it’s a small world: the happiest cruise that ever sailed

Climb aboard the happiest cruise that ever sailed, and journey around the world without leaving Magic Kingdom Park!

it's a small world disneyland http://www.wdwfanzone.com

Walt Disney’s early ideas for what we know as Disneyland Resort began small, but, of course, with grander visions and constant plussing it truly became a land, a real place where parents and children could walk right into their favorite movies, books, or fairy tales together, explore faraway places or take flights of fantasy without leaving the Park. One attraction in particular takes Guests on a boat ride around the world aboard the happiest cruise that ever sailed.

it's a small world http://www.wdwfanzone.com
Photo used by permission from WDW News.

The ionic it’s a small world attraction in Disneyland Park’s Fantasyland debuted at the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) pavilion, and was relocated to Disneyland soon after the Fair ended. According to The Imagineering Field Guide to Disneyland (Disney Editions, 2008), the ride features 297 dolls and 256 toys representing six continents and singing in five languages. “This enchanting voyage around the globe captures a simple, but profound idea—that the children of the world understand our commonalities and can create a harmonious future—captures its essence perfectly with a sweet and sincere (and catchy) song, and offers an artwork style that tells that story as beautifully as words ever could.” This single attraction embodies Walt’s vision for his theme park and offers visitors a unique taste of a variety of cultures. Replicas of Disneyland’s it’s a small world attraction have been installed at each subsequent Magic Kingdom Park at Disney resorts around the world.

it's a small world http://www.wdwfanzone.com

When Walt was planning his “Florida Project,” he did not want to merely duplicate Disneyland. After his passing, when the Project became Walt Disney World Resort, some attractions were indeed shared, but each has its own variances.  Walt Disney World’s it’s a small world is actually one of four Opening Day attractions Walt Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom Park shares with Disneyland Park. While exteriors differ, the ride itself takes Guests on a similar joyful journey.

The song that plays throughout the fourteen-minute boat trip is sung in English, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, and Swedish. Walt interrupted the composers’ work on the Mary Poppins soundtrack to write the attraction’s theme song. Brothers Richard and Robert Sherman used the musical technique of counterpoint, where the same chords are played over and over to produce different melodies, in a roundelay style, producing a catchy, unforgettable tune. The Sherman brothers were honored with their very own window on Main Street, U.S.A., in 2010.

For a little extra fun today, utilize Google Translate to learn the song in one of the four foreign languages! To get you started, here are the lyrics:

“it’s a small world,” by Richard and Robert Sherman

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.

Chorus:
It’s a small world after all.
It’s a small world after all.
It’s a small world after all.
It’s a small, small world.

There is just one moon,
And one golden sun.
And a smile means
Friendship to everyone.
Though the mountains divide,
And the oceans are wide,
It’s a small world after all.

And now you’re stuck on the song, aren’t you? You’re welcome!

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