Thursday, February 08, 2018

"It's a Small World" Flyers, 1964 New York World's Fair

Before "It's a Small World" was driving people crazy in Disneyland, it made its debut at the 1964-65 New York World's Fair. As all of you know! Here are two scarce flyers from the Fair.

Ah, the Pepsi Pavilion! I can't help thinking of large glasses of fizzing soda with plenty of ice, condensation dripping down the sides. Maybe there's a bendy straw. Perfect for a hot day! 

There are those familiar dolls, each with a similar face, as if there was so much that we share. I'm sure it was mostly a matter of economics, but I think it was ultimately a good call to make all of the children the same, with the exception of skin color and hair variations. 

By the time this flyer was produced (presumably in 1965), the attraction could already be proclaimed as a one of the biggest hits of the Fair. The artwork doesn't really reflect the stylized look inside the attraction, which seems a little strange. I could be wrong, but the drawings resemble the work of Sam McKim, in my opinion.

Don't forget that UNICEF was involved too!

A second, smaller flyer is also somewhat uncommon. That tiny image of the pavilion is actually the architectural model. I like "Disneyland fun at the fair".

Now this example appears to have been released before the Fair; "...the magic and excitement of Disneyland, which has enchanted 40 million youngsters and young-at-heart grownups, will be transplanted East for the first time". But not for the last!

Robert Moses, the never-controversial head of the 1964-65 World's Fair, predicted that IASW would become one of the three of four top Fair attractions. And he was right. Way to go, Bob.

I hope you have enjoyed these flyers from the World's Fair!


Nanook said...


Thanks for posting these interesting brochures from the Fair. I've got a particular liking for the "Disneyland fun at the fair" poster, with its sea of black.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

These are both great! And I have never seen either one of these flyers before, but now I'm wondering why Joan Crawford isn't featured on them. Actually, I'm now wondering why she wasn't featured throughout the attraction. Joan and children just kind of go together, if you know what I mean. Plus, she was the spokesperson for Pepsi at that time and was also on the company's board of directors.

Do we know who came up with that look of the animatronic figures in the attraction?

Scott Lane said...

Boy they were really pushing that "Meet me at the Tower of the Four Winds" thing, weren't they? Walt even references it in the Disneyland Goes to the Fair episode of his tv show. Do you suppose anybody ever actually said that? I mean, it's New York - most mothers probably said something more like, "If you get lost don't come cryin' to me!"

Chuck said...

I didn't realize that "Meet me at the Tower of the Four Winds" was a marketing phrase from the beginning rather than a spontaneous development that marketing people took advantage of. I feel slightly cheated. Next you'll tell me that ordinary people in 1964 didn't greet each other with "Come alive! You're in the Pepsi generation," either. My whole world is collapsing upon itself.

Note that all of the artwork of the Tower of the Four Winds is based on Rolly Crump's original, gossamer concept, rather than the more solid, staid version that was built to withstand the wind. Stupid real-world physics messing up great art...again.

I'm suddenly reminded of going door to door around Hallowe'en as a small child with my mom and a little orange box and collecting change for UNICEF. Anyone else remember doing that?

TM!, the All-Knowing Wikipedia, which I theorize will become self-aware and enslave humanity by 2021 (excepting a rag-tag band of loveable misfits hiding in the hills and led by their mysterious and courageous leader, the indomitable Major Pepperidge) says that the dolls themselves were sculpted by Blaine Gibson, witch characters by Marc Davis and costumes by Alice Davis.

Chuck said...

Ahem...with characters by Marc Davis, etc.

Patrick Devlin said...

Nice stuff there, Major. Thanks as always for the time and effort. Now that you mention it, that artwork does look a bit like Sam McKim's style, but that might be because I associate him with the "Fun Maps" from Disneyland which are basically pen and ink drawings with color laid over the drawings, similar to the work here. The flyers make me curious as to what the "UNICEF garden court" looked like and whether anyone ever met at the "UNICEF garden court" after it got too crowded under the tower of the four winds. Who knows...

Stefano said...

Thank you Major, for this brochure and for being a fan of the attraction; I think people who profess to hate it are just walking Scrooges, before his redemption.
I had the long-playing album narrated by Winston Hibler before I saw the ride at Disneyland, and was a bit confused experiencing the trip because it didn't match with the album's photos; the record cover is of Disneyland's gorgeous façade, while all the interior pictures were taken at the fair version. In the photo of Mexican children dancing the Paso Doble, all of the girls are bald!
I like the mix of styles in the way characters are represented: the "realistic" kids who were pressed from the same mold, and the papier-mâché creations such as these leprechauns and the Mary Blair doll in her poncho up on the Eiffel Tower.

K. Martinez said...

I see we are visiting the Village of the Damned today. Spooooky!

All these flyers are great. There's something about the graphic and illustrative styles of Disney promotional materials from the 1950's and 60's that I love. Great stuff today! Thanks, Major.

