"Classic" Disney Characters Infiltrate Renovated It's a Small World

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The newly renovated It's a Small World opens to the public today at Disneyland, where riders experience updated international doll costumes (so, goodbye "ooga-booga" Africans?), the integration of several new "classic" Disney characters (like, uh, Aladdin?) and renovated boats that had been long overdue for repairs (to make them better ply the stream of baby tears, pixie runoff and guest credit-card indebtedness holding them up).

 

The slow boat to China dolls, as well as replicants of other celebrated children of the world, first opened in 1966, so obviously "the happiest cruise that ever sailed" needed a face lift. And what better way to celebrate children of the world than to work in characters from Toy Story, Finding Nemo and Alice in Wonderland? "Don't worry, Susie, there's a $69.95 Jasmine Precious Moments figurine waiting for you in the gift shop at the ride's exit."

 

Walt Disney Imagineer Frank Reifsnyder defended the product placements, er, movie-character intrusions on this morning's hard-hitting KABC Eyewitness News report, which concluded with the disclosure that Disney is the parent company of Channel 7.

 

"I think when they all come out and see the attraction, and see the care and love we put into this at Disney Imagineering, they will see that we've seamlessly integrated everything from a few new music changes to the characters," Reifsnyder said of pooh-poohing Small World traditionalists. "It's all been seamlessly integrated and it blends in with the theme and look of the original."

 

A whole new scene celebrates the "Spirit of America"--to fend off the criticism of rednecks wondering why all the holler for ferigners. You'll also glimpse Toy Story's Woody rocking in a chair--to fend off the criticism of Tom Hanks' residual counters. Hey, hey, we're celebrating the children of the world here!

 

It is a mall world after all.  

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