Why It's a Small World at Disneyland Is Closing in January

Guests heading to Disneyland next month to catch a boat ride on the popular It's a Small World attraction will be in for a bit of disappointment. The popular attraction, which takes riders on "a song-filled journey around the globe," is set to temporarily close beginning Monday, Jan. 9 and will not reopen for several weeks.

The attraction's temporary closure was confirmed on Disneyland's website, with a message at the top of the attraction's page announcing, "beginning January 9, 2023, 'it's a small world' will be closed for refurbishment." The attraction will not reopen until Friday, Jan. 20. Per the notice, the refurbishment project in question is simply Disneyland returning the ride to its normal look, as the It's a Small World boat ride has been transformed into "it's a small world" Holiday for the holiday season. During the temporary closure, the ride will return to its regular form.

The current holiday-themed experience, which runs through Sunday, Jan. 8, invites guests to "celebrate the splendor of the holiday season with a festive Yuletide take on this classic attraction." As part of the celebration, the boat ride has been transformed into a "wintry waterway" with "whimsical décor," which begins right at the entrance to the building, which is now adorned with thousands of shimmering lights for the season. The attraction itself has been slightly altered for the season in more ways than just decorations. In addition to singing the classic "It's a Small World (After All)" song, the costumed children who greet guests throughout the ride also sing traditional holiday tunes.

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The It's a Small World boat ride first opened back in 1966 and sees riders voyage along the Seven Seaways canal. Throughout the ride, they are greeted by a cast of almost 300 Audio-Animatronics dolls, including two recently debuted characters in wheelchairs, that represent "children from every corner of the globe." The ride also features some iconic Disney characters, with Peter Pan and Tinker Bell in England, Cinderella in her native France, Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket in Italy, Aladdin and Jasmine in the Middle East, The Three Caballeros in Mexico, Ariel and Flounder under the sea, Lilo and Stitch in the South Pacific, and Woody, Bullseye and Jessie in the southwestern U.S.A. The attraction is located in Fantasyland at Disneyland Park.