WDW: It’s A Small World

It’s A Small World – Walt Disney World



The first memory I can remember of “It’s A Small World” is probably when I got lost at Downtown Disney. I know a completely different park, but it involves a certain tune of this ride.

So my memory takes place in Downtown Disney’s gift shop, World of Disney. Following my mom, dad, and brother around while I wrote in my Autograph book, singing the song everyone loves, “It’s A Small World.” I must have turned the wrong way or stopped paying attention and eventually I was lost, but I didn’t realize it yet. Long story short, my dad found me singing “It’s A Small World” and still writing/drawing in my autograph book.


The line at It’s A Small World, is under a tent like structure in Fantasyland. Walking in you will see a background setup like this:

Small World Queue

Now that you are boarded on your boat, you will sail through many countries such as:

  • Scandinavia
  • The British Isles
  • Western Europe
  • Eastern Europe
  • The Middle East
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Antarctica
  • South America
  • Australia and the South Pacific Islands

Passing through those countries, you will notice that the language of the song changes. The dolls in that room are singing in their own language to the song! On top of that, they are wearing outfits inspired after each county!

Eventually you get to the big ending scene. All the dolls are dressed in white, dancing together, and having a good time. This is to show the happiness, friendship, and laughter we all share with one another. It also shows that we are are basically the same.


The Sherman brothers and Walt Disney
The Sherman brothers and Walt Disney

The song “It’s A Small World” was written by two Disney musical legends, Robert and Richard Sherman. When they first started planning the ride, Walt Disney originally wanted each doll to sing their own anthem, but when he realized that they wouldn’t musically fit together he pulled the Sherman brothers, who were working on the Mary Poppins movie, to the side and asked if they can write a song for the attraction. The Sherman brother decided to use one song throughout the ride because it will pretty much piece together like a puzzle piece, and would also show the larger message of the ride, cultural unity.


It’s A Small World was created by the WED Enterprises, and was shipped to New York World’s Fair’s UNICEF area  in 1964. Legend has it that Alfred Steele, Pepsi past company president) and Joan Crawford went to Walt Disney and asked him to design an attraction that would be suitable for Pepsi. When Joan Crawford went to the Board of Members, she proposed they used Walt Disney since he was already designing rides for Ford, General Electric, Kodak, and the state of Illinois because she knew he can design a ride in the short time they had left.

Walt Disney hired Mary Blair as the art director because of her use of colors, geometric shapes, and child-like art. They aimed for guests to feel as if they were traveling through a children’s book. Walt Disney also hired Alice and Marc Davis to design all of the clothing for the dolls. Once the outfits were designed, seamstresses went and stitched every piece of fabric to create 300 outfits for the dolls corresponding to their country. Finally, Rolly Crump was hired to design the props and toys, and then the dolls were designed by Blaine Gibson. Walt helped Gibson to try and make the dolls faces similar to one another because it is a small world after all.

Small World Cotume

October 1st, 1971 was the day It’s A Small World opened in the Magic Kingdom park.


The last few trips I have been on to WDW the line wasn’t really that long, so if you were going at a less busy time then I recommend not using a fast pass on the ride.

The ride is wheelchair accessible.

Enjoy the song! A lot of people find it aggravating, but honestly it is a catchy good little tune!

I hope this blog post helped you for you upcoming trip, or just to enjoy!

If you have any questions about a future trip you are planning, comment below or email me at @disneyworldsounds@gmail.com




Chloe Frazier

My name is Chloe, and I will be posting about anything that has to do with Disney World whether it is Reviews, Histories, Tips, and so much more! One thing my mom and I do is sell Disney crafts! Check us out on Etsy at FloofyArts! If you have any questions about planning your next Disney trip or about the blog, email me at disneyworldsounds@gmail.com. Have a magical day!

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