“it’s a small world”

“The Happiest Cruise That Ever Sailed!”

Board a boat for a song-filled cruise around the world as sung by children representing the children around the globe. This beloved attraction opened at Disneyland on May 28, 1966. Since then, the song written by Robert and Richard Sherman has become a global anthem for peace. They were asked to write the song by Walt Disney while they were hard at work on the music for Mary Poppins. It can now be heard globally at any given time as the attraction has been replicated in Disney Parks globally. In fact, the sun never goes down on it’s a small world with its iterations at Magic Kingdom in Florida, Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disneyland, and Hong Kong Disneyland.

Walt Disney picked Mary Blair as the art director for this attraction and Virginia Davis as the costumer when initially building the attraction. Disney shared the following about the two iconic artists. 

Classic Mary Blair Flair
With her distinctive use of color, geometric shapes and simple, childlike art style, art director Mary Blair was known for her unique visual aesthetic. Her colored paper collages give you the impression of sailing through an illustrated children's book.

Authentic Costumes
Under the direction of designer Alice Davis (with help from her husband, Imagineer Marc Davis), Disney seamstresses sewed over 300 costumes in all. Authentic materials were used for each region's traditional attire, from silks for the saris of India and fine wool for the Scottish bagpiper.

Through the years, the attraction has been given some updates. In 2009, likenesses of Disney characters were added to the attraction. They were created to fit in with the other dolls that had been residing in the attraction since the beginning. As guests make their way through the attraction, they can find Peter Pan and Tinker Bell in England, Cinderella in her native France, Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket in Italy, Aladdin and Jasmine in the Middle East, The Three Caballeros in Mexico, Ariel and Flounder under the sea, Lilo and Stitch in the South Pacific, and Woody, Bullseye and Jessie in the southwestern U.S.A.

The front of the attraction is almost as iconic as the attraction itself. Every 15 minutes, the attraction proclaims the time with a procession of 24 animated figures around the 30-foot clock tower. This is followed by two jesters heralding the time.  

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