Disneyland adds new dolls, including ones using wheelchairs to ‘It’s a Small World’

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Disneyland has added some new dolls to its “It’s a Small World” attraction, including dolls that are using wheelchairs.

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According to The Associated Press, Disneyland revealed the new dolls on Friday as a way to include more inclusion in its ride that features diversity from around the world. The AP said that in Disneyland’s 67-year history, it’s the first time that the attraction has included a character in a wheelchair.

According to CNN, the project of including the two dolls in wheelchairs took about six months for Disney creatives and the accessibility team at the parks.

The dolls were unveiled on the first day of Disneyland’s Christmas season, when holiday decorations and Christmas carols are added to the attraction every year, according to the AP. The new characters on wheelchairs will continue to be there even after the holiday decorations are removed in January.

Executive creative director of Walt Disney Imagineering for Disneyland Resort, Kim Irvine, told CNN that the change was part of Disney’s “ongoing effort” at Disneyland as it looks for more ways for inclusion.

The “It’s a Small World” attraction was designed by Disney artist, Mary Blair, according to CNN. It features about 300 audio-animatronic figures that represent children from all over the world.

The attraction opened in 1966 in Anaheim, California. The same attraction was added to different Disney parks around the world. Guests can get on a boat and travel to multiple countries, according to CNN.

The dolls were originally standing with the same clothing on but Irvine told CNN that they were recreated to be in a sitting position and in wheelchairs. One of the dols is in the attraction’s South America scene while the other is in the final scene where dolls from all over the world sing together.

According to a news release from Disneyland Resort, “It’s a Small World Holiday” is celebrating its 25th anniversary, which began on Nov. 11 and goes through Jan. 8, 2023.

“It has become a must-do for guests visiting Disneyland Resort during the holiday season. In this attraction overlay, children of the world share the holiday spirit and don festive attire, showcasing the season as a time for unity and celebrating traditions,” said Disneyland Resort.

In addition to the dolls on wheelchairs, Disneyland is also adding some other details to the attraction, including the smiling clock at the beginning of the ride where the “2″ and the “5″ will stand out in all-white lights. Also, Disneyland said that guests may get on the ride faster this holiday by booking a Lightning Lane arrival window with a Disney Genie+ service purchase.