ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

It's a Small World Disney Ride in Tokyo, Paris, and Hong Kong

Updated on February 14, 2014
It's a Small World at Tokyo Disney.
It's a Small World at Tokyo Disney. | Source

It's a Small World After All

It's a world of laughter, a world of tears.

It's a world of hopes and a world of fears.

There's so much that we share,

It's time we're aware.

It's a small world after all.

There is just one moon and one golden sun.

And a smile means friendship to everyone.

Though the mountains divide, and the oceans are wide.

It's a small world after all.

The 1964 World's Fair

At the 1964 World's Fair in New York, the very first incarnation of the ride, "It's a Small World," intended to be a salute to UNICEF and children around the world. In collaboration with Disney, Pepsi sponsored the successful attraction, which attracted millions of people in two half-year seasons.

One of the main keys to success was the number of people the boats brought through the exhibit per hour. While people spent hours standing in line at other attractions, the line was always rather short at this particular ride.

After the World's Fair, the ride ended up at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, minus the "The Tower of Four Winds," a 120-foot kinetic structure with vanes, propellors, and other moving parts. Instead, the now famous three-dimensional façade with cutout turrets, minarets, and towers, including the the 30-foot smiley-face clock which ticks and rocks back and forth.

Although the original façade has been painted different colors over the years (all white with gold and silver trim, different shades of blue, pink and white), it is currently all white with gold and silver trim.


The Original - 1966

The Happiest Cruise That Ever Sailed 'Round the World

Situated in Fantasyland, the original "It's a Small World" ride takes people on the "happiest cruise that ever sailed." Over 300 animated dolls, representing 100 world regions, are colorfully displayed for passengers. Mary Blair, a legendary Disney artist, designed the ride with whimsical settings that match up well with the "It's a Small World" song, written and composed by Richard and Robert Sherman.

Passengers on the ride cruise through different chambers to escape reality and enjoy the music and animation. The regional scenes include:

  • The Polar Regions - highlighting Scandinavia and Canada - the song is sung in Swedish
  • The British Isles - the song is sung with a Cockney accent
  • Europe - the song is sung in French, Italian, and yodeled
  • Asia - highlighting Thailand, Korea, China, and Japan - the song is sung in Japanese
  • Africa - heavy drum beats accompany the song, sung in English
  • South America - the song is sung in Spanish
  • Under the Sea - the song is sung by mermaids
  • The South Pacific - the song is played with a Polynesian steel drum
  • The United States

As the boats exit the exhibit, there is a Finale Room which contains representatives from all the cultures dressed in white versions of their native costumes and singing the song in English. This room is followed with a Goodbye Room with three-dimensional cutouts of stamps, postcards, and airmail envelopes.

Due to the immense popularity of the "It's a Small World" ride, it is one of few attractions that has been replicated at every single Disney theme park around the world.

Rainforest Scene
Rainforest Scene | Source
Tokyo Disneyland's It's a Small World
Tokyo Disneyland's It's a Small World | Source

Tokyo Disneyland - 1983

Welcomes You to the Magic Kingdom of All the World's Children

The Tokyo Disneyland "It's a Small World" ride is almost a carbon copy of the original in Anaheim. There are, however, a few noticeable differences, including:

  • A shorter journey through the Goodbye Room
  • Japanese children's voices singing the song in Japanese in the Finale Room
  • A beige façade with pastel highlights throughout
  • The entrance to the ride is to the left of the clock

Disneyland Paris - 1992

The Happiest Cruise That Ever Sailed Around the World

Originally named Euro Disney Resort, Disneyland Paris is in Marne-la-Vallée, an eastern suburb of Paris. When this European version of "It's a Small World" went in, it was built a little bit differently than it's counterparts in other regions of the world.

First off, the exterior clock on the façade features an awake sun on the left and a sleeping moon on the right. The music and scenery are done in a different style, making it more ornate and symphonic. The façade is extremely colorful, with medium-toned pastel shades throughout, and is larger than any of its counterparts.

Instead of representing the Canadians in the Polar Regions with the Scandinavians, the separate North America room houses the United States and Canada.

Disneyland Paris' "It's a Small World" also houses a Middle East room with the song sung in Arabic.

As guests enter the Finale Room, the song is sung in English, as with the original, however, it is also sung in French and German.

It's a Small World Ride at Disneyland Paris

Hong Kong Disneyland - 2008

Rediscover The World Of Laughter

Hong Kong Disneyland's "It's a Small World" ride opened in 2008 with the familiar Mary Blair-style scenes. They added 38 Disney characters to the displays. The façade is painted similarly to the one in Tokyo. In Tokyo, the colors were relatively evenly represented. Also with a beige background, the Hong Kong Disneyland façade has a blue tone to it.

In Hong Kong, the ride features an expanded Asian Room, a Middle East room, and a redesigned North America section. Simliar to Disneyland Paris, the North American room represents both Canada and the United States.

The entrance to the ride is to the right of the clock in Hong Kong.

The Finale Room is the one that makes the Hong Kong "It's a Small World" ride the most unique. It features fiber-optic lighting effects that amaze passengers and provide them with an extraordinary experience. Through this room, the song is sung in Cantonese, English, and Mandarin.

It's a Small World at Hong Kong Disneyland.
It's a Small World at Hong Kong Disneyland. | Source

There's no doubt Walt Disney created "the happiest place on earth" for people, and "It's a Small World" is certainly one of the happiest cruises people will ever experience. This signature ride at all Disney theme parks around the world continues to be on the Top Five Attractions lists. Families enjoy this experience together and talk about it for the rest of their lives.

Mind you, it's also a great place to cool off in the middle of the day. Being an indoor ride that lasts roughly 10 - 15 minutes depending on which location, it is a great opportunity for theme-park goers to cool down and enjoy cheerful entertainment at the same time.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)