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What makes Disneyland's Small World arguably better than WDW's?

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  • What makes Disneyland's Small World arguably better than WDW's?

    Hi everyone!

    Please not that this is not about the façade at all (we know that DL's is already the winner here), but I rode DL's IASW for the first time during my visit a couple years ago and I was blown away by how bright, dynamic, and overall impressive the attraction actually is. I remember WDW's always looked a bit stale (the interiors have some empty spaces, some set pieces/rooms break the illusion with some 70's "flatness"...). But I cannot really pinpoint what exactly makes DL's better! I know there is a difference in there being a track in DL while WDW has flooded sets, but this has nothing to do with that either. Is it newer sets? Darker rooms with brighter, newer sets and no bare spaces? What is it !?

  • #2
    IMO = Disneyland's Small World
    Stand Out Better , + Exterior
    with the The garden's around the building are decorated with topiary animals.
    Façade was designed by Disney Imagineer Rolly Crump, who was inspired by Mary Blair's styling.
    than the one in the Magic Kingdom at WDW
    Plus
    Long with the History of the first incarnation of It's a Small World,
    which debuted at the 1964-1965 , New York World's Fair.
    And 1966 ,it one the last Attraction that Walt Disney open at Disneyland !
    Soaring like an EAGLE !

    Comment


    • #3
      I’ve made my comments about the things I’d like to see change inside, but outside it’s definitely perfect in just about every way. Rolly’s clocktower facade, the topiary animals, the recently improved queue.

      It always puts a smile on my face.
      Mike_M

      Disneyland Trips
      Walt Disney World
      Disneyland Paris

      1980, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1989
      1990, 1992, 1993

      2000, 2001, 2006, 2007, 2009
      2010, 2011, 2014, 2016, 2016, 2017, 2/2019, 11/2019
      2020

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Mike_M View Post
        I’ve made my comments about the things I’d like to see change inside, but outside it’s definitely perfect in just about every way. Rolly’s clocktower facade, the topiary animals, the recently improved queue.

        It always puts a smile on my face.
        Like wise...the area always put a big "SMILE" on my Face......
        Specially around Christmas................
        Soaring like an EAGLE !

        Comment


        • #5
          I haven't been on WDW's since '06, but I think the takeaway after riding that version, was how the"flooded look" put the dolls at a distance from the guests. In DL, they are closer to the guests, which makes the experience more intimate.

          In addition, WDW's IASW is the odd hold-out over not retheming for the Holidays, which improves the ride, IMHO.

          I will ding DL's version, over the facade"s color scheme. While the white & gold is nice, I prefer the 90s pastel look, which matches the ride better.
          "...but life without cake is no life at all"
          -Lysithea von Ordelia, Fire Emblem: Three Houses

          Disneyland: 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2015, 2020, 2022/23?
          WDW: 2006

          Comment


          • #6
            Random Small World thoughts:

            I don't remember the ceilings at the other versions of Small World, but at the otherwise excellent Small World in Anaheim I've always been annoyed that the ceiling looks cheap to me. Micechatters have tried to explain to me the theme is that it's all like grade school classroom, but I still dislike it. That said, I still have always liked this attraction. And that written, I think Disneyland's Small World would be even better if the boats were sped up so the ride were a couple minutes shorter. That way would there would be more to see than can be taken in, like the Haunted Mansion ballroom. People could always ride it again if they really wanted.

            And I love the holiday version!


            I also love the 6-cent U.S. postage stamp with Walt & the Small World dolls. Mary Blair was a wonderful artist, and I've always loved the song by the brilliant Sherman Bros. We sang it in grade school, and I've even liked this tune even when it's been stuck in my head. The ridiculed lyrics are actually excellent.

            I thought it was funny that an evil cast member placed a Chucky doll in this attraction during a grad night.

