'It's a Small World' turns 50 with sing-along - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

'It's a Small World' turns 50 with sing-along

Posted: Updated:

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) - The timeless Disney tune "It's a Small World" that wafts through our memories from past theme park vacations turns 50 this year, and on Thursday, Disney parks worldwide hosted a global sing-along.

At Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, a huge chorus of the song was performed in front of Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom by cast members and a children's choir from Central Florida Performing Arts.

The kids - who didn't seem to mind belting out several takes of what some consider an earworm - sang for a live broadcast on "Good Morning America." Tributes to the song will also be held throughout the park all day, and other parks around the world also held sing-alongs.

Not that the parks are in short supply of the song on any regular day. Disney officials estimate that during a 16-hour operating day, the song is played, on average, 1,200 times.

The song and animatronic attraction debuted at the 1964 New York World's Fair. It was shipped to Disneyland in California then recreated at the other Disney parks. The attraction opened at the Florida park in 1971.

While some adults may complain about the infectious nature of the song, the gentle boat ride is a calm and air-conditioned respite from the crowds and heat - and little kids love it.

With its hundreds of costumed dolls, the attraction was considered high-tech back in the 1970s. It's definitely different than many of the other new theme park offerings these days. There's no 3D, no complicated storyline.

"I think 'It's a Small World,' because of the message that it brings, really does resonate with the audience," said Gary Landrum, a Walt Disney World Imagineer and archivist from California. "It was really one of the first of what became the classic Disney theme park attractions. It's a beautiful story, it's a simple story that I think the public really connects with."

On Thursday morning, Chris Pini, his wife and their two children raced to the Small World ride first thing.

"I came down here as a kid and rode this with my parents, and now I'm getting the chance to take my kids on it," he said. "It's awesome, I know it's been around here for 50 years and it's an amazing ride."

___

Follow Tamara Lush on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tamaralush

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

  • Sports ScoresMore>>

  • Scrappers beat Auburn in extra innings

    Scrappers beat Auburn in extra innings

    Friday, June 23 2017 12:04 AM EDT2017-06-23 04:04:07 GMT

    The Scrappers won for the first time at Eastwood Field this season 5-4 in 10 innings against Auburn.  Jonathan Laureno's walk off RBI double scored Oscar Gonzalez to send everyone home happy.   Auburn jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, with the first four batters reaching base. Paul Panaccione and Randy Encarnacion drove in the Doubledays runs. The Scrappers evened the scored in the bottom of the inning, Samad Taylor scored on a wild pitch, and Will Benso...

    More >>

    The Scrappers won for the first time at Eastwood Field this season 5-4 in 10 innings against Auburn.  Jonathan Laureno's walk off RBI double scored Oscar Gonzalez to send everyone home happy.   Auburn jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, with the first four batters reaching base. Paul Panaccione and Randy Encarnacion drove in the Doubledays runs. The Scrappers evened the scored in the bottom of the inning, Samad Taylor scored on a wild pitch, and Will Benso...

    More >>
  • Moldovan defends title at Mill Creek

    Moldovan defends title at Mill Creek

    Thursday, June 22 2017 11:47 PM EDT2017-06-23 03:47:54 GMT
    Maxwell Moldovan of Uniontown, Ohio defended his title at the Mill Creek Foundation Junior All Star tournament conducted by the American Junior Golf Association. Moldovan shot a 68 for a three day total of 203, finishing three strokes ahead of Aaron Du of Lake Mary, Florida. Taylor Kehoe of Strathroy, Ontario captured the girls division at 205, after shooting 67 on the final day.   Manhue Chen of China placed second, six strokes back. Brookfield's Connor Stevens finished tied...More >>
    Maxwell Moldovan of Uniontown, Ohio defended his title at the Mill Creek Foundation Junior All Star tournament conducted by the American Junior Golf Association. Moldovan shot a 68 for a three day total of 203, finishing three strokes ahead of Aaron Du of Lake Mary, Florida. Taylor Kehoe of Strathroy, Ontario captured the girls division at 205, after shooting 67 on the final day.   Manhue Chen of China placed second, six strokes back. Brookfield's Connor Stevens finished tied...More >>
  • Late rally not enough as Scrappers drop home opener

    Late rally not enough as Scrappers drop home opener

    Thursday, June 22 2017 11:39 PM EDT2017-06-23 03:39:50 GMT

    For the second straight night, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers jumped out to a second-inning lead.  

    More >>

    For the second straight night, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers jumped out to a second-inning lead.  

    More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms