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Character Invasion of “it’s a small world” revealed

The Associated Press has a small story and a 2 minute video (click on the little icon to the left of the story) that reveals many of the new character figures that have been added to Disneyland’s classic “it’s a small world” attraction in an effort to make it more relevant for today’s audiences.

I’m still against the idea, and this video does nothing to assuage my fears, but go check it out and draw your own conclusions. Is the attraction still purely a message of “a child’s hope for world peace” or does it now include a marketing for Disney’s animated films?

Also this video does not show the new ‘America’ scene that replaced the rainforest section of the attraction. Hopefully video of that will be forthcoming as Annual Passholders get their preview.

10 thoughts on “Character Invasion of “it’s a small world” revealed”

  1. I watched the video and believe that the introduction of the characters was much more tastefully infused than I originally imagined.

    As far as Al Lutz’s comments that it’s a distraction from UNICEF’s original message, I feel that it may be true to adults, but as with most things, it’s lost on children. It’s just an annoyingly catchy song, with colorful scenes to them

  2. Children are always reaching, if you challenge them to.

    If the themes and message of Disneyland are lost on children, then why don’t we teach them those themes and messages?

    That’s great if you think Disneyland is just a kiddy park. The Walt Disney Company certainly treats it like one. But the fact is that it was built with more in mind than simple thrills and kiddy rides.

    “The message is lost on children.” I keep hearing that. You could use that excuse to add Disney characters to any ride. Why not add characters to Lincoln? To the Grand Canyon Diorama? To Haunted Mansion? I mean, kids just want to see their favorite characters. They don’t care about theme and message and all that nonsense.

    And if you’re an adult and you care, you’re just a loser, a creep and you should just get a life.

  3. It’s just a ride. Everything Disney does is commercial – let’s not pretend it’s not. I don’t mean to be cynical. I enjoy most of what Disney does at the parks but it is a business. It’s always been a business. Even when Walt was alive there was a bottom line. So hopefully we can spare the theatrics protesting these changes. I think it looks just fine. There was a magic carpet in before the changes were made. Who cares if the dolls are now dressed like Jasmine and Aladdin? In fact, I rather like the White Rabbit in the Alice Wonderland scene done in the Mary Blair style from her original conceptual drawings.

  4. “It’s just a ride. Everything Disney does is commercial – let’s not pretend it’s not.”

    Oh, wait, Disney is a corporation? Oh God, I thought they were a charity and designed attractions out of the kindness of their heart. Thanks for setting us straight.

    “Even when Walt was alive there was a bottom line.”

    Yes, there is a bottom line, and I think they can make even more money sticking to the ideals of their founder.

  5. I actually rode it last night for the passholder preview and I like what they did, in addition doing this gave them the money to fix everything else on the ride that has been showing the obvious signs of age, yes we got to see it at Christmas, but I think with all of the Christmas stuff added we all missed just how much has actually been fixed. I also like how America is finally represented, which is something that I have always felt has been missing. Something else that’s fun, but a lot of people won’t conciously (sp?) notice is that 5 classic Disney songs have been weaved into the rests and such of the song, I was listening for it (after reading a news article about it) and only noticed it twice, but again it is a nice addition. Ultimately these additions are breathing new life into an attraction that over the past few years has been having shorter and shorter lines (even at Christmas the past couple of years), which tells me that ridership has been down, this is an effort to fix that and I think it’s a really good effort. So my suggestion is reserve judgement until you ride it for yourself. As for loosing the original message, I think that if people didn’t ride the ride, they wouldn’t have seen the message anyway, so if it gets more people on the ride, it will be a good thing, also I think it shows how much Disney is involved in making the message actually come true around the world, remember these characters are recognized around the world and Disney does try to help these countries, by providing assistance in some cases or by providing awareness of the countries in others, I am sure there are other ways as well. Just my two cents after physically riding the ride.

  6. I too was worried, but then when I watched the video, and saw the Alice, Cinderella and Peter Pan figures, thought they blended in very well with the attraction, I don’t think there is anything to worry about. As a Disney Lover, with a child, I see the reasoning behind it. When we went to Disney World this past December our 12 year old had no idea who the Swiss Family Robinson was, yet in Disneyland she totally embraced Tarzan’s Tree House. Kids these days (and lets face it that’s who Disney is marketing to), want to see the characters they are familiar with.

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