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Amusement parks: It’s a Small World Rumours and Bristol’s New Aquarium


Set on Bristol’s historic Harbourside, @Bristol is great, one of the city’s stand@bristol.gif out attractions, an interactive science museum which allows the kids to get really hands on. My daughter’s school takes trips there, last week she came back from one so enthused and hyper: "Wow dad, its amaaaazing, you get to fiddle with everything and you don’t even get told off !". It is now to add an aquarium, with Newquay’s Blue Reef set to create 35 news jobs once the aquarium opens in 2009. It will  include a coral reef, a walk-through aquarium tunnel, sharks and a display about the Severn Estuary.

I find the people strangely fantasied, Possessed with rumours.

Disney is a big company. Like General Electric, Coca Cola and Blooloop it is an instantly recognisable global brand and so anything it does is subject to the most rigorous scrutiny. There are any number of associations, websites and societies, the sole aim of which is to examine and analyse what Disney doessmallworlddisney.jpg and speculate on what it might do. (Hat tip to Brady at The LA Times’ Funland) The buzz in the chat rooms and on the blogs about the company’s plans to alter its renowned "It’s a Small World  Ride" has reached fever pitch with various allegations flying around about Disney’s plans to "bastardise" and "marginalise" the work of the ride’s creator, Mary Blair. One particular rumour to stick in the craw of many was that Imagineering (Disney’s creative arm) was planning to remove the ride’s "rainforest" , replacing it with an “Up With America” scene. There has even been an online campaign to halt the (rumoured) changes.

So this weekend, Imagineering Executive Vice President Marty Sklar put out an open letter in which he responded to the rumours. To the relief of many, he explained that:

  •  The rainforest scene is not being replaced
  •  Mickey and Minnie Mouse characters will not be added to the ride
  •  Although some Disney characters are being added to the ride these will be seamlessly integrated into "appropriate thematic scenes in the attraction and (done) completely in the distinctive ‘Mary Blair style.’

Sklar, a 50 year Disney veteran , "Disney Legend" and winner of the TEA‘s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, acknowledged that "It’s a Small World" is a classic and added " the greatest "change agent" who ever walked down Main Street at Disneyland was Walt himself. In fact, the park had not been open 24 hours when Walt began to ‘plus’ Disneyland, and he never stopped.”

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Rachel Reed

Rachel Read

Rachel is Finance Director. She has a degree in engineering from Cambridge University and qualified as a Chartered Accountant at Deloittes in London. She worked in finance in industry for twenty years. She oversees our news and also manages our events.

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