What was the plan for the Small World 50th Update?

Brer Oswald

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
From what I gather around here, Small World was one of the attractions planned to be updated on or around the 50th anniversary.

So here’s my question: Is it still planned in some capacity? And if not, what did they plan on adding/changing?

The Queue? The facade? The music? (I’d hope not)

Was it going to be similar to the Tokyo one with the Disney characters added?
 

MisterPenguin

Rumormonger
Premium Member
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From what I gather around here, Small World was one of the attractions planned to be updated on or around the 50th anniversary.

So here’s my question: Is it still planned in some capacity? And if not, what did they plan on adding/changing?

The Queue? The facade? The music? (I’d hope not)

Was it going to be similar to the Tokyo one with the Disney characters added?

My understanding was that it was just to add in the IPs that DL's version has.

Also, recent rumor its being looked at for better cultural representation. E.g., half of Africa is represented by animals. That's certainly not the case for Europe.

Also, recent rumor that all such projects are on hold until the money train restarts.
 

Brer Oswald

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
My understanding was that it was just to add in the IPs that DL's version has.

Also, recent rumor its being looked at for better cultural representation. E.g., half of Africa is represented by animals. That's certainly not the case for Europe.

Also, recent rumor that all such projects are on hold until the money train restarts.
That’d be quite an extensive refurb. I’d personally prefer the cultural representation improvements over the IP stuff. I feel like the IP kind of diminishes the important message of inclusivity. But it all depends on how it’s executed.
 

Homemade Imagineering

Well-Known Member
That’d be quite an extensive refurb. I’d personally prefer the cultural representation improvements over the IP stuff. I feel like the IP kind of diminishes the important message of inclusivity. But it all depends on how it’s executed.
I completely agree with you there! In regards to what this refurb would’ve done, my best guess is that it would’ve been the Disney character route, since I believe it was rumored for a little while a couple years back or so. Maybe @marni1971 can fill us in on what this would’ve been.
 

Heppenheimer

Well-Known Member
That’d be quite an extensive refurb. I’d personally prefer the cultural representation improvements over the IP stuff. I feel like the IP kind of diminishes the important message of inclusivity. But it all depends on how it’s executed.
The IP insertion at Disneyland, in my opinion, doesn't really detract from the ride, since the characters designs largely stay within the distinct style of Mary Blair. But on the other hand, they really don't add anything either, or serve any real purpose.
 

Kram Sacul

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
Yes
My understanding was that it was just to add in the IPs that DL's version has.

Also, recent rumor its being looked at for better cultural representation. E.g., half of Africa is represented by animals. That's certainly not the case for Europe.

Also, recent rumor that all such projects are on hold until the money train restarts.

Hopefully on hold changes to cancelled or better plans are drawn up. The ride deserves better.
 
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Brer Oswald

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
The IP insertion at Disneyland, in my opinion, doesn't really detract from the ride, since the characters designs largely stay within the distinct style of Mary Blair. But on the other hand, they really don't add anything either, or serve any real purpose.
It’s not that bad at Disneyland. It’s pretty jarring at Tokyo Disneyland, which origins was a near exact clone of Florida’s
 

JohnD

Well-Known Member
I wouldn’t mind having the IP. It’s super fun to spot the characters, they are also really not intrusive at all.

I still ride it on occasion just because. But let's be honest. It's more of a family ride. I'm not a parent but I can envision a parent with their child, "Look! There's Mickey!" or whatever.
 

Surferboy567

Well-Known Member
I still ride it on occasion just because. But let's be honest. It's more of a family ride. I'm not a parent but I can envision a parent with their child, "Look! There's Mickey!" or whatever.

Definitely, it’s a family ride. I still think though it isn’t that bad to have an extra doll of Lilo in Hawaii. But yes, you don’t ride it for that.
 

NelleBelle

Well-Known Member
Just DH and I rode it when we were out at DL this last Nov but they had just put up the holiday overlay so it is a must-do for me! Luckily the wait time wasn’t atrocious like we’ve seen it in previous years closer to Christmas!!! But we always ride it, even now that our boys are teenagers, it’s a tradition for us; also a nice, long ride to sit and cool off 😅
 

Sirwalterraleigh

Premium Member
There’s no problem with the Disneyland version...it’s a little bit better.

