Magical Mouse Schoolhouse is thrilled to welcome very special Guest Jan Sleeper today! Jan is a veteran homeschooler and has been traveling to the Walt Disney World Resort yearly since 1985. Having successfully graduated her homeschoolers, she has turned her love for Disney toward helping plan magical vacations as a 3D Travel Specialist. Contact Jan today for your FREE quote, and keep up with her latest news on Facebook.
“it’s a world of laughter, a world of tears/it’s a world of hopes and a world of fears/there’s so much that we share, that it’s time we’re aware/it’s a small world after all”
If you’ve never found yourself singing those words, you’ve missed experiencing one of the most classic rides at the Disney Theme Parks! With all the much-deserved hoopla over the new Fantasyland expansion at Magic Kingdom in the Walt Disney World Resort, I thought I’d stop and focus on one of the original attractions, and my personal favorite, it’s a small world.
Oddly enough, my first encounter with it’s a small world was NOT at any Disney Theme Park, but at the 1964 New York World’s Fair, when I was 7 years old. Created by WED (Walter Elias Disney) Enterprises, a development arm of the Walt Disney Company, it’s a small world found its place at the World’s Fair in the UNICEF pavilion sponsored by Pepsi. This was one of 4 rides developed to test concepts and ride systems and to showcase Audio-Animatronics. I guess you could say I was with Walt from the beginning.
Walt was personally involved with the development of things like the identical shapes of the dolls’ faces and the familiar song of universal peace sung in unison in the native languages. His personal touch and the combined artistic geniuses of art director Mary Blair, costume designers Marc and Alice Davis, and songwriters Richard and Robert Sherman, brought it’s a small world to life. No small ride, it was a tremendous hit during the World’s Fair seasons and sold an approximate total of ten million tickets. I know that it knocked the ankle socks off this then 7-year-old little girl and her 10-year-old sister!
I didn’t see the ride that gave me my first taste of Disney magic again until I was in my 20s. The original ride was relocated to Disneyland in 1966, and the Walt Disney World version welcomed Guests on Opening Day in 1971. It was in Walt Disney World that I experienced it’s a small world with my sister for the first time—again. Sailing along the Seven Seaways Waterway, winding through 7 Continents, passing 300 traditionally dressed dolls, taking in the colorful scenery, and singing “it’s a small world” with gusto, we were kids again back at the World’s Fair!
If you never have ridden it’s a small world, you are missing out on one of Walt’s great legacies. For me, it’s one of my must-do rides EVERY time. I never tire of hearing the can-can dancers exclaim, “ooh-la-la!” and I always look forward to seeing King Kamehameha in his splendor. It’s a feel-good ride and I guarantee you’ll be humming the tune for the rest of the day!
So, as your journey begins, don’t forget to look up and wave to the Cast Member at the controls. Then get ready for a whimsical ride on “the happiest cruise that ever sailed!”
Studying foreign countries is not only educational, but also a lot of fun! Choose a country and do a unit study focusing on the history, government, geography, economy, demographics, and culture. End the study with a celebration! Construct the national flag of the country you chose, and create some costumes for the whole family. Then, prepare an authentic feast and invite some friends to join you!
SCHOOL SUBJECT: Geography, Social Sciences
SKILL LEVEL: All
Thanks so much for being our Guest today, Jan!