And The World Gets Smaller, and the Corporations Get Bigger

As those who have been to the House of Mouse lately know, the Small World ride is closed for renovations. An entry in the LA Times travel blog today indicates that this renovation is starting to raise concerns — not anything weighty — but more content based. It appears that (according to rumors) there are plans to introduce some Disney characters (reportedly Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Peter Pan, Belle, Simba, Nemo, Lilo and Stitch) amongs the multi-ethnic children, and to replace the Papua, New Guinea, rain forest scene with an American tribute. There are evidently details on this at both Miceage and Reimagineering (a very good blog on Disney Park design).

Now most of us avoid Small World when we go to the park, if only to avoid the infamous Sherman and Sherman earworm. But Small World does represent a particular idealistic vision of its original designer (a vision, alas, well suited to Fantasyland, given human nature as it is today). It would be a shame if that vision was lost or bastardized to the great god of character marketing or jingoism.