In a glittering ceremony featuring children from all over the Asia-Pacific region, Hong Kong Disneyland unveiled its very own, unique version of the beloved, classic Disney attraction “it’s a small world, ” marking yet another milestone in the Resort’s young history. In fact, this “small world” – for the first time at any Disney park globally – even comes with cherished Disney character dolls.
Financial Secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, John Tsang and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Jay Rasulo were joined by Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters, as well as local Hong Kong celebrities at the ceremony. Children from Hong Kong, Australia, mainland China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Taiwan also celebrated the opening of the classic Disney attraction that has resonated with millions of park goers over the decades.
“We are thrilled to bring this unique version of a timeless Disney attraction to the Guests of this resort and to the people of Hong Kong, ” said Mr. Rasulo. “‘it’s a small world’ is a perfect example of Disney’s signature entertainment that immerses Guests in a wonderful story of peace, hope and friendship. We are confident that ‘it’s a small world’ will touch the hearts and minds of Guests of all ages for generations to come.”
Promoting the themes of mutual understanding, peace, love and friendship, “it’s a small world” takes Guests on a leisurely boat journey across the continents of the world, inviting them to re-discover the world through the eyes of a child. Audio-Animatronics® dolls of singing children dressed in their colorful costumes, Disney character dolls, world-famous landmarks and unique Asian elements combine to offer a delightful experience. The façade of “it’s a small world” is part of this experience and is a work of art in itself; featuring whimsical versions of renowned landmarks including the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, the Russian ‘onion’ domes, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Moroccan minarets.
Mr. Tsang said: “Since the Disney magic came to Hong Kong in 2005, Hong Kong Disneyland has made good progress in integrating with the local community. The newly established Disney Children’s Fund and the reach-outs by the Disney VoluntEARS are among the many exciting initiatives. We look forward to Hong Kong Disneyland continuing to maintain a strong bond with Hong Kong people, working closely with local travel industry partners to ensure the magic lives on.”
Walt Disney and his team of Imagineers first created the “it’s a small world” attraction for the 1964 New York World’s Fair to benefit UNICEF. The attraction officially opened at Disneyland, California on May 28, 1966. There are also “it’s a small world” attractions at Walt Disney World, Florida; Tokyo Disney Resort, Tokyo; and Disneyland Resort Paris. Adding to its uniqueness, the Hong Kong Disneyland version of the “it’s a small world” includes the largest-ever Asia section and specially-designed mainland China and Hong Kong scenes.
The universally-popular “it’s a small world” theme song has held a prominent place in Hong Kong’s history for over 30 years. In the Hong Kong attraction, this classic song is sung in nine different languages, including four new ones – Cantonese, Putonghua, Tagalog and Korean. The original Cantonese version of the theme song was written by legendary lyricist James Wong. The Cantonese version of the song remains popular among different generations of Hong Kong people.
Like the ride, the classic song dates to the time of Walt Disney himself, who challenged composers Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman to create a simple, yet catchy piece that could be sung in many different languages. The song has since become one of the best-known and happiest Disney tunes.
“To the millions of Guests who have enjoyed it around the world, ‘it’s a small world’ and its multigenerational appeal speaks to the child in all of us, ” said Dave Vermeulen, Managing Director of Hong Kong Disneyland. “Its colorful cast of international dolls and delightful theme song, paired with the simple message of friendship, establishes an emotional connection with Guests of all ages.”