Disney has launched a website to create a global sing-along for “it’s a small world,” marking 50 years since the attraction with the unforgettable earworm of a song opened at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York.
The ride of “it’s a small world” (Disney does not capitalize it) became a centerpiece of Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., in 1966, and the famous song still plays in a continuous loop at rides in Disney parks.
The new website, www.SmallWorld50.com, invites the public to submit videos of themselves singing the song. Fans can also create virtual dolls, mixing and matching faces, clothes and other elements.
Walt Disney wanted the music and lyrics to be catchy and easy for kids to sing, but some adults find the tune inexplicably maddening, lodging in the brain for hours.
The original “small world” attraction was billed in 1964 as “a salute to UNICEF and all the world’s children.” To mark the 50th, Disney is donating $150,000 to UNICEF and will donate another $1 for each video and doll posted or shared on SmallWorld50.com or related social media, up to $100,000.
The World’s Fair opened April 22, 1964, in Flushing Meadows Park in Queens. Its wonders included “Bel-Gem Waffles,” with strawberries and whipped cream; innovations like microwave ovens and computers; and exhibits ranging from Michelangelo’s Pieta to Disney’s animatronic figure of Abe Lincoln giving a speech. The fair hosted more than 51 million visitors.
The SmallWorld50.com site launched with a video of singers from 25 countries. On April 10, a live sing-along will be held at Disneyland and Disney World, and will be paired with sing-alongs recorded earlier from other Disney parks, to air on Good Morning America.