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Reviews of New "Small World" at Disneyland - Post HERE


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  • [Review] Reviews of New "Small World" at Disneyland - Post HERE

    Disneyland's classic It's A Small World attraction reopens in its newly reworked form at annual pass holder previews today.

    If you were able to ride the attraction, take pictures, etc. please post your photos, thoughts, and reviews here in this thread.

    please refrain from posting general comments if you have not yet been on the attraction. We may merge random "review" threads into this one to make it easier for our members to find information about the new attraction. You may post your general comment in the discussion thread located HERE:

    Please do NOT vote above unless you have ridden the attraction. Thank you for your assistance in getting the true pulse of the revised attraction.

    Digg it HERE - First Reviews Of Disneyland's NEW It's A Small World Ride
    ***** - Loved It - Much Improved
    **** - Liked It
    *** - OK - Didn't ruin the experience or enhance it
    ** - Didn't Like
    * - They Ruined It
    Last edited by Dustysage; 02-05-2009, 11:46 AM.
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  • #2
    Re: Reviews of New "Small World" at Disneyland - Post HERE

    I'm going to start with Disney's official statements regarding the attraction. We have several MiceChatters in line for the attraction right now who will following up with the real world view shortly.

    Copy and images copyright Disney
    Something New to Celebrate! 'it’s a small world’ Returns to Disneyland With New Magic

    Classic Disneyland Attraction Reopens Feb. 6th

    A beloved Disneyland attraction returns to Fantasyland on 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 play 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. Some appear as child dolls and some are playful-looking toys, such as the White Rabbit who accompanies Alice. The new doll costumes and toys are fashioned in the same artistic style that has made “it’s a small world” an icon around the globe. That style was created by art director, color stylist and Disney Legend Mary Blair, whose sense of design shaped “it’s a small world” from the very beginning.

    “We know that many people have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to relive their ‘it’s a small world’ memories and to create new ones with children, grandchildren and friends,” said Disney Imagineer art director Kim Irvine. “It’s a pleasure to once again offer this beloved attraction to Disneyland guests, now with some special Disney enhancements.”

    • Among the enhancements is a new “Spirit of America” scene based on original concept art by Disney Legend Mary Blair, in keeping with the “it’s a small world” theme that friendship crosses all nations, including the United States.
    • Child dolls that are costumed as stylized representations of their favorite Disney characters can be spotted in several scenes.

    • The children in many “it’s a small world” scenes will have a variety of new stylized toys to play with, inspired by Disney and Disney•Pixar characters: Woody and Jessie for “Spirit of America,” a Mushu dragon kite for China, “The Three Caballeros” marionettes for Latin America, and others.

    For further information on attractions, events and vacations at Disneyland Resort, visit, call (866) 60-DISNEY or contact local travel agents.

    Photos and Copy by Disney
    Interesting to note that many of the dolls maintain the Small World look. However, some like the Donald and Stitch are less in keeping with the art direction of the attraction. Stitch rides the front of the surfboard with Lilo in the Polynesian section of the ride. This is the same spot a tiny hidden Stitch has ridden in the holiday version of the ride for the past several years. Perhaps as a sign of things to come.
    Last edited by Dustysage; 02-05-2009, 10:01 AM.
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    • #3
      Re: Reviews of New "Small World" at Disneyland - Post HERE

      The first MiceChatters have just left the attraction and we will have reviews for you in just a few moments. The ride opens to Annual Passholders at 10am.
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      • #4
        Re: Reviews of New "Small World" at Disneyland - Post HERE

        Just got back from the CM dedication.

        I really liked it! The characters all blended in really well, but I think I missed a couple of them. Alice and Aladdin & Jasmine, I think, are the nicest of them.

        The America scene was very small, but really it is not a jarring addition. It feels very at home and a natural transition. Definatley not as good as Paris' America scene which is larger and more packed with landmarks. I guess that would be overkill here anyway.

        The show lighting in the finale shifts colors, I don't remember it doing that before. And I also could not pick up any of the Disney film music in the song. I'll have to listen even closer next time, I was too busy looking for characters it seems.

