it's a small world

The classic Magic Kingdom ride “it’s a small world” is a one of a kind ride that brings all of the elements together to make a truly incredible ride that is enjoyed by millions of people every year.

The history behind “it’s a small world” takes us all the way back to the 1964/65 New York World’s Fair, as the attraction originally started life as “Pepsi Presents Walt Disney’s ‘It’s a small world’ – a Salute to UNICEF and the World’s Children.”  The attraction that was at the Fair was moved to Disneyland after the fair closed, and is there to this day.  The attraction at Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom is a replica of that one.

In “it’s a small world”, you ride on a boat ride around the world as you learn that, while we all have differences that make us unique, in the end you learn that we are all human, and that we can be unified as one as long as we remember that.  It is the things we have in common that can bring us together, not the things that separate us.  At the end of the ride, in the last scene, you see that all of the children are dressed in white in costumes of their culture, singing as one.

Originally, the music to the ride was going to be the national anthems of each of the countries depicted, sung by the children and played all at once — but the result was a cacophony of noise! Walt approached Robert and Richard Sherman and told them he would like one song that could be translated easily into additional languages and played in a round — and out of that request “It’s a Small World (after all)” was born.

Did you know…that the song “it’s a small world (after all)” was written in the wake of the Cuban Missile Crisis?

In researching this post, I found this YouTube article discussing the song, and what it is really all about.  Take a listen, and perhaps have a change of heart about the song and what it means to you, if you don’t like the song.

The beauty of “it’s a small world” is in the message, and the message is, plain and simple, that we are all in the world together, that it is so much better to be united in fellowship then divided in anger.

“It’s a small world” may not be your favorite Disney attraction for many reasons, but as for me and my family, it’s a classic, and one that we must ride at least a few times per trip to Disney.  I can’t wait to see how things are different for “it’s a small world” when we get to Disneyland in a few months as opposed to Walt Disney World!

What do you think about “it’s a small world”?  Do you like it, do you hate it, or is it somewhere in between?  Why not let me know in the comments?  Thanks!

On Monday we’ll continue our look at what makes the Disney attractions great by taking a look at the Jungle Cruise!  However, before then look for an all new Friendship Friday post tomorrow!



About the Author

Mike Ellis ()

Mike has been a Disney fan since his first trip to the Magic Kingdom in 1979 when he was 11 years old. Since that first trip, he has seen parks open, lands close, and attractions come and go, but one thing remains the same, his love for Disney is as strong as ever. His Disney adventures caused him to start My Dreams of Disney because he wanted to document for his family and friends all of the special Disney Memories he has enjoyed with his family, and since that first post in 2010, Mike's hobby has become his passion! Now a Travel Consultant with Pixie Vacations for six years, Mike has helped many of his readers plan and have incredible Disney vacations of their own. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and . Also, connect with us on our Pixie Vacations by Mike Ellis Facebook page to submit a quote request or learn more about all of your possible vacation destinations!


4 Responses to “It’s a Small World – What makes it special”

  1. […] It’s a Small World.  The Jungle Cruise.  The Country Bear Jamboree. Dumbo the Flying Elephant. These represent just a handful of the original attractions at Walt Disney World, and in my opinion, the classic Disney attractions are among my favorites because they take us back in time a bit to what the park would have been like when we first went there.  In addition to these classics, check out the Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Carousel of Progress, and other great early attractions that will not only thrill you with their details, but they will also delight you with their nostalgia. […]