“It’s a Small World” is an iconic ride at Disneyland and Disney World and has been at both parks for decades. The ride features hundreds of dolls, representing children from all over the world. Now, Disneyland is adding some new dolls to make the ride more inclusive.
Two new animatronic dolls in wheelchairs were added in order “to reflect [a] more accurate representation of diversity around the world.” The theme park worked with the park accessibility unit for over six months to create the new characters, which are the very first characters in wheelchairs in the entire park.
Disneyland’s “It’s a Small World” ride gets new dolls in wheelchairs
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Erin Quintanilla, the manager of accessibility for the Disneyland Resort who uses a wheelchair opened up about how exciting it was for the dolls to be added to the ride. She shared, “I feel seen. I feel represented. It’s a monumental moment to have my community be in an attraction and represented. I teared up when I saw them in the attraction.”
Erin and the team worked hard to make sure the dolls were authentic. She added that “…there are details of the wheelchair like having a push rim so that the doll would be able to move through the story in a way that I move through the world.” They were also designed in the same style as the other dolls created by Mary Blair.
Sometime next year, Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris will be getting the new dolls as well. Disney says they are continuing to work on adding additional ways to help make guests feel more included.