Later today on ABC’s ‘Good Morning America,’ plans are expected to be announced on how Disney Parks and Resorts plans on celebrating the 50th anniversary of ‘the happiest cruise that ever sailed,’ ‘it’s a small world.’ The attraction made its public debut at the New York World’s Fair in April 1964, alongside other Disney-created attractions such as Progressland /aka/ Carousel of Progress.
LeSportsac and Disney Consumer Products announced today the launch of the Disney It’s a Small World by LeSportsac collection featuring handbags, totes and accessories that combine the bright aesthetic of LeSportsac with inspiration from the mid-century artwork of Disney artist Mary Blair who created the whimsical look of the beloved Disney theme park attraction “it’s a small world.”
Disney It’s a Small World by LeSportsac collection includes five seasonal deliveries, each inspired by a specific country. In addition to celebrating a country, each delivery will be anchored with a Signature Tote and a colorful print that pays tribute to the unique facades and architectural works of Disney’s “it’s a small world” Theme park attraction. The collection kicks off with a celebration of Tahiti that includes two graphic totes and a range of 12 styles in two vibrant prints.
Last year, Disney Consumer Products kicked off a celebration of 45 years of ‘it’s a small world’ at the Disneyland Resort with upscale clothing lines and other merchandise including a line of books inspired by the attraction and the artwork of Mary Blair. The celebration continues into 2012 with all new product lines inspired by the attraction making their debut at the International Toy Fair in New York City.
We have obtained what is essentially concept art for the next generation (NextGen) interactive queue for “it’s a small world” at the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort. Taking advantage of the NextGen infrastructure in which guests will be able to personalize their experiences at Walt Disney World, the “it’s a small world” interactivity begins at home. Using their computer or smart phone, guests will design their own “it’s a small world doll.” When they visit the attraction at the Magic Kingdom, monitors placed throughout the attraction will virtually ride along with the guest (or the monitors may be installed in the vehicles, this is an unknown at this time). Guests will also be able to send e-cards spotlighting their virtual trip aboard the happiest cruise to have ever sailed the seven seas.
Earlier today, Disney Design Group Artist Thomas Scott tweeted out a pic of what appeared to be an unknown Vinylmation Jr. figure. Immediately, the entire vinylmation community was abuzz, wondering what they had just seen — well, most of the community anyway, as we correctly attributed it to the popular Fantasyland attraction.
This was later confirmed by Vinylmation on its official blog, on which it announces the complete series will be dedicated to “it’s a small world” and features an additional image of a tiger from the attraction. As with other Vinylmation Jr. series, it will consist of 20 figures, 18 of which will be known (sold in a blind pack) and 2 chasers. The series will be making its debut at the Disney D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, August 19-21.
For the 1964 Worlds Fair in New York, Walt Disney was commissioned by the Pepsi-Cola Company to produce an attraction to benefit the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). With less than a year to create it — and with the vision of former Disney Imagineer Mary Blair and catchy tune by the Sherman Brothers — Disney introduced “It’s A Small World” to the public. In 1966, the attraction re-opened at Disneyland, albeit in a modified form, and ‘the happiest cruise ever to have sailed’ has been a perennial favorite for millions at Disney Parks around the world since.
Thanks to a tip, we have learned that ‘it’s a small world’ at the Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom has been scheduled for an extended refurbishment beginning August 1 and ending October 22. The refurbishment is listed on the official Walt Disney World website daily view for those dates and a call to the Resort did confirm the closure.
We’re sure in time that more about the details of the refurbishment will come to light, but until then, one can only speculate. With the addition of Disney characters at first Hong Kong Disneyland and then Disneyland in 2009, could the Magic Kingdom be far behind?
“We are thrilled to be associated with such an icon of the Disney experience. At SYLVANIA, we are creating ways to see the world in a new light. Our association with ‘it’s a small world’ is a perfect fit for our own vision,” said Rick Leaman, president and CEO of the Siemens lighting unit, OSRAM SYLVANIA.
“‘it’s a small world’ is a celebration of the hope we all share for peace on Earth,” said Walt Disney Imagineer Tony Baxter, who is the creative lead for Disneyland. “It’s an illuminating global message, so it’s fitting that this classic attraction should be sponsored by a company that literally helps illuminate the world.”