Yesterland it’s a small world holiday
it’s a small world holiday - night

As you approach the familiar building, you hear a familiar tune—but not the tune you expect to hear. It’s “Jingle Bells!” So where is the maddeningly catchy “it’s a small world” song? Just wait. You’ll hear both songs, as well as “Deck the Halls.”

And the building looks different too, especially at night when 50 thousand colored bulbs outline the features of the facade.

it’s a small world holiday - day Peace on Earth

Board your Small World boat. There’s a white wreath on the bow. If all you expect are some Christmas lights draped over the existing sets, prepare to be delighted. Almost every scene now celebrates Christmas traditions, New Years celebrations, and other winter holiday scenes. You’ll be overwhelmed by huge arches, holiday greetings in many languages, lots of holiday props, colorful lights, and a finale featuring a massive, snowflake-covered Christmas tree.


If you’re a fan of “it’s a small world,” don’t worry! This beloved attraction is still going strong in Disneyland. Only the special holiday edition has “gone to Yesterland”—and only when it’s not the holiday season.

“it’s a small world” has been a guest favorite since arriving in 1966 from its original home, the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair. And all indications are that the singing children of “it’s a small world” will be around long after their 1964 real-life counterparts have become senior citizens.

Aside from a few minor changes—sponsorship (originally Bank of America, then Mattel, now nobody), a more colorful exterior facade (which has since reverted back to the original color scheme), and an updated version of the classic soundtrack—Disneyland’s “it’s a small world” didn’t change from 1966 until 1997.

In October 1997, the attraction closed for more than typical annual maintenance. Thanksgiving week 1997, the attraction reopened as “it’s a small world holiday.” For two months, guests enjoyed an experience that was simultaneously familiar and brand new. Guests gave Disneyland high marks for the skill with which the holiday theme was woven into the famous attraction. After January 25, 1998, the holiday make-over was stripped away.

Will “it’s a small world holiday"” return to Disneyland? Yes! There were encore runs of “it’s a small world holiday” every holiday season since the original make-over. “it’s a small world holiday” has become an annual tradition at Disneyland.


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© 2007 Werner Weiss — Disclaimers, Copyright, and Trademarks

Updated December 4, 2006.

Photograph of “it’s a small world holiday” at night: 1998 by Werner Weiss
Photograph of “it’s a small world holiday” by day: 1998 by Werner Weiss
Photograph of “it’s a small world holiday” interior (Peace on Earth): 1998 by Werner Weiss