it's a small world

Fantasyland
Magic Kingdom


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Introduction | Attraction | Touring Tips | Kids and Characters | Dining | Shopping | Interesting Facts

It's a Small World Attraction

INTRODUCTION


"It's a world of laughter, a world of tears;
It's a world of hopes and a world of fears;
There's so much that we share,
That it's time we're aware
It's a small world after all!"

Walt originally designed the attraction for the Pepsi-Cola Company to benefit UNICEF at the 1964-65 New York World's Fair. When the Fair closed, the attraction made its way to Disneyland and was so popular that it was one of the original attractions when Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom opened on October 1, 1971! It is located in Fantasyland.

It's a Small World Attraction

ATTRACTION


it's a small world -- The children of the world host this simplistic yet charming, whimsical, gentle boat ride. Small boats glide along the international waters and you are very quickly surrounded by dancing dolls, animlas and flowers, singing that now almost infamous song, "It's a Small World."

As your boat serenely glides along the 1,085-foot canal for 10 1/2 minutes, you'll be entertained by 289 Audio-Animatronics Doll Figures, 147 toys and 36 animated props. Each room you pass through has a theme, with the Audio-Animatronics outfitted in clothing and with props that reflect their respective cultures. The major themes include: Europe, Asia, Africa, Central/South America, South Pacific Islands, the Finale and the Good-bye Scene.

TOURING TIPS


It's a Small World is a continuous loading ride; that is, as soon as one boatload of visitors disembarks, another is then loaded on. Each boat can hold up to 20 people. During crowded times, the boats often back up at the end of the ride and sometimes gently bump each other, so do not stand or allow your children to stand until the Cast Member beckons you to unload.

HIDDEN MICKEY: In the Africa scene, there's a Hidden Mickey in the purple flowers on a vine on the elephant's left side.

This attraction is a great place to visit when it's very hot outside, as the cool air will refresh you.

A few of the boats have wheelchair access. Ask the Cast Member at the attraction. Guests using an ECV must transfer to a wheelchair to ride.

Some adults and older children are delighted with the costumes and music, while others find it very boring.

It's a Small World AttractionThere are many many different dolls to spot as you wind along the waterway. Look for wooden soldiers, cancan dancers, balloonists, chess pieces, Tower of London guards, bagpipers and leprechauns, gooseherds, little Dutch children in wooden shoes, Don Quixote and a goatherd, yodelers and gondoliers, dancers from Greece and Thailand, snake charmers, Japanese kite flyers, hippos, giraffes, frogs, hyenas, monkeys, elephants, surfers, dolphins and much more!


KIDS AND CHARACTERS


Kids of all ages will enjoy this ride. There is nothing scary about it - no drops, no darkness, and no sudden loud noises or surprises.

Disney Characters are not found in this area of the park.

Magic Kingdom Characters At A Glance 
Character Meet and Greet FAQ!

DINING


Adjacent to It's a Small World is the Pinocchio Village Haus counter service restaurant. In fact, diners from Pinocchio Village Haus can actually look down into the attraction through a large window on one wall in the restaurant.

Magic Kingdom Restaurants At A Glance
Menus From Around the World
Vegetarian and Other Special Diets

SHOPPING


Surprisingly, for Walt Disney World, there is NO gift shop adjacent to the attraction. In fact, in Florida, It's a Small World merchandise is hard to find.

INTERESTING FACTS


It's a Small World Attraction There are a total of 289 dolls that "sing" the familiar song, "it's a small world," in five languages (English, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Swedish). Academy Award®-winning composers Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, who won two Oscars® for their work on Disney's feature film "Mary Poppins," were asked by Walt Disney to create a simple, yet catchy, piece that could be sung in many different languages while guests traveled by boat through the attraction -- thus, the famous "it's a small world" theme song was born. The song was recorded by a church choir in London, a school chorus in Rome, Italy, TV performers in Mexico City and kids from Tokyo and Burbank, California. It was later spliced together with sounds and styles that represent 25 countries.

English, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Swedish can be heard in the attraction song.

Walt Disney Imagineer artist Mary Blair created the conceptual drawings and doll designs for "It's a Small World."

Today, the Walt Disney Classic Collection features a series of sculptures representing the various figures in It's a Small World.

All four theme parks have a version of It's a Small World.

A clown figure in a hot air balloon in the "Finale" scene was the only frowning figure in the entire attraction -- it was apparently removed during the latest renovation of the ride.

You can hear the following international songs while waiting in the pre-show area:

"Ach Du Lieber Augustin," or, O Du Lieber Augustin (1815 - Germany/Austria)
"Alouette" (1879 - France/Canada)
"Chiapanecas" (1938 - Mexico)
"Estaba La Pájara Pinta (Spain)
"Funiculì--Funiculà" (1880 - Italy)
"Hava Nagila" (1963 - Israel)
"Irish Washerwoman", or, The Scotch Bagpipe Melody (1792 - Ireland)
"London Bridge" (1744 - England)

 

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