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Robert Niles
Editor

Orlando/SoCal Theme Park Showdown: It's a Small World vs. It's a Small World

Published: October 14, 2011 at 10:05 AM

Ever hear of an earworm? That's a song that gets stuck in your brain, like a worm slithering into your ear, and you just can't get it out of your mind. I mention that because the next match-up in the Theme Park Insider Orlando/Southern California Showdown is It's a Small World. Consider whatever details you'd like when voting, including setting, decor, ride or narrative. The vote will be open for 24 hours. Just try not to think of the song.

Whoops. Too late.

Disneyland's It's a Small World: Fantasyland

Disneyland's It's a Small World

Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom's It's a Small World: Fantasyland

Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom's It's a Small World

The differences? Do you like your musical boat ride past a world of singing dolls to be in a flume, or a flooded show room? Do you want some Disney characters sprinkled through the Mary Blair-designed show scenes, allowing you to play a "Where's Waldo?"-like game as you try to spot them all? Do you want to wait outside in the Southern California sunshine, looking at an impressive facade with its regular "cuckoo clock" show, or under cover, protected from Florida thunderstorms, while looking at a static interior facade?

Those are your main differences between the original "It's a Small World," which debuted at the 1964 New York World's Fair before relocating to Disneyland, and its Walt Disney World sibling. (Disneyland has the flume, the added Disney characters and the animated outdoor facade.) Feel free to further break down the match-up in the comments.

Other Showdown winners:

Replies (8)

Joshua Counsil

Published: October 14, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Which one comes with a BB gun?
Dominick D

Published: October 14, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Would I rather see kids from around the world or disney characters? My vote went to MK
Robert Niles
Editor

Published: October 14, 2011 at 12:41 PM

To be fair, Disneyland's version still includes all of those characters from around the world. And the Disney characters were worked into the appropriate settings (Lilo in Hawaii, Alice in England, Pinocchio in Italy, Woody in the US, etc.).
Anon Mouse

Published: October 14, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Disneyland version is much more elaborate. It wins hands down. The entire facade alone is worth the visit. WDW's is bland it quite forgettable. The facade makes it look like another Fantasyland short dark ride and it feels that way in many respects.
Eric G

Published: October 14, 2011 at 1:14 PM

There is no competition here. Disneyland's version is superior all the way around. It starts with the facade and continues for the entire ride experience. The recent additions of a few of the characters had really no impact on the show at all. If anything, it was an enhancement. If you're voting for Magic Kingdom then I'm willing to bet that you've never been on the Disneyland ride.
Dominick D

Published: October 14, 2011 at 3:15 PM

I like Magic Kingdom's better and nobody can change my opinion. Simple as that.
98.21.204.18

Published: October 15, 2011 at 1:04 AM

The worse part of this ride is when it backs up and you have to wait to get out while hearing that song over and over!!!!! Which of the two has the least problem with that?
Randall Peek

Published: October 15, 2011 at 2:22 AM

Having just gone through WDW's version a week or two back for the first time ever, I have to call it a poor second to the Disneyland version. The building in California is spot-on perfect for the ride, and the ride itself seems better-paced and more colorful. The MK version seemed long and largely instrumental. I actually missed, and I can't believe I am saying this, hearing that damn song being sung in so many languages!

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