        It seemed to be well received by those in attendence. I have to say I liked it, I wouldn't go as far as saying it was "greatly improved".


        • #5
          Re: Reviews of New "Small World" at Disneyland - Post HERE

          Here's a video clip from the LA Times:

          'Small World' renovation presents a big challenge - Los Angeles Times


          • #6


            • #7


              • #8
                Re: Reviews of New "Small World" at Disneyland - Post HERE

                Part 3

                I’d have to say that the next few scenes are my favorite and most hated of the additions to the attraction. I love Simba, Pumba, and Timon as they really blend in well with their surroundings and stick with the color scheme and paint style quite well.

                Heading into Mexico we get to the part I like the least about the new additions: Donald, Jose, and Panchito’s location. I love it as a toss back to Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros. So I love their addition, but I hate what it pushed to the side/replaced. I used to love the straw cowboy dolls on their straw hats a child. Like fearing the pirate with the hairy leg, it was something that was part of Disney tradition for me. Which of their mouths would be working? Alas they are still there, but Donald and his pals take center stage now.

                Around this point you start to realize that they have modified the soundtrack a small bit to add in smaller elements here and there. Heading into the South Pacific we first reach Ariel and Flounder. Ariel’s singing stands out. It’s not quite the right voice as it’s intended to be a child, which bothers me in a small way.

                Further in to the left we have Dory and Nemo. The only picture I got of both of them turned out blurry.

                On the opposite side our male surfer has been replaced by Lilo and Stitch

                The old Papa New Guinea scene is transferred and all the dolls seem to be back at last, including volcano dancers.

                Next up we’ll head to America.


                • #9


                  • #10
                    Re: Reviews of New "Small World" at Disneyland - Post HERE

                    I'll try to post a few shots in a little bit. In the mean time, I voted OK because there is no way in the poll to say I liked SOME of the changes, but thought others didn't work at all. I'd have to admit the Alice, Aladdin, and Jasmine didn't bother me that much because they seem to fit in to the general theme of their own country. If they hadn't used Aladdin, they still would have had dolls on flying carpets, so why not give them a resemblance to the Disney characters.

                    What DIDN'T work for me was the whole USA area. Some corn, a cow, and Woody and Jessie...what was the point? And Woody and Jessie are the biggest mistake, IMO. Are they supposed to be children, like the rest of the attraction, or are they supposed to be toys? If they are toys, why are they larger than the children? And they don't LOOK like the other dolls on the ride. They're ALL dolls, right? Why make Woody and Jessie look different?

                    So for me, the music is fine, and is actually much improved. It's really hard for me to remember what the track sounded like before Christmas, but it seemed that more than a few areas picked up some extra instruments depending on the country. And you'd have to listen very closely to hear any Disney overlay/counterpoint against the main theme. So no harm done there.

                    But the USA area....blech.
                    Last edited by Mac Daddy; 02-06-2009, 08:22 AM.


                    • #11
                      Re: Reviews of New "Small World" at Disneyland - Post HERE

                      Small World opens today for annual passholders

                      Hey Ed, Al says hi

                      This morning I got a sneek peak at the new It's a Small World and I will let the pics do the talking and give you my thoughts.

                      I come to this ride with a rather neutral stance. It is a part of the park's, in fact Disney's, history but really I am not a huge fan of it. So when word broke that Disney was going to revamp the ride by adding Disney characters and music to it I was only mildly irritated. Not by the fact that it seems to be a total sell out but because it would make this classic attraction even more cloying than it already is.

                      Furthermore there would be the addition of an AMERICA scene before the big finale room. Some argue that the rest of the world should be in this ride as it is a tribute to all children on the planet. Frankly the addition of anything american seems to fit with me since, well, America is part of this small world. My biggest concern was if the new scene would actually fit the aesthetic.

