It’s a Small World is one of the most beloved attractions in Walt Disney World. The attraction started its life in the theme parks over in Disneyland and is now a staple attraction at many of the Disney parks around the world. Today we’re going to take a look at some fun facts about this classic attraction, which we hope will give you an even greater appreciation of the ride the next time you visit.
1. The 1964 World’s Fair
The ride was originally going to be called Children of the World and started its life as an attraction for the 1964 New York World’s Fair. The entrance featured a 120-foot tall spinning mobile, and it was one of four attractions designed by Walt Disney Studios for this event. The attraction was a smash-hit at the World’s Fair, and the proceeds from the tickets were all donated to UNICEF.
2. Over 300 Dolls Are Featured in the Attraction
One of the best parts about a trip on It’s a Small World is admiring the beautiful dolls which represent each country. The ride has over 300 audio-animatronic dolls, all of whom wear a traditional costume based on where they are placed in the ride. They are all singing the title song and welcome guests to the various scenes throughout the attraction.
3. The Catchy Theme Tune
Love it or hate it, the ride wouldn’t still be so popular today without its catchy theme tune. The song was composed by the Sherman Brothers, who worked on many Disney films and projects during their careers, including Mary Poppins. The first idea for the song included combining national anthems from all of the countries, but instead of having a tuneless mix of songs, they embraced the idea of a uniting theme tune. The song is heard throughout every scene in the attraction and is sure to be stuck in your head for hours after your ride.
4. Mary Blair’s Visual Work
The stunning visual effects and dolls in the attraction wouldn’t have come together without the assistance of Mary Blair. She worked as an art director on many of Disney’s animated films, including Cinderella and Peter Pan, before working on this project. Alongside Mary Blair, husband and wife team Marc and Alice Davis designed the scenes, characters, and costumes for the attraction.
5. Paving the Way for Other Water-Based Attractions
If it wasn’t for It’s a Small World, we wouldn’t have many of the other classic boat rides in the parks today. While the attraction was being built for the World’s Fair, the company knew they had to do something to get a high capacity of guests through each hour. The ride was built and tested to run at a steady loading pace, where guests could efficiently be loaded to enjoy the attraction. The research that went into building this attraction has led to other great rides such as the Navi River Journey and Pirates of the Caribbean.
The next time you visit Walt Disney World, you’ll now have even more admiration for the time and effort that went into creating this classic attraction. Visitors young and old enjoy sailing through the colorful scenes of It’s a Small World, and it’s a ride you can’t miss each time you visit the parks.