Dolls In Wheelchairs Added to Disneyland’s “it’s a small world,” Coming to Disney World Soon

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Two scenes on "it's a small world" featuring dolls in wheelchairs.

Credit: Disney via Natasha Chen (CNN)

We’ve spent the past few months reporting on disrepair at “it’s a small world” in Disneyland Park. Some dolls have come up missing, while others suffer in disrepair.

Related: A New Trend After All, ANOTHER Guest Sticks Bare Foot In Ride Water

Today, we’re excited to share some heartwarming news about the classic boat cruise. According to CNN’s Natasha Chen, two brand-new dolls have been added to the beloved Disney Park ride. In a fantastic move for disability representation, both dolls are in wheelchairs:

.@Disneyland unveiled two brand new dolls *in wheelchairs* this morning at “It’s a Small World”! Similar additions anticipated at WDW and DLP next year. Photos here sent to me by #Disneyland. Writing up this story soon.

Disney provided two stunning photos of the dolls and promised they would come to “it’s a small world” in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Paris next year.

More on “it’s a small world” at Disneyland Park

its a small world disneyland paris
Credit: Disney

Related: Fan-Favorite Attraction RETURNING to Disney California Adventure

“it’s a small world” is an important part of Disney Parks’ history as one of the few remaining attractions created when Walt Disney was alive. From Disneyland Resort:

Board a whimsical boat ride for a song-filled journey around the globe—this cherubic chorus is pure joy!

“The Happiest Cruise That Ever Sailed”

Voyage along the Seven Seaways canal and behold a cast of almost 300 Audio-Animatronics dolls representing children from every corner of the globe as they sing the classic anthem to world peace—in their native languages. 

Amid vibrant backdrops, you’ll travel through country after country, and by journey’s end, you’ll see that it really is a small world after all.

Spot Familiar Faces

The ride opened in 1966, but additional characters debuted in 2009—thoughtfully placed in the appropriate nations. 

During your cruise, keep an eye out for Peter Pan and Tinker Bell in England, Cinderella in her native France, Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket in Italy, Aladdin and Jasmine in the Middle East, The Three Caballeros in Mexico, Ariel and Flounder under the sea, Lilo and Stitch in the South Pacific, and Woody, Bullseye and Jessie in the southwestern U.S.A.

"it's a small world" Christmas Disneyland
Credit: Disney

A Famous Façade

Don’t miss the attraction’s delightful moving façade, complete with spinning flowers, whirligigs and icons of famous world landmarks. Every 15 minutes the 30-foot-tall clock tower opens to display a parade of 24 animated figures. Once the procession ends, 2 toy jesters appear and herald the current time.

The Song

“It’s a Small World (After All)” is a timeless classic and one of the most well-known songs of all time. Walt Disney asked the Academy Award®-winning brothers, Richard and Robert Sherman, who were hard at work on Mary Poppins, to create a singular song that could be sung by Audio-Animatronics figures in multiple languages.

Designing a (Small) World

Walt Disney selected Mary Blair as art director and Alice Davis as costumer to bring “it’s a small world” to life.

Classic Mary Blair Flair
With her distinctive use of color, geometric shapes and simple, childlike art style, art director Mary Blair was known for her unique visual aesthetic. Her colored paper collages give you the impression of sailing through an illustrated children’s book.

Authentic Costumes
Under the direction of designer Alice Davis (with help from her husband, Imagineer Marc Davis), Disney seamstresses sewed over 300 costumes in all. Authentic materials were used for each region’s traditional attire, from silks for the saris of India and fine wool for the Scottish bagpiper.

“it’s a small world” was created for the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair. Personally overseen by Walt Disney in support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the attraction was a huge hit for 2 seasons at the fair and was eventually shipped back to Disneyland park, where it opened on May 28, 1966.

Some familiar new faces debuted in with the addition of dolls representing Disney and Pixar characters—thoughtfully placed in the appropriate nations.

Due to its immense popularity, the attraction has been replicated around the world and is considered a Walt Disney classic.

Are you excited about the additions to “it’s a small world?” 

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