Having been on a bit of a “classic” Disney tour of the Magic Kingdom when we were there for Nicole’s birthday we of course had to stop at It’s a Small World and enjoy an animatronic boat ride tour of the world. Originally created by Disney World Inc. as part of the 1964 New York World’s Fair’s UNICEF pavilion, the exhibit featured a 120-foot perpetually spinning mobile at the entrance as well as the Magic Skyway, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, and the Carousel of Progress. The pavilion was used by Disney to test some ride systems and concepts they had developed, and at the fair’s closing in 1966 moved and re-built the majority of them at Disneyland. The overall success of the pavilion however had more to do with their ability to move patrons through It’s a Small World quickly and efficiently, unlike the long queues seen at many of the other pavilions. Construction on Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland was literally scrapped as plans for the subterranean walk-through originally envisioned were dropped, instead opting for a similar experience to take guests through the pirate attraction.
It’s a Small World today is found at all of the Disney theme parks respective Fantasylands. The one at the Magic Kingdom is even one of the original attractions, opening with the rest of the park on October 1, 1971, but has since gone through a couple of refurbishments to the sound system, and lighting effects, while a façade similar to the one at Disneyland has also been installed. This attraction however differs from its counterparts in a few ways. The three-dimensional façade is located inside the loading area, while seen outdoors at the other parks. As well the parade of wooden dolls that come out of the clock are absent, and the Goodbye Room at the end of the ride has parting phrases written on stylized flowers instead of on postcards like the one at Disneyland.