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LP Lotion: Disneyland’s it’s a small world Returns with a Dose of Disney Character
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Posted February 6, 2009
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After months of speculation and controversy, Disneyland unveiled a changed-yet-familiar it’s a small world attraction on Thursday, February 5. Media, annual passholders, and lucky day guests were treated to a sneak preview the day before its official opening on Friday, February 6.

The exterior gave no hint of the changes to be found inside. The classic white façade, accented with touches of blue and gold looked much the same as it did when it was first dedicated by Walt Disney himself on May 28, 1966. It’s a small world was a popular attraction at the New York World’s Fair for two seasons before its permanent placement in Disneyland.

According to Disney designer Kim Irvine, the Imagineers had been planning to “plus” the attraction for some time. It was finally determined that enough time for the extensive refurbishment would be available following last year’s successful run of Small World Holiday.

Inside, guests will find “the happiest cruise that ever sailed” has been refreshed, but remains largely familiar. The biggest change is the introduction of 29 Disney characters, represented by dolls dressed in familiar costumes, animal playmates, or toys representing supporting players. (There is a complete list below.)

Dolls dressed as the characters have been placed in the countries of their origin. Alice in Wonderland now graces England’s chess board. Aladdin and Jasmine sail a magic carpet above the Middle East. Lilo surfs in Hawaii.

In addition to the newly costumed dolls, an entirely new scene, dubbed “Spirit of America” has been added. Placed between the relocated rain forest and the finale, it represents the Heartland to one side, with the American West on the other. Dolls dressed as Woody and Jessie complete the scene. According to Imagineering, “Spirit of America” is based on original concept art by the attraction’s original designer, Mary Blair.

Not only have changes been made to the attraction’s visual design; enhancements have been made to the soundtrack as well. The familiar small world theme song is augmented by subtle musical counterpoints in the locations where the new dolls are located. A quotation from “In a Golden Afternoon” accompanies Alice. Aladdin and Jasmine’s “Whole New World” is woven into the music in the Middle East. And sharp eared guests will note “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo” providing subtle counterpoint to Cinderella and her mice friends Gus and Jaq.

While most of these changes are entirely new, guests with long memories will note the return of some elements that had been removed over the years. Kim Irvine noted that work will continue to replace missing elements, as well keep those that have been retained refreshed.

The following is a complete list of the newly dressed dolls, animals and toys, approximately in the order they will be encountered (jump to Page 21 for a look at all the characters)

1: Peter Pan
2: Tinker Bell
3: Alice in Wonderland
4: The White Rabbit
5: Cinderella
6: Gus
7: Jaq
8: Pinocchio
9: Jiminy Cricket
10: Aladdin
11: Jasmine
12: Abu
13: Mulan
14: Mushu
15: Simba,
16: Pumbaa
17: Timon
18: Donald Duck
19: Joe Carioca
20: Panchito
21: Ariel
22: Flounder
23: Lilo
24: Stitch
25: Nemo
26: Dory
27: Woody
28: Bullseye
29: Jessie

For more information, see Disneyland's press release and fun facts.


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Exterior of attraction
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