Dolls in Wheelchairs Debut in Disneyland’s “it’s a small world;” Disney World & Paris to Follow

Dolls in Wheelchairs Debut in Disneyland's "it's a small world;" Disney World & Paris to Follow http___cdn.cnn.com_cnnnext_dam_assets_221111165713-disneyland-small-world-wheelchair

Over the weekend, CNN’s Natasha Chen uncovered a new addition to Disneyland’s “it’s a small world” attraction that was a welcomed step towards a new level of inclusivity. Dolls in wheelchairs have been added to the ride’s already impressively diverse range of characters representing backgrounds and ethnicities from all over the globe after a six-month collaborative effort to introduce an element of disability recognition to the attraction.

Disney introduced inclusion as its fifth operation key in early 2021, with changes being made throughout the parks and in the company’s approach to entertainment and character development. The latest installment of these alterations came with the following statements from Disney and its collaborators:

“The dolls are participating inclusively alongside their non-disabled peers, which is something we want to see more of, instead of being depicted as limited or incapable because of a disability,”

“Disney clearly sees the benefits of attracting a wider audience that is inclusive to everyone. We need to see more of this in pop culture, theme parks, and entertainment if we want to be truly representative of the largest minority group in the world,”

Jill Houghton, president and CEO of Disability:IN said in a statement to CNN

“What a wonderful story that Walt and Mary Blair, and the original Imagineers, put together about the children of the world and our unity all under one bright sun — and how we really should rejoice together in that.”

“I think that is definitely something that the original Imagineers would embrace and think was wonderful that we were looking at things like this,”

Kim Irvine, executive creative director of Walt Disney Imagineering for Disneyland Resort, said in a statement to CNN
Dolls in Wheelchairs Debut in Disneyland's "it's a small world;" Disney World & Paris to Follow http___cdn.cnn.com_cnnnext_dam_assets_221111165648-disneyland-small-world-dolls-wheelchairs-2
Image Credit Disney via CNN Natasha Chen

Reports claim that both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris will both be following suit shortly, as similar displays are being worked on for the attraction at both locations.

Feature Image Credit: Disney, via CNN (Natasha Chen)

Zoë Wood is a travel writer from Sydney, Australia. Since her first visit to Disneyland at the age of 6, she has spent her years frequently visiting Disney Parks and traveling around the world.

Join Zoë as she lets you in on all the tips, tricks, anecdotes, and embarrassments that arise from her family adventures.


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