This week the iconic Small World ride celebrated it’s 50th birthday. Walt Disney debuted the ride at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City, and the ride can now be found in Disney parks all over the world. There is a pretty good chance that you have been on this ride, maybe even more than once. If you haven’t been on the ride then I can guarantee you know someone who has. And you definitely know the song. Everyone knows the song. Aaaaand, now it is stuck in your head! Perfect.

Here is the thing about the It’s a Small World ride, it’s terrifying. Yes, it is iconic. But it is terrifying. It made me feel uneasy when I was 4, it made me feel uneasy again at age 19 and again at 20. Parents look apprehensive as they wait in line with their unknowing children. Small children cry the entire boat ride. It’s a strange and uncomfortable experience that millions of people go through every year. If you ask someone what their favorite ride at Disneyland is, no one ever says “It’s a Small World” because they have probably repressed the memory that they even went on it. But we still do it, because it is some sort of cultural tradition. Everyone ignores the weird smell of the river water, how it looks like it hasn’t been updated since 1964, the vaguely offensive cultural stereotypes. The song is such a nice sentiment, too bad it has become the quiet soundtrack to countless childhood nightmares.

Still, It’s a Small World, we seem to love you unconditionally, so to celebrate this momentous occasion we are taking a look at some of the most terrifying parts of the ride!

But first, let’s set the mood.

That’s better.

This guy

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(photo via Erin Browne)

If you look closely you can see his soul leaving his kind of glittery body

Is it though?

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You know that music video for that Pompeii song by Bastille? Where the lead singer is running away from normal people turned scary aliens and you can tell they are infected or whatever because their eyes are just pupils? They had to have gotten that idea from this welcome sign because look at them they are frightening.

Whatever this is

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(photo via Erin Browne)

Loch ness monster? Vaguely threatening jabroni? TOUGH CALL DISNEY.

It’s the makeup

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I don’t know why they had to make blush look like the blood of stolen children.

But why?

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Disney managed to make a Dachshund terrifying. Why is it there? Why is it so disproportionately large? Why can it see into the depths of my soul?

This nightmarish interpretation of Jessie

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(photo via)

Instilling fear in the hearts of the strongest men.

Birdman

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(photo via Erin Browne) 

I think this is meant to represent Canada, but I could be wrong. But if it is, I know some Canadians and none of them are part man, part bird, part beaver. None of them.

No. No. Shut it down.

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(photo via Erin Browne) 

Monkeys! Yay! Colorful monkeys! How whimsical! But then they just had to make them look a little too human. Why, why, WHY did they have to give them the faces of tiny man trolls? And those ears? Is nothing sacred?

I think I will end on this note

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(photo via)

Ha. Hahahaha. Hahahahaa. [cries self quietly to sleep until the end of time]

Happy Birthday it’s a Small World!

Photos via CN Traveler unless otherwise noted

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