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Some attractions are Magical for how they make you feel, others for the thrills they give you. Some stay with you forever. Once you ride it, you remember the feel of the ride, the emotions it produced and even the moment you went “WOW”, this is neat. Today’s Magical Attraction is one of those rides you take and you remember all your life. And it isn’t because of the thrill you get from it, no this attraction is one of the most relaxing in the Parks. It was one of the Original Attractions that opened when the Magic Kingdom opened in October of 1971, but it was designed and built many years before. Today’s Monday Magical Attraction is “It’s A Small World”.

It’s a Small World was originally an attraction for the World’s Fair in 1964. The Pavilion was sponsored by Pepsi-Cola and presented by UNICEF. It was originally called UNICEF Salutes the Children of the World. When Walt was approached by UNICEF to add something to their pavilion, he went to Mary Blair, one of his artists, to supply the look for the pavilion. He then asked the Sherman Brothers, Bob and Richard, to come up with music for the attraction. Along with Marty Sklar, the Sherman Brothers put together a test track of music from different countries that would play as you go through the ride; when they listened to the track of the music it was a too difficult to hear any one song or sound, so Walt asked the brothers if they could write an original song for it. The song they came up with is now a song that every visitor to a Disney Park (and many that have never been to a Disney Park) has heard and knows.

Some people have described the song as hypnotic. Others say it is the most annoying song ever written, Richard Sherman describes the song as a prayer for peace. And, it is all of these things. It is a song that stays with you for the rest of your life after you have heard it and most definitely the rest of the day after you have ridden the attraction. In the context of the attraction it is an amazing wish for the children of the world to have peace and understanding.

The Attraction was moved to Disneyland in May of 1966 and then was also built for Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, when the park was first opening. In the Magic Kingdom, there are 289 dolls, which represent six continents. The Song is sung in five different languages. In 2005, the Disney Imagineers refurbished the attraction and part of that restoration project was adding the original 1964 orchestral recording of the song back into the attraction.

One other Disney legend that needs to be mentioned when talking about It’s a Small World is Joyce Carlson. She built dolls and costumes for every It’s a Small World Attraction World Wide including the original at the World’s Fair. Her work along with Mary Blair’s is what has given the attractions their timelessness. Joyce Carlson was presented with a Window on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom in 1988; it reads Miss Joyce, Dollmaker for the World.

My favorite part of the attraction is the Hula girls; I get a kick out of them. I also like the final area where all the dolls from all the continents are dressed in white and are all singing together. To me, this is the true meaning of the ride:

There’s so much that we share,
That it’s time we’re aware,
It’s a small world after all.

**Information about the song for It’s a Small World Came from “the Boys”
the documentary about the Sherman Brothers.

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