When you think about the Walt Disney World Resort, there are just certain things that come to mind — Cinderella Castle, DOLE Whips, fireworks, and so much more. There are also certain rides and attractions that you always think of. There are classics like Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain, as well as more recent ones like TRON Lightcycle/Run and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.
Perhaps one of the most quintessential Disney attractions is the Fantasyland ride, “it’s a small world.”
“it’s a small world” has been a part of Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park since the resort opened in 1971, and it has been a core part of Disneyland Resort since 1966. The ride takes guests around the world as they learn that we are so different, but also so similar. The ride was first introduced by Walt Disney himself at the 1964 New York Worlds Fair.
Despite its age, “it’s a small world” has remained popular among Magic Kingdom guests of all ages. Sadly, one guest shared that it doesn’t appear that Disney is taking care of the ride like it needs to. The guest went so far as to call the ride “sad” and “run down,” writing:
Can we please talk about It’s a Small World? I almost cant even ride it anymore because it’s so sad/infuriating how run down they’re letting it get. Today I counted at least 3 drummer boys with only 1 moving arms, so many dolls not moving right, a bride doll missing her groom. The carpet looks dingy. The paint in the queue needs cleaned up. The baseboards are moldy. Where they’ve tried to fix or replace dolls the carpet cut outs look terrible.
As an original opening day attraction I sincerely hope they consider cleaning this up and restoring to the state it deserves
Edit to add – I don’t want them to remove this ride. I just want it to work and look how it should
The Original Poster (OP) was not the only person who thought that the ride was showing its age. However, some said that they understood how much effort it would take for Disney to go in and get the ride operating at 100% and looking like it is brand-new:
It totally does bum me out to see things not be 100%, but I also realize how much work it takes to repair things that are decades old. I’d imagine there’s a huge amount of updates that they’d like to make across the park, but are stuck with situations like this: the existing items work ok, and updating them to modern mechanicals/systems would take the ride offline for such a long time it may not be worth it?
Others, however, seemed to think that Disney was just being cheap and didn’t want to spend the money to fix the attraction. One person joked and said that Disney was “scraping by.” Another said that Disney won’t fix the ride, but will give its executives more and more money. Disney CEO Bob Iger’s salary recently came to light — since his return, he has made just over $31 million.
This is not the first time that guests have gotten upset about the state of “it’s a small world.” Guests have commented frequently about the mold that can be seen in many spots along the trip. Unfortunately, mold is a tough thing for Disney to control, since Florida is so hot and so humid, mold is nearly a guarantee.
Over the past few years, Disney has frequently been called out for the state of its rides. This was especially true during the era of now-fired CEO, Bob Chapek. Guests felt that Disney was charging premium rates while giving a sub-par experience.
However, Bob Iger has said that Disney will be putting billions into its theme parks in the upcoming years. While that does mean new rides and attractions, it most likely means that the company will also be taking care of the rides it already has.
Do you think Disney is neglecting rides like “it’s a small world”? Let us know in the comments!