Saturday, December 19 marks the reopening day of “it’s a small world” , an iconic attraction of Disneyland Paris. To this occasion, Disneyland Paris News met with Tracy Eck, Principal Artistic Designer, Walt Disney Imagineering Paris, to find out more about what’s been done during the six months of refurbishment.
Can you tell us more about renovation work on the attraction?
“it’s a small world” is a truly classic of the Disney Parks. Euro Disneyland Imagineering, Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Paris and the maintenance teams worked closely together to bring back all the beauty and the magic of this emblematic attraction. The main changes of this six-month renovation include a brand new color palette for the facade, the renovation of the clock, the rehabilitation and ongoing replacement of the dolls, the return of all the initial effects in terms of animation, also a new sound system and a new soundtrack. Moreover, most of the lighting has been replaced with LEDs for an environment and maintenance-friendly dimension. Some scenes have been transformed, namely the welcome and goodbye scenes, and the finale, which is more beautiful and colorful than ever.
Which changes will it bring to the guest experience?
All these changes on the building itself, the colors, the dolls, the animations, the lighting, etc. will merely sparkle up this cheerful cruise and enhance the guest experience with even more magic. For instance, the new soundtrack includes crystal-clear voices of children singing the melody while we hear the musical instruments from each country in the background – this improvement undoubtedly makes for a more immersive experience. It’ll delight both the eyes and ears of guests of all ages!
What about the new entry and exit scenes?
The welcome and goodbye scenes have been completely re-invented with a whole new décor, fabricated in the UK and displaying 17 different languages. Both scenes pay tribute to Mary Blair, the artist who initially designed the attraction which Walt Disney presented in the 1964 World Fair. You’ll love these new scenes which are even more lively and colorful!
What can you tell about the new fountain?
The famous fountain standing at the entry of the attraction has been at once renovated and transformed. Indeed the boat has been repainted and refreshed while a new globe has been added to give the fountain a new design. In a bright blue color and made of a maintenance-friendly material, its surface consists of a series of waves that will enhance the water effect. Produced in the French city of Metz, it’s been developed for a year, and we worked in close collaboration with Imagineer Larry Nikolai from WDI who designed this new fountain. We also made an incredible number of tests with a mock-up here in EDLI headquarters to always fine-tune the effects until we reach our goal.
What’s been done in terms of lighting?
Most of the lighting has been replaced with the latest in LED technology, which at the same time facilitates the maintenance, helps save energy and improves the show. Because we are using the latest in LED technology, we are able to do a whole new color palette, using RGB color mixing instead of cumbersome and impractical colored filters. We thus have more flexibility in fine-tuning the color effects of each scene.
What’s coming next for this attraction ?
We have an ongoing doll replacement program that stretches until 2017 for the 25th anniversary of our destination. More than 174 dolls will have been changed by then. Also a new soundtrack as well as new costumes will be unveiled in the frame of 2016 holiday season – Celebration will be more stunning than ever!