Disney fans around the world continue to celebrate “it’s a small world’s” 50th anniversary. As blogs, magazines, and other social media outlets detail the history, original Imagineers, and inspiration of this iconic attraction, I’ve decided to take a different look. I thought it would be fun and interesting to highlight some of the obscure facts that surround “it’s a small world.” Here are some engaging facts to keep in mind next time you are traveling on the happiest cruise that ever sailed!

◆The original “it’s a small sorld” that debuted at the 1964-1965 New York’s World Fair was completed from conception to opening in only 9 months! Compare that to the 3 plus years it has taken “Seven Dwarves’ Mine Train” to carry it’s first passengers through the enchanted mine shafts.

◆The original name for “it’s a small world” was “Children of the World”. The attraction name was changed when the Sherman Brothers debuted the new song to accompany the attraction.

◆Imagineer Claude Coats, of Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean fame, developed the canal design and water jet propulsion system for the original attraction.

◆“Glockenspiel” is the name of the friendly, smiling, tick-tocking clock face that can be seen in both the Disneyland and Walt Disney World attraction queues.

◆Each cruise boat has the capacity to handle 24 guests, that is 4 more than the original capacity of 20.

◆Unlike the Disneyland version, the Walt Disney World “it’s a Small World” attraction ride-system is not trough-like in nature. Instead, the entire first floor is submerged in water and the boats move throughout the attraction on a guide rail.

◆The flume capacity, or complete amount of water in Florida’s attraction is 500,000 gallons of water. That’s about as much water that is in Celine Dion’s pool and about as much water that spills over the Niagara Falls per minute.

◆The canal length at Walt Disney World is approximately 1,085 feet. Each of the 6 reiterations of “it’s a Small World” throughout the world vary in length, attraction time, and attraction lay out.

◆The boats in Walt Disney World travel at a slow and stately pace of 1 ½ minutes per hour. This rate is relatively constant throughout all “it’s a Small World’s”.

◆Over 100 countries are represented during your trip on the Seven Seas Canal. This is true for all 6 “it’s a Small World” attractions.

◆Each variation of the attraction features different scenes. In Walt Disney World there are 7 scenes; Europe, Asia, Africa, Central and South America, South Pacific, Finale, and Good Bye scene. Some of the other scenes depicted over seas include Middle East, North America, and Polar Pacific.

◆“it’s a small world” in Walt Disney World features over 472 figures. They break down into the following groups 289 simple Audio Animatronic dolls, 147 toys (animals and children generally painted in vivid colors and glitter), and 36 animated props. How many can you count?

◆In order to provide theme continuity, each doll’s face is identical in size thus forming a type of uniformity.

◆Ever notice all those coins in the bottom of “it’s a Small World”? Well, when the attraction is down during refurbishment, the money is collected, and donated to the “Disney Hand” charity. It is said that when the money is collected it normally totals over $100,000!!

I hope you enjoyed this different look at a favorite attraction. There’s many more interesting facts surrounding “it’s a small world” and searching them out is a wonderful to learn more about an attraction. What is your favorite attraction? How much to do you? Why don’t you take some time and see what you can find, you’ll be surprised how much your enjoyment is heightened!


FanBoy is a Disney dweeb who has worked at Disneyland and Walt Disney World



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