Chuck, I like "witch" characters better and yes, I remember the little orange UNICEF boxes at Halloween.

Melissa said...

I love that illustration of the Tower of the Four Winds. It captures the colorful and kinetic spirit, if not the literal finished product.

Pepsi was promoting global unity years before anyone wanted to buy the world a Coke and keep it company!

Interesting how the descriptions of the show scenes are kind of off, such as saying Cleopatra is in a palace instead of on a barge. I wonder if the copywriter only got to see early sketches.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, ha ha, there is nothing that evokes “It’s a Small World” like a sea of black! ;-)

TokyoMagic!, did Joan Crawford do actual commercials for Pepsi? Did she beat her daughter Christina for drinking Coke (or worse, TAB)?? I am awaiting an answer from a reader about who designed the look for the animatronic figures!

Scott Lane, the funny thing is that there were several other pavilions that used the “Meet me…” tag line. That must have been a thing then. “Meet me at the Smoke Ring” (at the General Cigar pavilion), “Meet me in Florida at the World’s Fair” (a song), “Meet Me Under the Money Tree” (at the American Express pavilion), and I am almost certain there were two or three more.

Chuck, what folks today don’t remember is that many youthful people used to run and frolic in slow motion, with big smiles on their faces, but only while carrying bottles of Pepsi. The model version of the Tower of the Four Winds looks a little more square-ish to me, somehow - and not as tapered. Maybe it’s just the angle.

Chuck, ah, it’s just a li’l typo!

Patrick Devlin, those drawings resemble the McKim artwork on a very early Golden Horseshoe Revue table menu - that’s my main point of reference. I doubt I’ll be able to verify whether he did (or didn’t) do the art for the IASW pamphlet. Meanwhile, I could find no images of the “garden court”…

Stefano, I loved that album narrated by Winston Hibler - I listened to it a zillion times. Of course now I wish I still had it so that I could see the bald Mexican children! That’s hilarious. How could I have not noticed it? Is it possible that at some point that photo was replaced?

K. Martinez, if I didn’t already collect Disneyland stuff, I could easily see myself having boxes and boxes full of various flyers from the 64 NYWF - there were a TON of them! Even now I have a pretty healthy stack.

Melissa, I did a double-take. Is Cleopatra on a barge, for crying out loud?? Turns out that she is in the Florida version of IASW. At Disneyland she is on a divan in a sumptuous palace! That's probably how she looked at the Fair too. I like that they mixed it up.

Melissa said...

"I mean, it's New York - most mothers probably said something more like, 'If you get lost don't come cryin' to me!'"

My mother's variation was, "Don't come crying to me while you're getting raped and murdered!"

JG said...

Major, these are great. Love the old graphics look, and demonstrating that, as is often the case in architecture, the renderings are better and more memorable than the final construction.

The Tower of the Four Winds has a vaguely foreboding name to my ear, like something one of the Three Witches would whisper to Macbeth on a storm-blasted moor. I'm not sure I would find it to be a congenial meeting place, the space beneath clogged with blood-boltered spirits of Banquo and the King.

OTOH, it might be a fairy tale palace waypoint full of ice cream and gum drops and not eerie at all.

As Chuck notes, Physics and Economics are the bane of architects everywhere, and coincidentally, neither of those apply in the fantasy world of the Rendering. A big part of my work life is reconciling all three of these wayward ghosts.


Nanook said...


It's quite-likely the "meet me at..." was used at many places. For the Seattle World's Fair, in 1962, there was a song entitled: Meet Me In Seattle at the Fair, and another one, See You In Seattle (at the Big World's Fair).

Chuck said...

...and who could forget that hit from 1904:

"Meet Me in St Louis, Louis.

Meet me at the Fair..."

We've been meeting people at World's Fairs for more than a hundred years. can't remember a great song from Knoxville, though...

Anonymous said...

I was on 'it's a small world' in Florida just last week. I first rode it in 1964 at the Worlds Fair. Thats 54 years of riding IASW !
Dennis, Levittown, NY

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I don't know for sure that Joan appeared in any Pepsi commercials, but there is a Mountain Dew commercial (available on YouTube) with her in it, and Mountain Dew was a Pepsi product. In the 1940's, she did print ads in magazines for RC Cola, so I guess she jumped ship to Pepsi after marrying the chairman of the board. And the one thing that would truly set Joan off, was when she caught Christina drinking a Fresca!

Chuck, thanks for researching that info on the doll's concept art and sculpting. I knew about the costuming, but wasn't sure about their design. Wow, Marc Davis, Blaine Gibson and Alice Davis.....I don't think we'll ever see talent like that again. Not to mention, Rolly Crump, Bob Gurr, Mary Blair, Sam McKim, John Hench, Harriet Burns.....oh gosh, I shouldn't have gotten started. I won't be able to name them all.

Chuck said...

TM!, don't worry if you can't name them all - they already have names.