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