Behind Cinderella's Castle lies Fantasyland, with many of the oldest and most beloved attractions in the park. Premier amongst them is It's A Small World descended from a UNICEF exhibit sponsored by Pepsi-Cola at the 1964 New York World's Fair. Over 300 costumed dolls sing the title song in five languages, with the clothing setting and music reflecting all 7 continents and most major countries. The song is devoted to furthering world peace by emphasizing the similarities between peoples all over the world.
The setting has been refurbished several times since the opening in 1971, one of the original features of the park, but the basic ride has never changed. At approximately twelve minutes length it is one of the longest at Disney and definitely the longest unsupervised by security personnel. Boats carring 24 passengers follow a curving course called the Seven Seas Canal visiting dolls dressed in the national costume of over 100 nations. To further the idea of a small world, however, the shape of the doll's heads is identical even as their music and costume change.
The passenger loading and unloading process is one of the most efficient for a large volume ride in the park. As one group exits to one side, the seats are simultaneously filled from the opposite side all rows at once.
The smooth narrow canal followed by the boats is said to be cleaned, along with the boats, weekly. Let that not give one a fall sense of sanitation - anybody who falls into the water, and it apparently has happened, gets a tetanus shot immediately and gratis.
It's corny, it's fun, we love this.
I have to admit that I dragged Richie and the boys on this ride and I also have to admit that I absolutely loved it. I fell in love with all the animatronics and the different scenes from around the world. I think my favorite were the scenes from Northern Europe. All the cool blues and silvers were really, really pretty. The boys were so excited and they kept yelling out things and pointing to things for me to look at and take pictures. I know the song gets annoying by the third area you've visited, but heck after a while you can tone it out.
It's A Small World is a ride that depicts children throughout the world in their national costumes. It is cuteness in miniature--if you enjoy the tune you'll be humming it all day long. If not, you'll have an overdose of it before the end of the ride. It was a sprinkly day and my photos show it!
If you are in Magic Kingdom, you must swing by and partake in this small slow moving boat ride. The song may grate on your every last nerve by the end, but it will put a smile on your face.
It hasn't changed in years, and I'm so glad! It still has tons of charm and cuteness is rated a 10.
I think you need to be in one of a certain range of ages to appreciate this. Very young children may well love it at face value, teenagers will probably hate it, students and twentysomethings will probably find it so camp and corny that it is funny, parents of young children will probably suffer it for the sake of the kids, grandparents with grandchildren in tow will probably love it again. Everyone will end up with the song going round and round in their head for a lo-o-ong time. Do a really scary ride straight afterwards, that'll fix it (in Magic Kingdom… perhaps Space Mountain).
You've got to do it though, or you haven't really been to Disney. Well-travelled people may well enjoy trying to identify the countries. Oh, I never really said what it is - it’s a boat ride through the world, each country represented Disney-style and populated with miniature animatronic singing children in some kind of national costume. All singing the same song.
All together now, "It's a small, small world…" (sorry)
Her you'll take a boat ride around the world on a musical tour of nations. Hundreds of beautifully outfitted international dolls sing and dance to the "It's a Small World" medley.