Last week a small portion of It’s A Small World’s beautiful facade was charred by an off-stage fire caused when fireworks malfunctioned and lit a tree and construction tarp on fire.
If you missed the video you can see it here
It’s a small world’s facade has been under renovation, which is periodically required to keep the complicated structure looking show ready (especially with all the abuse it takes each Christmas season). Here is a show of the construction taken on February 6th, a few weeks before the fire.
That there is the occasional fire from Fireworks fallout is to be expected. Consider how many shells Disney launches each night and then multiply that by a year’s worth of fireworks shows. A small fire or two is bound to happen.
By all accounts Disney cast members acted swiftly and correctly that night. Guests were evacuated from the danger zone and the firefighters who are on hand every night for the fireworks display had the fire extinguished in less than 20 minutes.
In the photos below you can see that some of the trees took a minor beating in the fire and that some of the gold spires are now charred by the fire.
Today is the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney’s classic attraction “it’s a small world.” To celebrate, I would like to share with you a story set in the famed attraction when it’s in its most twinkly phase at Disneyland – “It’s a Small World Holiday.” This piece was originally published in “Dispatch From Disneyland” my new book about the Happiest Place on Earth. But I’m happy to republish it on the blog today in honor of this great attraction.
Each year Disneyland transforms the classic “It’s a Small World” attraction into a holiday treat featuring the familiar dolls in holiday scenes and combining the classic song with Jingle Bells and Deck the Halls. “It’s a Small World Holiday” opens in early November and a ride on it early in the season is sure to get anyone in the holiday mood.
But sometimes …
It’s A Small World Holiday Nightmare
Dark was the night when our ship set to sea
With twelve lucky guests whose limits were to be
Tested and pulled to the ends of their rope
By singing and dancing dolls of good hope.
Our captain did load us too heavy a’stern
I questioned, but he said, “Go ahead, it’s your turn.”
So onward we went with our boat riding low
Nearly taking on water as it rocked to and fro’.
Thus did our journey start out that night
Toward a kaleidoscope building – a marvelous sight.
A rainbow of lights shimmered like twinkling rivets
And together they told of holiday spirits.
Inside the grand building were hundreds of children
Singing Christmas jingles like tiny little pitchmen.
They sang to a beat ever joyous and merry
“‘Tis the season of joy, so you better be wary.”
Fans, cast members, celebrities and more will unite in song around the globe to celebrate the 50th anniversary of “it’s a small world,” one of the most iconic Disney attractions ever built. The first version of “it’s a small world,” opened as a tribute to peace and hope at the 1964 New York World’s Fair.
On Thursday, April 10, 2014, hundreds of voices from Disneyland Resort in California, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan, Disneyland Paris in France, and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort will sing the unforgettable theme song of the “happiest cruise that ever sailed the seven seas.” Fans from around the world can join the festivities in a first-of-its-kind, online global sing-along at SmallWorld50.com.
While on the website, fans may record videos of themselves singing the classic song and create virtual “it’s a small world” dolls to benefit UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund). UNICEF provides health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more to children around the world.
“‘it’s a small world’ has inspired hundreds of millions of people through its timeless theme,” said Tom Staggs, chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “Every moment of every day there are Disney guests enjoying ‘it’s a small world’ somewhere around the globe. The 50th anniversary of this attraction represents a celebration of the shared optimism, hope, and humanity of people throughout the world.”
Disney has also released this short video highlighting some of the history of the attraction: