It’s a Small World After All =)

While not officially a zombie, I think he totally counts after being “killed” over and over again…and he’s definitely an adorable little doll too!! 😉

146 Days left until the Zombie Apocalypse…

While looking at pictures from the Maid of the Mist yesterday, I was reminded of another magical boat ride of a completely different nature.  I couldn’t help it really.  Over the years it has been the source of so many memories.  It’s one of those things that everyone definitely sees differently, and every single time I experience it with someone new, I take away something entirely different too.  The song is definitely a huge part of what people take away from their boat excursion.  However, I think it’s the dolls that really shape the experience for people.  Some people think they’re adorable.  Some people think they’re too childish for adults to enjoy as anything other than a break from the hot California sunshine.  Others think that dolls are creepy in general–even without being reminded of Child’s Play.  Regardless of their opinions though, every single person who rides it does have one thing in common with all of the others: the opinion that they share is a strong one.  People either love it or hate it.  It’s nearly impossible to be ambivalent about it.  For me, I like to think of it as a sort of psychological experience.  It’s incredibly fun to see who will love it and who will need a straight jacket once they disembark.  Thus, the people-watching alone makes it a very, very enjoyable boat trip to ride over and over and over again.  So for today’s edition of the “30 Things I’ve Done Before the Age of 30”, I thought it would be fun to share what I’ve learned from some of my favorite memories from my countless figurative trips “around the world”…

Operation “It’s a Small World”

1. It’s a world of laughter…

As I already said, It’s a Small World is probably one of the funniest rides you can go on at Disneyland simply because of how people react to it.  There are at least a hundred stories that I could tell you about exactly this phenomenon, but there is one that stands out above all the others in my mind.  Several years ago, I went on a trip to Disneyland with my friends, Brianna and Patrick.  Brianna is…obsessed…with It’s a Small World.  That’s really probably an understatement, but it’s the only way I know to put it.  “The Happiest Place on Earth” is her Happy Place; It’s a Small World is like the capstone of her happiness.  Anyway, before we left, we vowed that we would ride it at least ten times.  She’d never been able to go on it that many times in one trip because…well…it’s not necessarily the happiest place at “The Happiest Place on Earth” for the rest of her family.  I’ve always enjoyed it too so I thought it would be an interesting experience.  Patrick reluctantly agreed to participate…

Brianna and Patrick…poor Pat was only partially insane at this point

I don’t think he really thought that we would ride it that many times.  Like I’ve said before, it’s amazing what people will agree to when they don’t think it will actually ever happen.  And then we did.  We rode it over and over again–many of the times we would just get off and get right back in line again.  Patrick started off stoic but willing.  However, he slowly began to lose his mind.  It started with little things like singing along with exaggerated joy and grinning like a madman.  It devolved into gurgling the song along with the mermaids–they used to gurgle the song before they added Ariel to make it more appealing to modern kids.  From there, he went to riding it in silence with his hoodie pulled all the way over his head.  Eventually, he couldn’t take it anymore and ran away to hide in the hotel while Brianna and I continued to ride “the happiest cruise that ever sailed”.  Funniest.  Sight.  Ever!

For Valerie, it was more than 13 minutes of agony…which only made it more amusing for me…mwahahaha…

2. …A world of tears…

The last trip I took to Disneyland, was once again with friends.  Brianna was there–of course!–along with her mom and her sister.  Two of our other friends came along too–Liz and Valerie.  Poor Valerie absolutely loathes It’s a Small World.  She’s prone to catchy songs getting caught in her head for days on end so it understandably annoys her.  She’s a trooper though, so she decided to ride it with us.  I think her decision was largely influenced by the fact that it was decorated for Christmas and that’s always a real treat.  It’s beautiful during Christmas with all of the lights and decorations.  They even make it snow!!  However, they also change the song so that it’s as festive as the trees and Christmas displays from around the world.  Jingle Bells is played right along with It’s a Small World.  Both are the types of songs that easily get stuck in your head.  I think she may have been in Hell.  I definitely know that she was relieved once it was over.  Her 13 minutes of agony were over and I know that she cried tears of joy once we were off–even if they were only figurative…

Celebrations of Christmas from around the world bring with them the hope for a better world.

3. It’s a world of hopes…

This is going to sound incredibly cheesy, but a large portion of my Bucket List dreams were established while riding It’s a Small World.  I think it started as a little kid.  They just made it look so easy to transform into a modern-day Magellan and sail around the world.  The dolls don’t tell you that it’s expensive to buy plane tickets to fly to Paris for the weekend.  Nor do they sing about the centuries of problems in the Middle East.  They just make you really, really, REALLY want to visit all of these strange and wondrous places.  So yeah, for me it has always been a visual representation of my hopes to one day travel the world and see those dolls and their ideal world transformed into real people with real ideals.

The absolutely terrified child in the back is me. What of it?! 😉

4. …And a world of fears…

This is going to sound absolutely ridiculous.  However, there was a  time when I went on It’s a Small World and it scared me to death.  Stop laughing.  No really.  It isn’t THAT funny.  *Sigh*.  Okay, let me explain.  Our family has always been the type to work its way around an amusement park attraction by attraction.  Disneyland happens to be a very convenient circle.  So we logically always travelled around it from left to right.  Thus, the first boat ride I went on that year was Splash Mountain.  It totally scared me to death.  I won’t lie: It STILL scares me to death.  I was pretty light as a child, and when we went down the big drop, it tossed me up in the air enough to scar me for life.  I didn’t care about the singing animals or about the cutesy back story.  All I knew was that I was a big chicken and chickens don’t enjoy thrill rides.  I had been on It’s a Small World before, but for some reason it morphed in mind into something evil and horrible.  I pictured it with dolls singing me to my doom in a final drop even bigger than the one on Splash Mountain.  I had a really big imagination when I was a child.  Don’t judge me.  Anyway, I was terrified.  As we rode along, I couldn’t even look outside of the boat because I was so scared of seeing that big drop just up ahead.  I have never been so relieved to get off of a ride as I was when we exited.  For a little kid, I also felt like the world’s biggest idiot…

We adore our Small World

So there you have it.  These are my four favorite memories from It’s a Small World.  There are too many more to share.  Over the years, it has certainly come to be one of my favorites for the sheer number of things that you can learn from riding it.  Like a lot of the lessons I hold dearest, they are definitely as cheesy as they are true.  In my opinion though–as I’m sure you have figured out by now–those are always the best ones…

1. A person can be driven absolutely insane by something as simple as dolls–even if they are adorable mermaids and hula dancers.

2. If you want to really annoy someone, get a song stuck in their head.  If you really, really want to annoy someone, make it two.

3. We may live on a small world, but it is full of a large number of unique cultures whose only similarity is that you have to see them all to understand that each is beautiful.

4. Sometimes, we might think that the world is out to get us.  So we hide away and try to avoid what we think is coming for us.  However, in doing so, we also miss out on everything that it has to offer us.

Most importantly though, I’ve learned that the very cheesiest line in Disney history is true: “There’s so much that we share, that it’s time we’re aware, it’s a small world after all”

“Ooh la la!”  😉

Sincerely Yours,

The Butcher of the Bard

This entry was posted in 30 Things I've Done Before the Age of 30, Countdown to the Zombie Apocalypse, Day to Day Circumstances, Down the Rabbit Hole, My Bucket List and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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