“it’s a small world” Fantasyland Magic Kingdom
“It’s a world of laughter,
Walt originally designed this 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” — 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, animals 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.
“it’s a small world” is a FastPass+ attraction, however FP+ is only needed during crowded times. The FP+ entrance is located to the left of the attraction.
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. Audio Description and Handheld Captioning are available.
This 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.
Some adults and older children are delighted with the costumes and music, while others find it very boring.
There 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!
Be sure to check the “Good-bye” scene at the end of the ride for a personalized message! IR readers can pick up your name from your MagicBand, and often you’ll see a “good-bye” just for you.
Kids of all ages can enjoy this ride. There is nothing scary about it – no drops, no darkness, and no sudden loud noises or surprises.
Peter Pan and Wendy are sometines found at the Never Land Map across from the attraction entrance.
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.
Surprisingly, for Walt Disney World, there is NO gift shop adjacent to the 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.”
Disney Legend Alice Davis (wife of Marc Davis of the “Nine Old Men”) was the lead costumer 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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