Walt Disney World Vs. Disneyland: It’s A Small World – What’s The Difference? [Opinion]

Sail around the world with one of the most famous songs ever, but do you really need to ride both?

walt disney world disneyland it's a small world differences better same ride
Danny Cox

Sail around the world with one of the most famous songs ever, but do you really need to ride both?

It has one of the most recognizable songs in the entire world, and people from all parts of the globe know it, but is one “It’s a Small World” better than the other? Both Walt Disney World and Disneyland have versions of their own even though the one in California is the original. Even though they have the same name, they have plenty of differences as well as similarities. This is one of those instances, though, where one may actually be superior.

For those who visit Walt Disney World or Disneyland often, they might think they can skip rides of the same name when they go to the other coast. The issue with that is that these attractions vary differently from WDW to DLR, and they simply shouldn’t be skipped or ignored.

Anyone who has ever ridden “It’s a Small World” knows that the main idea of the attraction is to take guests around the world. It will teach you different languages and cultures, all presented by the children of multiple countries.

Believe it or not, the two versions are not quite as simple as being exactly the same in both parks, and that’s a pretty cool thing.

walt disney world disneyland it's a small world differences better same ride
  Danny Cox

“It’s A Small World” In Magic Kingdom At Walt Disney World

  • Land: Fantasyland
  • Duration: 14 minutes
  • Opening Date: October 1, 1971
  • Entrance: Far right-side of the building
  • Boarding: Guests enter the building and go around a long ramp that takes them down a level to the boarding area

Major Additions/Differences From Disneyland

  • Boat goes along a looser track with water filling the entire surrounding area
  • Queue line is inside with the iconic looking buildings and huge clock indoors
walt disney world disneyland it's a small world differences better same ride
  Danny Cox

“It’s A Small World” In Disneyland Park At Disneyland Resort

walt disney world disneyland it's a small world differences better same ride
  Danny Cox
  • Land: Fantasyland
  • Duration: 15 minutes
  • Opening Date: May 28, 1966
  • Entrance: Front of the building, but guests remain outside
  • Boarding: Guests simply go around one curve of the line and down a very small ramp to the loading area

Major Additions/Differences From Disneyland

  • Boats sit in a small lane of water
  • Queue line is entirely outside and the clock seems much more extravagant
  • Nighttime projections on the outside of the attraction
  • Disney characters are spread throughout the attraction and appear in different scenes. These are a really nice touch and don’t detract from the ride. Guests can see Ariel, Aladdin, Jasmine, Lilo, Stitch, Woody, and many others.
walt disney world disneyland it's a small world differences better same ride
  Danny Cox
  • “It’s a Small World” is another attraction at Disneyland that gets a holiday makeover near the end of the year, and it is incredibly awesome. Not only are different scenes decorated inside, but the outside of the ride gets a fantastic Christmas light display.
walt disney world disneyland it's a small world differences better same ride
  Danny Cox
walt disney world disneyland it's a small world differences better same ride
  Danny Cox

There are numerous attractions of the same name in Walt Disney World and Disneyland, but they’re usually quite different. Don’t skip a ride or show because you think you will be experiencing the exact same thing, as you usually won’t be. In the case of “It’s a Small World,” though, there is an obvious advantage to Disneyland’s version of the ride over the one in Magic Kingdom.