May 28, 1966 – It’s a Small World Opened in Disneyland
May 28, 1966, the It’s a Small World attraction opened in Fantasyland at Disneyland. The attraction has over 500 singing dolls and effects.
It’s a Small World actually first debuted at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. The logo portion of the entry ticket actually states:
April 22, 1964 – opening day
“A salute to the children of the world, designed by Walt Disney, presents animated figures frolicking in miniature settings of many lands. Visitors are carried past the scenes in small boats. In an adjoining building Pepsi sponsors exhibits by the U.S. Committee for the United Nations Children’s Fund. Above the pavilion rises the 120-foot Tower of the Four Winds, a fanciful creation of coloured shapes that dance and twist in the breeze.”
1965 Official Guide Book to the New York World’s Fair stated:
The attraction was incredibly successful. Ten million 60¢ and 95¢ tickets for children and adults, respectively, were collected in two half-year seasons and the proceeds were donated to UNICEF. While other attractions had lines out the doors, there seemed to always be a seat available aboard It’s a Small World. Its high rider-per-hour capacity was recognized as a valuable innovation and was incorporated indirectly and directly into future attractions.
Pirates of the Caribbean had been under construction at Disneyland as a subterranean walk-through. That design was scrapped as concrete was broken out so similar boats could sail past scenes which (because the original walk-through scene length was not shortened) were now different each voyage, another epiphany which forever influenced attraction design and popularity.
YouTube user rickydoodlebug actually had the video footage of the It’s a Small World posted. Thank you for sharing rickydoodlebug!
If you have never scene the It’s a Small World attraction, CaribbeanDays wants to make this your memory too!