Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of it’s a small world in Disneyland Park #DisneySMMoms

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There is so much I need to share about my incredible experience attending the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. The entire four days we were in California were a whirlwind, but the memories my family made experiencing the magic of Disneyland cannot be topped right now. To kick off the adventure, I was given the opportunity and privilege of attending the GMA taping to be included in the live celebration of the 50th anniversary of it’s a small world! Seriously. Somebody pinch me!

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I woke up super early to meet 9 other bloggers to be escorted into Disneyland well before the park opened. We were greeted by the lovely Michele Himmelberg, Public Relations Director at Disney and after a brief over view of the mornings expectations we were off to snap and tweet away the live excitement.

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If you weren’t aware, “it’s a small world” was created for the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair in honor of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The unique attraction’s creation was personally overseen by Walt Disney, and a huge hit for 2 seasons at the fair. Eventually the attraction was shipped back to Disneyland Park, where it reopened on May 28, 1966. We were told there are still shipping labels from 1966 on the back of some of the large scenery pieces. I was in awe staring at the front gorgeous brightly colored facade and the animated 30-foot-tall clock tower as the sun started to rise.

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The broadcast began with a chorus of kids singing live in Times Square, cast members and children singing in front of Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort, a children’s chorus and dancing dragons at Hong Kong Disneyland, cast members at Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Park (Paris), and ended with Disney cast members singing in front of the first “it’s a small world” attraction at Disneyland Park, punctuated with a finale of fireworks.

“it’s a small world” was closed for refurbishment and was reopening the day we were there getting our sneak peek. We were completely giddy when the segment taping was over, and we were told we could take an inaugural ride. And get this! We rode in boats that are replicated after the original boats used at the World’s Fair! HOLY COW!

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As we traveled slowly through the ride, I was immediately taken back to my childhood memories of riding the like attraction in Walt Disney World.  The bright and colorful papier-mâché dolls flooded my brain with past images. I was excited to finally see some of the current Disney and Disney•Pixar characters that have also been introduced seamlessly into the attraction starting in February 2009 like Cinderella, Lilo & Stich, and everyone’s favorite cowpokes, Woody & Jessie!

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In honor of the 50th anniversary of it’s a small world, The Walt Disney Company is donating $150,000 to benefit UNICEF. Plus for every sing-along video that is recorded or virtual doll that is created on the site SmallWorld50.com, The Walt Disney Company will contribute USD $1, up to USD $100,00. That’s an amazing commitment from The Walt Disney Company so I urge you all to record your videos and create your dolls. It would be a shame to not meet the max available donation for UNICEF. People from more than 25 countries have come together to create a 1st worldwide “it’s a small world” sing along video also available for viewing on the site.

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While our group was living it up and snapping group pictures in front of the attraction, we noticed the famous Mouse himself, arrive on location for another television appearance. Our day was injected with more happy as he agreed to pose for a picture with us. Special thanks to Susan from MomOnTheMap.com for her amazing camera and sharing her photos with us instantly. I definitely need to check out that camera for myself!

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This morning could not have been more perfect, except for one final snapshot of our group in front of the gorgeous Sleeping Beauty’s castle with a fabulous group of new friends.

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I truly had the experience of a lifetime in the first 12 hours I was in Disneyland. I could not even begin to imagine the amazing events that were to follow in the next few days being a part of the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. Stay tuned for more updates on our family adventure in Disneyland!

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