Between missing animatronics, a sinking boat, and a new TikTok trend encouraging Guests to stick their bare feet into the ride water, “it’s a small world” has had a tough year at Walt Disney World Resort.
Despite a length refurbishment and a new coat of paint late last year, “it’s a small world” in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom still shows signs of disrepair. A new TikTok from @amberscott992 shows that one of the hula dolls on the ride remains motionless:
“it’s a small world” at Disneyland Resort also appears neglected. Earlier this year, Guests were stuck on the Disney Park ride with no audio, only the sound of clacking animatronic dolls for 30 minutes. It came after multiple instances late last year in which “it’s a small world” at Disneyland Park shut down due to issues with murky water inside the boat ride.
“it’s a small world” at Disneyland Paris is currently undergoing extensive refurbishment. Is it time for Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort’s “it’s a small world” to receive the same treatment?
More on “it’s a small world”
“it’s a small world” opened at Disneyland Resort in 1966 after being crafted for the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair. It’s been replicated at Disney Parks worldwide and is beloved by Guests of all ages. From Disney:
Embark on a whimsical boat ride past a jubilant chorus of children from around the globe.
“The Happiest Cruise That Ever Sailed”
Sing along to the classic anthem of world peace during a delightful musical boat tour. Cruise along the Seven Seaways Waterway on a gentle 10-minute journey through all 7 continents. Pass through vivid, fantastical scenes representing the iconic sights and sounds of dozens of nations.
Behold a cast of dancing darlings from nearly every corner of the globe and watch as the Audio-Animatronics figures achieve universal harmony as they sing one song in many languages.
By journey’s end, Walt Disney’s simple message is clear: it truly is a small world after all!
History, After All
“it’s a small world” was created for the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair. Personally overseen by Walt Disney in support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the attraction was a huge hit. After 2 seasons there, it was shipped to Disneyland park, where it opened on May 28, 1966.
In 1971, “it’s a small world” was recreated to become one of the Opening Day attractions at Walt Disney World Resort. Due to its immense popularity, the attraction has been replicated at many Disney theme parks around the world and is considered a Walt Disney masterpiece.
The Story Behind the Song“It’s a Small World (After All)” is a timeless classic and one of the most well-known songs of all time. Walt Disney asked the Academy Award®-winning brothers, Richard and Robert Sherman, who were hard at work on Mary Poppins, to create a single song that could be sung by Audio-Animatronics figures in multiple languages.
Mary Blair Flair
With her distinctive use of color, geometric shapes and a simple, child-like art style, Mary Blair was renown for her visual aesthetic. Her colored paper collages give you the impression of sailing through an illustrated children’s book.
Authentic Doll-Sized Costumes
Under the direction of designer Alice Davis, Disney seamstresses sewed over 300 costumes in all. Authentic materials were used for each region’s traditional attire, from silks for the saris of India to fine wool for the Scottish bagpiper.
Have you noticed maintenance issues on “it’s a small world?”
Please note that the story outlined in this article is based on a personal Disney Parks Guest experience. No two Guest experiences are alike, and this article does not necessarily align with Inside the Magic’s personal views on Disney Parks operations.