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"it's a small world" Returns to Disneyland

The "it's a small world" attraction at Disneyland underwent a long rehab
in 2008 - it closed in January and didn't reopen until November. When it
did reopen, it was in the holiday configuration, so some of the changes
were not yet in place. The most controversial change seemed to be the
proposed addition of Disney characters to the attraction - a lot of Disney
fans were very vocal in their opposition to that idea..

After the holidays, the attraction went into rehab again, the holiday
overlay was removed, and the remaining changes were put into place. Today
the attraction was open to members of the media and to Annual
Passholders (the attraction opens to the public on Friday, February
6.). As a representative of AllEars® I was invited to do a ride-through
of the attraction with Imagineer Kim Irvine, which was quite an
honor!

But before the ride-through with Kim Irvine I was able to ride
twice, and get some idea of what the updated attraction was like.
Up front I have to tell you that I'm not a huge fan of "it's a small
world" - That Song really gets to me, and I can usually only stand
it in it's holiday configuration (though I love the holiday edition!).
So it's probably been almost 10 years since I was in the non-holiday
version.

iasw_welcome1.jpg

I was very impressed with the new attraction. It looks just gorgeous -
lots of vibrant colors, and the lighting is much improved. And the
characters? They aren't in-your-face at all - they have taken
characters who fit into the various scenes (like Cinderella in
France, Mulan in China, Simba in Africa), and given them the same
stylized "small world" look. For the most part, if you didn't know
they were new, you wouldn't know they hadn't been there all along.
I actually had a hard time finding them all, and only found two of
them because other people told me where to look. I think that part
of the fun of the new attraction is going to be trying to find the
characters - I think that's something that will appeal to kids and
adults - I know I had fun with it. It would be nice if Disney would
hand out a list, though.

iasw_cinder.jpg

The other big change is the addition of the "Spirit of America"
scene. It's a western scene with a farm on one side, and hills
with some cowboys and Native Americans on the other side, Woody and
Jessie from Toy Story make an appearance as well. The scene was
based on original concept art by Mary Blair.

iasw_usa1.jpg

iasw_usa2.jpg

The soundtrack has been augmented with short snippets of themes from
Disney movies, such as "A Whole New World" from Aladdin. This is very
subtle, and I have to admit that I never could hear them, even though I
knew they were there.

I will have more on the ride-through with Kim Irvine after I have a
chance to listen to my audio recording - with That Song playing at a fairly
high volume it was hard to hear her sometimes. It was interesting to
hear what she has to say.

There are supposed to be 29 characters in the ride - here are the ones
that I found. Let me know if you think I got any wrong.

UK:
Peter Pan and Tinker Bell
Alice in Wonderland and the White Rabbit

iasw_peter1.jpg

iasw_alice1.jpg

France:
Cinderella, Jacques, and Gus

Italy:
Pinocchio

iasw_pinocchio.jpg

Middle East:
Aladdin, Jasmine, and Abu - and I think the Flying Carpet should count
as a character.

iasw_aladdin.jpg

China:
Mulan, Mushu, and Mushu kite

iasw_mulan.jpg

Africa:
Simba, Pumbaa and Timon (I really like how they used the same hot pink
and purple color for Pumbaa that they use on the hippo in the same scene.)

iasw_simba1.jpg

Mexico:
Donald, Panchito and Jose Carioca (Donald is the only member of the Fab
Five to appear)

iasw_donald.jpg

Under the Sea:
Ariel and Flounder (Ariel sings That Song as a solo)

iasw_ariel.jpg

Down Under:
Dory and Nemo

iasw_nemo1.jpg

Hawaii:
Lilo and Stitch

iasw_stitch1.jpg

Spirit of America:
Jessie, Woody and Bullseye

iasw_woody.jpg

That's 29...does that mean I got them all? That's not counting the
flying carpet, and I'm not sure if the Mushu kite counts or not.

***Friday morning update:

AllEars reader Carol tells me that I missed Jiminy Cricket, who is in the Italy scene with Pinocchio. We think that he is just barely visible in the upper right hand corner of the Pinocchio photo posted further up. Thanks, Carol!

The previous post in this blog was Disney Cruisin' - A Question For You.

The next post in this blog is Disney's California Food and Wine Festival 2009.

Comments (4)

Jackson Hart:

Where is the France photo?

Laura:

It's posted up above - the second photo in the blog entry.

Lori:

The idea is so cute! Did they forget to put Belle in France? Are they going to do the same in Florida?

C:

To the left of the Ariel scene is Melody (Ariel's daughter) in a pink dress.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 6, 2009 5:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Disney Cruisin' - A Question For You.

The next post in this blog is Disney's California Food and Wine Festival 2009.

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