Get ready to embark on "the happiest cruise that ever sailed"! Tour delightful scenes from around the globe, meet fantastical friends and sing along with a cherished Disney melody set to a message of hope.
A World of Holiday Warmth
Hear a medley of the iconic "it's a small world" song and traditional holiday tunes as you take in the dazzling sight of thousands of lights that adorn the attraction's façade and sail along a wintry, world-celebrating waterway. Regional decorations and festive wishes add additional holiday cheer!
Board your boat and set sail on a nearly 15-minute intercontinental expedition around the Seven Seaways canal. Float past the lush animal-shaped topiaries into the most harmonious place in Disneyland Park. Travel from snowy Alps to dusty plains, from arid deserts to tropical isles. Spot skiing Scandinavians, hula-ing Hawaiians, sailing Spanish, dancing Dutch and merry Mexicans.
The joyful journey ends with a magical and heartwarming grand finale featuring all the world's children singing together as one. Say good-bye, aloha or au revoir to your global friends — you'll be humming their melody all day long.
From toy soldiers to ballerinas to vaqueros to Chinese acrobats, see more than 300 animated dolls representing over 100 regions from around the world. Disney Legend Alice Davis painstakingly researched and designed individual costumes for each doll, inspired by the traditional wardrobe of each culture. Some familiar new faces debuted on February 6, 2009 with the addition of dolls representing select Disney and Disney·Pixar characters.
Designed by legendary Disney artist Mary Blair, the settings are as spectacular and whimsical as the dolls. Resembling a fantasy world lovingly crafted out of construction paper, ribbon, glitter, buttons, fabric and papier-mâché, the sets' simplicity and inventiveness recall the wide-eyed creations of a child. Float past scenes representing:
Written and composed by the Academy Award®-winning team of brothers Richard and Robert Sherman, the song "it's a small world" has become one of the most well-known tunes of all time. The infectious melody is sung in the native language of the respective dolls and is orchestrated using instruments indigenous to each region — including Scottish bagpipes, Peruvian reed flutes and Tahitian drums.
Walt Disney originally envisioned using the national anthems for each country. He quickly discovered that while the world may one day sing in perfect harmony, our national anthems will always be sung to different tunes. Walt asked the Sherman Brothers to write a single song to avoid a musical cacophony.
The Famous Façade
Be sure to check out the attraction's kinetic façade, complete with spinning flowers, whirligigs and icons depicting 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.
Personally supervised by Walt Disney, "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).
Attracting more than 10 million visitors, "it's a small world" was such a smash hit that when the World's Fair ended, Walt had it shipped piece-by-piece to Disneyland Park, where it reopened on May 28, 1966. The rededication ceremony featured children from around the world pouring water from their native land into the Seven Seaways.
Due to its immense popularity, "it's a small world" has been replicated in every Disney Resort around the world.
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