Everything You Need to Know About it’s a Small World
Also known as “the Happiest Cruise That Ever Sailed”, the It’s a Small World ride is one of the most beloved attractions at Disneyland. Take a relaxing trip on the Seven Seaways Waterway as this delightful little boat journeys around the world. Children from several different countries sing the same, heartwarming song that has captured the hearts of generations for years. Here’s a little bit of Disney history on It’s a Small World.
It’s a Small World made it’s debut in 1964 at New York’s World Fair. Walt Disney oversaw all aspects of the attraction himself. The ride was built in support of UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund. It’s a small world was a tremendous hit at the fair for two seasons. This cruise eventually cruised it’s way to Disneyland where it was reopened to the public on May 28, 1966. Today, the ride has been replicated at locations around the world, like Hong Kong Disneyland and Disneyland Paris. It really is a small world!
That Almost Too Catchy Tune
If “It’s a small world after all” gets stuck in your head; blame the Sherman Brothers, Richard and Robert. The famous duo wrote and composed the song. They are well known for composing scores for other Disney films, such as Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book and the Aristocats. At first, Walt Disney planned to have the children sing the national anthems of their respective countries. However, after some time playing around with that idea, he soon realized it would be a musical mess. He asked Richard and Robert Sherman, who were busy working on Mary Poppins at the time, to compose a song that all the children from all cultures could sing in unison. And “It’s a small world” became the timeless anthem for world peace and unity that it is today.
Crafting this Colorful World
Walt Disney assigned Mary Blair as the art director because of her child-like art style and use of geometric shapes. Every nation visited during the ride represents her unique aesthetic of bright, bold colors and every scene flows together into one cohesive masterpiece. Walt wanted to give his guests the impression they were sailing through a child’s story book, and with Mary Blair’s work, his vision was certainty achieved.
There are almost 300 children from all seven continents featured in It’s a Small World. And every child has their own unique costume that proudly displays their homelands. What’s truly amazing about this attraction is its authenticity. Alice Davis, the costumer and a team of seamstresses were adamant about staying true to the traditional clothing of a particular culture. The materials used were authentic to each nation, such as the fine silk for the Indian children to the wool for the Scottish children. Be sure to keep eye out for those colorful costumes next time, a lot of detail went into them.
A Not So Small Holiday
Get ready for this holiday season, because the it’s a small world ride gets a dazzling makeover. The entire attraction gets decorated in bright, festive lights, and transforms into a sparkling winter wonderland. It’s truly a spectacle to be seen.
Special thanks to Victoria Prisco for writing this article! My name is Victoria Prisco and i’m a writer from New York. Ever since I was little, I have been completely enchanted by the magic of Disney. And i’m still looking for that rabbit hole to Wonderland.