Save The Small World campaign site is up

The Save It’s A Small World campaign has an internet headquarters now. Save The Small World has all the contact info you need to make your voice heard. There will also be news updates on the status of the campaign and buttons you can add to your site to show your support.


In case you forget what the fight is over:

“it’s a small world” is the world-famous Disney theme park attraction which first debuted at the 1964 World’s Fair. Designed by Disney for UNICEF and Pepsi Cola, “it’s a small world” is the crowning achievement of artist Mary Blair and numerous other talented individuals. The attraction, dubbed as “The Happiest Cruise That Ever Sailed ‘Round The World” was designed with UNICEF’s core values in mind, and offers a “prayer for peace” sung by the Children of the World.

Disneyland wants to turn that into another advertisement for their branded characters. They also want to remove the ‘Rainforest’ section, a message of conservation, and replace it with a tribute to the USA, a message of commercialism. If that’s not a metaphor for what’s wrong with this move, I don’t know what is.

My grandfather, an Imagineer for Walt Disney, worked on preparing Disneyland to receive the 1964 World’s Fair attractions. It’s A Small World got special treatment and attention to make sure its message would continue to entertain and educate guests with the same impact it did in its original incarnation. Change is often required to accomplish this. The Holiday overlay, while it has its flaws, still is a prayer for peace at its heart. Surely there are changes the great minds at WDI could come up with that continue that original vision without mixing in Disney characters.

Please visit the Save The Small World site and send your comments into the contacts listed there.

Previously: Changes to Its A Small World confirmed, Mary Blair’s family protests changes.

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5 Responses to Save The Small World campaign site is up

  1. rob jones says:

    I’ve got mixed feelings about this. I’m not outraged by Disney characters being added but I do feel it is not a needed change. I could live with the characters being added in as long as it is done tastefully in the original style and kept to a minimum. Changing the rainforest scene to a tribute to america however is just plain stupid. I also believe that inserting the characters into the existing scenes is not the best way to add the characters in. If they have to add characters in I think it would be much better to put them at the end of the ride amidst the farewell signs.

  2. Ceronomus says:

    Here is a copy of the form letter Disneyland is sending out in response to outrage over the changes. I just got mine today.

    Dear Mr. XXXXXXXX:

    Thank you for your comments regarding “it’s a small world.”

    As you know, “it’s a small world” was created under the creative
    supervision of Walt Disney for the 1964 New York World’s Fair. During
    its time at DISNEYLAND® Park, “it’s a small world” turned into an icon
    of the park, becoming an attraction loved by all ages.

    During this scheduled refurbishment, we carry on Walt’s tradition of
    continuously updating attractions and adding new elements and surprises
    to keep the Disneyland experience new, fresh and exciting. With “it’s a
    small world,” it gives us the opportunity to enrich the storytelling and
    take artist Mary Blair’s creative approach to a new level. Because it
    holds such a special place in the hearts of our Guests, the original
    intent of “it’s a small world,” the celebration of children and the
    youthful spirit everywhere, will be retained and strengthened with the
    incorporation of a number of characters that children of today and
    yesterday hold dear. These new figures will be stylized Disney
    characters, patterned after the original look, feel and spirit of Mary’s
    designs.

    Walt Disney Imagineering takes pride in the heritage and tradition of
    the Disney theme parks, especially DISNEYLAND® Park, Walt’s original
    park. We hope you will agree that our Disney Imagineers have an
    outstanding track record with creating exciting attractions that appeal
    to visitors of all ages.

    Walt Disney stated, “Disneyland will never be completed as long as there
    is imagination left in the world.” It is always our objective to
    provide a quality “show” for our Guests, and in that spirit, we will
    continue to make enhancements to DISNEYLAND® and DISNEY’S CALIFORNIA
    ADVENTURE® Park, all with the intent of keeping the Disney experience
    new, fresh and exciting. Thank you for taking the time to contact us
    and we hope that you will continue to follow the developments of the
    DISNEYLAND® Resort.

    Sincerely,

    Desiree Garnica
    DISNEYLAND® Resort
    Guest Communications

  3. Ceronomus says:

    My response…

    Ms. Garnica
    I had rather hoped that, as a stockholder, I wouldn’t simply be given the old “form-letter brush-off.” However, since I have been, I might as well respond to a few points in your form-letter that need addressing.

    First, this isn’t adding new excitement to the ride, it is inciting international outrage among Disney fans. The very same fans who visit Disney Parks and purchase Disney merchandise. Alienating the very people who make Disney a success seems the height of Hubris. This whole thing smacks of an attempt to merchandise Mary Blair’s Disney Character designs (such as the Alice sketch that was recently released). Frankly, I think such figures or dolls would merchandise themselves without desecrating a ride that remains so near and dear to the hearts of millions.

    As for the track record of the Imagineers? The output of the Imagineers has been a mixed bag in the recent past. Certainly, the updates of the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean were both handled in fine form and have been successful. HOWEVER, such tragedies as Tarzan’s Treehouse and the Tiki Room – Under New Management, show that Imagineering doesn’t have a perfect track record, and often those imperfections are caused by corporate meddling in the designs and NOT from Imagineering. I believe that this is such a case.

    Based on the sheer numbers of Disney Imagineers who are speaking out AGAINST these changes, I think that the company’s hiding behind the reputation of the Imagineers rings a very hollow note.

  4. Pingback: Animation Community Speaks out against changes to “its a small world” | The Disney Blog

  5. Pingback: New “it’s a small world” photos with Disney Characters | The Disney Blog

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