Disney Ride History: It’s a Small World

…I have been in a long recovery. I cannot get the song out of my head. It will never leave. IT WILL NEVER LEAVE!!!!

In honor of the 50th anniversary of It’s a Small World, I decided to do a mini-history on the ride. I say mini-history because doing a full history on it is a lot harder than you think. I’m not kidding.

So, let’s flash back to 1964. You’re at the New York World’s Fair, and you are debating on what attraction to choose. You can watch the Carousel of Progress, ride Ford’s Magic Skyway, or you can go on…IT’S A SMALL WORLD! Why not?

It’s a Small World was created for the 1964 New York World’s Fair for Pepsi Co. Walt Disney was busy working on other attractions for the fair (Carousel of Progress, Ford’s Magic Skyway, etc.) and a couple things at Disneyland (New Orleans Square, Haunted Mansion, etc.). So the team was very pressed for time. The ride was to be completed in a mere eleven months, but who else but Walt Disney can pull off something worthwhile at such a short period of time?

It’s a Small World opened on April 22, 1964, and lasted for two years. Within those two years, nearly 10 million people rode on “the happiest cruise that ever sailed.” After the ride closed, it was shipped to Disneyland U.S.A. and opened May 28, 1966.

The whimsical design of the facade and the characters was created by Mary Blair. The memorable song was written by the wonderful Sherman Brothers. There was a livestream on the DisneyParks YouTube Channel with Richard M. Sherman earlier today. I didn’t have a chance to see it, but you can still check it out on the channel.

It’s a Small World will always be an important part of cultures everywhere. It was a ride made to bring countries together and send smiles to children everywhere. I love this ride, and I always will. Happy 50th Anniversary It’s a Small World!

See you later, Animators!

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