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Complete Guide to “it’s a small world” at Magic Kingdom

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Complete Guide to “it’s a small world” at Magic Kingdom

Climb aboard “The Happiest Cruise That Ever Sailed!”

“it’s a small world” is a journey of colors, cultures and unity, full of nostalgia and charm.

Though you may find yourself singing it’s famous theme for days to come, we’ll argue that a trip to Walt Disney World is not complete without riding this iconic attraction.

Keep reading for our complete guide to “it’s a small world“.

Before we get too far into it, make sure you check out our guide on the Best Rides at Magic Kingdom for information on every attraction and show at Magic Kingdom.

Quick Facts

  • Location: Magic Kingdom, Fantasyland
  • Height requirement: None
  • Suitable for: Anybody
  • Attraction length: About 10 minutes
  • Do we recommend? Yes
  • When to Visit: First 2 or last 2 hours, Early Theme Park Entry, anytime with Genie+
  • Lightning Lane available: Yes, included with Genie+
  • Eligible for Early Entry: Yes
  • Eligible for Extended Evening Hours: Yes
  • Scheduled Refurbishments
  • Tip(s): Pinocchio Village Haus is a Quick Service restaurant with a view of this ride. Look up and wave at diners right after you board!

Description: “it’s a small world” is a slow-moving boat ride that takes you on a journey through all 7 continents represented by fantastical and colorful scenes, along with Audio-Animatronics who sing “it’s a small world” in many languages.

Location

“it’s a small world” is located in Fantasyland across from Peter Pan’s Flight.

it's a small world map location

Download the PDF

Magic Kingdom Map
Magic Kingdom Map

How to ride “it’s a small world”

‘it’s a small world” has a Standby Line and a Lightning Lane. There is no Single Rider Line.

Like most attractions, standby lines typically are the lowest first thing in the morning and at the end of the day. The middle of the day will see the longest lines.

it's a small world lightning lane

While the boats do hold a lot of guests, wait times can grow here due to the family-friendliness of the ride.

Eligible guests can also ride “it’s a small world” during both Early Theme Park Entry and Extended Evening Theme Park Hours.

Do I need to use Genie+ at “it’s a small world”?

Genie+ is available at “it’s a small world” but it is not an early priority since Genie+ availability for the ride typically lasts all day.

Be sure to check out our touring strategies for Magic Kingdom for more Genie+ advice.

Rider Switch/Child Swap

As there is no height requirement for “it’s a small world”, this attraction does not offer Rider Switch.

Rider Switch is Disney’s system that allows guests with small children to take turns riding bigger rides, while another person/people wait with the little one.

Read more about Rider Switch.

What to Expect When You Ride

Queue

While the queue is open-air, it is mostly covered with the exception of the busy season when lines extend beyond the entrance.

it's a small world queue at magic kingdom

You’ll wind your way back and forth down ramps until you finally come upon the boat boarding area where Cast Members will direct you to a numbered row.

it's a small world boarding ride vehicles

Once your boat makes a complete stop at the loading dock, you can walk into the boat and have a seat.

Ride Vehicles

The boats at “it’s a small world” feature six rows that can fit up to 3 to 5 people per row.

Accessibility Information

For those in ECVs, you must transfer to a standard wheelchair to ride.

There are some boats that can accommodate wheelchairs. If you’re in an ECV or power wheelchair, you must transfer to a manual wheelchair to board this ride.

For boats without wheelchair accommodations, you must transfer from your wheelchair or ECV to the boat in order to ride.

it's a small world accessibility information

ECVs and wheelchairs remain in the same area where you park them prior to boarding.

Guests using wheelchairs or ECVs may also park them with the strollers and walk the queue (there are no steps).

it's a small world facade

That said, wheelchairs and ECVs are not permitted in the line. For those using mobility devices, “it’s a small world” has its own accessible queue, which is on the far right under the pink tent closes to Pinocchio’s Village Haus.

Motion Sickness

As “it’s a small world” is a gentle boat ride, the chance of motion sickness is unlikely. If you want to know about rides that can cause motion sickness, read our guide.

On the Ride

Cruise along the Seven Seaways Waterway on a journey through all 7 continents as you sing along to what may be the most famous anthem for world peace, “it’s a small world.”

it's a small world at magic kingdom

You’ll float by adorable Audio-Animatronic dolls that represent nearly every corner of the globe as they join in one song sung in many languages.

To name a few, the following are represented on the ride:

  • The British Isles
  • Western & Eastern Europe
  • The Middle East
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Antarctica
  • South America
  • Australia
  • The South Pacific Islands

Full of color, gorgeous scenery, and charm, this classic Walt Disney World attraction will have you convinced that it really is a small world after all.

it's a small world goodbye in different languages

The attraction ends with a room full of different ways to say goodbye. Thanks to MagicBands and MagicBand+ technology, you just must be lucky enough to even see your name pop up on one of the screens bidding you farewell.

Is “it’s a small world” kid-friendly?

Absolutely! This is definitely a ride that the whole family can enjoy together.

Strollers

Strollers are not allowed in the “it’s a small world” queue. You can park your stroller at the designated stroller parking area near the entrance to the queue.

History

“it’s a small world” was created for the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair in support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Personally overseen by Walt Disney, the attraction was a huge hit and after 2 seasons there, it debuted at Disneyland on May 28, 1966.

it's a small world

In 1971, “it’s a small world” was one of the opening day attractions at Magic Kingdom in Disney World. It was so popular that the attraction has been replicated at many Disney theme parks around the world.

It’s theme of the same name, “it’s a small world,” was written by the Academy Award-winning brothers, Richard and Robert Sherman.

Walt Disney asked them to create a song that could be sung by Audio-Animatronic figures in multiple languages and they surely delivered.

Other Fun Details

  • Every 15 minutes, a clock is revealed on the main tower. The doors also open on the side showcasing toy soldiers.
it's small world clock at magic kingdom
  • Mary Blair was the mastermind behind the child-like art style reminiscent of colored paper collages that “it’s a small world” has become so famous for. You can also see her work over, a 90-foot-tall mural, at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
mary blair mural contemporary
  • Under the direction of designer Alice Davis, over 300 costumes for the dolls of “it’s a small world” were created using authentic materials for each region’s traditional attire.
it's a small world animatronic dolls
  • As soon as you set sail, look up and wave to diners at Pinocchio’s Village Haus, who can watch the ride as they eat.
it's a small world views from pinocchio village haus
  • In the Africa scene, there’s a Hidden Mickey in the purple flowers on a vine on the elephant’s left side.

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