                      Here we go

                      Nothing new here

                      Alice and the white rabbit in England

                      Cinderella in Europe

                      Spot Pinnochio in Italy

                      Alladin, Jasmine and Apu in the Asia area

                      Mulan in China

                      Simba, Pumba and Timon in the little tower

                      Simba and Pumba


                      The three Caballeros to the left

                      The Three Caballeros

                      Flounder and Ariel where the mermaids were

                      Lilo and Stitch occupy the surfboard now

                      Dory and Marlin float in the water

                      The rainforest is still kicking

                      The brash America room

                      Woody and Jessie

                      the Finale room

                      the exit empties into the gift shop

                      Take Stitch WITH you!

                      You know, overall it was just fine. Many were concerned with the purity of the ride being compromised and it is to a degree I won't deny it. But frankly the ride never really did much for me to begin with. So adding Disney characters and musical arrangements really didn't bother me much. I still walked away from the ride with that ear worm of a song stuck in my head and a rosey outlook on world affairs. The children I rode with actually seemed to like trying to find the characters amongst the other figures. almost like an eye spy game. The ride still does what it was intended to do. It entertains.
                      "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals.
                      Homer Jay Simpson


                      • #12
                        Re: Reviews of New "Small World" at Disneyland - Post HERE

                        Here are a quick few shots. I'll share a few wide angles as well as others have already posted some great closeups above...

                        England is where you first begin looking for the additions...

                        Peter Pan is a tricky little blighter to photograph as he is zooming around the moon...

                        Alice and the rabbit seem to fit in fine...they didn't bother me too much...

                        You have to be looking for Pinocchio, even though his window is lighted...

                        When I went through a second time, it looked as if that whole section had gone dark. Someone must have blown a new fuse....

                        Next up is Jasmine and Alladin, and they didn't bother me too much either. As they are directly above you, you have to be looking for them as well...

                        I honestly didn't hear about the three caballeros, so it was a surprise to see them in the South American section. I didn't think these guys worked as well in terms of fitting in. Tough to pull off these characters and still make them fit with Mary Blair.

                        Ariel...I think she was there before, but I honestly can't remember. I have a feeling she was there with Flounder...

                        But Nemo and Dory are new, I believe...

                        Poor looks as if she swam through some toxic waste...

                        Stitch doesn't work for me at all...

                        And finally, the USA section is a complete waste, IMO...

                        Woody and Jessie just don't fit all....

                        I might have some more up in a bit....
                        Last edited by Mac Daddy; 02-05-2009, 02:51 PM.


                        • #13
                          Re: Reviews of New "Small World" at Disneyland - Post HERE

                          I just got back from the park and when on the ride twice. I could not do a third time or the song would have driven me nuts.

                          It was great to see small world looking so good. Everything was clean, the new lighting was great and 99% of the figures were working.

                          On the bad side many of the Disney characters were in your face. If they were shooting for subtle they missed the mark by a mile. Some of the characters seemed to fit well and others were crammed into such a small space. The Aladdin and Jasmine carpet just squeezed into their location, it made the flying carpet area look like the 5 freeway at rush hour.

                          Do I hate the new characters? I’m still thinking about this one. However, the reaction to the characters by the public I think can be summed up by the small 4 year old girl who was in the row in front of me, who was thrilled to see the characters. She kept yelling out their names each time we saw one.

                          I also thought that the music mix was a bit off still. There were areas where you could only hear the main theme and other areas where the special theme was the only their heard.

                          I thought that the new America area was a bit on the dull side. On the left was farm land and on the right was the desert. The exit arch was I guess Hollywood. In each of these areas there was not effects other than the motion from the figures. It just felt... dull.

                          = = = =

                          After writing, and giving it more thought, this I can say that the Disney character do not improve the ride and were not needed. They only make the Disney executives and small children happy.
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                          • #14
                            Re: Reviews of New "Small World" at Disneyland - Post HERE

                            Lovely photos, if it wasn't for college I would have been at Disneyland today. Oh, well at least I can see the ride on Sunday. I really like the new changes it makes the ride seem to be younger then it really is.
                            "You are watching FOX"


                            • #15
                              Re: Reviews of New "Small World" at Disneyland - Post HERE

                              I appreciate all the photos and comments, you guys.

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