The Disney Parks are making an effort to bring more “inclusion” to rides and attractions around the world.
Recently, the company announced the iconic ride, Splash Mountain, will be closing permanently to make room for a new “The Princess and the Frog”-themed ride. Additionally, Jungle Cruise at Disney World and Disneyland recently underwent changes as part of the reimagining of the ride. This new version of Jungle Cruise is part of Disney’s efforts to tell diverse, inclusive stories across the theme parks.
On March 1, 2023, Disney World in Orlando, Florida added a new doll to its iconic “it’s a small world” attraction, which features a boy playing the flute in a wheelchair.
Disney Adds New “it’s a small world” Doll
News reporter Scott Gustin shared a photo of the new doll, writing, “Walt Disney World updated “it’s a small world” at Magic Kingdom last night to include a new doll in a wheelchair, “building on “it’s a small world’s” longstanding legacy of diverse representation.” Similar updates were made to “it’s a small world” at Disneyland in November 2022.”
Walt Disney World updated "it's a small world" at Magic Kingdom last night to include a new doll in a wheelchair, "building on “it’s a small world’s” longstanding legacy of diverse representation." Similar updates were made to "it's a small world" at Disneyland in November 2022. pic.twitter.com/k4vPxJzu3c
— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) March 1, 2023
Fans were quick to reply to the news as one user wrote “wonderful news!” while another Tweeted, “As a part-time wheelchair user (use when I have to walk more than a few feet or on knee flare up days) I welcome this addition.”
And another Tweeted, “Wonderful! Keep up the good work WDW.” And one Disneyland Guest replied to the news, writing, “I counted at least two dolls in wheelchairs last week at DLR. I hope the kids who are bound to a wheelchair feel included and happy when they see it :)”
Guests visiting Disneyland Paris can also expect to see a new doll similar to the one in Disneyland and Disney World added to their version of the attraction in the near future.
More on “it’s a small world”
“it’s a small world” is an opening day attraction at both Walt Disney World in Florida and in Disneyland in California.
The boat ride takes Guests through a journey of different countries to see dolls sing and dance and embrace their cultures all while humming to the tune of the iconic song, “it’s a small world”.
The Walt Disney World website describes this attraction as:
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!
Personally overseen by Walt Disney himself, the attraction was created for the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair in support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). It was an instant hit and fans absolutely loved the meaning behind the attraction. After two season at the New York World’s Fair, “it’s a small world” was shipped to Disneyland park in California, where it opened on May 28, 1966.
A similar attraction opened along with Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in 1971.