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Hey, Disney! That's NOT a Small World After All

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The classic Disneyland ride reopens tomorrow with a new look ... but not everybody is happy about it.

It's a small world makeover

More than 40 years after the "It's A Small World" ride opened to promote world peace and showcase the cultures of the world, Disney is populating one of its most beloved attractions with its own trademark vision of the planet: Aladdin, Nemo, Ariel and more than two dozen cartoon characters plucked from its movies.

And those aren't the only changes visitors will find Thursday when the ride reopens: Disney has woven a few bars from some of its hit soundtracks into the classic "Small World" melody and added a new America section that includes a nod to Los Angeles' famous Hollywood Bowl, a quaint farm scene and "Toy Story" characters.

Some people are pissed.

"Parents ... could take the kids on this ride and it wasn't so much about sales, it was about the images, the graphics, the dolls," said Al Lutz, a veteran Disney watcher who runs "It was a respite from the overwhelming commercial message that Disney can be sometimes."

"Disney wants to brand the diversity of the entire world and somehow say that it's Disney derived," said Leo Braudy, a cultural historian at the University of Southern California. "It seems a bit crass to put this brand on something that was meant to be a sort of United Nations for children."

Do you think Disney should have left "It's a Small World" as it was? Or is change a good thing?

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7 comments so far | Post a comment now
Hollie February 11, 2009, 6:07 PM

It’s Disney for cripes sake. Just relax and enjoy.

AP February 11, 2009, 10:39 PM

They should have left it.

It’s a carwreck - two ideas merged but people still know what’s been added to what.

They’d have been smarter to give the other theme it’s own space elsewhere. They must be hurting for cash to add the new theme to one that was successful on its own. They’re short on space and originality.

RMX February 11, 2009, 11:40 PM

In 1999 I found the real magic in a chance encounter with three beautifull girls over at a Laundrymat in Fort Pierce (yes Disney fanatics,Ft. Pierce is a a place in Florida.Florida isn’t just Mickey Mouse you know).
Between that chance encounter and my three days at Disney,I say the “Disney is Magic” label to be utter BS!
They didn’t even let me pay the $40 entrance fee with a Discover Card because Visa was kissing their butt.

Conversationswithmoms February 12, 2009, 5:48 PM

I really enjoyed the ride when I went back in 2000. But it is a very old ride so I understand why they would want to renovate it. I just don’t see why they would change the theme of the ride.

I haven’t seen it but it’s Disney so it must be great.

G February 17, 2009, 7:13 PM

I wanted to write Disney for years that they had to make some changes. The USA were only present in a tiny side section with a cowboy and an Indian - and then there were the New Orleans Jazz singers who were placed in the Africa section!

Of course, I haven’t seen the updated small world but I hope it gives a more accurate picture.

berlin February 28, 2009, 5:25 AM


gesundheit March 11, 2009, 4:52 PM

Sehr wertvolle Informationen! Empfehlen!

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