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Global Celebrations Mark 50th Anniversary of ‘it’s a small world’ at Disney Parks

posted on April 9th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


We have an exciting day planned Thursday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Disney’s “it’s a small world” attraction, including online and in-park sing-alongs, musical performances and even a special Google Hangout with Disney Legend Richard Sherman.
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We’re kicking off the global celebration early on Thursday with a live sing-along with ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America” in Times Square in New York City. If you’re in the area, be sure to check it out. In addition to Times Square, GMA will feature choirs singing live at the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, plus a choir at the Unisphere in New York at the original location of the 1964 World’s Fair, where “it’s a small world” debuted.

During the day, you’re also invited to join guests and cast members at Disney Parks around the globe for a historic “it’s a small world” sing-along at our global online hub, SmallWorld50.com. And as Erin shared last week, you can also join us for our Google Hangout event with Disney Legend Richard Sherman, live at 1 p.m. PDT from Disneyland park. The event can be seen live here and in the “Gallery” section of SmallWorld50.com.

Throughout the day, guests at Disney Parks will be participating in the celebration at all five resorts around the world. Here are the details for each park:

  • At the Walt Disney World Resort, hundreds of Magic Kingdom Park guests are joining in the song during a special “pre-parade” before the “Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade.”

    Throughout the day, in-park performers – the Dapper Dans, Coke Corner Pianist, Notorious Banjo Brothers, Royal Majesty Maker Musicians and Main Street Philharmonic – are scheduled to include “it’s a small world” in their appearances.

  • At the Disneyland Resort, songwriter Richard Sherman is scheduled to appear in a sing-along cavalcade down Main Street, U.S.A., conducting hundreds of Disneyland guests in their “it’s a small world” sing-along.
  • At Hong Kong Disneyland, cast members and students from Hong Kong Children’s Choir are singing “it’s a small world” in Cantonese.
  • At Tokyo Disneyland, cast members and guests are gathering to sing in Japanese at Tokyo Disneyland.
  • At Disneyland Paris, a “blue carpet” event featuring international cast members is planned for on Main Street, U.S.A., with students from the European International School, singing a multi-language version of the iconic anthem in front of “it’s a small world.”
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ABC Stars Wish ‘it’s a small world’ a Happy 50th Anniversary

posted on April 2nd, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


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!

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“it’s a small world” Around The World: Tokyo Disneyland

posted on March 31st, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Our look inside “it’s a small world” around the world continues today with a peek inside the Tokyo Disneyland attraction.

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'it’s a small world' Around The World: Tokyo Disneyland 'it’s a small world' Around The World: Tokyo Disneyland
'it’s a small world' Around The World: Tokyo Disneyland 'it’s a small world' Around The World: Tokyo Disneyland

Did you know that this version of the attraction features the largest Japan section of any other “it’s a small world” attraction? The design of the attraction’s exterior was inspired by the look of “it’s a small world” at Disneyland park, but offers a wider variety of colors. The boarding area for the attraction is on the inside, similar to that of the attraction at Magic Kingdom Park, and features a 360-degree mural of world landmarks.

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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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Global Sing-Along Celebrates 50th Anniversary of ‘it’s a small world’

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.”

Go share your online video at SmallWorld50.com and keep checking the Disney Parks Blog as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of “it’s a small world.”

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Jungle Cruise: Wildlife Expeditions to Open in Tokyo Disneyland

posted on March 19th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Our friends at Tokyo Disneyland just announced that a new version of Jungle Cruise – Jungle Cruise: Wildlife Expeditions – will debut at the park this fall.

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The attraction has been popular with Tokyo Disneyland guests since the park opened in 1983. The new version will feature enhanced special effects and lighting, new original music, and a new “nighttime” version that will offer guests a thrilling new look at the jungle.

Jungle Cruise: Wildlife Expeditions will officially open at the park September 8, 2014.

