"We keep moving forward." -Walt Disney
"We keep moving forward." -Walt Disney
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The B-Roll: The Facade and Kinetic Clock Tower of “it’s a small world”

Disneyland Flash Briefing The B-Roll

"it's a small world" FacadePhoto credit: Disneyland

In this blog series, we bring you the transcripts for some of our favorite flash briefings! Head over here or play below if you prefer to listen to the final cut!

  • Hi everyone!
  • There are some attractions that are just plain iconic.
  • And what makes a ride like “it’s a small world” even more special is its signature clock and facade!
  • The kinetic clock tower sculpture of “it’s a small world” is a signature staple at each park the attraction is located.
Tokyo Disneyland "it's a small world" FacadeTokyo Disneyland "it's a small world" facade. Photo credit: Mark Willard via Disney Parks Blog
  • Which, for the record, is every Disneyland-style park with the exception of Shanghai.
  • Today, we’ll focus on the original Disneyland facade.
Mary Blair Original ArtMary Blair Original Art. Photo credit: DLP Today
  • The inspiration for the design was from an original piece of art from the master of whimsy herself, Disney Legend, Mary Blair.
  • The art featured stylized and exaggerated versions of world landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Leaning Tower of Pisa.
  • The landmarks were white in color and trimmed with shades of gold.
"it's a small world" Facade at DisneylandPhoto credit: Disneyland
  • The translation of this becomes a spot on rendition of the Imagineer’s work, full of depth and subtle touches representing these icons from around the world.
  • The centerpiece of the facade is a timepiece, a 30 -foot kinetic clock that wasn’t a part of the original art work of Blair’s, but completely fits with the design to become a landmark in its own right.
  • A kinetic clock is just like a regular clock in that it tells time, but along with that there are moving parts that mark or change with the passing of the hours.
  • Walt Disney himself wanted the sculpture to work like a giant cuckoo clock.

"it's a small world" Dolls

Photo credit: Disneyland.Kid on Flickr
  • Each quarter hour, the side doors swing open to reveal a parade complete with fanfare of wooden dolls dressed in the traditional dress of their country, then as the last doll moved by, the large center doors would swing open to reveal the time.
  • Walt also knew that this was a very special attraction because of the message of unity told.
  • He wanted the details to reflect that.
  • So rumor has it that the spires, turrets, and weather vanes of the attraction were originally covered in real gold.
  • Not only would this have prevented fading and oxidation of the details, allowing for easier upkeep over time, but it also allows for the attraction to have a very distinctive, remarkable look! 
Walt Disney and Mary BlairWalt Disney and Mary Blair with "it's a small world" concept art. Photo credit: Designing Disney


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