Since 1964, Elsa was certain sure that one day I would see It's A Small World. She saw it that year at the New York World's Fair. Her brother, Peter, in an effort to get her performing "closer to her potential," offered to pay her $10 for each A and $5 for each B (princely sums in 1964) ~ AND ~ promised her a visit to the World's Fair if she passed all her subjects. She came through and Peter, Elsa and Mim went to the fair.
It's A Small World was introduced at the World's Fair. It was Coca Cola's exhibit, produced by Disney, a fact that I can remember because Elsa was delighted to go to the VIP lounge where there was free Coke. Elsa and Mim had a ball, especially since Peter had a friend who lent him a press pass so they got all sorts of privileges including entry to the VIP lounges at the various exhibits and they did not have to wait in line.
Thirty-three years later and down in DisneyWorld, Elsa did not have a press pass but she did have the next best thing - me in a wheelchair. I had a grand old time being wheeled about and we always got to go in special entrances and avoid the long waits.
On our last day, we finally went to the Magic Kingdom. We did not have a lot of time, but I could not leave without seeing It's A Small World. Well, I looked at that little boat that you have to get onto and I did not think I would make it - this was one ride where you cannot just wheel the chair on and off. I did manage, although I have no idea how. It was no small feat!
As I have described and remember, many things about DisneyWorld went straight to my heart, but none so totally enchanted me as It's A Small World. It is innocent. It is charming and entirely captivating, but most of all, it is innocent. After the ride ended, part of me wanted to do it all over again and part of me wanted to remember forever a perfect moment.
I am glad that we saved that for our last full day. It was, for me, the crowning glory. I remember when Walt Disney opened DisneyWorld back in the 1950s and dedicated to the children of the world. I loved Epcot and had a wonderful time at MGM Studios, but for me It's A Small World is DisneyWorld in microcosm. I will smile remembering it for all of my life.
Nite nite and God bless you, whatever part of the world you're in - Grandma Lockhart
p.s. - I thought I had no other "dream trips" left but one. Not any more - I know now that I have got to, before I make that final crossing, take at least an overnight trip somewhere with Gail Reuter Cooper. Who else but Gail would think to count how many different variations of Mickey Mouse butter pats were served in DisneyWorld? Sorry, Pete, you will just have to wait a little bit longer. (And the next spring, Mom got in that overnight trip, the two of us with Gail & her daughter, Aline, rambling around Philadelphia’s Main Line! ~elm~)