“it’s a small world,” is an iconic attraction that just about everyone in the world has at least heard about if they haven’t experienced it. If nothing else, they have likely listened to the title song from the attraction! This is an attraction that Walt Disney himself worked on and participated in the design, concepts, and planning for the attraction, so that also gives it a special place in our hearts. Here are eight facts and secrets that you may not know about “it’s a small world.”
8 – It’s also another Sherman Brothers classic.
The Sherman brothers were some of Walt Disney’s favorite cast members. He worked closely with “The Boys” as he lovingly called them to create tunes and songs for movies, attractions, shows, etc. They are a household name in the Disney environment and were extremely important to Walt. They also just happen to have created the title song for the attraction that will get stuck in your head for hours after you hear it. Some of you may love or hate them for this, but I personally love it! I think it is an excellent song with a great message and ties perfectly with the attraction. Come on, everybody…. “It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears. It’s a world of hopes and a world of fears. There’s so much that we share that it’s time we’re aware. It’s a small world after all.”
7 – The title song is sung in 5 different languages.
As you move through different areas, if you don’t know much about languages, you may not recognize just how many different versions of the song there are and what languages the songs are in. The same song is played over and over again but in five different languages. The languages are English, Japanese, Swedish, Italian, and Spanish. You could really impress your friends and learn the songs in each language!
6 – Be sure to wear your Magic Band!
The attraction has a fun feature utilizing the Magic Bands to personalize the experience. At the end of the attraction, where there are “goodbyes,” you will notice names appearing for personalized goodbye messages. You may notice your name and then wonder how this Disney magic works! Well, this one is actually related to your Magic Band. The RFID technology in the band allows the system to pick up the information to display. Don’t worry, it only displays the first name. Some guests have been concerned about this and stating safety concerns, but there aren’t any. Only first names are displayed, and guests still have no way of knowing who the particular person is unless you tell them, so they still won’t actually know your name.
5 – That is a lot of children!
You likely already know that the attraction is filled with animatronic doll-like versions of children from all over the entire globe in their traditional clothing, activities, etc. Well, you may not realize that there are 289 different “doll children” across the entire attraction. Not only that, these children represent a total of 29 different countries and areas around the world, giving us exposure to their activities, games, and events in these different areas.
4 – Each “doll” is the same.
The dolls were created with the exact same shape and appearance. Each of the dolls you see are all precisely the same. What makes them different are the skin tones, eyes, hair color, and clothes to help differentiate between the different countries and regions. The design was done intentionally to help with the reminder that we really are all the same when you get down to it!
3 – Originally a World’s Fair attraction.
The ride actually first premiered at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York! It was there for 1964 and 1965. The attraction actually sold 10 million ride tickets when it was at the World’s Fair if you can believe that! The tickets were 95 cents for adults and 60 cents for children. Since it was so popular, so it became a permanent attraction at Disneyland and then continued to make its appearance at all of the Disney theme parks around the world!
2 – There was a different name!
The attraction when it first opened at the World’s Fair was operating under a different name when it first captured many hearts. The ride was then known as Pepsi-Cola Presents Walt Disney’s “it’s a small world” – A Salute to UNICEF and all the World’s Children. That sure is a mouth full and would take a lot of space on a sign, so we are glad that it was shortened to just “it’s a small world,” for use within all of the theme parks. Also interestingly enough, “Children of the World” was another title that was under consideration but was ultimately scrapped.
1 – The boat system has been reused.
The boat system for the attraction was considered to be extremely efficient and a great way to move the boats through the ride, as well as control the speeds, that the technology and system have been reused when creating other Disney attractions. Pirates of the Caribbean and Gran Fiesta Tour are great examples of this and how it uses the exact same system.
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