March 21, 2014 marked the 50th year anniversary opening of Disney’s “It’s A Small World”ride. This iconic ride made its debut at the 1964 New York’s Worlds Fair as a tribute and benefit to the United Nations Children’s Fund’s (UNICEF) work for the children around the world. The UNICEF provides health care, immunizations, fresh clean water, nutrition, education and emergency relief to children around the world.
The original ride was moved from New York to Disneyland where it opened up on May 28,1966. As of today there are many versions of the ride at the Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland locations.
According to a Disney website, Walt Disney originally envisioned the world’s children singing the national anthem from each country they represented, but he discovered that resulted in a musical cacophony. So he asked the Sherman brothers, who were working on Mary Poppins at the time, to create the song.
Those who have experienced the ride take a boat cruise where animationed dolls representing the world’s children dance and sing to the music. The song is sung by children in their native languages including French, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and English.
As of Friday, Disney Parks announced that it has created a new website, www.smallworld50.com for the celebration of the small world ride. On this website, visitors will be able to record and share an online video of themselves singing the “It’s a Small World”song. There will also be an option to create a virtual “It’s a Small World” doll to share online.
Not only has the Walt Disney Company created this website, but they will also donate $150,000 dollars to benefit UNICEF in honor of “It’s a Small World” 50th anniversary. Disney will donate an additional dollar for every sing-along video recorded on the website and another dollar for every virtual doll created, up to a total of $100,000 dollars.
All Disney parks will host an even on April 10 where visitors can come together at the park and sing the famous “It’s a Small World” theme song.