This is definitely one of Magic Kingdom’s most popular attractions, and it has a rich history. It was originally created for the 1964 World’s Fair in support of UNICEF. It was a huge success there, and has been a hit at Disney Parks all over the world ever since. Each Disney Park worldwide has its own version of the attraction.
Besides it being a cute and fun experience for all ages, it offers a terrific introduction to world cultures and global social studies for young children. As you float down the Seven Seaways Waterway, you’ll encounter bright and colorful landscapes and traditional costumes from all around the world. Each room represents a different continent or region. And although it may be hard to tell, the language in which the famous song is sung changes to match.
As you ride you can encourage children to point out famous landmarks they might know, or the countries they are associated with, such as the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal, or the Egyptian pyramids. And before you disembark, you can practice saying “good-bye” in different languages.
Many people know that Mary Blair, known for her particular visual style, was behind the design of “it’s a small world.” But you may not realize that the costume designers used authentic materials and fabrics from each region for all 300 costumes in the attraction. Talk about attention to detail!