Yesterday morning (Nov. 11) two new inclusive dolls in wheelchairs were unveiled as additions to Disneyland’s “it’s a small world” attraction.
About the Dolls
Disney says the change was part of an ongoing effort of looking at the resort for opportunities for inclusion.
New dolls have not been added to the Disneyland version of this ride since 2009, and the project took more than half a year of planning. It also involved Walt Disney Imagineers working with the park’s accessibility team.
The dolls were added during the attraction’s short downtime to install the holiday décor for the “it’s a small world Holiday” edition of the ride that will run through early January.
Where to Find Them
The dolls in wheelchairs were originally standing dolls. Disney took the same dolls and recreated them in a sitting position in their wheelchairs.
They also took care to match them to the original Mary Blair style of dolls.
For those not familiar with the history of the attraction, Disney artist Mary Blair designed the “it’s a small world” attraction. It was first presented at the 1964-65 World’s Fair in New York, before it opened in 1966 at Disneyland.
Guests can find one doll in the ride’s South America scene (above), and the other wheelchair doll appears in the final scene where dolls from many countries sing together (below).
“I feel seen. I feel represented. It’s a monumental moment to have my community be in an attraction and represented,” said Erin Quintanilla, Manager of Accessibility for Disneyland, who also uses a wheelchair. “I teared up when I saw them in the attraction.”
While the dolls with wheelchairs were just included in Disneyland’s “it’s a small world,” plans are to bring similar dolls to the attractions at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris sometime next year.
Each attraction layout is different, so the dolls with wheelchairs will be different from the Disneyland version, and designed with each park’s story layout and sets in mind.
In the meantime, keep an eye out for these new dolls the next time you ride “it’s a small world” at Disneyland.