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“it’s a small world” at Disneyland Resort

Heather Hust Rivera

by , Vice President, Consumer Products

Better hurry – “it’s a small world” will close October 25 in order to get ready for its annual seasonal overlay. Don’t fret though – the attraction is scheduled to reopen November 13, and you can experience “it’s a small world” holiday through January 3.

For your viewing pleasure, take a look at the video below. It’s a historical look at the attraction, and includes video of Walt Disney explaining his original concept for “it’s a small world.” There’s also video from the opening ceremony in 1966. You’ll hear how Walt Disney Imagineers refreshed the classic attraction in February 2009 by adding some familiar faces and a new America scene. Peek behind the magic and see how Imagineers seamlessly weaved in references to Disney and Disney-Pixar characters with new costumes and enhancements to the beloved “it’s a small world” song.


  • From what I understand, Mary Blair loudly thought the entire idea of implanting known characters was a hideous misadventure, sidelining the original intent of representing everybody children everywhere.

  • Joy and anyone else celebrating their birthday at Disneyland. You can go to city hall when you first get there in the morning (it’s on your left right after you go under the railroad tracks at the main entrance). Go inside and tell them it’s your birthday and they will do something special for you, I’ll keep it a surprise. They also do something special for first time visitors. Enjoy and have a wonderful birthday!
    P.S. I wonder if you are going the same week we are? We are originally from orange county and had season passes, now we will be visitors from TX!

  • That’s just precious. Times change, but people don’t; and that’s why this attraction still touches the hearts of all people, of all ages, of all backgrounds.

  • Everytime I go to disneyland this ride is under refurbishment (time of year) but I am soooo excited to see the new additions. This one doesn’t fail to wow each and every time despite having gone on the ride (gulp – ) more than probably 100 times in my lifetimes! It’s a small world afterall and I’m proud to be part of it !

  • Joy, you will LOVE celebrating your 50th at Disneyland. I just celebrated mine there on October 3rd. It is so much fun having everyone wish you Happy Birthday. They have a T shirt that says Its My Birthday, and a pair of Mickey Ears that says Happy Birthday. I did not find them until the end of the day. I would suggest popping into the Emporium when you first get there and getting them (at least the t shirt) to wear all day. Have a wonderful birthday and a fabulous time at Disneyland!

  • We were very skeptical about bringing the Disney characters into the ride, we loved the ride for all these years just the way it was and didn’t think it needed to be changed at all. The Disney Inmaginers outdid themsleves!!!! We love the way they brought the familiar characters into the ride in just the right way, fitting them in with Mary Blair’s beautiful style. My Granddaughters love searching for them every time we ride the “Happy Boat” as my youngest one calls it (which is about once a month!) and squeal with delight when they find them. They never tire of it. It is truely the “Happy Boat” ride at the “Happiest Place on Earth”!

  • Do not fear the changes in the ride. Once you are used to them they will be part of the classic feel.

  • Wow! What a fantastic video!! Made me tear up… especially the segments at the beginning with Walt and the grand opening at DL in ’66. Mary Blair is my favorite artist, and I do agree that the North America scene could have been stylized to fit in more with her artistic “flair”.

  • I think the new America scene could have been more in Mary Blair’s style. As it is, I feel like it sticks out in an otherwise cohesive looking attraction.

  • Very nice video, thanks.

    But, you say there are 29 various Disney characters placed throughout the attraction. Actually, it is 30.

    You’re forgetting, I believe, the Magic Carpet from Aladdin. (If you think he’s a prop and not a character, then I ask you to watch the movie and reconsider.)

    Keep up the great work!

  • So does this mean the ride will be closed all day starting on Sunday, or will it be closed starting Monday? On the website it doesn’t say that “It’s a Small World” will be closed on Sunday, so that’s what I’m wondering. Thanks!

  • Small technicality: “it’s a small world” does not close on October 25. According to the refurbishment schedule, the attraction will remain open on Sunday and will be closed starting on Monday, October 26. So you have the whole weekend to enjoy the attraction before it undergoes its holiday overlay. 🙂

  • I am even MORE excited to see “It’s A Small World” ride when we visit in November (for my 50th Birthday :-] ).
    I especially asked for, “…A vacation to Disneyland, AfTeR my actual birthday, so I could travel through ‘Small World’ when it is all decorated for Christmas :-] !”
    What a special creation and mix of the original…with the newest additions. You all have the most ‘FuN-est’, exciting and rewarding jobs…EVER!!!
    ThAnK YoU for sharing the on-going FuN and MaGiC of Disneyland!!!
    ‘See-ya REAL Soon!!!’
    – Joy & Bill H.
    Bellevue, WA

  • This is one of the rides my family goes on over & over again! We can never get enough of it! We were @ Disneyland back in February of this year so we were able to enjoy all of the new enhancements & just loved it!

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