Disney Parks are already among the most inclusive theme park experiences when it comes to how Guests are able to experience popular attractions, but what about representation on said attractions?
The newly reopened “it’s a small world” Holiday at Disneyland Park has the exciting addition of a couple of dolls seated in wheelchairs alongside the rest of the dolls representing their countries. We’ve got photos of the new update, and can’t wait to see the new dolls for ourselves during our next trip on “the happiest cruise that ever sailed.”
CNN Reporter Natasha Chen shared images of the new dolls, and noted that the update will soon be coming to both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris. (Disneyland Park was likely the opportune time to add the dolls as the attraction on the West Coast was recently undergoing its annual transformation for the holidays.)
.@Disneyland unveiled two brand new dolls *in wheelchairs* this morning at "It's a Small World"! Similar additions anticipated at WDW and DLP next year. Photos here sent to me by #Disneyland. Writing up this story soon. pic.twitter.com/g5YqdF9XRt
— Natasha Chen (@NatashaChenCNN) November 11, 2022
“it”s a small world” is one of the most iconic Disney Park attractions. Originally created for the 1964 New York World’s Fair, the attraction has been impressing audiences for nearly 60 years. The original attraction was created in support of UNICEF at the fair, and it continues to be a favorite for Guests today featuring its beloved (usually) soundtrack by Richard and Robert Sherman, design work by Mary Blair, and costuming by Alice Davis, who sadly passed away at the age of 93 earlier this month.
Disney’s official description of “it’s a small world” reads:
“The Happiest Cruise That Ever Sailed”
Sing along to the classic anthem of world peace during a delightful musical boat tour. Cruise along the Seven Seaways Waterway on a gentle 10-minute journey through all 7 continents. Pass through vivid, fantastical scenes representing the iconic sights and sounds of dozens of nations.
Behold a cast of dancing darlings from nearly every corner of the globe and watch as the Audio-Animatronics figures achieve universal harmony as they sing one song in many languages.
By journey’s end, Walt Disney’s simple message is clear: it truly is a small world after all!
Disney has not yet confirmed if the update to include dolls with wheelchairs will later make its way to either Hong Kong Disneyland or Tokyo Disneyland, but we will continue to monitor any changes to “it’s a small world” and let you know if we learn more here on Disney Tips.