It’s A Small World

May 1966 – present


Fantasyland – At the very back, right before the path to Toontown. If you take the path to the right of the castle, you will reach It’s A Small World after passing the Storybook Land Canal Boats.


It’s A Small World was originally conceived of as a celebratory exhibit for Unicef at the New York World’s Fair. Guests were so enamored with Disney’s creation that two years later, he moved the boat ride to its permanent home in Disneyland. Today, the large gold and white building that houses It’s A Small World stands tall and proud at the rear of Fantasyland, and riders of the Disneyland Railroad follow the tracks through it’s exterior façade for an even more up-close and personal experience.



  • Single Rider Line – no
  • Fast Pass – no
  • Height Requirement – none
  • Duration – 15:00

After boarding the boats on the river outside of It’s A Small World, guests embark on a quick trip around the world. Dolls representing cultures from every part of the world serenade riders as they journey through the polar climates of Scandinavia, the jungles of Africa, and so on. Finally, guests encounter a room featuring dolls of every culture singing in unison, celebrating each other’s differences and reminding us that we all share the same world.

ItsASmallWorld2 Source

MY RATING – ★★☆☆☆

You’d be hard pressed to hear me criticizing anything Disney, but I must confess…I’m not as big a fan of It’s A Small World as everyone else seems to be. My rating is two stars because, although it’s classic and probably the most famous attraction to ever come out of the Disney parks, the animatronics are very outdated and the song can be a bit tiresome.


As with any ride in the park, visiting It’s A Small World first thing in the morning will guarantee the shortest wait times. Aside from that, waits are usually reasonable and consistent throughout the day, with two huge exceptions. Avoid the rear of Fantasyland in general in the late morning before lunchtime, since it gets fairly congested with big families. Most importantly, stay clear of It’s A Small World around parade times, as this area serves as the big finish line and will have tons of crowds.


The first plans for the ride were to have dolls singing their national anthems, but the conflicting melodies and lyrics were messy, so the “It’s A Small World” song was created.

This ride is sometimes called “the happiest cruise that ever sailed”.

On its opening day in 1966, Walt Disney visited It’s A Small World and poured water brought from seas and oceans around the world into the river.

4 comments on It’s A Small World

  1. Bob
    December 13, 2017 at 9:49 pm (3 days ago)

    Small World is cool (in the temperature sense), and for some people, a chance to sit in the cool for a quarter of an hour in the heat of Southern California summer would be worth it even if there was no ride involved at all. Also, the line normally isn’t too long and generally moves quickly.

    The downside is that you do have to listen to “It’s a Small World After All” for those fifteen minutes, but even so, I prefer that to the holiday season when they put the first verse of “Jingle Bells” on endless repeat.

    • Duchess of Disneyland
      December 14, 2017 at 6:38 am (3 days ago)

      I definitely agree that it’s a nice breather and very comfortable inside. But I’ve definitely experienced pretty long lines for this attraction, and to me personally, it’s just not worth it. They are offering fast pass for the holiday version now, and may keep it for the regular season. I’d be interested to see how this impacts wait times in the future.

  2. Bea
    October 27, 2016 at 8:34 am (1 year ago)

    Your review is so wrong. This is like the ultimate Disney ride.

    • Duchess of Disneyland
      October 27, 2016 at 4:52 pm (1 year ago)

      I totally get that perspective, Bea! A lot of people feel that way. Unfortunately, this ride really doesn’t do it for me. I will say, though, that the outside is GORGEOUS and an iconic piece of the Disneyland landscape.


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