We’re almost one week away from the big celebration of the 50th anniversary of “it’s a small world” here at the Disneyland Resort in California, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan, Disneyland Paris in France and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. You can join the celebration, too, at SmallWorld50.com. Today, we’re sharing a special “happy 50th” greeting from some of your favorite ABC stars!
posted on April 2nd, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort
posted on March 28th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort
Some of you may have seen my fellow Disney Parks Blog author Thomas Smith’s recent post sharing the exciting news about the first-of-its-kind, online global sing-along that will take place on April 10 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of “it’s a small world.” Today, I have more exciting news to share with you. Our merchandise team has been hard at work creating some very special merchandise as part of this 50th anniversary celebration.
Here’s your first look at the T-shirt and reusable totes that will be available for you to add to your very own collection:
And here is the artwork that will appear on the commemorative pin:
But wait, it gets better! How? One hundred percent – 100%! – of the sale price (exclusive of sales tax) of these select “it’s a small world” items (shown above) will benefit UNICEF from April 9 – 13, 2014. Purchasing limits apply, product available at:
- Disneyland park – Emporium and “it’s a small world” Toy Shoppe
- Magic Kingdom park – Emporium and Fantasy Faire (pin will be sold at Emporium only)
For any of our Disney fans visiting Disneyland Paris from April 10 – 30, keep an eye out for the T-shirt (in adult and kid sizes), as well as the pin, with 100% of the sale price (exclusive of VAT) of these select items benefiting UNICEF as well.
And don’t forget – you can join in the celebration online at SmallWorld50.com!
posted on March 27th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort
Around the world, Disney Parks are celebrating the 50th anniversary of “it’s a small world,” which debuted at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. You can join the celebration at SmallWorld50.com by creating your own “it’s a small world” doll and lending your voice to our global sing-along! Today, let’s dive into some little-known details about this iconic attraction.
“it’s a small world” was designed to look like handmade, paper-mache children’s creations. Intended to look like a child’s art project, the attraction is a look at the world through a child’s eyes.
Husband-and-wife team Marc and Alice Davis – (that’s Marc pictured above with Walt Disney and “it’s a small world” designer Mary Blair) were also instrumental in the creation of “it’s a small world” – Marc created many of the character vignettes, while Alice helped create many of the dolls’ costumes. They are the only married couple to have been honored with windows on Main Street, U.S.A.
The original concept featured the dolls singing the national anthems of their various countries. The result was, in Disney Legend Richard Sherman’s words, “a cacophony.” He and his brother, Robert, composed a simple song that could be translated into many languages and sung consistently throughout the attraction.
Since “it’s a small world” can be found at five Disney parks on three continents (Disneyland park in California, Magic Kingdom Park in Florida, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland) the iconic theme song is always playing somewhere around the world.
Over the course of a 16-hour operating day at Disneyland park, the “it’s a small world” theme song is played 1,200 times.
posted on March 24th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager
Check out the video below to see what some of our park guests – including some who experienced the original attraction at the World’s Fair – had to say about their most memorable experiences aboard “it’s a small world.”
You can join the celebration by singing along and creating your own “it’s a small world” doll at SmallWorld50.com.
posted on March 21st, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks
As you may have just heard on ABC-TV’s Good Morning America, you’re invited to join a first-of-its-kind, online global sing-along at SmallWorld50.com to celebrate the 50th anniversary of “it’s a small world,” – the classic Disney Parks attraction that opened as a tribute to UNICEF’s work for children around the world at the 1964 New York World’s Fair.
We’ll be celebrating the anniversary on April 10 but we’ve already kicked off the worldwide celebration. People from more than 25 countries, including bagpipers in Scotland, Bollywood movie actors in India, a firefighter in New York City, and members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, came together to create a first worldwide “it’s a small world” video.
You can participate in this historic celebration by recording and sharing an online video of yourself singing “it’s a small world” on our new global online hub SmallWorld50.com. At the site, you can also create virtual “it’s a small world” dolls to share with your friends. The Walt Disney Company will donate $150,000 to benefit UNICEF in honor of the 50th anniversary of “it’s a small world,” plus $1 for every sing-along video recorded on SmallWorld50.com and another $1 for every virtual doll created on the website, up to $100,000.
On April 10, hundreds of voices from Disneyland Resort in California, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan, Disneyland Paris in France and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort will come together to sing the unforgettable theme song of the “happiest cruise that ever sailed the seven seas.”
posted on March 3rd, 2014 by Jon Storbeck, Vice President, Disneyland Park
Sam McKim, Disney artist and “master map maker,” is the creator of the Disneyland souvenir maps that were sold in Disneyland park between 1958 and 1964. His maps, known for their elaborate design, colorful print and large size, are among the most sought-after pieces of Disney memorabilia today.
Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1924, Sam moved to Los Angeles with his family during the Great Depression. At age 10, he became a child actor under contract for Republic Studios where he worked in western serials and B-movies with many of the top stars of the day. Sam developed his drawing skills early on and once said, “I was always drawing something or other. I’d draw caricatures of the actors and they would sign them for me.”
After serving in the U.S. Army in World War II, Sam enrolled at Art Center College of Design. The day after he graduated, he was called back to the Army to serve in Korea, where he earned several medals and honors, including the Distinguished Service Cross and the Bronze Star. Upon returning to the States, he took acting roles as well as advanced art classes at the Chouinard Art Institute. Sam recalled, “John Ford offered me a supporting lead in ‘The Long Gray Line’ with Tyrone Power and Maureen O’Hara. Would you believe I turned it down to become an artist? I started at 20th Century Fox, then moved to Disney for a temp job, and didn’t leave until I retired 32 years later.”
