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To Tell The Truth: The Many Languages Of “it’s a small world”®

To tell the truthAPRIL FOOLS! This blog is actually not a To Tell The Truth blog! Did I trick you? Wait… my sources just told me that it actually IS a To Tell The Truth blog. I guess I was the one being fooled. Anyway, if you are new to the universe that is To Tell The Truth, here is how it goes: I will give you a topic with a question attached to it. I will then list four possible answers to that question, but only one of them is true. You (yes, YOU!) leave a comment below telling me which story you think is the truth. I will announce the correct one in the next installment of this series.

Speaking of revealing the answer, it’s time to say which story was correct in LAST week’s To Tell The Truth. Last week, you guys actually had to tell me which one was incorrect. I asked you guys “Which one of these signs does not exist in the Magic Kingdom® Park?”  The correct answer was Story Number Four. I stated that the one of the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad®’s train names was I.M Adventurous. The names of the actual trains are U.B. Bold, U.R. Daring, U.R. Courageous, I.M. Brave, I.B. Hearty and I.M. Fearless. Congratulations to everyone who guessed correctly!

“it’s a small world”® is celebrating a great milestone, its 50th anniversary! Walt Disney World®’s version transports you along a 1,085 foot water filled canal for a relaxing journey that lasts over ten minutes. Along the way, you are entertained by 289 audio-animatronics dolls, 36 animated props and 147 toys in themed rooms that reflect their cultures. You catch a glimpse of Europe, Asia, Central and South America, the South Pacific Islands and Africa. Like the ride suggests, the cultures come together in the Finale and the Good-bye scene. The part of the ride that is scorched in millions of minds, however, is the catchy little tune. You know it. “It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears; It’s a world of hopes and a world of fears; There’s so much that we share, That it’s time we’re aware; It’s a small world after all!” This song, written by the amazing Richard and Robert Sherman, is as infectious as it is enduring. It is also the topic of this week’s To Tell The Truth. My question is: In how many languages do you hear “it’s a small world” chanted throughout the ride?


Story 1

“it’s a small world” can be heard in three languages during the “it’s a small world”® ride. The song starts in English, changes to Italian during the European room, and is finally heard in Spanish when the boats meander through the Central and South American continents. In each language, the song is performed by a group of children so that the sound of the song mimics the dolls in each room.

Story 2

If you listen closely, “it’s a small world” can be heard in five languages as you travel through the “it’s a small world”® attraction. You can hear children from Tokyo (Japan), television performers from Mexico City (Mexico), a church choir from London (England), a school chorus in Rome (Italy) and kids from Burbank (California). They sing in Japanese, Spanish, Swedish, Italian and English.

Story 3

Seven languages and 25 countries are represented throughout the “it’s a small world”® journey. Beautifully sung by professional adolescent vocalists, the chorus will be etched in your memory with the words sung in English, Portuguese, German, French, Chinese, Spanish and Italian.

Story 4

There is no way that “it’s a small world”® would have been the international success that it is with any less than the ten languages you hear during your travels. Groups of people gathered all across the globe to render their version of this song in English, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Chinese, Italian, Swedish, Japanese and Hawaiian. It was later interwoven with sounds that represent the 25 countries portrayed throughout the ride and made into what we all hear today.


So, there it is, forever etched in our minds and hearts, undeniably the catchiest tune in the park, the “it’s a small world”® theme song. We sing it when we least expect to (or sometimes it comes out when we don’t want it to), but how many languages are really heard throughout “it’s a small world”®? Which one of these is the truth; three, five, seven or ten?  Let me know your thoughts below then tune in to next month’s installment of To Tell The Truth to see if you are correct.

See ya REAL soon!

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Quote of the Week:  “What makes someone special? I suppose it all depends. It’s what’s unique in each of us.” – Ariel, The Little Mermaid


Makena is a 15 year old high school student who spends much of her free time researching Disney. She enjoys sharing Disney facts and even plans Walt Disney World vacations (including searches for secrets and Hidden Mickeys) for friends and family. You can follow Makena on twitter @Makattack98 or on Facebook (Makena Wolcott).  Makena began blogging for WDW Radio in December 2011.