Friday, March 21, 2008

Blowback...


There's a lot of people upset about the long refurb of "It's A Small World" going on right now. The renovation which is due to be done at the end of the year has attracted an unusually large amount of attention lately with the announcement that classic Disney characters will be placed in geographical relation to their stories.

It seems that Brady MacDonald over at the L.A. Times Travel Blog and the Re-Imagineering Blog have stirred up quite a bit of dust. The guys at WDI are scrambling to make sure the public doesn't turn on them. In an open letter to them Kevin Blair(Mary Blair's son), had smacked the Mouse across the face about some of the proposed changes. Now, from what I know most of the changes are due to age and not because of weight... this ride hasn't had an extensive refurb like this in decades. The changes involved in adding the characters were supposed to be subtle with the style fitting more closely to that of Blair's artwork, but it has a divided camp inside WDI as well. Some feel that they shouldn't be messing with the classic attraction while others feel the need to tinker with the ride now that there is an opening during this long refurbishment.

The publicity arm seems to be trying to control the damage from people sending e-mails and all the media exposure that is shining a light on this. Some people are saying this is not near as big a departure as the "Pirates" refurb and that fans should wait and judge the results come the Holidays...

One things for sure, when Disney starts enhancing the classic attractions it better tread lightly and carefully. This story about a Small World seems to be becoming very big.

Developing...

47 comments:

Spokker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Spokker said...

Disney loves to fix what isn't broken. There are many areas of Disneyland that need work, but they choose to tinker with Pirates, The Disney Gallery, and now (apparently) Small World.

I do hope it's a rumor and I hope it doesn't happen.

Jedimaster7705 said...

I'm mixed on the revamping of any Disney attraction. Granted, I've never been to the west coast park, but I've been to the east coast park, and I was bored out of my mind on "The It's a Small World" attraction. Of course, on the other hand, I wasn't impressed with the changes made to "Pirates of the Caribbean", so take all of that as you will. :P

KINGCRAB said...

First of all... Spokker, what you said is wrong as usual.

Second, the proposed character-related additions to DL's Small World are ONLY rumors that were started by people like Al Lutz because Hong Kong's version of the attraction is going to include Mary Blair-ized versions of Disney characters.

It's reasons like that why I hate certain overrated, overly-negative sites like MiceAge and the Re-Imagineering blog--the people that dominate those sites clearly have issues and need to get lives and quit ragging on EVERYTHING that Disney does these days...and people should stop reading them at once, IMO!

KINGCRAB said...

P.S.: I think that the Pirates additions are great and don't deserve to get bashed.

Spokker said...

"P.S.: I think that the Pirates additions are great and don't deserve to get bashed."

I think the Pirates additions are awful and deserve all the bashing they get and whoever thought it was a good idea to implement them should be drowned in the Rivers of America.

Hooray for Internet opinions!

Also, ReImagineering is a Disney watchdog site, much like MiceAge. You won't see a whole lot of positivity there. The entire point of the blog is to comment on various issues at WDI.

To be fair, ReImagineering wrote up a whole article giving kudos to Disney for building Everest.

Overly negative? Oh dear, whatever you do, don't be overly negative! Not negativity! It makes me so uncomfortable!

Anonymous said...

Oh, Spokker, shut up!

You need to stop bashing others and realize that you're dead wrong!

Lee said...

If Walt was still alive, I bet Small World would have been replaced about 5 times by now with different rides. Now that he's gone, everyone thinks it's a sin to remove ANYTHING. I'm pretty sure Walt said Disneyland would not become a museum, but that's what everyone wants it to be apparently.

I'm glad they are doing SOMETHING to a ride even though it doesn't need it. That's exactly what Disney does. You "plus" rides even if they don't need it. Whether it turns out good or bad, I'm just happy they are actually spending money in what they think is an improvement instead of just keeping things the way they are forever.

Anonymous said...

Also, MiceAge and Re-Imagineering ARE NOT "watchdog" sites in any way! They're nothing more than basher's sites infested with people who are only being negative for the sake of being negative!

End of story.

Anonymous said...

With the Pirates of the Caribbean refurb they did back in 2006, the Disney Imagineers got X Atencio, who wrote the theme song and much of the storyboard, to consult on the changes. I'm glad the chase scene doesn't have food anymore. Also, the change from the drunk pirate, who originally was searching for women and then food when they decided to make it PC, is now asking about Jack Sparrow, who's hiding in the barrel is better than the PC garbage they pulled a couple of years ago.

Now, in regards to It's a Small World, they talked about fancier entry and exit ways, which sounds good, but there's no need to put Disney characters subtly in the ride. The only change I would make is for the Holidays, call it It's A Small World Christmas and have it say Merry Christmas somewhere in the ride since 95 percent of the population celebrates Christmas in some way or another. Otherwise, don't fix what isn't broken and let the original version of the ride keep its uniqueness from other versions. Keep the exterior white, yellow and gold and the interior what we've seen all these years, except for the "brought to you by Bank of America" mention which went away years ago anyway.

