerous. No doubt about it. Should be interesting to watch them go all a-twitter.

But, as an aside, the whole point of the Park was to be a promotion for the Disney brand. It's no accident that the various lands happen to coincide with the film themes the company was exploring at the time. It's also no accident that the ABC show more or less pimped the park (and the movies) every week.

Disney's been doing "synergy" long before any of its theme park guests thought to complain about it.

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Friday, February 6, 2009 11:38 AM

The "purists" may not approve but I bet Walt would have. It was never his intention for the park to be a museum. Popular attractions were changed or removed even on his watch.

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Friday, February 6, 2009 12:48 PM

I don't disagree about what Walt envisioned for the park, but at the same time, the attraction was built for the purpose of celebrating diversity and culture. I know, maybe I'm over-stating it, but it sounds a lot like injecting Buzz Lightyear into a civil rights parade or something.

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Friday, February 6, 2009 1:38 PM

ITS REAL SIMPLE WHY THEY ARE CHANGING IT BECAUSE YOU HAVE PEOPLE LIKE ME WHO HATE IT.IM SORRY BUT I REALLY HATE THIS ATTRACTION ITS SOOOOOO BORING. SO AT LEAST NOW I CAN PLAY FIND THE DISNEY CHARACTERS WHILE RIDING IT... I WISH DISNEY WORLD WOULD GET SOME DAMN ATTENTION LIKE THIS. DISNEY WORLD IS REALLY STARTING TO LOOK LIKE CRAP AND OUT OF DATE. DISNEYLAND AT LEAST GETS BUDGETS APPROVED TO BUILD AND REDO RIDES. ITS A SMALL WORLD IN MY EYES CAN ONLY BENEFIT FROM THIS. AND PLEASE REMEMBER THIS IS A KIDS RIDE (YES AND I KNOW KID AT HEART) SO PLEASE THINK ABOUT THE WAY THEY SEE IT AS WELL. WELL WITH THIS SMALL WORLD BEING REDONE THAT MEANS THAT DISNEY WORLDS VERSION WILL NEVER BE TOUCHED BECUASE OF THE FANBOYS OF THE ORIGINAL, SO THANK YOU TO ALL WHO MAKE DISNEY WORLD LAME AND BORING NOW, BECAUSE ALL YOU DO IT COMPLAIN IF THEY WHERE TO TOUCH IT. PLEASE WHEN YOU MAKE YOUR ARGUMENTS AGAINST ME DON'T BE LIKE OHH HES A CALIFORNIA PERSON AGAINST DISNEY WORLD. IM FROM CHICAGO AND GO TO DISNEY WORLD A LOT, BUT I JUST WENT TO DISNEYLAND NOT TOO LONG AGO AND WHAT I SAW WAS AMAZING AND THEY DID IT ON A MUCH SMALLER PIECE OF LAND. SO AGAIN CONGRATS TO DISNEYLAND TO MAKING SOMETHING A LOT BETTER AND HOPE FOR THE BEST WITH THE CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE REFURB. WHEN I GO BACK TO FLORIDA AS WELL IM SKIPPING DISNEY WORLD EXCEPT FOR THE WATER PARKS AND HEADING RIGHT FOR THE FLEX TICKET.

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Friday, February 6, 2009 1:44 PM

Welcome to the Internet! Now STOP SHOUTING!

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Friday, February 6, 2009 2:22 PM

/Lil Jon.... "WHAT?!!?"

edit: I think I may have been driven to blindness...can I sue? I mean, I can't read that or anything even near it...

Last edited by rollergator, Friday, February 6, 2009 2:24 PM
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Friday, February 6, 2009 3:20 PM

First post FAIL.

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Friday, February 6, 2009 5:22 PM

Small World was not a ride built the way other earlier attractions had been created for the park. This ride (specifically the Disneyland one) was a ride that was created for and appeared at the New York World's Fair in 64-65. It's not based on any movie, it was sponsored by UNICEF and Pepsi with the creative input supplied by Walt Disney (as well as a few other pavilions at the fair had been). Hence the World's Fair theme of children around the world.

It was hugely popular and afterwards the ride was then re-located to Disneyland - though it has a redesigned front and some expanded scenes inside. These newer elements though were again designed by Mary Blair who did all of the original drawings and designs for the original attraction (actually she did not design the fair's original facade). There is a plaque commemorating it's historical World's Fair beginnings at the entrance to the ride.

To say that Disney would have liked the new changes it is a strange concept since he had a huge admiration for Mary Blair's work and what the pavilion's story line is. I'm not going to die over seeing these characters in the attraction, but in my opinion it's like loosing faith in an original concept and just pandering to what they think people want. Sticking Mickey in the ride is just so damn obvious ... why not build on the original idea instead - especially since it's the original incantation of the ride.

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Friday, February 6, 2009 5:35 PM

All this talk about Mickey in the ride, and yet Ive yet to see a picture of Mickey actually in the ride ;).

All that Ive seen is movie characters inserted into the country appropriate places.

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Friday, February 6, 2009 5:38 PM

Mickey isn't in it. Apparently, Donald is the only one of the Fab Five who made the cut (as one of the Three Caballeros in Mexico.)

MousePlanet has a ride-through and pictures up, along with a review.
http://www.mouseplanet.com/8714/its_a_small_world_reopens_at_Disneyland

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Friday, February 6, 2009 6:20 PM

Well I just finished watching that video with with the 'dreaded' changes and boy AM I offended. Heads should roll!

Aren't these some of the same enhancements that were injected to the Hong Kong park. I saw pictures of those and they don't smack you in the face and it appears neither does DL's.

I LOVE the Disney parks and the tradition but by and large when the 'plus' an attraction it's usually for the better. The Pirates changes were fine with me and I love that ride and the holiday overlays for HM and IASW at DL are outstanding to me. That being said, there was that Journey Into Imagination disaster that still makes me cringe whenever I ride that attraction!

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