International Disney Resort Celebrates Inclusion for Disabled Guests

in Hong Kong Disneyland

hong kong disneyland disability inclusion cavalcade

Credit: Xiaomei Chen/South China Morning Post

December 3 marked the 30th anniversary of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD). First observed in 1992, this day celebrates people with disabilities and encourages companies to develop more inclusive measures and solutions to help those with disabilities.

In fact, Hong Kong Disneyland also celebrated this day last week with special events, such as an inclusive cavalcade traveling down Main Street, U.S.A., with participants of varying abilities. There were more than 1,000 Guests at this event who were invited to partake in a special program that showed Guests how Hong Kong Disneyland is committed to having more equity, inclusion, and diversity for everyone, regardless of background or ability.

speakers at hong kong disneyland disability event
Images Credit: Hong Kong Disneyland

Related: Disney Park Honors Disabled Cast Members in Big Way

Michael Moriarty, managing director of Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, had this to say about this commitment to diversity:

“At Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, we believe magic is for everyone. We will continue to work closely with our valued community organizations on this journey of fostering inclusivity and developing Hong Kong Disneyland Resort as a place where people of all abilities can shine. I am incredibly excited and proud of our commitment to support the development of inclusion initiatives at our world-class resort.”

speakers at hong kong disneyland disability event (1)
Images Credit: Hong Kong Disneyland

Related: Disneyland Paris Takes a Major Step Towards Making the Park More Accessible

Various leaders in Hong Kong joined this event as guests of honor, including Ricky Chu, Chairperson of Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC); Chua Hoi-wai, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service; and Benny Cheung, Chairperson of Hong Kong Joint Council for People with Disabilities. Ricky Chu discussed the importance of events like these to highlight the need for equal opportunities for those with disabilities:

“I have great pleasure in joining everyone to celebrate IDPD at HKDL. At the EOC, we hold great concern about the plight and needs of people with disabilities. Indeed, we have been advocating for the equal opportunities of people with disabilities through the years, so that they can fully participate in society. On this special occasion, I hereby call on every sector and citizen in society to stand in solidarity and join hands with us in building a truly inclusive society for everyone, with or without disability.”

minnie and pluto hong kong disneyland cavalcade
Images Credit: Hong Kong Disneyland

Benny Cheung also discussed how this day is significant to advocating for those with disabilities:

“This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities with the theme of ‘Together We Build an Inclusive Society.’ This is a day to signify all our ongoing efforts in making sure everyone’s rights and needs are respected and met, irrespective of their ability or background. Our organization and other community partners are always committed to advocating the spirit of disability inclusion. Thank you to Hong Kong Disneyland Resort for arranging a moment for us to celebrate this and for their continued efforts in social inclusion, together with all of today’s participants.”

hong kong disneyland disability inclusion event
Images Credit: Hong Kong Disneyland

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

Hong Kong Disneyland donated more than 10,000 Park tickets to people with disabilities as part of this celebration and celebrating the community. This marks the second year of this tradition through the Hong Kong Council of Social Service and Hong Kong Joint Council for People with Disabilities.

After the ceremony was held at the Castle of Magical Dreams, the cavalcade “Wondrous Dancing for All” began. This was put together by the Resort’s Entertainment & Costuming team, as well as local community organizations.

hong kong disneyland disability cavalcade
Images Credit: Hong Kong Disneyland

More than 100 talented individuals proceeded down Main Street, U.S.A., as part of the cavalcade, per Hong Kong Disneyland:

The cavalcade featured more than 100 talented participants of all abilities, including a group of wheelchair dancers from the Hong Kong Wheelchair Dance Sport Association, wheelchair basketball players from the Hong Kong Federation of Handicapped Youth, a Taekwondo team from the Spastics Association of Hong Kong as well as HKDL performers and Disney VoluntEARs. Additionally, a group of people with hearing impairments from the Arts with the Disabled Association Hong Kong danced in the cavalcade using integrated theatrical sign language. This is the first time theatrical interpretation was integrated with the dance movements into the cavalcade at HKDL.

hong kong disneyland disability cavalcade
Images Credit: Hong Kong Disneyland

Kitty Hui was one of the people in this cavalcade as part of the Hong Kong Federation of Handicapped Youth:

“It was a very nice opportunity to be a cavalcade performer in Disney’s park, especially during this celebratory event for the 30th anniversary of IDPD, where Hong Kong Disneyland promotes the inclusion of people with disabilities. Disney always embraces a culture of inclusion for all, with facilities and services also being accessible, so everyone can enjoy the magic Disney brings.”

hong kong disneyland disability inclusion cavalcade (1)
Credit: Xiaomei Chen/South China Morning Post

This event is only one day a year, but Hong Kong Disneyland demonstrates a commitment to this initiative every day of the year and has even been recognized as part of the “List of Barrier-Free Companies” by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service.

Recently, Hong Kong Disneyland started an arts accessibility pilot program that brought the idea of theatrical interpretation into performances at the Park, including the “Let’s Get Wicked” Halloween show and “Mickey and the Wondrous Book” live musical.

hong kong disneyland disability cavalcade castle
Credit: Hong Kong Disneyland

Additionally, Hong Kong Disneyland has worked with those in the local community to give a “Barrier-Free Ambassadors Training Program” for the Park’s Cast Members so that they can get a better understanding of Guests with disabilities and how to help them.

What do you think about these inclusive celebrations and measures that Hong Kong Disneyland is implementing at the Resort? Share your thoughts below!

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