“it’s a small world” – DISNEY WORLD – MAGIC KINGDOM

Facts at a Glance About “it’s a small world”:

Park: Magic Kingdom. Location: Fantasyland Height Requirement: Any Height Fastpass: Yes
Quick Notes: Slow-moving, smooth ride that passes costumed dolls from around the world.
Disney Warnings: None.
Cautions: Includes flashing lights, spotlights, running lights and other light effects. Can be overstimulating for some people because of constant repetitive music, many bright colors and many moving dolls/characters wherever you look. Boat may get bumped by boats from behind while near the unloading area or during the ride if there are any backups. Boat travels over bumpy rollers when departing and arriving back at the unload area. See below for more cautions and details.           
Length:  The ride lasts approximately 11 minutes.
Special Needs Info: 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 seat. Handheld Captioning, Audio Description.


Overview of 
“it’s a small world”

This classic is a slow, smooth ride with no big surprises. You’ll pass by costumed dolls set in various scenes representing countries all around the world. Most of them move with the music. Some have a lot of movement with rotating or twirling. Others move only a part of the body like their head or an arm or leg. There’s pretty much constant motion of some type wherever you look.

Kids will like the bright colors and doll costumes. It’s an excellent example of early Audio-Animatronics. In fact the ride has a great nostalgia factor since it was first shown at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York when I and many others first saw it.

One word of caution. The theme song plays over and over again for the full 11-minute cruise. It will be stuck in your head for quite some time after that, like it or not! And many people don’t like that.

Queue information for “it’s a small world”

Most of the queue is under cover. It’s a wrap around on a downward hill. The queue can get crowded at times.

crowded queue in it's a small world

Magic Kingdom’s “it’s a small world’ attraction queue can get crowded

Handicapped info: This is one of the few attractions with a separate accessible queue because the main queue is not accessible. Guests who are able to walk and wish to park their ECV or wheelchair with the strollers can do so. There are no steps in the main queue. The issue for guests with wheelchairs or ECVs is that their mobility devices would not be on the exit side of the water if they used the regular queue.

The handicapped entrance is marked with a wheelchair gate and it’s near the entrance to the regular queue and the exit area. The handicapped queue goes down to the boarding area as a fairly steep, continuous ramp which can be hard to hold a wheelchair on. It’s narrow – about 36 to 40 inches wide and it’s separated from the exit path by a run of metal rails.

Boats and boarding “it’s a small world”

The boats seat 20 people and have hard bench seats with backs. The seats in the front and back of the boat are quite low. For more legroom, request the center rows. For regular boats guests will step up about a foot over the side of the boat. You can use the seat as a step which is about a foot down and then you’ll step down the rest of the way about a foot.

Handicapped boarding: At the end of the ramp described in the previous section, a cast member will ask if you can park your wheelchair/ECV and walk about 30 feet to transfer onto the boat. Guests who are not able to transfer may take a wheelchair (power or manual) onto the accessible boat, but it can sometimes be an approximately 11 minute wait at the end of the ramp if the accessible boat just left. It can be longer if other guests ahead of you are also waiting for the accessible boat.

small world with wheelchair on boat

It’s a small world boat with a wheelchair

More details about “it’s a small world”

On the ride there are some flashing lights, as well as spotlights in various colors. There are miniature moving rides that have lights on them, including a carousel. There are also lights within the many small sets representing the various countries.

Sometimes as the boats approach the disembarking area they can get close and hit each other, creating a jerking motion. It’s a low rate of speed, and it’s usually fairly gentle, but some people may need to take note of this.

When the boat leaves the landing it slides slightly downhill over some bumpy rollers. From there the ride is smooth, except that the boat bumps the sides of the tracks as it moves along. Still, it’s mild and even the most sensitive people will usually be okay with it. When you arrive back at the docking station, your boat goes slightly uphill and briefly rides over bumpy rollers again. Your boat will most likely hit the boat in front of it, and it may be hit from behind repetitively before you’re allowed to disembark.

We hear varying viewpoints on this ride such as the following:

“We loved the small world ride with its beautiful dolls. It’s magical and my kids were absolutely delighted! It was calm, pleasant and cool on a hot day.”

 “What a bore. It was dolls, dolls and more dolls. The song was so repetitive that it was literally driving me crazy. It seemed to go on forever. I wanted to jump out of the boat.”

“This was an attraction I thought my daughter would love when she was 2 years old, but the constant stimulation was too much for her. She spent the entire ride with her eyes shut, sucking her thumb, with that arm somehow also covering one ear, and her other arm covering her other ear and also twirling her hair. It was many years before she could actually ride and watch it. Just too much going on.”

Take a look at “it’s a small world”:

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