I’m fairly certain I was lucky enough to be one of the first people to ride the 2018 Holiday overlay of “it’s a small world” when it opened on Friday, November 11. I personally have never been a huge “small world” fan; likely after getting stuck on the ride a few too many times leaving the song on repeat in my head for hours. I do appreciate the ride for the simplicity and message of world harmony. It feels like stepping back into Walt’s vision for Disney.
As a SoCal local one of the biggest perks we get at Disneyland are the holiday overlays. Ghost Galaxy and Holiday Haunted Mansion are two of my favorite rides. I generally ride the holiday small world and find it more entertaining than the original, but underwhelming compared to the other overlays. I honestly have to say that this year I was beyond impressed with the 2018 edition. The music flowed seamlessly between rooms with Jingle Bells and It’s a Small World blending together. Each room was brightly lit, whimsical and fun. As your boat begins to peak around the corner to the next room it looks even brighter and you can’t help but get excited for the next reveal.
We start off similar to last year. Bright giant cutouts greeting you into the holidays.
We start in the North Pole. Santa’s house along with giant snowflakes add to the theming.
Memories of the holidays are instantly remembered when you get the strong scent of pine.
Decorations start getting much grander. Christmas is everywhere.
Alice and the White Rabbit are still here along with other nods to Britain.
France welcomes us to 2019.
The list of names returns.
The gingerbread bridge has changed for 2018. It is playful with giant candy everywhere.
Fireworks and a glowing dragon celebrate the Chinese new year.
This room has always been one of my favorites. The glowing and flashing lights accompany the usual animals.
The ringing bells bring us to Mexico along with The Three Caballeros.
Even our sea friends get a dash of holiday.
Australia was the only section that seemed lacking.
Santa and his reindeer get a Polynesian touch.
As we near the final room the music and colors escalate. Ho Ho Holidays! was added to the tunnel.
A giant snowman welcomes you to the final room. Lights are everywhere. The holidays are everywhere.
The Peace on Earth sign changed a bit from last year.
The usual giant postcards act as quick debrief after 15 minutes of solid HOLIDAY.
I will be moving 2018 it’s a small world Holiday to my favorite slow moving boat ride list. The lights were impressive. Theming was clean but fun. Everything seemed fresh throughout the ride without losing charm. The one word that keeps coming to mind is busy. But not busy in a bad way; busy because there was so much to look at. I cannot wait to ride again to look for what I missed the previous ride.
If you are lucky enough to get to Disneyland during the holidays definitely add this to your list. Lines get long so try to grab a FastPass. Also swing by at night to check out the lights added to the exterior backdrop.
“it’s a small world” Holiday 2018 runs in tangent with Holidays at the Disneyland Resort from November 9, 2018 – January 6, 2019.
Please check out a full ride-through of “it’s a small world” Holiday 2018 on our youtube channel available here:
Feel free to comment with your thoughts on the ride and updates.