It’s A Small World may not be my favorite attraction, but this is by request, so here it is. All photos by me over likely a 10 year period.
(I must admit though to appreciating the high amount of Rolly Crump’s ‘mobiles’ and kinetic spinning devices on the exterior, which were a signature of his work.)
I went through my phase where I didn’t like this attraction all that much. Then I started loving it again. I can’t imagine Disneyland without it.
Small World water.
There’s just something about this flume that has always made me happy.
“The best way [to get ‘it’s a small world’ out of your head] is to play any other beautiful song. The Beatles works best. ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ will get it out of your head.”— Richard Sherman, Composer of “it’s a small world”
You learn something new every day. Well, maybe not every day. But on some days, definitely.
Here’s the interview in which he said it.
I must say that this is an interesting ask.
For the tl;dw crowd (too long, didn’t watch the video), here’s what this anon is talking about.
It’s A Small World at Disneyland Paris:
The set of this music video for South Korean group GP Basic:
Hard to dispute that both It’s A Small World clocks (France’s version in the back, as well as the design that the rest of the parks use on the left) are there.
The “It’s A Small World” song itself is not copyrighted - it was a gift to to the children of the world (that was a request made by UNICEF when the attraction was created for the New York World’s Fair).
Somehow I doubt the same protection extends to Mary Blair’s designs, but I don’t know for sure. GP Basic certainly isn’t the first to rip off the design…click here for video of a knock-off of the full ride at Suzhou Amusement Land in China.
I do see through a bit of research that their record labels and the parent companies of those labels don’t seem to have any connection to Disney, so it wasn’t a case of sliding an advertisement for the parks into the video.
I couldn’t say for sure that they were or were not allowed to use the design under the law, but it would be nice to at least see some attribution, or even just “inspired by Mary Blair” attached to the video. It could be a case of being just different enough to not legally need it.
Great submission, anon! This was fun to spend a little time looking into.
Children from around the world were on hand for the opening of It’s A Small World. Walt asked each of them to bring a small container of water from a local body of water. These were poured into the attraction’s flume before the ride opened.
And if you can’t stand It’s A Small World, you can still thank it for one thing. Because It’s A Small World was such a hit at the New York World’s Fair (over ten million ride tickets sold), and since the constantly dispatching boats kept the line moving, the plans for Pirates of the Caribbean were changed from being a walk-through attraction to a boat ride. Without Small World, Pirates would be a very different experience today.
Just don’t go overboard with your appreciation. Not too many people will enjoy your rendition of ♫It’s a small world after all♫ during the cannon fight between the Wicked Wench and the Spanish fort.
‘My Dad’ — A memorial for Robert Sherman
From the time the ride opened, it was a tradition for the Bob Sherman family to always go on “It’s a Small World,” every time we visited Disneyland. Dad would be on the boat, but he never took in the ride. He’d watch the children’s faces. Dad studied their awe and wonder and loved that, by the end of the ride, these kids would know the words and be singing along. He’d always tear up.
Dad told me he wished he could just stand at the end of that ride and shake everyone’s hand as they stepped off the boat. He wanted to thank each person for listening, for taking to heart his deceptively simple message of peace and brotherhood.
Read this extremely touching tribute by the son of Robert B. Sherman. I promise you won’t be dry eyed by the end. Every single word is true. We all grew up with his (and his brother’s) music … may our great-grandchildren cherish their songs just as dearly.
Just try hating that song after reading this.
“Taking advantage of the NextGen infrastructure in which guests will be able to personalize their experiences at Walt Disney World, the “it’s a small world” interactivity begins at home. Using their computer or smart phone, guests will design their own “it’s a small world doll.” When they visit the attraction at the Magic Kingdom, monitors placed throughout the attraction will virtually ride along with the guest (or the monitors may be installed in the vehicles, this is an unknown at this time). Guests will also be able to send e-cards spotlighting their virtual trip aboard the happiest cruise to have ever sailed the seven seas.”
I really, really hope this is a false rumor. Placing screens along the way inside Small World to show customized little fake-Mary Blair rip off characters of guests inside the boat? Horrible concept and completely distracting/unneeded if true.
Sounds like a conspiracy to get that song stuck in your head even earlier.
As it stands, though, this is a rather dubious source. Even if something is in the works, I highly doubt that this article is too trustworthy. “Obtained what is essentially concept art,” as it is put on the website, could mean that they went dumpster diving after sneaking onto the Disney lot and made up a story around the discarded art that they found, for all we know.
And if it does go forward, I hope that they fix the grammar. It should be “Greetings from Carrie,” not “Greeting.” Just another clue that this could be a hoax.
No need to panic until Disney confirms/denies.
Main Street Window - Roland F. Crump (Dec. 28, 2011)
Just incase you didn’t know, the second and third story windows on Main Street contain the names of people instrumental in the creation and continued development of Disneyland.
Roland “Rolly” Crump is well known for his hand in The Haunted Mansion, The Enchanted Tiki Room, and It’s a Small World’s famous clock tower. His sketches are featured on the tarot cards - from left to right: Tiki God sketch, Tower of the Four Winds, and Museum of the Weird (which was never built) coffin clock concept.