Sunday, April 15, 2007

It's a small world...sort of

I just returned from a family trip to Disneyland, the first time any of us had ever been there. During the Dumbo Flying Elephant Ride, which my 4-year-old and 2-year-old daughters insisted on riding multiple times, the standard warnings about buckling seat belts and keeping various appendages inside the elephant units were issued in both English and Spanish. This didn't surprise me, given the large Latino population in Los Angeles and the large number of Spanish-speaking families I overheard, but I was surprised that the recorded Spanish language warnings were spoken with a fairly strong American accent. You'd think a business as large as Disney---especially given that its other park location is in Florida, which also has a large Hispanic contingent---would be able to find a decent Spanish speaker for the task.

On the famous "It's a Small World" ride, however, the warnings were given not just in English and Spanish but also in French, German, and Japanese, with perfect accents in all of them. I guess they felt it was worth the effort given the theme of that ride...just not for Dumbo.

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