The celebration started on the morning of April 10 when thousands of guests and cast members at Disney Parks worldwide united to sing the iconic theme song for the beloved attraction.
“‘it’s a small world’ has inspired hundreds of millions of people through its timeless theme,” said Tom Staggs, chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “Every moment of every day there are Disney guests enjoying ‘it’s a small world’ somewhere around the globe. The 50th anniversary of this attraction represents a celebration of the shared optimism, hope, and humanity of people throughout the world.”
All day on April 10, guests at the Disney Parks around the world had a chance to participate in special events marking the 50th anniversary.
Nearly 200 cast members and students from the Hong Kong Children’s Choir gathered in Hong Kong Disneyland to sing “It’s a Small World” in Cantonese while a traditional Chinese lion dancer joined in the celebration.
In Disneyland Paris a “blue carpet” event featured cast members representing 100 nationalities gathered on Main Street U.S.A., and nearly 200 international children and choir members sang a multi-language version of the song.
At Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, cast members gathered to sing the theme song in front of the original attraction in Disneyland. Disney Legend Richard Sherman – who co-wrote the song with his brother Robert – chatted with fans in a Google Hangout.
And at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, international cast members from the country pavilions in Epcot led a choir of children and cast members in front of Cinderella’s Castle. Magic Kingdom guests had the chance to join in singing the song during a “pre-parade” before the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade.
Visitors from more than 150 nations joined in the celebration at SmallWorld50.com where they designed enough digital dolls and recorded enough videos to reach half of Disney’s fundraising goal on the site.
Guests can continue to visit the site through May 30 and Disney will donate $150,000 to benefit UNICEF as part of the celebration, plus $1 for every video or doll created.