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Disney throws big celebration for 'It's a Small World' anniversary

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From Tokyo to Paris, Orlando, Fla.,  to Southern California, folks all around the globe Thursday are celebrating the ride and song that, for better or worse, has been getting stuck in people's heads for the last 50 years.

"It's a Small World" turns 50 today, and organizers of the celebration events hope they will prove that it is indeed a small world after all.

“Every moment of every day there are Disney guests enjoying 'It's a Small World' somewhere around the globe,” Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs said in a statement. "The 50th anniversary of this attraction represents a celebration of the shared optimism, hope and humanity throughout the world.”

It may also represent the tune’s seemingly preternatural ability to burrow into one's brain and play on an endless loop.

In honor of the ride’s golden anniversary, Disneyland cast members and children’s choirs will lead sing-alongs in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Paris and Orlando. One of the song’s two original authors, Richard Sherman, was expected to appear in Anaheim in front of the original ride.

Fans of the attraction can also share videos of themselves singing the song and show the dolls they’ve created in the theme of the ride at SmallWorld50.com.

Disney is donating up to $250,000 to UNICEF in recognition of the anniversary. 

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joseph.serna@latimes.com

Twitter: @josephserna

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