Prior to Covid, Small World was usually a walk on ride. It wasn’t very often that you would see a queue for it and you’d certainly never see fast passes used on it unless someone was from out of the country and had their heart set on the ride.
It’s a great ride. It smells like long-stored Christmas ornaments from your grandmother’s attic. Which – isn’t that sort of what they are? This ride is dear to me because it was one of the rides that still exist from when my Mom and Gram took me to Disney World when I was 4.
Now that social distancing is the norm and you can’t sit next to strangers, things have changed. Small World is no longer a casual ride, but a destination. You’ll probably be in line for at least 20 minutes to ride it.
That wait is how we discovered something that I hadn’t expected.
We stood in line as the result of the excited chirps from my little boy who loves to dance to the music in Small World. I’m sure this discovery isn’t that big of a deal to the “pros” of Disney and cast members, but it was unexpected, delightful, and cheery.
Every quarter hour a clock activates on the main body of the entrance to Small World where the boats pass by. Music and chimes start to play and the color of the tower changes.
Doors swing open on the front of the tower to reveal the time and the side doors pop open and dolls slide gently forward and dance to the music that’s played. The sun face at the top bobs merrily back and forth. Once the chiming is done, the doors close, the dolls slip away and everything is restored to normal.
It’s not an overly active show or anything, but it’s a neat little magical event that is still preserved in the Magic Kingdom despite all of the post-Covid changes.