Sunday, May 12, 2019

It's a Small World, September 1966

I am going to apologize in advance for today's crummy photos. But I had to post them, don't you see? The voices told me to. All of today's images are from inside "It's a Small World", circa September, 1966 - the ride had only been at the park since May (and of course it was originally at the New York World's Fair in 1964/65). 

This one is so dark that it's hard to tell what's going on, but the distinctive pattern to the left helps to ID this as the area where the toy soldiers guard Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. If you strain your eyes really hard you can just make out the moon in the sky with more singing children on top of it.

And now we're in Rio de Janeiro; it's Carnival! 

This scene is from part of the big "grand finale", where all of the little children From around the globe watch TV, chew gum, and sass their parents. It really IS a small world.


Nanook said...


After seeing 'all the children of the world' singing on the moon, I can't understand how Georges Méliès missed that gag when filming A Trip to the Moon. It just seems like a natural. (Clearly, Walt figured it out).

And Happy Mothers Day to you'all out there.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

I remember my Fantasyland View Master pack having a photo of the finale room and it looked red like it does here. I don't remember it looking like that in person. I wonder when they changed the lighting in that room and made it lighter and brighter?

stu29573 said...

You know, if they changed the lighting to this and slowed down the song and put it in a minor key, it might just update it for today's level of "optimism." Maybe Tim Burton would be interested...

Andrew said...

After seeing so many old pictures, you almost start to forget that the world was just as high-definition long ago as it is now. These photos look dreary, but the scenes were clear and bright when they were taken. In a way, it adds to the mystery of the past in a way that today's obsessive documentation can never replicate.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I just hope that there are no ladies with parasols around… one “bop” and those kids will disappear in a puff of smoke!

TokyoMagic!, interesting… I probably have that particular Fantasyland packet, but haven’t looked at my Viewmasters in many years. Maybe this was during the time when IASW was made to resemble Hell, with the heat cranked up, and steam effects, and agonized screams of the damned?

stu29573, oh man, just the thought of “that song” slowed way down (like a Gregorian chant) is enough to give me the heebie-jeebies.

Penna. Andrew, I do like getting a vintage view of some of the IASW scenes, since they have been altered (and in some cases, “dumbed down”), but you’re right, a photo never quite captures the experience. That being said, I know I have more “Small World” photos from other batches, coming up!

Nanook said...


Yes, those parasols have quite the magical powers-! Perhaps to honor the opening of 'Wookie World', a colony of Selenities could be added to IASW-! There's your synergy in action.

JC Shannon said...

Stu summed it up for me. I miss the optimism we had as kids about the future of the world. In the mid 60s, we all felt it. Thanks Major.

Melissa said...

They ain't dark; they're just atmospheric.

Stu, that fits with the fan theory that all the kids in the finale room are the ghosts of all the children UNICEF was too late to help.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I would actually enjoy a reference to Selenites in Wookie World, but… I’m not holding my breath.

Jonathan, I know that the 60’s were a turbulent time in many ways, but there did still seem to be a sense that we could accomplish anything if we worked together. Now it seems to be all about tearing people apart. Sigh.

Melissa, ha ha, I have never heard that theory before. Nice and dark!