Walt Disney World Resort More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

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

Jennifer Fickley-Baker

by , Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

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.


  • My husband took our 2.5 year old on “It’s a small world” as her first ride in the Magic Kingdom….. Bria lit up, pointing to everything and getting so very excited… I see her excitement in HIS eyes every time he tells the story. This ride is the one that opened them both up to the magic of Disney, and why when I tell him I booked another trip I don’t get the you did what??? look!!!

  • I grew up with “Uncle Walt” in the late ’50s/early ’60s, watching re-runs of the Mickey Mouse Club every day and supplementing with Walt Disney Presents/Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color on the weekends – the latter which I even got to watch when we moved to Europe in Autumn ’64. My first movie was One Hundred And One Dalmatians. Disney was popular in Denmark and it was through the Anders And & Co. comic books that I learned much of my Danish. In my English-speaking school, a fellow classmate and good friend was from Southern California, and he had the guide map/poster of Disneyland displayed on his bedroom wall and would regale us with first-person stories of all the great attractions I had seen on the TV shows. We were fortunate to enjoy “home leave” every other year, and I begged and begged my Dad to take us to Disneyland. By the ’70s, many Disney movies later and now enjoying the TV shows in Scotland, I had almost given up hope, but my Dad had a surprise for us: in the Summer of ’73, he finagled our first-class tickets to JFK for coach airfare to Miami. There we rented a car, visited family, motored up the coast to friends’ in Cocoa and then the BIG surprise: 2 days at the 2-year-old Walt Disney World Resort! We three kids (although I was in my teens by now) enjoyed the park and all the attractions (other than the absent Matterhorn, it was a dream come true). Of course, with a 4-year old little sister, It’s A Small World was a must-do. As we floated along past all the colorful dolls, particularly pointing out the familiar scenes of Denmark’s Tivoli Gardens and Scotland’s bagpipers and sheep, I had an extremely strong sense of déjà vu. It was then that my Dad reminded me that we (minus my little sister) had enjoyed this very attraction while visiting the Pepsi-Cola pavilion at the ’64/’65 World’s Fair! 16 years later, It’s A Small World was top of the list for me to take MY children on our first WDW trip, and I got to relive that magic again through my daughter’s eyes! That same trip, I again had the déjà vu feeling on the Carousel Of Progress, and now was able to discern for myself that I had experienced that attraction too at the World’s Fair. Today, I live in Florida and delight in being able to take our twelve grandchildren to Walt Disney World, especially to see the little ones enjoy It’s A Small World. Thanks to “Uncle Walt” for his great legacy!

  • In 1996 my Father had a major heart attack and under went reconstructive heart surgery. It was very risky and he successfully survived the heart attack and the surgery. In February of 1999 the whole family decided to take a trip to Disney World to celebrate. It was my Dad, Mom, 2 sisters, brother-in-law 8 year old niece, 10 year old nephew and a new niece born in May of 97. My whole family enjoyed the trip but none as much as my dad. He loved every minute we were all together at the park but his best moment was taking his 9 month old grand-daughter on “It’s a Small World”

    My Dad LOVED “It’s a Small World” He thought it was the most creative, interesting, beautiful ride in all the parks. He got the opportunity to take his grand-daughter on the ride for her first time and see the enjoyment and excitement on her face and share a very special moment.

    My Dad passed away in January of 2014 but he talked about that trip he enjoyed so much with us, but the most memorable moment of the trip was riding “It’s a Small World” with his grand-daughter.

    I am going to Disney World in 5 days and I will ride “It’s a Small World” as many times as I can for my dad.

  • Though ‘It’s a Small World’ is always the first and last attraction that I visit when I am at Disneyland (and I’ve done so many times), my favorite visit there was my FIRST one…

    When I was five years old, my family went to Disneyland, and my grandpa took me on the ‘It’s a Small World’ attraction. He sat next to me in the little boat, held my hand, and pointed out all of the wonderful singing ‘dolls’ as we went along. I was enthralled with the spectacle of it, and loved the song. As the boat emerged from the building, the clock was striking and the dolls were dancing around the platform… and my grandpa leaned over and said to me ‘I built this just for you’ with a huge smile on his happy face. My grandpa was one of the union electricians who had installed ‘Small World’ at Disneyland. As I grew up, I learned more about my grandpa’s time working at Disneyland… about his respect for Walt Disney, how he shook Walt’s hand, how he knew I – his only grandchild at the time – would love that song and the dolls. And I do.

    I don’t think my grandpa knew just how much ‘It’s a Small World’ would come to mean to me, and to our whole family, after his passing when I was fifteen: It is his legacy, a part of our family history that brings us joy, and entwines us all with helping to make Walt’s dream come true. I’ve told my own children this story as we rode the boats through ‘It’s a Small World’. This coming summer, I hope to take my grandchildren to Disneyland and experience that boat ride while holding their hands and telling them about their great, great Grandpa Ward who helped to build it. It is part of their family history, too.

    This attraction and this story became a huge part of my dream – because ever since that day when I was five years old and realized that PEOPLE helped to make the magic happen at Disneyland, people like my own grandpa, I wanted to be part of that magic, too. After 47 years of dreaming, hoping, and wishing, this past month I was able to walk all the way through Disneyland to the back Northeast corner, stand in front of ‘It’s a Small World’, look up to Heaven, and show my Grandpa Ward my brand new Disneyland name badge. I am finally living my dream as a Disney Cast Member… and I know my grandpa is proud of me. I think he always knew that I was meant to be part of Walt’s dream…. it’s a small world, after all… <3

  • IT IS MY FAVOURITE!! I took my son for his fifth birthday in 2012 and at 12 noon exactly on Dec 12, 2012 we were boarding its a small world, it was awesome!!

  • i love it’s a small world are we going to see anything from carousel of progress? i kown that is from new york world’s fair too

  • After arriving at the World’s Fair in the pouring rain we had just about decided to take our soaked selves back to the hotel. We decided to get a cup of coffee first and discovered we were in front of it’s a small world. Sure, one ride before giving up. After a most enjoyable time in the ride we came out to a bright sun. The rest of the day was walking on to all the popular attractions (including the other three Disney ones) with no crowds. Never will forget that first trip through “it’s a small world”.

  • I had a really great experience back in 2012. I was at the parks for my 16th birthday and my friend and I had gone to go get on It’s a Small World during the parade. Since everyone else was occupied with the parade, there was hardly anyone there and we got a whole boat to ourselves. Since nobody was around, we spent the whole time trying to decide where each country was since we had just finished our tenth grade World History class and new a great deal about the countries of the world. We just sat there debating loudly back and forth without risk of bothering anyone and it was a lot of fun.

Comments are closed.