The iconic opening day (April 12, 1992) attraction “it’s a small world” will be closing its doors for the next 12 months. The dark ride features 281 audio animatronic dolls, 48 toys, and 247 animated accessories. Most of which are going to get some well deserved r&r.
As OUTSIDEARS (french) originally reported the attractions interior as well as exterior will be refurbished. Our Anton Peck inspired façade will be completely re-painted as well as the interior sets. It’s been five years since the last touch up and the Parisian weather has taken a toll.
Several of the current wooden elements will be replaced by longer lasting composite materials. The attraction still uses it’s now 30 year old show control system. Which is going to be replaced by an updated model. Water jets (that propel the boats forward) will also be updated to newer, more efficient models.
Cast Members can also look forward to improved working conditions. The control tower will be expanded. Backstage areas and evacuation routes will receive new flooring and other updates.
The show building is also going to receive a new HVAC system as well an updated fire protection system. Speaking of which, aspestos was widely used in France until the late 1980s. Asbestos acts as an excellent electrical insulator and is highly flame retardant, so for much of the 20th century it was widely used across the world as a building material until its effects on human health were discovered in the 1970s. The material was not banned until 1997 in France, just a few years after the opening of Disneyland Paris.
The attraction uses asbestos in parts of the air conditioning system, as well as on the metal frame of the building. Improving structural stability in case of a fire. The modification of the HVAC system will require the removal of asbestos. Asbestos removal is a difficult and time intensive undertaking.
Park goers and Cast Members have not been exposed to asbestos levels above the legally permissible rates. Furthermore the double ceiling in the show building is going to be replaced.
In addition to updating the lighting, maintenace walkways and will be improved. As a well as a complete replacement of the dolls hydraulic system. About half of the singing dolls will be completely replaced. Disneyland Paris might use the oppurtunity to introduce IP-based dolls into the attraction. Which is something we’ve already seen implemented in other iterations of “it’s a small world”.
The queue will also be receiving some love, it’s going to be completely redesigned for efficiency. We’re also going to be receiving a new, and this time official, elevated parade viewing area. Which might become a future annual pass holder benefit or dare I say it a premiere access (paid) viewing area.
Follow AirMagique to get your daily dose of Disneyland Paris. For even more follow us on on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Listen to the history of “it’s a small world” at Disneyland Paris: