My Thoughts on Small World
I rode the new It's a Small World attraction in Disneyland twice last Tuesday. My "verdict:" I loved it! I was thoroughly entertained! Basically there isn't more to it than that!
Of course, I will say a few more words about it...
Before, there were holes where things used to be, taken out by maintenance seemingly not caring. It had become a shell of its former self, from what I had seen of old footage and remember seeing for myself back in 1978 and 1991. We are now presented with a full show. Everything that used to move now moves. There is more to see, which means the lands have been condensed, as well.
So what about the new additions? To me, they were not intrusive at all, even though I get the impression they are still playing with lighting, set dressing and sound levels, because there are a few things that could be tweaked, certainly. The additional Disney characters in most cases are not characters at all, but kids of the world dressed up as characters, as kids do nowadays. Or as in the case of the Three Caballeros, pinatas made to look like the characters. And as such are more eye candy, something to look at - and for - than an eyesore, as feared by many.
Luckily, the sound-scape is still the beautiful Buddy Baker score that was re-found in stereo in 2001 during the research for the upcoming wonderful World's Fair CD set. In all, it's a more modern, updated experience, one that kids of this age will relate to on a much broader basis, much as the kids of 1964 embraced the original version. If you don't like that, you may not be "getting" what Disneyland is about.
By the way, if you do NOT agree with me, HA! on you, as Disneyland is MY land. Walt said so himself in the dedication.
The following video isn't great, but it shows the entire attraction from first to last rooms, without the 1970s cardboard cutout kids, so see for yourself...