I still have a hard time believing any “for the 50th” rumors.

1. They hadn’t lifted a finger at the 18 month mark
2. People weren’t asking for it...instead blowing money like sailors off an extended sub tour.
3. Only #2 matters
 

Brer Oswald

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
There’s no problem with the Disneyland version...it’s a little bit better.

I still have a hard time believing any “for the 50th” rumors.

1. They hadn’t lifted a finger at the 18 month mark
2. People weren’t asking for it...instead blowing money like sailors off an extended sub tour.
3. Only #2 matters
I definitely agree that the Disneyland version of the attraction is better. The implementation of the characters was done pretty well.

Tokyo’s on the other hand is a bit overdone. It feels like there’s at least 2 characters in every scene, and in the case of the Frozen Dolls, the scenery is even changed to look like the kingdom from the film. The Tokyo layout is near identical to Florida, so I’d assume they would have done something very similar here, but they don’t really need to blow the money at the moment.
 

rreading

Premium Member
My understanding was that it was just to add in the IPs that DL's version has.

Also, recent rumor its being looked at for better cultural representation. E.g., half of Africa is represented by animals. That's certainly not the case for Europe.

Also, recent rumor that all such projects are on hold until the money train restarts.

Not to be insensitive, but I expect that 99.9% of travelers to Europe don't go there to see their (non-human) animals. I suspect that the vast majority of vacation travelers to Africa (excluding Northern Africa which is represented in Small World iirc) do. I was impressed that SW really represented the cultures of the world pretty accurately
 

rreading

Premium Member
As much as the characters in DL aren't being intrusive, my impression is that without them, we tend to look more at what are the cultures being represented with the different dolls. It's a great message, looking at the differences and then at the end seeing them all in the white outfits. With the characters, it's more about looking for the IP scattered throughout (gives you something to do) which distracts from appreciating what's there
 

MisterPenguin

Rumormonger
Premium Member
Not to be insensitive, but I expect that 99.9% of travelers to Europe don't go there to see their (non-human) animals. I suspect that the vast majority of vacation travelers to Africa (excluding Northern Africa which is represented in Small World iirc) do. I was impressed that SW really represented the cultures of the world pretty accurately
As much as the characters in DL aren't being intrusive, my impression is that without them, we tend to look more at what are the cultures being represented with the different dolls.

This I don't understand at all. In the second quote, you correctly identify that it's about cultures.... which are peoples.

But in the first quote, you dismiss the lack of African cultures in favor of looking at animals. The African room has a dearth of cultural representation and is half animals.

It is indeed a small world if you ignore most of the peoples of a whole continent.
 

Heppenheimer

Well-Known Member
Or, if Walt Disney knew in the 1960s what a minefield cultural representation would become, he may have just not bothered in the first place. I mean, its not like Its a Small Word falls to the level of, lets say, Tin Tin in the Congo or Gunga Din. And realistically, what resources could an Imagineer working in Anaheim in 1966 realistically have readily available to learn about sub-Saharan Africa, other than accumulated back-issues of National Geographic? Contemporary research trips to Africa in that era would not have been particularly easy or safe.
 

MisterPenguin

Rumormonger
Premium Member
Or, if Walt Disney knew in the 1960s what a minefield cultural representation would become, he may have just not bothered in the first place. I mean, its not like Its a Small Word falls to the level of, lets say, Tin Tin in the Congo or Gunga Din. And realistically, what resources could an Imagineer working in Anaheim in 1966 realistically have readily available to learn about sub-Saharan Africa, other than accumulated back-issues of National Geographic?

Other than meet with a dozen ambassadors / embassies from African countries in NYC or DC and inquire what would be a good way to represent their peoples? (If there weren't already embassies or consulates in Los Angeles, and couldn't afford to fly to the East Coast, they could have called and asked for a pamphlet.)

It's a Small World isn't awful with cultural representation, it just needs to update a blind spot. It did will representing a few African cultures and tribes, but then gave up after four and filled the rest of the Africa room with animals.

It also needs to replace the leprechaun with actual Irish people. There's the offensive stereotype in the ride: replacing a people with one of their myths and not doing that to any other culture.
 

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