Sam joined WED Enterprises (now Walt Disney Imagineering) as an illustrator in 1954, six months before the opening of Disneyland Resort. Among his first sketches was The Golden Horseshoe in Frontierland. He later contributed to “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln,” Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion. His early work also included storyboards for Disney films including, “Nikki, Wild Dog of the North,” “Big Red,” and “The Gnome-Mobile,” and episodes of Disney’s television series, “Zorro.”
John Hench, Disney Legend and Imagineer, once said, “Sam was the greatest to work with. He loved Disney, and his enthusiasm was always contagious. Once he got involved in anything, no matter how problematic, you always knew everything was going to be okay. If I ever needed to hear the truth about something, I always went to Sam.”
Following his retirement in 1987, Sam remained connected with WDI and Disney. In addition to appearances at Disney fan events and consulting work, his two sons, Matt and Brian, were also renowned Disney artists. In 1992, he designed the commemorative guide map for the opening of Disneyland Paris.
Sam was named a Disney Legend in 1996. That same year he was honored with a window on Main Street, U.S.A. His window, located above the Main Street Photo Supply Co., states: Cartography Masterworks – Sam McKim – Map Maker of the Kingdom – There’s Magic in the Details.
Sam passed away at the age of 79, on July 9, 2004.
posted on February 12th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager
Today fans got their first extended peek at Disneyland Paris Resort’s most anticipated new attraction with the release of the first photo and video trailer of the “Ratatouille”-themed area opening this summer.
Inspired by the Oscar-winning Disney●Pixar film, “Ratatouille”, the L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy ride-through attraction will shrink guests down to the size of the film’s star, Remy, a cuisine-loving rat who dreams of becoming a master French chef. Guests will join Remy and his friends as they scurry through the kitchen, dining room, and walls of Gusteau’s famous Parisian restaurant, all the while trying to avoid the villainous Chef Skinner. This first-of-its-kind Disney attraction will immerse guests into an animated world like never before.
The latest images were unveiled as part Euro Disney S.C.A.’s annual shareholders meeting. The attraction will be located in a new area of Walt Disney Studios Park’s Toon Studio, and will anchor a “Ratatouille”-inspired version of Paris. In addition to the attraction, the area will also feature a shop, Chez Marianne Souvenirs de Paris, and a themed table service restaurant, Bistrot Chez Rémy. The unique restaurant will be directly adjacent to the attraction and serve the “little chef’s” famous dish, ratatouille.
posted on January 16th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager
posted on December 28th, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager
Check out the gallery below for some amazing images of our parks.
Are you spending the holiday week at a Disney park or resort? Tell us in the “Comments” section below.
posted on December 26th, 2013 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment
There’s nothing our Creative Entertainment team enjoys more than producing amazing live entertainment for our guests. Here are just a few of the new experiences that debuted in Disney Parks around the world in 2013:
- “Limited Time Magic“ – It was a year full of surprises, as each week brought something new to Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. From celebratory pre-parades and visits with Long-Lost Friends to a Monstrous Summer All-Nighter and “Original Boy Band” the Dapper Dans, there were new experiences popping up everywhere. Among the highlights: “A Salute to the Golden Horseshoe Revue” at Disneyland park, “Mickey’s America Streetbeat” at Epcot, True Love Week, Pirates Week, and of course … May the 4th (be with you) at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!
- Tokyo Disney Resort 30th Anniversary – In April, 300 characters and cast helped launch the “Happiness Year” at Tokyo Disneyland, celebrating that resort’s 30th anniversary with live entertainment events and the premiere of a stunning new daytime parade, “Happiness Is Here.”
- Mickey and the Magical Map – This dazzling musical extravaganza opened in May at Disneyland park, in the newly-refurbished Fantasyland Theatre. It took nearly two years to bring Mickey Mouse’s “Journey to Imagination” to the stage, and the show just keeps getting better! Mickey is sporting a new costume design in the show’s finale, and that lovable rascal Stitch was recently added to the cast.
- New Homes for Disney Royalty – Springtime brought the opening of Fantasy Faire at Disneyland park, where you can meet favorite Disney Princesses in the Royal Hall and enjoy delightful storytelling shows, such as the Brass Ring Award-winning “Tangled” at the Royal Theatre. In the fall, New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park unveiled Princess Fairytale Hall, a gorgeous new home for Cinderella to welcome her guests and visiting Disney Royalty from around the world.
- Holiday Spectaculars – The year was wrapped up with a beautiful bow in the form of a pair of fun and festive holiday nighttime spectaculars, “World of Color – Winter Dreams” at Disney California Adventure park and “Disney Dreams! of Christmas” at Disneyland Paris, each featuring characters and music from Disney’s new instant classic, “Frozen.”
All this, plus the arrivals of Thor and Captain America, Avengers Academy on the Disney Magic, new atmosphere and Halloween entertainment at Hong Kong Disneyland, the new tricks Magician Mickey has up his sleeve at Magic Kingdom Park, Disney ¡Viva Navidad! at Disney California Adventure park, and more!
Once again this year, I’ve had a hard time keeping my list to just five. What can I say? There’s so much happening in the world of Creative Entertainment, with even more to come in 2014, so keep checking the Disney Parks Blog. We’ll have the scoop for you, all year long.