The “It’s A Small World” rides at Disney parks are a landmark. Everyone knows of them, even if they haven’t ridden one. What people often overlook is the absurd creepiness of the ride, along with the uncomfortable cars. And now the “evil” Imagineers want to make some alterations to the creepy singing doll ride. For Disney geeks recent years at the parks have been nerve racking. The classic Pirates of the Caribbean ride was updated at both parks, and many worried that the magic would be lost. It turns out that the ride is vastly improved, with upgraded animatronics, music and characters. Pirates revamped is a huge success.

Last year the famed Haunted Mansion was upgraded and cleaned. New ghosts were added; old tech was replaced and/or improved. And once again the skeptics were quieted. I’ve always enjoyed the Haunted Mansion, but on our last trip in December it was one of the many true highlights of our day at Magic Kingdom.

Executive Vice President Walt Disney Imagineering and Imagineer Ambassador Marty Sklar sent a letter to Disney fans who are naysaying the updates. Sklar starts with the big guns, stating that within 24 hours of the park’s opening Walt was already “plussing” (a term meaning to add or change to the park) and that process has never stopped. He maintains that making such changes to rides and parks is exactly what makes the Disney experience so fresh and great year after year. Sklar also has vast experience, being hired one month before Disneyland’s grand opening he has spent his whole life working on Disney magic.

I guess the gist of the opposition’s stance is that Disney is going to use the revamp to add in Mickey Mouse, or do something else to monetize the ride. Anything to make a quick buck in the failing Disney Stores. Sklar states that his long tenure at Disney, along with the talents of the many Imagineers will provide an updated ride that will bring joy to old and new fans. If he can be believed, and right now we only have rumors and speculation that the ride is being ruined, then the new version could be better than before.

Normally I’d be passive on this whole issue, as “It’s A Small World” is a boring ride. And that song is so damn grating. But looking at recent projects, and rumor of what the new Spaceship Earth is turning out like, I just can’t help siding with Marty on this one. Sure, some minor (or major depending on how you feel about things) debacles have occurred with the Country Bears and other attractions. But I believe that “It’s A Small World” is going to be greatly improved by the additions and changes. All of which will exist in the same spirit that Walt, Marty and the original Imagineers created it for at the World’s Fair all those decades ago.

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