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Disneyland Celebrates 40th of It's A Small World

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From Screamscape.com:

Sunday, May 28th marked the 40th Anniversary of It’s A Small World at Disneyland. It first opened on April 22nd, 1964 at the New York World’s Fair before it was moved and reopened in it’s final home at Disneyland on May 28th, 1966. Four decades later, the song is one of the most recognized songs in the world, playing at any given moment around the world non-stop at either Disneyland, Disney World, Tokyo-Disneyland or Disneyland Paris. The song loop is played an average of 1,200 times each day, 16 hours a day at each park, estimated that the song is played 4,800 times around the world each day. Created by the famous Sherman Brothers, “If this were the only song my brother Bob and I ever wrote we would be most grateful songwriters – to have your song play virtually every minute of the day around the world with a message of peace, childhood hope, understanding between peoples and joy – I don’t think it gets any better than that!”

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My three-year-old got his first wide-eyed trip through IT'S A SMALL WORLD yesterday at Disneyland. Quite a testament to the timeless creative talents of Disney, Mary Blair, and the Sherman Brothers to see a small child still smile, sing, point, and "wow!" his way through a ride that's been around for 43 years now.

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Trey,

That's got to be the kind of response every kid feels when going on the SMALL WORLD ride.

Be sure to play the track on VAULT III several hundred times so he has that song in his mind for the rest of his life!

RAY

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Very nice, Thanks for sharing with us. "Its a small world" was my favorite attraction at the 64 Fair. Small children are mesmerized riding on the water, all the lights and colors. And of course that song. Must of been a wonderful day for your family. I love watching families have fun. Enjoy, it all goes by so fast...

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"That's got to be the kind of response every kid feels when going on the SMALL WORLD ride."

Not to mention the adults, Ray!

"Be sure to play the track on VAULT III several hundred times so he has that song in his mind for the rest of his life!"

Good to know, but not sure it's even necessary, Ray! I sometimes wonder if the Sherman Brothers didn't strike some kind of deal with the devil for that tune-- just to make sure that AFTER ONLY ONE LISTEN-- it bores its way into peoples' brains for the rest of their natural lives!

"Must of been a wonderful day for your family. I love watching families have fun. Enjoy, it all goes by so fast..."

Indeed it was, Vlad... and oh boy, you are sooooo very right.

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Hey Trey, did you go to the Fair?

Just thinking it must be a wonderful thing to witness the birth of the attraction as a kid, then take YOUR kid on the same attraction forty-two years later!

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Nope... afraid I lack that perspective, Mike. While my parents claim the 64/65 fair inspired my conception... I didn't make my debut until two months after it had closed for good. But considering how enchanting, refreshing, and for lack of a better word, relevant IT'S A SMALL WORLD still is today, I can only imagine what it must have felt like back in Flushing Meadow. Yet another star in Disney's immortal wizard hat.

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I was one of the fortunate ones to see It`s a small world at the Pepsi pavillion at the Fair.Years later we took our kids to Disneyworld.My wife at the time insisted that my son who was a year and a half old at the time would not appreciate the ride.As we went through he kept pointing and yelling "Look, look".I had no idea what he was looking at but it must have had a lasting effect since he is now a pre med student.I hope the effect is the same for your son Trey-Jerry

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My three-year-old got his first wide-eyed trip through IT'S A SMALL WORLD yesterday at Disneyland. Quite a testament to the timeless creative talents of Disney, Mary Blair, and the Sherman Brothers to see a small child still smile, sing, point, and "wow!" his way through a ride that's been around for 43 years now.

What a cute kid! I'm also amazed you managed to get such non-blurry pictures of the ride itself; my boyfriend's family took me to Disney World with them this January (my family prefers Cedar Point, so this was the first time I've been, and it, esp. Epcot and Tomorrowland, was terribly exciting as it seemed like the next best thing for a '64 WF fan who wasn't around for the fair itself ), and our boat kept moving when we went to DW's copy of It's A Small World--my best pictures didn't come out as good as your blurriest!

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Thanks, Procyon! I shot them with my little Canon PowerShot Digital (great camera-- and sadly no, they're not paying me to say so)-- and although I had to obviously futz with the much darker pix of my son just to render him visible-- the ride shots turned out great with no flash whatsoever (which, of course, would be sacrilege inside a dark ride of any kind)! I was particularly pleased with the Hippo shot-- since he's always been my favorite feature of IT'S A SMALL WORLD (aside from watching my kids, of course!).

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I, did get to ride It's a small world as a child. It is one of those world fair memories I never forgot. (As opposed to those memories which were re kindled by PTU.)

I think I remember everything about that ride. I was absolutely amazed by it.

Riding the Florida version, many moons later: was almost as wondrous an experience. (Even though it did take a very long time to get that song out of my mind!)

As a side note:

While visiting It's a small world at the fair; I remember my father walking up to a man in a suit and shaking his hand. "Who was that man, Daddy?" I remember asking. "Walt Disney" He replied.

For decades I believed him.

Finding anything or anyone at that fair seemed possible.

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With so few of the World's Fair exhibits surviving in this condition, theme song aside, it's nice to see this acknowledgment to the Fair's lasting impact. Taken on November 20, 2007 with Christmas lights installed.DisneyWFmini.jpg[/attachment:800a7]

Hi resolution version on: http://swc-biogon.smugmug.com/gallery/3 ... 5861-XL-LB

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Mike,

The sign is about 4ft by 3ft and was only about 2ft in front of the lens so it appears large relative to the exhibit (wide angle). It is in front of the perimeter landscaping in a well lit center location so you can't miss it. In fact I got in the way of one of those portrait photographers who had set up there to capture the pavilion behind his subjects. I had to lean over the fence to get this hand held at 1/15 sec no flash and get out of the way quickly.

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That ride scarred my 4 year-old brain when I rode through it at the fair. My mom tells me that I had nightmares about it for months after. After seeing The Simpson's take on it (at Duff Gardens) I saw a copy of the soundtrack on eBay and bought it. Guess what happened after I played it? You got it, nightmares for the next few days, and my wife made me sleep on the couch after the second night! Thanks, Mr. Disney!

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