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"it's a small world"

The fanciful it's a small world facade is full of whimsical detail

Disneyland Park


Guests Can Be

Any Height

Age Interest

All Ages

Thrill Level

Slow Rides, Water Rides, Loud

Accessibility and Other Information - Opens Dialog


  • Must Transfer to Wheelchair
  • Handheld Captioning
  • Audio Description



Board a whimsical boat ride for a song-filled journey around the globe—this cherubic chorus exudes pure joy!

"it's a small world" has transformed into "it's a small world" Holiday during Holidays at the Disneyland Resort. "it's a small world" is expected to reopen in early 2019. Please check back for updates.
Dancing dolls, a drummer and a lion cub that looks like Simba in the it's a small world Africa scene

“The Happiest Cruise That Ever Sailed”

Sing along to the classic anthem of world peace during a musical boat tour hosted by the children of the world. Climb aboard a cozy boat and set sail along the Seven Seaways canal for an approximate 15-minute journey.

Amid a vibrant, multi-colored backdrop exquisitely crafted out of papier-mâché, glitter and fabric, behold a cast of almost 300 traditionally dressed dimple darlings from nearly every corner of the globe sing a simple song in their native language about universal harmony and dance. Travel to all 7 continents and, by journey’s end, see for yourself that it truly is a small world after all.

Bon Voyage!
From the snow-capped Swiss Alps to the golden Serengeti, the children of the world are ready to make your acquaintance. During your tour, experience a rainbow of diverse cultures from such far-off locales as: 

  • The Polar Regions
  • The British Isles
  • Western Europe
  • Eastern Europe
  • The Middle East
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • South America
  • The South Pacific
  • The United States

Before returning home, the children reunite for a grand finale, reminding us of our common bonds of friendship, laughter and happiness—and by seeing the world through the eyes of a child, we are all basically the same.

Disney Characters
Some familiar new faces debuted on February 6, 2009 with the addition of dolls representing select Disney and Disney•Pixar characters. Keep an eye out for: 

  • Peter Pan and Tinker Bell
  • Cinderella
  • Pinocchio
  • Jiminy Cricket
  • Aladdin and Jasmine
  • The Three Caballeros
  • Ariel and Flounder
  • Lilo and Stitch
  • Woody, Bullseye and Jessie 

A girl and her parents ride the 3-person Matterhorn Bobsleds vehicles

FASTPASS Distribution Location

FASTPASS distribution location for “it’s a small world” is located near the entrance to Matterhorn Bobsleds.

Woody and Jessie, along with 3 Native-American dolls, sing and dance in the United States scene

The Classic Song

Written and composed by an Academy Award®-winning team of brothers, the song "it's a small world" is a timeless classic.

As you navigate the Seven Seaways, “it’s a small world” is lovingly sung by the children in their native languages—including French, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and English. Composers Richard and Robert Sherman came to the conclusion that a single musical theme was the way to bring the song together, thus reinforcing the attraction’s larger message of cultural unity and harmony.

The Story Behind the Song
Originally, Walt Disney envisioned the world’s children singing the national anthem from each country they represented. But he quickly discovered that everyone singing a different tune resulted in a musical cacophony. Walt asked the Sherman brothers, who were hard at work on Mary Poppins, to create a singular song that could be sung by all of the children. The result was “it’s a small world”—one of the most well-known songs of all time.


A pink Hippo stands close to water in the Africa scene at the it's a small world attraction

Shaping the Small World

Walt Disney selected Mary Blair as an art director and Alice Davis as the costumer to bring “it’s a small world” to life.

Art Direction
With her distinctive use of color, geometric shapes and a simple, child-like art style, Mary Blair was known for her visual aesthetic—felt in every aspect, in every nation, of “it’s a small world.” As you glide through the many scenes, colored paper in bold hues vividly create collages of some of the world’s most beloved countries, giving you the impression of sailing through a classic children’s book.

Authentic Attire
Under the direction of designer Alice Davis (and her husband Marc Davis), Disney seamstresses gathered and sewed every inch of clothing to create a faithful portrayal of each nation’s traditional attire. That’s over 300 outfits in all! Authentic materials were used for each region, from silks for the saris of India and fine wool for the Scottish bagpiper.


The it's a small world façade features an animated 30-foot-tall clock tower

A Famous Façade

Don’t miss the attraction's kinetic façade, complete with spinning flowers, whirligigs and icons of famous world landmarks. The highlight is the animated 30-foot-tall clock tower. Watch as every 15 minutes the clock tower opens up to display a multinational parade of 24 animated figures. Once the procession ends, 2 toy jesters appear and herald the current time.

A father and mother hold their son at the entrance to it’s a small world

History, After All

"it's a small world" was created for the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair in honor of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). Personally overseen by Walt Disney, the attraction was a huge hit for 2 seasons at the fair and was eventually shipped back to Disneyland Park, where it reopened on May 28, 1966.

Due to its immense popularity, the attraction has been replicated in every Disney park around the world and is considered a Walt Disney classic.


Fireworks light up the night sky above Cinderella Castle at the tip of Main Street, USA which is decorated with illuminated Mickey Mouse lanterns

Know Before You Go

"it's a small world" typically stays open during fireworks performances but may close to accommodate the show under certain wind conditions. If closed, it usually reopens 20 to 30 minutes after the show has concluded.

Guests Also Viewed

"it's a small world" Holiday

Enjoy the sights and songs of this classic attraction with a seasonal spin—returning November 9, 2018!

Save Time with Disney MaxPass
Make same-day Disney FASTPASS selections from the Disneyland app and get Disney PhotoPass downloads for the day!


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