Riders stuck for an hour on Disney's "It's A Small World" experienced "torture" by song

Once upon a time we took the Disneyland “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride and got stuck right before the giant skull that repeated, “[Thunder crash] DEAD MEN TALE NO TALES!” over and over. I don’t know how long it lasted but I thought it was kind of funny.

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Been there, done that - spent a delightful day with my 4-yr old at DL which involved at least 5 trips through this hellhole

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OMG! When I was in college and dinosaurs roamed the earth, my friend, Kathy, told me about being stuck in “It’s a small world” for some time and going crazy. I texted her the link, captioned “OMG! It happened again!” :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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You mean the ride isn’t 45 minutes long? I’ve had happier root canals.

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Allowing this to happen should be considered a war crime?

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You and me, dude! We should start a club.

Arrested Development Tobias GIF

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That happened to my spouse’s aunt back in the 80s. She said it was horrible. You didn’t ever hear the “It’s a Small World” song all the way through, but only the snippet which played in the section of the ride in which you were stuck.

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Indeed, having this song stuck in my head for days after riding through the winter wonderland of this ride reminded me of one very happy time spent at Disneyland with my family.

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My memory of that ride is gagging from whatever sanitizer they put in the water that night. Once was quite enough for me.

The ride gets a lot of a bad rap. But I love the Mary Blair midcentury modern design and I even enjoy the sentiment behind the song. That people are more alike than different. (Walt was pretty dang conservative but compared to today’s nationalist anti-immigrant right wing, the concept - which he was very involved in - is almost bleeding heart liberal) . I know the song is repetitive but I can get into it for the length of the ride, especially since it changes subtly as you go along with different languages and instrumentation. ( being stuck in the ride for an hour in one spot might be a different story…)

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Disney is not a signatory on the Geneva Convention, so technically this wasn’t a war crime.

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And I’ve always been really damned impressed how quickly they designed and built the thing for the ‘64 world’s fair when another exhibitor dropped out with short notice. It was only something like 9 months to design, build, install and test the ride, and they ended up with something so iconic and beloved (maybe not by everyone, but enough) that they ended up building copies in Florida, Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

Make fun of the song all you like, but I saw one of the Sherman brothers (forget which one) play it in person in front of the ride on its 50th anniversary, and it was memorable, in a good way.

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I wonder how many future generations will end up sharing the same experience with this song? It doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. It’ll likely survive the collapse of civilization.

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I was always curious, even as a kid, as to what exactly the Small World ride was trying to accomplish, other than repeatedly telling us that the World is small and we are all the same? The lyrics are a bit broad but hint at an attempt to squelch some kind of early indoctrination into national elitism.

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

There is just one moon and one golden sun
And a smile means friendship to everyone
Though the mountains divide
And the oceans are wide
It’s a small world after all

There’s no movie tie-in, no reference to any registered Disney character, no real attempt to market a central character. Very un-Disney of them.

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It was originally built for the UNICEF pavilion of the ‘64 Worlds Fair so the theme of all the children of the world getting along with each other was kinda the point.

Many people forget but quite a few of the iconic old Disneyland rides didn’t tie into existing IP. Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, and several others.

But that said, they did go back and retroactively add Disney characters to Small World a few years ago, to some controversy. Especially when they shrank the rainforest scene to make room for a new one that people derided as the “hurray for the USA!” scene.

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Of course Disney eventually corrected that oversight by either making new movies based on the rides or redesigning the rides to shoehorn in more of their existing IP. Sometimes both at once, like how they added characters from Disney films into It’s a Small World then put the ride itself into the opening sequence from Tomorrowland.

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Or both at the same time!

I’m a little sad about how many people think the ride is based on the movie franchise these days.

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Make it stop!