Today Disney is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the classic boat ride “it’s a small world” with festivities at theme parks around the world. It all kicked off with a global sing-along, simultaneously performed at Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Disneyland paris.
The ride technically didn’t first debut to the public until April 22 at the 1964 New York World’s Fair, but it was open early for select previews, so this 50th anniversary moment is being celebrated today, April 10.
Walt Disney World
International cast members from the pavilions of Epcot and Disney cultural ambassadors joined children from Central Florida Performing Arts sang in front of Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World:
Later today, a special “pre-parade” will take place before the “Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade.” Throughout the day, in-park performers – the Dapper Dans, Coke Corner Pianist, Notorious Banjo Brothers, Royal Majesty Maker Musicians and Main Street Philharmonic – are scheduled to include “it’s a small world” in their appearances.
Disneyland Resort cast members sang the iconic song outside the original attraction:
Later today, songwriter Richard Sherman is scheduled to appear in a sing-along cavalcade down Main Street, U.S.A., conducting hundreds of Disneyland guests in their “it’s a small world” sing-along.
Video: it’s a small world 1966 grand opening ceremony at Disneyland with Walt Disney
Video: it’s a small world 50th anniversary sing-along at Walt Disney World and Disneyland
Tokyo Disneyland cast members joined guests in front of Cinderella Castle to sing “It’s a Small World” in Japanese during the global sing-along:
Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse joined cast members of Disneyland Paris and nearly 200 international children in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle for the global sing-along:
Hong Kong Disneyland
Students from Hong Kong Children’s Choir joined Hong Kong Disneyland cast members in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle to sing “It’s a Small World” in Cantonese:
Video: it’s a small world 50th anniversary sing-along at Disneyland Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong
Walt Disney personally oversaw the creation of “it’s a small world” for the 1964 New York World’s Fair, tapping some of his best creative talent to contribute to the project, including Imagineer Rolly Crump and songwriting duo Richard and Robert Sherman.
We’ll have more from the 50th anniversary celebration of “it’s a small world” later today, including video of Richard Sherman’s appearance at Disneyland.