Today In Disney History ~ March 19th

Today In Disney History ~ March 19th


The original ‘it’s a small world” was built for the 1964 World’s Fair, then moved to Disneyland. On October 1, 1971 the Walt Disney World version of the ride opened. Below are some facts about ‘it’s a small world” that were released during the Disneyland version’s 50th anniversary.

  • When the Walt Disney World attraction got refurbished in 2004-2005 the clown piloting a hot air balloon in the “it’s a small world” finale changed his demeanor. He now smiles and carries a balloon in his hand. Formerly, he frowned and carried a sign saying, ‘Help.’
  • Marc Davis, a legendary Disney animator, designed the scenes and characters. His wife Alice Davis designed the costumes for the worn by the dolls. Rolly Crump designed the toys and other figures seen on the ride. Blaine Gibson designed and sculpted the animated dolls.
  • Each animated doll face is completely identical in shape and appearance, to celebrate unity among the nations and cultures celebrated on the ride.
  • There are at least 240 animated figures in each of the It’s a Small World rides.
  • The “it’s a small world” attraction at Tokyo Disneyland features the largest Japan section of any version.
  • Originally, the attraction featured the dolls singing the national anthems of the various countries. The result was, in Richard Sherman’s words, “a cacophony.” 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 “it’s a small world” at Disneyland Paris, the cheerful anthem now is being played somewhere on the planet every hour of the day.
  • During a 16-hour operating day in the parks, the “it’s a small world” song is played, on average, 1,200 times.
  • Amazingly, the song is the only other Disney entity since Oswald the Lucky Rabbit to remain without a Disney Corporation copyright. This helps to make the song a true gift to the world, and can be heard as a music demo on many electronic keyboards, playing in music boxes, and even blaring from ice cream trucks!

TMSM Today in Graphic by Sherry Rinaldi DeHart; ABCNews;

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