Sunday, September 13, 2009

D23 Remaking "it's a small world" For The 21st Century

After a bit of a delay on getting everyone in the Theater, those who attended were treated to the evolution of a classic - "it's a small world" with discussions from Kim Irvine, Tony Baxter, and Tom Morris

Kim, Tony, and Tom
First up was the general concept of "it's a small world" and how it all began
Walt and Mary
This is a book that was published in 1951 that Mary illustrated. Kim owns a copy of this book and this helped her on how to keep Mary's look for the attraction while updating it.
Mary didn't use all primary colors. She would use colors and put them together, in a time when no one else would think about it
It is said that Mary wore three different types of glasses, and is believed by some that bu changing her glasses, it gave her a different perspective on elements
General concept for "it's a small world"
Show room at the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair
Once the attraction finished its run at the Fair, it was then brought to Disneyland.
Thank you Bank of America on sponsoring the attraction
New scenes were added like the Polynesian section and the Rain Forest scene became its own room
How to take an American classic and develop it for a whole different audience
Different looks that helped inspire the look of Disneyland Paris's facade. With so many gray sky days in Paris, it was important to choose the right style and colors.
This piece of work on the right helped with the look of the Clock Tower
Once again, new scenes were added to the Paris version
Colored fluorescent lights were used at a time before it was common
For the facade to be featured on the cover of "Connaissance de Arts" magazine was a great honor
Before going to Hong Kong, let's go to Suzhou. Suzhou Amusement Land has their version of "it's a small world"
Hmm... this station looks very familiar
Whoa! These dolls look scary
Obviously maintenance isn't a big concern for this ride
It looks like a little interaction for the travelers
Is that Bre'r Bear in the left corner??
These dolls look like a knock off of the Japanese anime Sailor Moon
The attraction at Suzhou Amusement Land is called Small World. Here is the describtion of the attraction the English version of their website gives - Disney built the same name imitation, domestic initiative. Tourists get on indoor tracks have manned boat, along the way to be able to enjoy all the famous cities of the human landscape, the characteristics of national forest scenery and ocean depths of the world and make music in time
If you want to check out their website, Suzhou Amusement Park
With the Suzhou ride getting a very low Guest count, Disney knew they had nothing to worry about
The number 1 requested attraction when the Park first opened. The facade in Hong Kong is made up of aluminum
Hong Kong went with the canal version instead of a flooded version. Easier to bring the sets closer to the Guests and the canal gives it a "floating through a storybook" feel.
Some improvements that were done for Hong Kong
The idea of having characters added to "it's a small world" is not a new idea. The idea had been floating around WDI for a number of years. They were just looking for the right time to introduce them, because they knew with a classic attraction, that they would have to becareful
In Hong Kong, the asia section was expanded due to some countries not being represented in the previous versions
How to take the characters and make them look and feel like a child's toy in keeping with the style of Mary Blair
Marie is very popular in Asia
Adding the characters to Disneyland's version
Starts with ideas and looks from Mary Blair
How would they look in their respective scenes
Once decided, the concept art
And the final product
This scene was inspired by the first couple of pages from Kim's book "I can fly"
Most everyone has heard of Hidden Mickeys. Inside each of the "it's a small world" attractions are Hidden Marys. This one is from Paris's version, I think
Time for some Q and A from the audience.
One question asked if it was true about the redesign of the boats because of Americans becoming fat. As this question was being asked, all three of them were looking at each other to see who would want to answer it.
They all pretty much had something to say about it. But pretty much it was because the old flume was the same flume from the World's Fair. Over time, it was cracking and was, for the most part, falling apart. It had been patch up so many times over the years and with all that work, it still was creating problems for the boats and the attraction. So replacing it was madatory.
And it was agreed that anytime and attraction goes down for such a long period of time, like 6 months, 9 month, that WDI would come in and change or add stuff to the attracion. With an attraction down for such a long period of time, Guests would then being to wonder and expect something new and/or different. If they had opened up after a long rehab and it was just new lighting and a new canal, many people wouldn't understand why something else wasn't done with the time it was down. And so with the long closure "it's a small world" would need, WDI decided that this might be the right time to add something to the attraction
The end
Hope you guys ejoyed it.


  1. WAY TO COVER THE SHOW! My thanks & congratulations!!

  2. I think that it is one of the best show in the world , I love Disney!

  3. Hey Look!! I See It The Land Before Time In The Small World Ride Inside At Suzhou Amusement Land In China

  4. Norwegian Girl Is Playing Ice Skating From It's a Small World at Disneyland Paris

  5. It's a Small World Characters at Disneyland Paris Is Greece, Russia, Belgium, Italy, Thailand, Mexico and Norway

  6. There's another Small World knockoff in China called "Joyland", at Jin Jiang Action Park in Shanghai. It's just as freaky/creepy as the one at Suzhou Amusement Land.

  7. Who Is "The Care Bears Movie" In The Ireland Version In a Ride "It's a Small World" At Hong Kong Disneyland.

  8. A Zebra, Chimpanzee, Rhinoceros, Lion, Two Giraffes, Hyena, Hippopotamus with Birds, Monkeys and African Children From the Ride "It's a Small World" At DisneyLand Paris.

  9. A Louis the Alligator From The Princess and the Frog At Hong Kong Disneyland.

  10. A Zombie Norwegian Girl And Boy Is Playing Ice Skating From Small World Ride In Suzhou Amusement Land.