Rebuilt 'Small World' Not Too Small for Disney Marketers

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2009 4:19 PM CST
The characters Aladdin, Jasmine and Abu from the film "Aladdin" have been added to the "It's A Small World" ride at Disneyland.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The recently renovated “It’s a Small World” ride at Disneyland has some new inhabitants, OC Weekly reports—Disney characters. The ride, which debuted in 1964 to showcase tolerance, now features animatronic versions of popular movie figures alongside children of the world, the AP adds. “What message are they actually saying about the world?” one purist asked. “That you can go anywhere and there will be a Disney theme park?”

“We’ve seamlessly integrated everything from a few new music changes to the characters,” one Disney Imagineer said. The company says the ride was never intended to be “like a museum,” and hoped “the park would always be changing.” Another employee cut closer to the point: “We are not trying to turn this classic attraction into a marketing pitch for Disney plush toys.”