Anonymous said...

Adding the cartoon characters is only part of the changes that we've heard about, you didn't mention the removal of the Rainforest scene to make room for an American scene.


I'd rather they put some resources into putting some life into Tomorrowland, IasW is perfect as it is, aside from the aging building.

KINGCRAB said...

The rainforest scene removal is also nothing more than a rumor made up by Al Lutz just to get attention.

Besides, the room that contains the rainforest scene is too small for a North America scene anyway. And they'd have to cover it over with black curtains anyway when they do the holiday overlay (like the Xmas version already does when it takes place).

KINGCRAB said...

P.S.: Spokker, if anyone should be drowned in the Rivers of America, it's YOU, not the Imagineers! :D

Spokker said...

"I'd rather they put some resources into putting some life into Tomorrowland, IasW is perfect as it is, aside from the aging building."

Agreed. And all the building needs is some TLC. Maintain, don't destroy.

"I'm just happy they are actually spending money in what they think is an improvement instead of just keeping things the way they are forever."

That's the spirit. Change everything all willy-nilly so you've got something to market next year with no regard to tone, style, theme, mood, setting, meaning, or any of those silly things that used to factor into attractions.

Anonymous said...

Paging Honor Hunter, paging Honor Hunter...

Please block Spokker so he can't post here anymore!

Anonymous said...

Spokker is making some very good comments here. He doesn't deserve to be blocked because he is being negative. Many things that Al Lutz predicts end up being true.

These "Small World" changes aren't for making the ride better. They are for selling more merchandise.

Disney should be fixing problem areas like Tomorrowland or the Big Thunder Ranch/Festival of Fools area.

KINGCRAB said...

I disagree, Anonymous.

Most of Al Lutz's predictions turn out to be wrong. He's just a gossip monger and should be ignored at all costs!

And the Small World character addition rumors, once again, are FALSE, so stop worrying!

Where's Honor Hunter when you need him...

Spokker said...

"Most of Al Lutz's predictions turn out to be wrong. He's just a gossip monger and should be ignored at all costs!"

If you don't like gossip then by all means don't go to places where gossip is being talked about. But the Internet is for rumors and speculation. Rumors get out and they are commented on.

Like all gossip columnists Lutz is sometimes right and sometimes wrong.

Bob & Rob "Professional American Writers" said...

As a parent who spends a good deal of time during the summer roaming the park with my kids....I only pray they keep he air conditioning cranked-up as they always have! Aside from being a great relaxing ride, it offers hot, tired parents a well deserved cooling off:)

Anonymous said...

"Please block Spokker so he can't post here anymore!"

It'd be nice to get him to shut up with his 'It's free speech so I have a right to be negative' tripe...

He has been banned from micechat for some reason... and I'm curious to know why... perhaps it might be a good reason to ban him from other sites as well...

Spokker said...

"He has been banned from micechat for some reason... and I'm curious to know why... perhaps it might be a good reason to ban him from other sites as well..."

I deliberately made posts that I knew would get me banned because I didn't like the forums.

Honor Hunter said...

Spokker can have his say like everyone else...

We can all agree to disagree, I don't ban anyone from the comments sections if they disagree with me or not. I have only banned a few and it was for vulgar language...

So long as you don't start getting a potty mouth you have the right to say what you want.

Anonymous said...

If I actually thought that Disney had any other reason behind these changes other than selling more character crap, then I'd be fully behind them. But it's quite obvious that these changes are only motivated by one thing - greed.

Anonymous said...

"I deliberately made posts that I knew would get me banned because I didn't like the forums."

Ah, so Spokker is a self proclaimed TROLL. Best keep yourself in line on the forums you do use then...

Anonymous said...

Disney recently got smacked by the members of the Disney Vacation Club for removing glassware, and replacing with styrofoam in all the studio units. The glassware is back. Public demand can make a difference.

KINGCRAB said...

If I actually thought that Disney had any other reason behind these changes other than selling more character crap, then I'd be fully behind them. But it's quite obvious that these changes are only motivated by one thing - greed.

Sorry, but that is not true and you know it! You people need to stop thinking of EVERYTHING the company does as a scheme to sell merchandise--that's a VERY flawed mentality, IMO.

Let's please put this issue to rest--the DL Small World change rumors are only RUMORS!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but that is not true and you know it!

How exactly is that not true? Just what other reason could there be? It's not like the ride needs to have Disney characters added to somehow make it relevant to today's audiences. The ride has been doing just fine for the past 40 years, so why add characters expect as a way to sell stuff?

Trust me, I'm all for updating Small World - if it's done tastefully and in the spirit of the original ride. But adding cartoon characters adds NOTHING to the message of World Peace - it only detracts from it.

KINGCRAB said...

I still disagree with you, Anonymous.

And for the last time, these are ONLY RUMORS--STOP PAYING ATTENTION TO THEM!!!

