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Five Things You Might Not Know About ‘it’s a small world’ at Disney Parks

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.

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“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.

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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.

IT'S A SMALL WORLD AT THE 1964 WORLD'S FAIR 50TH ANNIVERSARY

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.

IT'S A SMALL WORLD AT THE 1964 WORLD'S FAIR 50TH ANNIVERSARY

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.

IT'S A SMALL WORLD AT THE 1964 WORLD'S FAIR 50TH ANNIVERSARY

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.

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Filed: Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland, Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, Walt Disney World Resort

‘it’s a small world’ Around the World: Magic Kingdom Park

posted on March 27th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


The world’s second “it’s a small world” attraction debuted at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort on the park’s opening day, October 1, 1971.

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The attraction’s queue features a white and gold facade structure, inspired by the original exterior of the attraction at Disneyland park. The interior of the Magic Kingdom Park attraction features a total of 289 dolls, 147 toys and 36 animated props. Guests who embark on a trip through “it’s a small world” will travel through six scenes, including Europe, Asia, Africa, Central/South America, South Pacific Islands, and a Finale scene. The attraction’s theme song can be heard in a total of five different languages – English, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Swedish – throughout the attraction.

Check back this afternoon for another sing-along video celebrating “it’s a small world.” Join the celebration by creating your own “it’s a small world” doll at SmallWorld50.com.

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

All in the Details: The Changing Terrain of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on March 27th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Walking through New Fantasyland and watching the evolution of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train has been fascinating, seeing such a large attraction rise up from scaffolding and into a beautiful mountain covered with lush trees and colorful wildflowers. Let’s take a quick photo walk around it today with these shots.

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Earlier this year, Walt Disney Imagineering shared that two props from the former Snow White’s Scary Adventures attraction had been placed in Seven Dwarfs Mine Train as a nod to the previous attraction. Those vultures can now be seen at the top of the first big “climb” in the attraction, surrounded by stacks of crates – containing newly mined jewels, perhaps?

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Nearby, a Mine Train cart peeks out and is propped with mining tools and crumbling rock.
All in the Details: The Changing Terrain of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Overall, nearly the entire mountain has been covered with thick pine trees, poppy flowers and colorful shrubs.

For more on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, check out the following Disney Parks Blog stories:

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Bringing Maleficent to Life for ‘Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade’ at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on March 26th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


One of the highlights of the new “Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade” at Magic Kingdom Park is seeing Maleficent from “Sleeping Beauty” loom overhead in the form of an enormous, fire-breathing dragon.

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We recently sat down with Parade Designer Richard Improta from Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment, along with Tony Award-winning Production Designer Michael Curry, to discuss the inspiration behind this show-stopping float and their collaboration that brought Maleficent to epic life on the street.

Have you seen the new parade yet? Tell us what you think of it in the “Comments” section below!

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

All in the Details: The Big Drop at Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on March 25th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week’s photos from Seven Dwarfs Mine Train focus on the “big drop” in the attraction, just after you exit the interior Mine Scene. The top of the mountain is where you come out of the mine – and momentarily get an amazing view of the rest of the New Fantasyland area, including Beast’s Castle, Prince Eric’s castle and Cinderella Castle. (To see that view for yourself, be sure to check out this previously shared ride-through video of the attraction).

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This shot was snapped at the end of the drop, which whisks Mine Train Cars past a rushing water fall.

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It sure looks like the attraction is coming together! Will you ride when it opens later this spring? Let us know in the “Comments” section below.

Thanks to David Roark for the photos.

For more on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, check out the following Disney Parks Blog stories:

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Best Guest Memories Of “it’s a small world” at Disney Parks

posted on March 24th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


it’s a small world” is such a classic Disney attraction, and since it can be experienced at Disney Parks around the world, it’s no wonder that our guests have such great memories of it.

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.

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Filed: Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Step In Time: ‘Mickey Mania’ Celebrates the Mouse at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on March 24th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


In the summer of 1994, a new procession called the “Mickey Mania Parade” hit the streets of Magic Kingdom Park to celebrate the one and only Mickey Mouse.

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The parade featured larger-than-life Mickey Mouse gloves and ear hats, appearances by classic Disney characters, stilt walkers and other parade performers. Floats reflected the colors of the Mouse – styled in red, white and yellow.

Do you remember this parade? Let us know in the “Comments” section below!

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Filed: Disney History, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

It’s National Corn Dog Day – Where to Get Your Fix at Disney Parks

posted on March 22nd, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Today is National Corn Dog Day, an absolutely good reason to indulge in one of the crunchy-on-the-outside-and sweet-on-the inside dogs on a stick.

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If you’re at Downtown Disney, look for the celebratory balloons at the bright red Fantasy Fare food truck to showcase the day. Fantasy Fare brings “Delightful Dishes from Disney’s Magic Kingdoms Around the World,” so, of course, the hand-dipped corn dog from Disneyland park is star of the show.

We still remember our first bite of a corn dog at the Little Red Wagon at the top of Main Street, U.S.A., in Disneyland park, slathered with mustard. It’s still the top spot, but you also can find corn dogs at Stage Door Café in front of Frontierland, and at Corn Dog Castle at Paradise Pier at Disney California Adventure park.

Back at Walt Disney World Resort, you also can find corn dogs at Herbie’s Drive-In near Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios; the Beastly kiosk in Discovery Island at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and at Westward Ho Refreshments in Magic Kingdom Park.

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Seven Dwarfs Logo, Celeb Visits & More

posted on March 22nd, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


We had an exciting week on the Disney Parks Blog, with international and domestic news to share, as well as new images and renderings of upcoming projects.

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First up, we unveiled the official logo for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, which will open soon in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park. What do you think?

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This week, our friends at Shanghai Disneyland also shared with us the first rendering of Shanghai Disneyland’s Treasure Cove, an entire land that will be dedicated to pirates. Looks like it will be amazing!

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And in other cool images we shared this week, two celebs showed up to visit some characters at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Tina Fey, who stars in the new film “Muppets Most Wanted” and actress Katie Holmes both paused for a photo at the park.

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Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, Shanghai Disney Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

#DisneyKids: First Haircut at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on March 21st, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Some of our favorite stories on the blog involve firsts – whether it’s meeting a character, riding a special attraction or just experiencing the magic of Disney Parks for the first time in a unique way.

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In fact, there are so many different firsts to experience at Disney Parks that we’re launching a new series featuring your favorites. And we’re kicking things off today with one that many readers have in common – a first haircut.

Our Harmony Barber Shop at Magic Kingdom Park caters to first haircuts and perform about 10 – 15 a day. Some guests feel it’s a rite of passage to have a first haircut inside the Main Street U.S.A. barbershop, according to the barbers.

The first hair cut experience at the Harmony Barber Shop also includes a sample of your child’s trimmed hair to keep as a memento, a certificate and embroidered Mickey Ears that read “first hair cut.”

Now, it’s your turn. Let us know about what was special, memorable or even life changing about your first trip to the Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort in the comments below and then check back for our new #DisneyKids series.

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