Disney World Still Struggling to Maintain Historic Animatronics

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A doll in a red German style dress on "It's a small world," a classic Disney ride

Credit: Disney

We’ve spent the past few months reporting on disrepair at “it’s a small world” in Disneyland Park. Some dolls have come up missing, while others suffer in disrepair. But it seems the California Disney Park isn’t alone.

On a recent visit to Walt Disney World Resort, one of our reporters noticed a missing doll on the historic Fantasyland ride. A cut-out patch in the blue carpet makes the issue more glaring.

An empty space in between four hula dancing dolls.
Credit: Inside the Magic Jess Colopy

Disneyland Resort’s “it’s a small world” has experienced similar issues with its hula dancing animatronics, so much so that one TikToker devoted themselves to tracking the status of the dolls.

Walt Disney World Resort hasn’t announced any upcoming maintenance for “it’s a small world.” However, the ride is expected to get two new dolls in wheelchairs sometime next year.

More on “it’s a small world”

"it's a small world" Christmas Disneyland
Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Parks Boats Collide After Guest Grabs Track, Stops Ride

This happy little boat cruise started as a World’s Fair attraction before it found its home in Fantasyland at Disneyland Park, Walt Disney World Resorts Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, and Hong Kong Disneyland. 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.

its a small world
Credit: fivefortheroadblog

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 any issues with “it’s a small world?” 


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