            This clip from a low-budget film secretly shot at WDW might weird you out:
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JY4QsQuWqpI

            The Small World at Disneyland Paris is pretty fancy, BTW.
            Last edited by jcruise86; 04-03-2022, 06:03 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by jcruise86 View Post
              ...I don't remember the ceilings at the others, but at the otherwise excellent one in Anaheim I've always been annoyed that the ceiling looks cheap to me. Micechatters have tried to explain to me the theme is that it's all like grade school classroom, but I still dislike it....
              I’m with you on that. Once you notice the ceiling, it’s difficult to ignore.

              I think that flooding the attraction and doing something about the ceiling (both like MK’s version) would cement DL’s version as the best in every way.
              Last edited by Mike_M; 12-14-2020, 05:22 AM.
              Mike_M

              Disneyland Trips
              Walt Disney World
              Disneyland Paris

              1980, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1989
              1990, 1992, 1993

              2000, 2001, 2006, 2007, 2009
              2010, 2011, 2014, 2016, 2016, 2017, 2/2019, 11/2019
              2020

              Comment


              • #8
                Click image for larger version  Name:	image_48540.jpg Views:	5 Size:	387.1 KB ID:	8629826 Click image for larger version  Name:	image_48541.jpg Views:	5 Size:	86.1 KB ID:	8629828 Click image for larger version  Name:	image_48542.jpg Views:	5 Size:	232.6 KB ID:	8629830 Here's my reason that DL's is best: it's the one that contains water poured from all the different places from around the world. :-)

                Opening day photos (after it was moved from the 1964 NY World's Fair to DL) to show the children from around the world pouring water from their homelands into IASW alongside Walt.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by jcruise86 View Post
                  This clip from a low-budget film secretly shot at WDW might weird you out:
                  But nothing compares to the Simpsons version.

                  ALL HAIL THE LIZARD QUEEN!
                   
                  Last edited by Spongeocto4; 12-14-2020, 11:33 AM. Reason: Removing unnecessary Forum forumula
                  "...but life without cake is no life at all"
                  -Lysithea von Ordelia, Fire Emblem: Three Houses

                  Disneyland: 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2015, 2020, 2022/23?
                  WDW: 2006

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    While I love the DL's facade and Holiday version, I really do love the flooded look of the WDW one and the indoor queue (although, the added shade at DL helps)! I also do like the addition of the Disney characters throughout the ride...

                    Facebook | Zazzle site | Twitter | Redbubble

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                    • #11
                      iceknyght , one would think that the flooded look at WDW would make it better, but I agree with Spongeocto4 with the fact that it not being flooded at DL makes it more intimate. Perhaps all being more cramped together makes it a "fuller" experience? As I mentioned, the one in Orlando also seems to have some sets that have a lot of stale, empty space.

                      Spongeocto4 DLP was my home park for some time and while the exterior looks, fancy, I would rank DL first, DLP 2nd, and WDW 3rd. The one in Paris has an interior that is waaay to bright and seems stuck in the 90's. It looks more like a flat toy shop than an immersive travel through sets. If the classroom/supermarket ceiling bothers you in the USA, the one in Paris looks like the brightest Target store you've ever seen. During the normal year it's a pity to see that all the sets have lights everywhere that are turned off and are only used during the Xmas overlay.

                      I think that in all IASW, it would be a huge plussing to paint the celings a neutral colour, darken the ride, and project-map fanciful skies (perhaps make the ride go from daylight to nightime?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mtlchuck View Post
                        ...I think that in all IASW, it would be a huge plussing to paint the celings a neutral colour, darken the ride, and project-map fanciful skies (perhaps make the ride go from daylight to nightime?
                        This I think would be the most realistic option available at DL. It would certainly make a substantial difference. 👍🏼
                        Mike_M

                        Disneyland Trips
                        Walt Disney World
                        Disneyland Paris

                        1980, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1989
                        1990, 1992, 1993

                        2000, 2001, 2006, 2007, 2009
                        2010, 2011, 2014, 2016, 2016, 2017, 2/2019, 11/2019
                        2020

