View attachment 17305 Around the world, Disney is celebrating the 50th anniversary of â€œitâ€™s a small world,â€ which debuted at the 1964 New York Worldâ€™s Fair as an exhibit to salute UNICEF (United Nations Childrenâ€™s Fund). Since UNICEF is dedicated to the welfare of children all over the world, the theme for â€œitâ€™s a small worldâ€ became an international voyage celebrating the happy spirit of children everywhere. Now considered a quintessential Disney theme park experience, â€œitâ€™s a small worldâ€ can be found at five Disney parks on three continents. The parks and attraction opening dates are: Disneyland Park in California (May 28, 1966), the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida (Oct. 1, 1971), Tokyo Disneyland (April 15, 1983), Disneyland Paris (April 12, 1992) and Hong Kong Disneyland (April 28, 2008). The design of the iconic â€œitâ€™s a small worldâ€ dolls â€“ bold yet childlike â€“ was created by Walt Disney Imagineering art director Mary Blair, who was honored as a â€œDisney Legendâ€ posthumously in 1991. Blair also created artwork for such classic Disney films as â€œCinderella,â€ â€œPeter Panâ€ and â€œAlice in Wonderland.â€ Her sense of design and use of color and shapes enhance the storytelling for â€œitâ€™s a small worldâ€ and have influenced every version of the attraction since the 1964 original. By the Numbers, Around the World Around the world, hundreds of millions of riders have experienced â€œitâ€™s a small worldâ€ and many have walked away singing the catchy little song â€¦ for days! During a 16-hour operating day in the parks, the â€œItâ€™s a Small Worldâ€ song is played, on average, 1,200 times. Although specific numbers vary, each version of â€œitâ€™s a small worldâ€ worldwide features at least 240 Audio-Animatronics figures representing children around the world. In addition, each version of the attraction features dozens of props and toys. A 30-foot-high clock tower is the centerpiece of the entrance to â€œitâ€™s a small worldâ€ at Disneyland in California, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland. Each clock marks every quarter hour with a parade of colorful international â€œcharacters,â€ along with animated props and music. Fun Facts about â€œitâ€™s a small worldâ€ at Disneyland Resort After two hit seasons at the New York Worldâ€™s Fair in 1964 and â€™65, â€œitâ€™s a small worldâ€ moved to Disneyland in California, where it was expanded and then reopened as a major attraction in 1966. Shipping stickers with 1965 dates can still be found on the back of some set pieces. Guest research has found that one in four Disneyland guests â€“ families with children and those who grew up riding the attraction â€“ consider â€œitâ€™s a small worldâ€ a tradition. They plan a voyage whenever they visit the park. At Disneyland, the attraction has a specific doll that is a nod to Mary Blair, the Disney Imagineer who designed the dolls. Blair appears as a little blonde with glasses, flying from a balloon over the Eiffel Tower in the Paris scene. Disneyland Resort Horticulture creates and maintains a widely admired menagerie of animal-shaped topiary plants outside â€œitâ€™s a small world.â€ It often takes five years before a topiary figure is ready for its onstage debut. A new â€œitâ€™s a small worldâ€ tradition began on November 27, 1997, with the debut of â€œitâ€™s a small worldâ€ Holiday at Disneyland in California. Each holiday season, the attraction undergoes a festive holiday redressing with new decorations, soundtracks, costumes, props and effects. The show depicts children of the world celebrating the joys of the season, and the â€œItâ€™s a Small Worldâ€ tune becomes part of a medley featuring â€œJingle Bellsâ€ and â€œDeck the Halls.â€ The â€œitâ€™s a small worldâ€ Holiday also exists now at Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Paris. Fun Facts about â€œitâ€™s a small worldâ€ at Walt Disney World Resort The faÃ§ade of â€œitâ€™s a small worldâ€ in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World is incorporated architecturally into Fantasyland integrated with the facades of other attractions rather than set apart. The inside queue area, however, features an intricate three-dimensional white-and-gold faÃ§ade similar to the outside faÃ§ades at the other attractions worldwide. The Pinocchio Village Haus restaurant at Walt Disney World has a window that overlooks the queue area. Guests in the restaurantâ€™s seating area can wave to riders as they start their voyage. During extensive refurbishments in 2004-2005, the clown piloting a hot air balloon in the â€œitâ€™s a small worldâ€ Finale at Walt Disney World changed his demeanor. He now smiles and carries a balloon in his hand. Formerly, he frowned and carried a sign saying, â€œHelp.