KNOCK IT OFF!!!

Anonymous said...

"these are ONLY RUMORS"

Good - let's hope they stay that way. That's why I'm posting my displeasure with the idea now - so that the rumors don't turn into fact.

Thufer said...

Lee stated >>If Walt was still alive, I bet....<<

I do not know nor would i pretend to know what walt would do. my hunch is yes, he would have 'plussed' the ride. how? who knows. what if any input would mary blair have had? again, would be guessing. walt was very strong minded and i don't think he would have given her much if any input. (my guess and IMHO)
do I tend to want the walt disney parts of the park frozen in time? yes, i am guilty of that.

do i want the ride changed? no, not really. does it need to be done? yes, i think so. now, the hard part....how?

that being said, it is good to see this spirited debate and i am just thankful walt left ~us~ such a wonderful responsibility. it is amazing that we care so much about 82 acres.

my personal opinion: i think walt would get a kick out of all this, then go do what ever he thought was needed. it's a company now. sacred ground to a lot of us, but it belongs to the company HE left. maybe a little trust will go a long way.

Spokker said...

"Ah, so Spokker is a self proclaimed TROLL. Best keep yourself in line on the forums you do use then..."

So far I like the forums I am posting on and the people I'm posting with, so that won't be a problem anonymous Internet person!

Sea World Fan said...

www.saveitsasmallworld.com/phpPETITION

more to come within a week.

KINGCRAB said...

Sea World Fan, as I've said before, it's only a rumor!

The character additions and rainforest scene removal are all false rumors made up by the ever-questionable Al Lutz.

I wish Honor Hunter would just debunk these rumors already!

kaliwolf said...

How do you know kingcrab? You sound terribly sure of yourself, but I think it may only be because of your personal dislike for Al Lutz (which isn't very rational). I haven't heard anyone who is generally thought to have insider knowledge or contacts deny this rumor yet. Not Honor, not Bean on LP, nor any other. Disney could've categorically denied this by now, but they haven't, they've just been noncommittal with their responses. Why would Honor even make a post about this if it had no substance?

Anonymous said...

Lutz is very questionable. He is more wrong than he is right... yet his followers have this amazing knack to ignore what he gets wrong and run with what he gets right. Now that isn't very rational.

Spokker said...

"He is more wrong than he is right... yet his followers have this amazing knack to ignore what he gets wrong and run with what he gets right."

It all comes with the territory. I would hope that most of his readers are smart enough to realize that they are reading a gossip site and not a news site.

Lutz deals with news not yet released to the public. So when something doesn't come to fruition was Al wrong or did Disney just decide to cancel that particular project? There's really no way to know.

I wonder how many people who badmouth Lutz also read PerezHilton or TMZ and don't badmouth them for being wrong or just downright unethical.

Listen, if you just want to comment on things you read in Disney press releases nothing is stopping you from doing so. But from the looks of it many people enjoy commenting on Disneyland gossip, rumors, and speculation and they will continue to do so.

Anonymous said...

Uhuh... and if they don't like the websites then they TROLL on them... noted Spokker.

Spokker said...

"Uhuh... and if they don't like the websites then they TROLL on them... noted Spokker."

Oh boo-hoo, someone was annoyed for five minutes. Wahhh...

Anonymous said...

Real adult of you. Keep it up though, I'd love to see you get banned from the sites you frequent.

Spokker said...

"Real adult of you. Keep it up though, I'd love to see you get banned from the sites you frequent."

I see you take the Internet very seriously.

Anonymous said...

From a person obsessing over a ride? lol, classic.

Spokker said...

From a person obsessing over someone else obsessing over a ride? lol, classic.

Spokker said...

I hardly think this Blue Sky Disney guy wants us bickering on his nice little blog here. You are more than welcome to message me anytime and take this to another venue.

Anonymous said...

Running away? Pfffft.

Honor Hunter said...

Am I going to have to pull this car over and come back there and seperate you two?

Guys. Please. Play nice. Life is way too short...

Jedited said...

I always wondered what was meant by DFs (Disney foamers), but this whole Small World debate has crystalized it for me. I love Disney and Disneyland just as much as the next guy, but COME ON PEOPLE. Small World is NOT Haunted Mansion (which has been changed numerous times) nor is it Pirates (which again has been changed). DFs complain about these changes, BUT the general public (the ones paying the bills) LOVE these changes. Look at the lines for Pirates since the change. Look at the lines for Tom Sawyers Island (I admit I was concerned about that one, but pleasantly surprised). NO ONE in the general public (80+% of the people coming in the front gate) are going to say, "OH no, the addition of Disney characters changes the meaning of the message of Small World's message of World peace." They will say, "Cool, look at Peter Pan (or whoever they put in there)."

C33 said...

Just wanted to say, in defense of Al Lutz, Disney has now officially announced that they WILL be adding Disney characters to It's A Small World during the referb:

http://travel.latimes.com/daily-deal-blog/?p=1552