Tuesday, April 10, 2018

It's (A Small World ) #blogboost #AtoZChallenge

"It's a World of laughter, a world of tears, It's a world of hope..."

I told you, dear readers, that my theme for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge would be "Florida - outside the theme parks".  Well, I lied - sort of.

A couple of years ago, I read an article  "what has been the most frequently played song of all time?"

It turns out the winner, according to the article, is a song called "It's a Small World". This song has been part of a theme park ride for over 50 years.  It's been played over 50 million times.

This ride now operates at various Disney properties throughout the world, and all those repetitions of that song add up.

I've been on two of those "It's a Small World" rides.  One was at Disney World near Orlando, Florida. I visited Disney World for the first time in 1972, barely a year after it opened.

But my earliest riding of this ride was not at a Disney property at all but, rather, at the 1964 New York World's Fair, in the Pepsi pavilion.  I rode it several times with my family and once on a school field trip (I grew up in New York City).  My spouse also rode it twice with his family (several years before we met).

Would you like a glimpse at what the original look of this ride was like?  Click on the video above.

Did you know that the "It's a Small World" song was written by the sons of a novelty song writer of my childhood - Alan Sherman?  I didn't.  Nor did I know that it was written as a song of hope, not long after the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

Not bad for possibly the most earworm-worthy song of all time.

The video is a bit long but you will get the point quickly.  I don't think the animation is that bad, considering it was 1964 - well, state of the art 1964.

The ride in Florida is not the original World's Fair ride (that ride is in Disneyland, in California, and has been extensively refurbished).  The Florida ride opened in 1971, and I read somewhere that it opened on April 10, 1971.

So, to wish the Florida ride a happy birthday, I will break my theme just this one time.  Welcome to a ride in a theme park.  Although, it is over 50 years old now.

Day 10 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost

"I" day on the Blogging from A to Z Challenge #AtoZChallenge, where my theme (except today) is Florida - outside the theme parks".


  1. OMG I was wondering if you’d talk about this. I went to the Workd’s Fair twice, and the strongest memory I have of the Fair is riding IASMW. I had the 45 and a book about how the dolls were made. I’ve ridden the WDW version many times.

    The Sherman brothers wrote all the Disney classics during the 60’s.

    I think you’ve mistaken their father, Al Sherman, who wrote novelty songs in the 1930’s, for the more famous comedy writer, Allan Sherman, whose novelty hits were popular in the 1960’s.

  2. I am one of those folk who love that ride. And I don't care what people say about it being corny. Thanks for the video.

  3. I knew that the Flushing Meadows version moved cross country to Anaheim. (I recall my visits in 64- and the reprise(s) with my daughters in the 80s.)

  4. I'll have "It's a small world after all" in my head for the rest of the day. And it's ok to veer off topic for the letter "I".
    This brought back a ton of memories. Thanks!

  5. Wow! I had no idea that is was around before WDW. I know the new one looks different but to be honest, it really is the music that makes the memories on that ride. I've been on it many, many times over the past 20 years and it just conjures up feelings of being a kid at the parks, every.single.time.

  6. What a nice ride back into the past, pun intended. Thank you!

  7. What a nice ride back into the past, pun intended. Thank you!

  8. We would get on Small World when we wanted to sit, and when we needed a cool spot, because usually we'd hit Disneyland in the summer. Although, the song drives my father crazy. It was that ride that we walked through when my elementary school was part of some special taped there... Yup, that song is an earworm.

  9. How amazing! I had no idea Alan Sherman wrote that song! I am curious when they moved the ride to Disneyland in Ca. I rode the ride in 1979 there....

  10. What fun information about the song, it's kazillion plays and history. I've been on the ride in Disneyland California....before there was one in Florida. It should be about ready to be a museum piece.

  11. 50 million times it's been played!!! I wonder what they got in royalties for it? I bet it hasn't made them as rich as it should have - Disneyworld would have snapped it up for a "song"!

    Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au
    J for Just Do It!

  12. That's really interesting! I didn't realize that it was the most played song...but that absolutely makes sense. I've been on the Disney World version, but I'd love to experience Disney Land's version, just for the history, though---I actually think the ride is kinda creepy, lol.

  13. Thanks for sharing. Small World was my mom's favorite attraction at WDW. Although she, my dad and brothers all went to the Worlds Fair in NYC, somehow they missed it. I was too young to go with them. My mom always wondered how they did manage to miss it at the Fair. My husband who is a little bit older than I, did experience it at the Worlds Fair as a toddler. However, he didn't remember much, until I finally got him to WDW and bits of it came back to him. Btw, I don't think Small World opened in WDW on April 10, 1971, since the Magic Kingdom didn't open until October 1, 1971. : )


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