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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Other Rides I Love: It's A Small World (I'm anticipating all your comments already!)

The world as I know it seems to be equally divided among people who love this ride or can't stand it. Certainly, even Cast Members are aware of the ride's supposed potential to drive people bonkers, because I've heard several of them (including a memorable bus driver) threaten to lock people up in this ride and make them listen to the song for 10 hours straight...

[On the other hand, I think if you make anyone listen to any song for 10 hours straight you'd get pretty ugly results including, possibly, some sort of a psychotic breakdown.]

Right. I'm back now.

I happen to be firmly in the camp of those who love this ride, and the song, corny as they both might be. Perhaps it is the innocence I feel is so sadly lacking in the world today. I definitely love the vibrant colors (especially following the mega-refurbishment in 2005) and imaginative design of the dolls. I also love playing the "Name the Represented Country" with my son as we wind through the different parts of the ride.

Small World, "the happiest cruise that ever sailed," was originally built for the NY World's Fair in 1964. It was meant to promote familiarity with different world cultures, and I believe the proceeds from the World's Fair ride went to the UN's Children's Fund. It is a sweet ride, populated with dolls of children in their respective national costumes, and is one of only a few rides left in Disney World that is purely a Walt Disney ride (his vision, untouched). The Disney World ride is a duplicate of the World's Fair ride. The original ride went from the World's Fair to Disneyland, where it was recently destroyed by the shameless addition of Disney characters among the dolls. I can only hope (though I'm not optimistic) that the Disney World ride won't be similarly desecrated. To me, branding It's A Small World is another indication that Disney is a little too mercenary these days.

But I'll keep enjoying the unadulterated version in Disney World for as long as it's there.


  1. Like you I really like this ride. I'd prefer to call it an "Attraction" rather than ride though.

    The only thing I hate about it is the fact that the dang song gets in my head and I sing it to myself forever. See now it's there and I have to listen to it for hours now. LOL

  2. You're absolutely right, it's an attraction, not a ride. I stand corrected!

    Sorry for sticking you with the song...having written the entry, I'm having the same problem, LOL.

  3. You know what, Dee? It's a Small World is the only ride/attraction that I remember from Disney World. It may be the only one I ever took in. In any event, I loved it! Not to worry about the dang song being in my mind all night, though. I have such a poor memory that I can't really remember it well enough for it to get stuck! Thanks for yet another good memory! By the way, I posted on my blog today. Maybe I'm getting out of my slump!

  4. Although I am finding myself humming this catchy tune, I am Very Grateful that you did not post the actual song!!!


About Me

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When not planning my next Walt Disney World vacation, I write about medicine and science for various publications. I'm a bookworm and have recently fallen in love with knitting. I am owned by 2 dogs, 1 cat, and a 12 year old son who loves Disney as much as I do.