by Paul F. Anderson

In June of 1966, Small World was opened at Disneyland with an elaborate ceremony, and Walt was a happy man. The opening day press release described the activities: “With the help of gaily costumed children from many nations, Walt Disney dedicated Disneyland’s newest attraction Monday, by mingling the waters of the oceans and seas around the world with Small World’s Seven Seaways.” Walt was always one for even the smallest of details. The waters from around the world were just that–from around the world. WED files show a $21.86 charge for water obtained from a Caribbean source (not Pirates). The press release continued, “Ten thousand balloons, peace doves, fireworks, and a parade of more than 500 youngsters in native costumes gave ‘Bon Voyage’ to the new adventure. The ceremonies were attended by 1500 consular officials, press guests, and other dignitaries.” Since that opening, Small World has become the quintessential piece of a Disney theme park, and some consider the most beloved attraction of all time.

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