â€ Fun Facts about â€œitâ€™s a small worldâ€ at Tokyo Disneyland The â€œitâ€™s a small worldâ€ attraction at Tokyo Disneyland features the largest Japan section of any version. Although the faÃ§ade is modeled on â€œitâ€™s a small worldâ€ at Disneyland in California, the Tokyo Disneyland faÃ§ade is done in a greater variety of colors rather than the white, blue and gold palette of California. As in Florida, the Tokyo Disneyland â€œitâ€™s a small worldâ€ has an indoor boarding area. The boarding area features a unique 360-degree mural in the Mary Blair style, depicting landmarks (the Eiffel Tower, Tower of Pisa) and landscapes of locations around the world. Fun Facts about â€œitâ€™s a small worldâ€ at Disneyland Paris The holiday version of â€œitâ€™s a small worldâ€ at Disneyland Paris includes scenes celebrating Diwali in India, Saint Luciaâ€™s Day (Italy and Scandinavia) and Ded Moroz, the Russian equivalent of Father Christmas. For Disneyland Paris, a new arrangement of the theme song was orchestrated by Emmy Award-winning composer John Debney and performed by the London Chamber Orchestra in conjunction with 60 of the finest studio musicians in London. A team of 18 seamstresses, tailors and milliners worked for two years in the Creative Costuming shop at Disneyâ€™s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World to create the dollsâ€™ traditional costumes for Paris. Authentic materials were used for each region, including silks for the Indian saris and fine wool for the Scottish bagpiper. The attraction stands out as the largest in Fantasyland and is dressed up in 150 different colors of paint. Fun Facts about â€œitâ€™s a small worldâ€ at Hong Kong Disneyland The compass rose in the forecourt of â€œitâ€™s a small worldâ€ at Hong Kong Disneyland has arrows pointing in the direction of eight major cities, along with the distances from Hong Kong. The cities include Bangkok, Nairobi, Mumbai, Paris, Beijing, Seoul, New York and Manila. The score for â€œitâ€™s a small worldâ€ at Hong Kong Disneyland features Chinese instruments: the Xiao, the Guzheng, the Pipa and the Erhu. â€œitâ€™s a small worldâ€ at Hong Kong Disneyland adds four new languages to the song: Cantonese, Putonghua, Korean and Tagalog. The Cantonese lyrics were originally written more than 30 years ago by lyricist James Wong for a Disney musical in Hong Kong. They are still sung by Hong Kong children today! How â€œitâ€™s a small worldâ€ is Similar Around the Globe Each â€œitâ€™s a small worldâ€ attraction worldwide continues the theme of children of the world, represented by Audio-Animatronics dolls who sing the â€œitâ€™s a small worldâ€ anthem in the language and costumes of their respective regions. At Disneyland in California, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland the faÃ§ade of â€œitâ€™s a small worldâ€ is a vast, whimsically stylized interpretation of world-famous architectural landmarks, such as Big Ben, the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower and the Tower of Pisa. At Disneyland in California, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland, dolls appear every quarter hour from the clock tower, in a procession highlighting cultures around the world. Guests may see a boy from Italy rowing a gondola, a kimono-clad girl from Japan with a parasol, a girl from Africa carrying a pot on her head, a boy from Mexico doing the traditional hat dance with maracas, a boy from Australia throwing a boomerang and a girl from Egypt posed as an ancient Cleopatra wall painting. Disneyland in California, Disneyland Paris and Tokyo Disneyland all have a holiday version of the attraction. Disneyland in California and Hong Kong Disneyland include â€œitâ€™s a small worldâ€ dolls dressed as classic Disney Characters, including Ariel and Flounder (â€œThe Little Mermaidâ€) in the Pacific Island scene; Mulan and Mushu (â€œMulanâ€) in Asia; Aladdin and Jasmine (â€œAladdinâ€) in the Middle East; and Donald Duck, Panchito and Jose Carioca (â€œThe Three Caballerosâ€) in Latin America. The Iconic Song The â€œItâ€™s a Small Worldâ€ song was composed by Richard M. and Robert S. Sherman, the Academy AwardÂ®-winning composers of â€œMary Poppins,â€ at the request of Walt Disney. Arranged and orchestrated with instruments from all over the world â€“ bagpipes in the attractionâ€™s Scotland scene, Peruvian reed flutes, Tahitian drums, etc. â€“ the music not only provides accents to each scene, it underscores the attractionâ€™s theme of unity. The original concept for the attraction featured the dolls singing the national anthems of the various countries. The result was, in Richard Shermanâ€™s words, â€œa cacophony.â€ The Sherman Brothers composed a simple song that could be translated into many languages and sung consistently throughout the attraction. With the 1992 opening of â€œitâ€™s a small worldâ€ at Disneyland Paris, the cheerful â€œitâ€™s a small worldâ€ anthem may be heard somewhere on the planet every hour of the day.