I want to talk just a little more about Disneyland, specifically, A Small World. The last time we went to Disney, L was 5, and we went on that ride about 7 times. She loved it, so I loved it, and I was able to use feelings of parental loveyness to cope with listening to that song over and over.
A few years ago, there was a news story that they were having to rehab the small world ride because Americans were getting so fat that the little boats were bottoming out in the canals. That's the first thing. Then, there's the fact that as you go by some of the larger sets, you can see that they are plywood and in your mind you can see the carpenter using his jigsaw and paintbrush to create that glacier.
But here's the part that gets me every time: On the other Disney rides, like Pirates and Alice in Wonderland and stuff, the inside is lit and decorated with Disney magic so you can't see the ceiling. This doesn't seem like a big deal because you're not supposed to be staring at the ceiling when you're on these rides, but Pirates of the Caribbean is, like, 13 minutes long, and on the third time it gets a little old, so you start looking past the pirates and wenches at the walls and ceiling and how they make the fire, and you can't suss out any of the magic tricks! Its completely seamless, except for the occasional exit sign.
Small World, not so much. All I can look at when I'm on that ride is the ceiling! You can clearly see the acoustic ceiling tiles and you are constantly reminded that you are not in a fantasy land but in a cinder block box that should be found in an office park. Its so distracting! At least on the other rides you can suspend disbelief a little bit, but on Small World you just feel like a loser riding around in a little boat through a flooded warehouse of mardi gras props. I expect more from Disney.
The best part of that ride this time was that once was enough for L. In fact, at the end of the ride, she said, out loud, what we all feel when we finally exit: "God, that song is annoying."