Quick story: Wednesday I was standing by "It's a Small World" shortly before the fireworks. The attraction (iasw) was closed at about 8:30 p.m., and a group of 50 new trainee cast members came out, and their trainer was explaining hidden mickeys, the fireworks show, and how large the small world attraction was at Disneyland vs. other parks.
He then said that Pirates was originally a walkthrough, but when Walt saw how great (and efficient) the boats of small world worked for the 1964 world's fair, he ordered all the concrete of pirates to be ripped up, and they reworked the attraction as a boat ride-through.
He then said that Pirates in its present form wouldn't be possible without It's a Small World, stating, "people love Pirates, and always make jokes about "It's a Small World", but they don't dare make those jokes around me!"
Laughter then ensued. True story. I'm sure I'll be seeing some of these eager fresh faces throughout the summer, helping guests enjoy the magic. They seemed like a good group.