For many guests at the Disneyland Resort, a visit during the holidays means a must-do voyage through the heartwarming “it’s a small world” Holiday. Now in its 20th season, “it’s a small world” Holiday is transformed from the classic attraction into one that depicts children of the world dressed in seasonal costumes and happily singing a mix of holiday songs, along with the “it’s a small world” theme. The story of the attraction changes from a charming party with dolls, toys and decorations representing children of many nations, all joining in a song of unity, to the winter wonderland of “it’s a small world” Holiday.
Photo: Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort
- Guests who enjoy searching for “Hidden Mickey’s” at the Disneyland Resort will discover a new challenge for Holidays 2016: There are at least half a dozen “Hidden 20s” in “it’s a small world” Holiday, a tribute to its 20th holiday presentation.
- Jolly decorators use 50,000 lights on the façade of “it’s a small world” Holiday, and an additional 350,000 mini-lights in the trees, hedges and animal topiaries surrounding the attraction in whimsical Fantasyland. Thousands of additional lights decorate the shops and food kiosks around the attraction, bringing the total to more than 400,000 lights adding sparkle and wintry ambiance to the plaza area around “it’s a small world.”
- The warm holiday atmosphere of the plaza area is further enhanced with colorful garland, festive poinsettias and beautiful, international holiday wreaths.
- After dark, the smiling clock at the front of “it’s a small world,” decked out in a Santa hat, reveals a sparkling projection show. On every quarter hour, the brightly light façade of the attraction is transformed into an enormous clockwork mechanism with advanced 3D-projection technology presented by Siemens. The gears and springs pull back to reveal a world of holiday wonders hidden behind the whimsical clock.
- Guests on “The Merriest Attraction on Earth” sail through 10 scenes inspired by places around the world, such as Europe, Asia and Africa, each representing unique cultural holiday traditions celebrated in these regions.
- Among the holiday special effects inside the attraction are scents of fresh pine from a glistening winter forest and peppermint from tantalizing candy canes in the European scenes. In the South Seas scene, hundreds of iridescent bubbles float through the air.
- Nearly 150 giant candles decorate the Christmas Tree in the European scene. Once a common tradition in Western European countries, the lighting of candles has inspired the string lights seen on modern Christmas trees today.
- The attractions’ finale features a 14-foot snowman made of glimmering crystal snowflakes that shine with thousands of luminous lights. The snowman stands atop a 10-foot-wide snowflake and holds a beautiful “icicle” sign that spells out “Happy Holidays” in colors that change as guests drift along. The snowman joined this festive attraction in 2011, bringing an extra sprinkle of holiday pixie dust with him.
- The iconic music of “it’s a small world,” written by the legendary Sherman Brothers, is one of the attraction’s signature elements throughout the regular season. During “it’s a small world” Holiday, guests may still hear this classic tune weaved in between the joyous caroling of holiday favorites “Jingle Bells” and “Deck the Halls.”
- Many languages of the world can be heard serenading guests, with cheerful tunes in English, French, Italian, Spanish and Scandinavian languages. Festive signs and banners throughout the attraction spread holiday greetings in such dialects as French Canadian, Dutch, Asante and Hawaiian.
- The Disneyland Resort has its own team of holiday “elves” who help create the magic of “it’s a small world” Holiday each year. It takes a talented and dedicated team of nearly three dozen cast members 35 days to install the glittering façade, and nearly 18 days to decorate the holiday attraction’s dazzling interior.
- Throughout the regular year, 100 percent of the holiday props and scenic elements are actually stored inside the attraction. A merry reminder: Do not open until the holiday season begins!