BACKSTORY (May 28, 1966–Present): In 2008, the internet community stirred up a large controversy over supposed changes to this classic attraction that were to occur during a lengthy refurbishment, spurred on by the increased average weight of Disneyland guests. New boats and an improved waterway were installed to alleviate boats from getting stuck. The controversy came when it was “leaked” that the rainforest scene was being removed and that Disney characters were being added to the attraction as well as an entirely new scene, representing America. When the attraction officially opened on February 6, 2009, it looked better than ever: the lighting, the sound system, and the figures themselves were much improved. The Disney characters were sprinkled throughout and about as noticeable as a Hidden Mickey. The rainforest was still there, although moved to a different location. The American room was a nice touch and stylistically it fits very well into the rest of the attraction. The one “goof” of the refurb was installing the Toy Story characters of Woody and Jessie; these two characters were not done in the classic style of Mary Blair, and look like two plush toys who lost their way to the gift shop.
This page features current photos (post 2009) of the it's a small world attraction in Fantasyland, presented in the order that you would see them if you were riding the attraction.