One of the most beloved attractions at Disneyland, "it's a small world", reopened today after a series of renovations. The ride has always been a symbol of peace and unity for the rest of the world. It is a delightful journey around the world with an upbeat, catchy tune playing all the while. Up until now, the attraction was not cloaked in Disney characters--this was a good thing because it allowed the park visitor to be transported to other places and times and worlds, but with the Disney characters, it becomes a constant reminder that you are at Disneyland.
The new pieces of the attraction consist of Pinocchio dolls in the Italian section, Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan dolls in the England section, Ariel, Nemo, and Aladdin, among many other popular Disney characters laden throughout the attraction. Also, the rainforest section has supposedly been replaced with an American section.
I do not believe these renovations to be too extreme, but I think that the original attraction was much better. The other one was genuine--it didn't contain any marketing ploys made by Disney, and it was a completely "transforming experience", there were no connections to Disney so you could get lost in the ride and not be reminded of your current location in the real world. When Walt Disney developed the ride for the 1964 World's Fair in New York as a benefit to the United Nations Children's Fund, he intended for those who experienced the attraction to be transported to another world where he could get his message of peace and unity across.
I am not sure when these changes took place, however. I visited the park at the end of December/beginning of January and "it's a small world" had just opened up after a series of renovations, and it was no different (besides new plastic boats and a fresh coat of paint). I did not see one trace of any added dolls, and I would have noticed it. So, these must be very, very new additions to the classic attraction. I am not too disgusted at these new additions, but I'd rather that they didn't meddle too much with the classics that make Disneyland great. Although, Walt himself always said the park would always be changing as long as there was imagination in the world. . .
You can watch a video of the new attraction here.
Source: LA Times, Yahoo! News