It's a small world

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© Photo: SmallWorldTokyoFacade.jpg
Sign for the ride at Disneyland.

"it's a small world" (also known as Small World for short) is a ride at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, which has been duplicated at other Disney parks worldwide.


In its present incarnation, "it's a small world" is a flume (boat) ride. The boats carry visitors through a series of rooms depicting children of the world dressed in their native costumes and singing.


Small World was originally constructed for the 1964-1965 World's Fair in New York, as the centerpiece of a pavilion honoring the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The chief artistic designer was Mary Blair. It was originally a walk-through exhibit, becoming a boat ride when it was moved to Disneyland.

The Disneyland installation opened in 1966, and remained largely unchanged until 2008, when it closed for a major renovation. The flume was enlarged to allow for bigger boats, Disney characters were added throughout, and a new "Salute to America" was added near the end.

© Photo: Petréa Mitchell
The facade at Tokyo Disneyland.

Other versions

Small World has been replicated at all the other major Disney parks.

  • At Walt Disney World, it was one of the original attractions in the Magic Kingdom. The WDW version differs from the Disneyland one by having the loading area indoors.
  • At Tokyo Disneyland, the loading area is also indoors, and there are significant differences in which countries are emphasized. In particular, the Tokyo version has a much more detailed Oceania section.
  • At Disneyland Paris, the boats are loaded outdoors, but under cover.