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Tokyo Disney Resort Sets Plans For Spring

posted on January 30th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Our friends at Tokyo Disney Resort just announced plans for this year’s springtime celebration, which will run at both Tokyo Disneyland Park and Tokyo DisneySea Park from April 2-June 23, 2014.

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At Tokyo Disneyland, guests will be able to enjoy “Disney’s Easter” celebration, which will include visits to a secret Easter garden, a new “Hippity-Hoppity Springtime” parade that features Disney characters and Easter bunnies. Guests can also participate in an egg hunt, in which they use a map to track down Easter eggs hidden all around the park.

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Over at Tokyo DisneySea, guests can enjoy “Mickey & Duffy’s Spring Voyage.” In this celebration, Mickey, Duffy, Minnie Mouse and ShellieMay embark on a cruise from Cape Cod to see how spring is celebrated around Tokyo DisneySea. Dressed in seasonal costumes, they visit Mediterranean Harbor, travel to American Waterfront for a lively Easter party, and then arrive at the Arabian Coast for a magical celebration of the season. At each of port, guests can enjoy the springtime festivities with the characters.

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Disney Parks After Dark: All Is Calm & Bright at Tokyo Disneyland

posted on December 26th, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week’s “Disney Parks After Dark” image comes to us from Tokyo Disneyland. This serene shot, taken by Photographer Tom Bricker, shows a peaceful Cinderella Castle after all the holiday guests have gone home for the night.

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Which international attraction would you like to see featured here? Tell us in the “Comments” section below.

For more from the “Disney Parks After Dark” series, click the links below:

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on December 22nd, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we continued our holiday celebration on the Disney Parks Blog with a wonderful behind-the-scenes look at how we decorate at the Disneyland Resort.

Our Resort Enhancement team at the Disneyland Resort is responsible for the seasonal transformation and as we shared, they’ve been busy creating decorations since February.

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And this season, we gathered a group of our favorite Christmas trees from around Disney Parks and created a special holiday slideshow. There are trees from all of the parks, including Hong Kong Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland.

Check out the trees and let us know how many you recognize. Do you have any favorites?

Here are some of the other stories we worked on during the week.

Adventures by Disney Invites You to “Step in Time” to the ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ Set – Walk through and experience some of the locations where “Saving Mr. Bank”’ was filmed!

Counting Down to New Year’s Eve Fun at DisneyQuest at Walt Disney World Resort – Experience “a night of virtual awesomeness,” this New Year’s Eve at DisneyQuest.

“Saving Mr. Banks” Practically Perfect Preview Wraps Up Year of Disney Parks Blog Meet-Ups – Photos and video of this sneak peek preview of ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ at Walt Disney World Resort.

Holiday Goodies and Menu Changes in the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort – Read about the special menu offerings available for the holidays at Disneyland Resort.

Windows at Disneyland Park: Fess Parker – Learn about Fess Parker, Disney Legend and the man who played Davy Crockett.

Step In Time: A Tencennial Parade Marches at Magic Kingdom Park – See the sights of the Tencennial Parade, all the way from 1981.

Disneyland Resort Viewing Tips: ‘A Christmas Fantasy’ Parade – See these helpful tips to getting the best out of ‘A Christmas Fantasy’ Parade.

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Tokyo Disney Resort Launches ‘Disney Princess: Welcome, Little Princess’

posted on November 12th, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Is visiting with a Disney Princess a must-do for you when visiting one of our parks? If so, check out this new offering that guests are now flocking to at Tokyo Disney Resort.

Tokyo Disney Resort just launched a new offering that will highlight the finale of the “Tokyo Disney Resort 30th: The Happiness Year” celebration. The “Disney Princess: Welcome, Little Princess offering allows girls age 11 and younger to meet Disney Princesses, learn princess stories and skills from the “Princess Lesson Book,” and take part in a Little Princess Procession that allows them to learn and then perform their princess skills in front of guests.

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Also as a part of this “princess” celebration, Tokyo Disneyland Hotel will offer “Tangled”-themed guest rooms.

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