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PHOTOS: ‘it’s a small world’ at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair

George Savvas

by , Director, Public Relations, Disneyland Resort

The 1964-65 New York World’s Fair theme was “Peace Through Understanding,” and no exhibition better embodied this idea than “it’s a small world.”

The look and feel of the whimsical entrances to this now-landmark attraction at Disney Parks around the world are well-known, but the look of the exterior of the New York World’s Fair pavilion was quite different from the familiar facades we know today.


In these rare photos you can see just how different it was from what we see in the parks; yet it is, decidedly, a “Disney look.” To me, it looks like Tomorrowland at Disneyland park, circa 1967.



Some familiar Disney faces were apparently on hand to greet visitors about to board the “the happiest cruise that ever sailed.”


  • I remember riding It’s A Small World several times when we visited the World’s Fair in 1964 and 1965. I was 6 and 7 years old. We were all amazed at the Walt Disney creations. Years later when I rode it at Disney World with my children, I couldn’t help but get a little misty-eyed with all those wonderful memories!

  • Imagineer Rolly Crump designed the Tower of the Four Winds. Heartbreakingly, it was dismantled and scrapped after the fair.

  • I was able to visit “it’s a small world” at the New York World’s Fair when my high school band performed at the fair. It was an amazing sight for a freshman from a small town in very Southern Illinois. This fall I am looking forward to sharing the attraction with my 2 grandchildren. I’m so excited. It is still an amazing attraction!

  • I wish I could turn back time for a time and go visit.

  • I remember seeing it when my family visited the New York worlds fair, that and great moments with Mr Lincoln

    my father was totally amazed at the entire experience

  • What was the official name of the sculpture out in the front? It was something to the Four Winds wasn’t it? Is that sculpture anywhere? It would be a cool addition to Downtown Disney.

    • Mary, it was called the Tower of the Four Winds. For a time, the marquee in front of the attraction at Disneyland park was themed after the tower.

  • I don’t remember that there was an admission charge for individual pavilions at the World’s Fair. What’s with the ticket window in the picture?

    • Bruce, it is, in fact, a passport booth. Adults, 95 cents, children, 60 cents.

  • Are there any plans to celebrate the anniversary in Queens?

    • Joseph, Good Morning America will observe the anniversary the morning of April 10 at their Times Square studio, but I don’t believe any public events are scheduled a the site of the fair in Queens.

  • Great photos of my favorite attraction! Thanks for sharing!

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