When you think of a Walt Disney Magic Kingdom attractions, what comes to mind? For many guests, visions of The Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, or Splash Mountain instantly materialize. While others picture happy, singing dolls surrounded by bright, glittery backgrounds. “it’s a small world” is an attraction that permeates our Disney impassioned lives and holds a special, sentimental place in our hearts. Who hasn’t experienced the childlike wonder of traveling the world on the happiest cruise that ever sailed?
2014 marks the 50th anniversary of “it’s a small world” debut at the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair and The Walt Disney Company has taken multiple opportunities to celebrate this particular attraction’s storied history. Articles abound on D23.com and in the newest D23 magazine detailing the origins of “it’s a small world”. The articles also highlight the key inventive Imagineers who designed, produced, and completed the attraction we know and love today. The Disney Parks blog has taken readers on a trip across the globe highlighting the attraction in all the different parks of the world as well as featuring musical arrangements of the classic Sherman brothers song. You can hear the familiar melody played by steel drums or sung by a gospel choir.
The celebration of this iconic attraction does not end in the blog-o-sphere. One can simply head over to disneystore.com to bring a piece of the magic to his/her front door! Over the past few months, the merchandising arm of The Walt Disney Company has offered some wonderful products ranging from purses (LeSportsac and Dooney and Bourke), pins, shirts, plush, and lithographs. However, in late 2013, Disney merchandising introduced “it’s a small world” dolls. The first phase of the series consisted of seven dolls; India, France, Japan, Kenya, Hawaii, Holland, and United Kingdom. Recently, the line has expanded to include Mexico and China. Each doll measures 16 inches in height, comes in a collector box, dressed in traditional costume, and sings “it’s a small world” in both English and the dolls native language. Naturally, I had to have one…or two….
Currently, I own both the Hawaii and Holland dolls and feel that they are a high quality and worth the $29.99 price tag. The dolls come in the same type of box regardless of country bought. The boxes are rather nice and feature Small World artwork as well as a very brief history of the attraction on back with a picture of Mary Blair. I have kept the dolls in their boxes and find they are nicely displayed this way as they are posed in their boxes Just as the description online state, the dolls are clothed in intricate, high quality costumes similar to what is worn in the attraction. I enjoy looking at the little details of the dolls costumes and then comparing them with actual attraction pictures. I feel as if I own a doll from the ride!
When I first purchased the dolls, I was concerned about the quality of the singing feature – would the sound be muddy, would I be able to understand what is being said, would it be difficult to activate the feature? I shouldn’t have worried one bit! The singing feature is crisp and clear, loud enough to understand the lyrics (in both languages) with the dolls in the box, and is sung nicely in tune by a child. Hands down, the singing ability is my favorite feature! I truly enjoy listening to “it’s a Small World” in a foreign language.
For any “it’s a small world” fan, I highly recommend adding these collector dolls to your Disney collection. These dolls are truly perfect for the Disney fan of any age. I hope after reading this, you will bring a little “it’s a small world” home!