Wednesday, February 11, 2009

It's An Angry World

We're living in a time where there are a lot of serious problems out there.

The world's economy is in the tank....

There are war-torn regions all over....

And some chick with a recording contract somehow made it though to American Idol.

So in my humble opinion, there are more important things to get upset about than changes to a children's boat ride.

As most of you have heard by now, Disneyland has just re-opened "It's A Small World," which has been undergoing a major refurbishment for the past year.

You can see some video of the new elements on YouTube, but basically they have added 29 characters from Disney and Disney-Pixar films.

For instance, Alice and the White Rabbit from "Alice in Wonderland" were added to England, Donald Duck from "The Three Caballeros" makes an appearance in South America and Woody and Jessie from "Toy Story" are seen in a new "Spirit of America" scene.

Now, I recall Walt Disney once saying that "Disneyland will never be completed; it will continue to grow as long as there is imagination in the world."

So you'd think that fans of Disney Parks would take a cue from their leader and go along with the changes. But after the ride opened with its new additions, hardcore Disney fans around the world were extremely angry.

I read a bunch of Disney forums to check out the reaction and I saw words like....

Disgusting... Shameful... Disrespectful... Ridiculous.

What was really amazing to me was how passionate and angry some of the comments were. Some of the things I read bordered on fanatical. Seriously, some comments sounded like things we normally hear from religious fanatics.

Now, I think it's fun to discuss and debate rides, attractions, shows and polices at our theme parks. Heck, we built an entire podcast around that type of thing. But I've never been angry about a decision that a park has made.

Is getting angry about such things a distraction from the problems of everyday life? Maybe.

But I'd like to see people put that same passion and energy into something positive. I'd like to see them put that passion and energy into something that can actually change.

Because last I checked, online petitions and angry letters about what "Walt would want" aren't going to change any minds at Disney Headquarters in Burbank. Sorry.

What's your opinion? Talk about it in the forums.

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