What "the worst ride in Disney World" teaches us about media strategy




It simply is not possible for this ride to be worse than It’s a Small World. It’s a slow, boring boat ride through the most insipid tune ever conceived. If you made enemy combatants go through It’s a Small World, you’d be violating the Geneva Convention.


I agree “Small World” is annoying, but it really is part of our culture at this point. Numerous movies and television shows have referenced it or presented parodies. So it will probably last as long as Disney Parks do. “Sitch’s Great Escape” references a rather minor movie that few people remember at this point.


Except that it’s actually a pretty damn good movie! :stuck_out_tongue:


Small World is the comic sans of the amusement park world.


The original Dreamfinder, Ron Schneider, gives great advice on planning and executing a great attraction in his book, “From Dreamer to Dreamfinder: A Life and Lessons Learned in 40 Years Behind a Name Tag.” It’s also an amazing historical account of the Orlando theme park industry’s early development.


I like “It’s a Small World”. I like the song. I like the creativity of the sets. I like the kitsch of it all. I like the bygone era feel. I like the giant clock over the entrance. I like seeing the train go through it. I like the sentiment.

It sure would be nice if we’d consider it a small world and stop hating on each other.


I don’t understand all the hate with Stitch’s Great Escape. I took my 7 year old daughter on it and she had a blast and loved it. She also loves the movie. Yeah the chili smell sucked but it was entertaining and wasn’t scary.


I love “Small World”, because it’s an amazing example of the design and art of Mary Blair and Rolly Crump. It was never meant to be anything more than a showcase at the World’s Fair, but was so popular that it became a perennial favorite, then a classic. Tune out the song if it annoys you (it’s not annoying to me) but where you see “boring” I see “beautiful”.


I thought Stitch was a really smart re-theming of the genuinely scary ExtraTERRORestrial Encounter attraction, which was horribly placed right at the entrance to Tomorrowland – if it’d been at Disney-MGM it would’ve been perfect. But Stitch is really only entertaining once. It’s not an attraction to repeat or re-ride to see things you’d never seen before. I know few people who’d want to experience chili dog belches more than once.


When I was very young my favorite ride was 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, which I’d later hear people describe as a terrible ride. And as I got older its appeal really diminished, but I never knew why.

Now I think I have a handle on it. I loved the movie, and the ride was unusual in that it went underwater. And that’s about all it had going for it. The giant squid wasn’t menacing, and the less said about the mermaids and the cross-eyed sea monster the better. I’ve never been on Stitch’s Great Escape, but if it really is the worst ride it’s because 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea has been removed.


Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid, worst ride in Disney World. Terrible recreation of the film, and that’s it.


That was my second favorite ride when I was a kid too (Peter Pan was and remains my favorite, I have no idea why). I was so sad to see it gone when I returned to Disney World 30 years later with my son.


Right on. The original incarnation of the ride - ExtraTERRORestrial Encounter - was pretty cool. Neat misdirection and visual trickery to tell a pretty interesting story. Then, in the name of synergy, some suit tied it in to ‘Lilo & Stitch’, which was already fading from memory at that point.

And yeah, the addition of ‘chili-dog belches’ was a crap idea all around.


The original one was “Mission to Mars” which I absolutely loved as a kid, and was even a little bit educational.

Plus it was extra fun the time the ancient animatronics wigged out and started doing a sort of Max Headroom glitch while gesturing threateningly at the audience.

Anyway, it would have been awesome to turn the ride into a dramatization of an actual Mars rover mission.


I’ve only rode Stitch maybe 3 times in my life. The first time was to experience the awfulness in person (I had been forewarned by my wife). The second was on a failed attempt to ride every attraction in Magic Kingdom in one day, and the third was on a successful attempt to ride every attraction in Magic Kingdom in one day. We begrudgingly dragged ourselves onto it that for that second “every ride” attempt. I think we failed the first time because we didn’t realize Tom Sawyer Island closed early.

This “every ride” adventure was before they changed Fastpass, I’m not sure if it’s still possible now. Plus it was in September, during the height of the dead season.


[quote=“SpunkyTWS, post:12, topic:46313, full:true”]I’ve never been on Stitch’s Great Escape, but if it really is the worst ride it’s because 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea has been removed.[/quote]I remember it better than some other rides, so it has that much going for it. Didn’t they retool it into a Finding Nemo thing?


The current incarnation of “Imagination” is the worst ride in Disney World. To suggest otherwise is ridiculous. “Stitch’s Great Escape” is fine.


The 20,000 Leagues ride at WDW closed in 1996 and was eventually removed and used as a Pooh playground; it’s now used for the Seven Dwarves Mine Train. It was reopened in Disneyland as a Finding Nemo themed submarine ride.


[quote=“Tavie, post:19, topic:46313”]The current incarnation of “Imagination” is the worst ride in Disney World.[/quote]“Current”? You mean, it’s somehow even worse than it was twenty years ago?