50 years ago It’s a Small World opened at Disneyland with a special ceremony celebrating the theme of global unity. Walt Disney was joined by over 50 representatives from foreign consulates around the world and children wearing traditional clothing from countries around the globe for this special ceremony. Walt Disney was joined by some of these children in pouring waters from every ocean and many rivers and large bodies of waters into the flume. With music by the Sherman brothers, art design by Mary Blair, and costume design by Alice Davis, It’s a Small World has a timeless quality that is beloved by all ages.
Today the theme of It’s a Small World lives on as it continues to be an incredibly popular attraction, not only at Disneyland, but in other Disney Theme Parks around the world as they have continued the theme of togetherness in recreations around the world. In fact, at any given moment the song to this attraction is playing somewhere on Earth.
The attraction originally found its home at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair. Following the conclusion of the World’s Fair, it was packed up and shipped to Disneyland where it was reconstructed and has gone on to be loved by millions. Two years ago, the attraction celebrated 50 years since its original opening. The celebration included a sing-a-long with Disney Legend and song writer Richard Sherman who was joined by the Disneyland Band for this classic feeling celebration.
Imagineer Kim Irvine was also on hand to share about her memories and connection with the opening of It’s a Small World. She shared about some of the initial design process and also some of the enhancements that have come to the attraction through the years.
Fifty years later, It’s a Small World continues to delight fans from around the world. It features over 300 audio-animatronics dolls and costumes that represent cultures from around the world. Every 15 minutes a parade of wooden dolls mark the time in around the front of the clock facade. Throughout the course of a normal 16 hour operating day, this iconic song plays approximately 1,200 times.
What is your favorite part of It’s a Small World?