Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Disney's Changing "It's a Small World" & More

I tossed and turned all night. Many deadlines, a fire drill at work that cuts out two hours a day, not hearing from my agent, leaving town for a surprise trip, submitting scripts, AOL program not functioning and the distinct paranoia that something is wrong with my laptop, and my taxes sitting there mocking me. Drama!

Then Steve tells me that Disney is changing It's a Small World, that ride with the cloying song that sticks with you for months and resurfaces whenever you're sick and delirious. The ride which parents adore. The only ride, in fact, my mother insists on riding when we visit the park. Yes, Disney is changing it.

The ride was built for the 1964 New York World's Fair show and was designed by the legendary concept artist Mary Blair, who also came up with designs for Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, and Cinderella (among others).

I knew Disney was planning on making the boats bigger because tourists were getting fatter and the floating crafts kept getting stuck. Fine. I know a group of bears who were stuck in a similar situation (or maybe it was Pirates of the Caribbean-- who knows?) You do what you gotta do to keep the crowds happy.

But now they're going to add in bits of Disney characters into the ride-- like Belle in France or Mickey and pals somewhere-- as well as cutting out the whole Rain Forest portion to add in some big America exhibit.

I'm not even a huge Disney purest and I'm horrified by the whole thing. There's no way they'll make it look organic to the original (think about how they added Johnny Depp into the Pirates ride-- awkward much?). The ride is about world unity and this stuff is going to muddy that idea.

Check out Re-Imagineering, a wonderful blog about Disney. They also discuss a letter writing campaign to "Save the Rain Forest." If you have any passion about the ride, you'll do it.


Adam said...

Ugh, I so totally agree with you. The pirates ride example is so perfect, that Johnny Depp robot is so out of place.

I don't understand the logic, people know they're in Disneyland so why do they need to be bombarded with Disney characters? There's plenty of them all over the rest of the park.

Greg said...

Once again, they're taking the magic out of a decent attraction. :(

Jeffrey said...

Hey, I was on that sinking bear boat, and I think they do need to make those boats larger for today's beefer boys!