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It’s definitely the colors. The Disneyland one got a major lighting upgrade in 2008 which makes the colors pop more and overall makes it much brighter and well lit. WDW’s is very dim and a bit dark in comparison.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            For me, they are both very special rides. I enjoy them both, and they were always a must ride on my trips.
                            BarbaraAnn

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              As an update, I will say that if you have not ridden WDW's IASW lately, you absolutely should. It got a massive facelift last summer in advance of the 50th and looks AMAZING. Bright colors, all new clothes for the dolls, better lighting, etc etc.

                              If you followed any of the WDW blogs, you might have seen them talking about the facade paintings last summer, but as usual with bloggers (especially WDW ones), they take a lazy approach for clicks and didn't bother to actually ride the ride to learn about the work done INSIDE to the ride itself.

                              Before the update, I was strongly DLR version. After the update, I still prefer the DLR version, but it's a lot closer than it used to be. Highly recommend.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by jcruise86 View Post
                                I don't remember the ceilings at the other versions of Small World, but at the otherwise excellent Small World in Anaheim I've always been annoyed that the ceiling looks cheap to me. Micechatters have tried to explain to me the theme is that it's all like grade school classroom, but I still dislike it. That said, I still have always liked this attraction. And that written, I think Disneyland's Small World would be even better if the boats were sped up so the ride were a couple minutes shorter. That way would there would be more to see than can be taken in, like the Haunted Mansion ballroom. People could always ride it again if they really wanted.

                                I love the holiday version!


                                I also like the 6 cent U.S. postage stamp with Walt & the Small World dolls. Mary Blair was a wonderful artist, and I've always loved the song by the brilliant Sherman Bros. We sang it in grade school, and I've even liked this tune even when it's been stuck in my head. The ridiculed lyrics are actually excellent.

                                I thought it was funny that an evil cast member placed a Chucky doll in this attraction during a grad night.

                                This clip from a low-budget film secretly shot at WDW might weird you out:
                                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JY4QsQuWqpI

                                The Small World at Disneyland Paris is pretty fancy, BTW.
                                I ARGEE..........Mary Blair was a wonderful artist !
                                Soaring like an EAGLE !

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  The first time I rode Disney World's it's a small world was a jarring experience. The scenes were mostly in the same spots, but the details were different enough that I was constantly aware I was not on the ride I was familiar with (unlike, say, the Haunted Mansion, which was recreated much more faithfully at Disney World). It was definitely fun seeing a different interpretation of the same concept though. It's kind of like how different people can recreate a painting, but each of their respective artwork will end up fairly distinct from one another. Space Mountain and Splash Mountain are similar in this respect; the Disneyland and Disney World don't feel like clones, but different interpretations of the same script.

                                  I like both versions, but Disneyland's its a small world having the holiday version makes it stand above its East Coast counterpart. I've always found this a really charming overlay, and it's cool that it teaches kids about holiday traditions in different religions and countries. And the added holiday scents are great too.
                                  “I think, therefore I am... confused.”
                                  ― Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    The exterior alone makes it superior. We're talking about the version used at the World's Fair. At night, it's magical as it lights up and sailing into and away feels so calming. Then there's the Christmas Overlay that's just beautiful:

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Why didn't they make the ceiling look like the sky? If they could do it for Pirates, why not Small World?

                                      And why don't they name each boat after a country, with that country's flag on it?

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by jish5555 View Post
                                        The exterior alone makes it superior. We're talking about the version used at the World's Fair. At night, it's magical as it lights up and sailing into and away feels so calming. Then there's the Christmas Overlay that's just beautiful:
                                        BINGO..........The exterior alone makes it superior at Disneyland !
                                        I AGREE
                                        The JOY of the attraction is walking to it....and I love the clock.......

                                        "THE Charm start from outside "" IMO
                                        Soaring like an EAGLE !

                                        Comment

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