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A Look Back: Behind the Scenes of the Re-imagined “it’s a small world” at Disneyland Park

Shannon Swanson

by , Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort

It’s hard to believe it has been five years since the new dolls were added to “it’s a small world” at Disneyland park. I had the privilege to sit down with Imagineer Kim Irvine and several of the attraction’s magic-makers before “the happiest cruise that ever sailed ‘round the world” re-opened to guests back in 2009. As part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of “it’s a small world,” I thought it would be fun to revisit this video and share it with you.

I have to say, the North America scene with the Woody, Jessie and Bullseye toys is still my favorite addition. What’s yours?

Join in the 50th anniversary celebration of “it’s a small world” at SmallWorld50.com.


  • Instead of looking to find the “new” additions”, I like to try to find the ol’ originals still there from the original.

  • Tim–
    I don’t think that there is any other way they could have done it. The dolls in the attraction are supposed to represent humans, and Woody, Jessie, and Bullseye and not human. There are toys, so they are represented in a child-like craft way, similar to how the other non-human figures are. Like the hippo and kangaroo.

  • I actually don’t like the Woody, Jesse, and Bullseye additions. I would prefer them all to be in the Mary Blair style. For that reason characters like Lilo, Cinderella, Jasmine and Aladdin, Peter Pan, etc all look better.

    I actually think Stitch really blends in with the unique looking animals found in it’s a small world, and combined with Lilo already looking like a Mary Blair character, the duo fit in better than any of the other characters.

  • The last time we visited Disneyland Small World was closed for this renovations. I’m so excited that we will be at Disneyland next week for the 50th anniversary! I can’t wait to see the “new” version.

  • Lilo and Stitch is my favorite!

  • I really like the toys (or are they pinatas?) of the three caballeros; Donald, Jose, and Panchito. I also like the figures of Simba, Pumbaa, and Timon, and the Alice doll with the toy White Rabbit next to her.

  • My favorite is Aladdin and Jasmine on the flying carpet, but my new favorite would definitely be Kuzco portrayed as a llama atop the mountains in South America!

  • My favorite is a tie between Ariel with the cute new lyrics and Lilo & Stitch, but that’s because I just love Stitch.

  • They need to add Anna,Elsa,and Olaf from Frozen to Scandinavia ! And Merida from Brave to Scotland ! 

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