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January 2, 2014

Magic Kingdom - Fantasyland - It's a Small World


Some love it and some think it's a harsh push straight into the bowels of insanity, but regardless of your opinion, no one can deny that it's a small world (deliberately left in all lower-case as part of it's cutesy theming) is a legendary Disney masterpiece. The craftsmanship alone is worthy of awe, even if the earworm of its namesake burrows a bit too deeply into your brain. Personally, this one was my favorite to work as a Fantasyland Cast Member! 



it's a small world opened with the Magic Kingdom, on October 1, 1971, but this was not its actual debut. This attraction was first designed by WED Enterprises for the UNICEF Pavilion at the 1964 New York World's Fair. From there, its theme of peace and unity carried on to a permanent home at California's Disneyland prior to finding a place for its near-twin here in Florida. One notable difference with the WDW version is that it is entirely enclosed. There are two queues leading into the small world loading area. This is an area where herd mentality really causes complications. Although both lines are usually open, most people tend to flow into one. Take note of this when you approach, and take the road less traveled for a shorter wait! Each boat holds approximately 24 passengers. Generally, this ride is pretty quick to load and low in wait length compared to many of its Fantasyland neighbors. 


The message behind the original World's Fair attraction was one of global peace and appreciation, and that message is breathtakingly delivered in vibrant fashion here. As the signs promise, it is "the happiest cruise that ever sailed the seven seas". Audio-animatronic dolls unfold in a vast array of color and culture - 289 of them to be exact! Add in the animals, toys and other animated props and that totals nearly 500 bouncing, dancing, singing, happy delights to feast your eyes on as you cruise over 1000 feet of WOW! In ten and a half minutes, you'll travel through the various cultures that span our world, including visits to Europe, Africa, Asia, Central and South America, the Pacific Islands and more. 



Each scene takes on a new geographical theme. Though the song never changes, the language  does! That's right, the Sherman Brothers' classic tune, "it's a small world" is presented in five languages throughout your cruise, all sung by choirs and choruses of children around the world. Even if the loop pierces your brain, pull it together long enough to gawk at the beautiful finale scene of your cruise. Even when a traffic jam causes a boat backup into this area, you'll never have the time to see everything around you. Countless times I've experienced this ride, and every time I gasp at the end. Worth every second of that dreaded chant... besides, we need another reminder of the perfect words behind the earworm...


It's a world of laughter a world of tears
It's a world of hopes and a world of fears.
There's so much that we share
That it's time we're aware
It's a small world after all!


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