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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Disney reveals "Small World" additions to Disneyland

A favorite Disneyland attraction returns to Fantasyland, Friday, Feb. 6, when "it's a small world" opens with some new storytelling magic. With the premiere of a new "Spirit of America" scene, new musical enhancements and a new look for some of the attraction's familiar child dolls, "it's a small world" will once again take guests of all ages on "the happiest cruise that ever sailed."

This classic attraction has been renovated and enhanced while retaining the world-renowned charm that holds such a special place in the hearts of Disneyland guests. The "it's a small world" journey continues to celebrate children of the world and their message of harmony and friendship. And now, for the first time, guests will be able to find some of the child dolls dressed as their favorite Disney characters, in the countries where their stories take place. For example, dolls dressed in Aladdin and Jasmine costumes are in the Middle East scene, and a doll dressed as Alice from "Alice in Wonderland" appears in the Great Britain scene.

Guests will enjoy riding "it's a small world" again and again as they search for the 29 Disney and Disney·Pixar characters now represented in the attraction. The new doll costumes and playful toy decorations are fashioned in the same artistic style that was created by art director, color stylist, Disney Legend and Imagineer Mary Blair, whose sense of design shaped "it's a small world" from the beginning.

Also among the enhancements is an entirely new "Spirit of America" scene. It's based on original concept art by Mary Blair and maintains the "it's a small world" theme that friendship crosses all nationalities, including that of the United States. Additional fresh touches may be found in the augmented "it's a small world" soundtrack. As the familiar "it's a small world" plays throughout the attraction, now some subtle film music is seamlessly woven into the song as counterpoint melodies fitting the characters represented in certain scenes.

The "it's a small world" attraction made its debut as an exhibit at the 1964-65 New York World's Fair. After two hit seasons at the fair, the attraction moved to Disneyland in California where it was expanded and then dedicated by Walt Disney himself on May 28, 1966.

My take: This looks like a great addition to IASW. The characters don't take away from the overall theme and intent of the attraction. As the Imagineers had intendend, it really "plusses" the attraction, rather than taking something away. I hope this enhancement makes its way to Walt Disney World very soon.
I know Disney purists are having a fit right now, but, to be honest, even Walt wasn't a "purist." He always thought of his parks as an ever-changing thing. That's how it should be.
Video report from the Los Angeles Times:


Jeff Heimbuch said...

I like it. Even seeing the changes for the first time shows at subtle they all really are.
They definitely "plus" the ride in a positive way.
I even heard (barely) one of the new music cues in that video. Cool stuff!

Marc said...

Here is another video from the AP Fact meets fantasy in Disney 'Small World' remake

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