Fans React as Black Santa Returns to the Disney Parks, “Beautiful”

in Disneyland Resort

Santa and Mrs. Claus, both played by Black Disney performers, smile in a parade at Disneyland.

Credit: @thedisnryscoopguy via TikTok

Fans rejoiced this week as The Walt Disney Company once again brought its inclusion efforts into the holiday season. In 2021, Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort hired Black performers to portray Santa Claus in their parades and meet & greets for the first time. The diverse offering has delighted hundreds of thousands of guests in the years since.

Disneyland Resort guests can meet Santa in Critter Country at Disneyland Park, the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail at Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Hotel, and Disney’s Grand Californian Resort & Spa. At Walt Disney World Resort, Santa Claus glides his sleigh into the Odyssey Pavilion in EPCOT, Disney Springs, or near City Hall at Magic Kingdom Park.

For those wanting to catch sight of the mystical man himself, watch Disney’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom Park or cavalcades throughout Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. At Disneyland Park, he appears in the Christmas Fantasy Parade.

Santa Claus played by a Black Disney performer sits in a sleigh next to a woman with dark brown hair, glasses, and bangs. They're both smiling and dressed in festive gear.
Credit: Jess Colopy, Inside the Magic

Though Inside the Magic can’t confirm that any Black Santa Claus performers have returned to Walt Disney World Resort, there’s exciting news on the West Coast! Days ago, holiday wishes came true as a Black Santa and Mrs. Claus joined the Christmas Fantasy Parade.

TikToker @thedisnryscoopguy shared this footage from one of the first performances on Main Street, U.S.A.:

@thedisnryscoopguy

Did you see the new Santa and Mrs. Claus in the first nighttime Christmas Fantasy Parade of 2023 at Disneyland? #Disneyland #ChristmasFantasyParade #Santa #SantaClaus #BlackSanta @Disney Parks @Disney #distok

♬ original sound – The Disney Scoop Guy

Most fans were delighted to see the return of a diverse holiday figure, giving the video thousands of likes.

“Now it is time to go to Disneyland!!” @drewg.1979 commented. “Love it!”

“Santa has the magic to present himself as whatever a child finds comfort/familiarity in,” @alex.grime wrote.

A picture of Sleeping Beauty Castle with Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse's Partners statue in the foreground at Disneyland Park in Disneyland Resort
Credit: Ed Aguila, Inside the Magic

“Love this!!” @screamface41 agreed. “We’re all Santa!”

Unfortunately, the video also received racist backlash, with dozens of commenters repeating offensive stereotypes and insults. Others called it “woke.”

Nevertheless, Disney Parks fans defended Santa and Mrs. Claus.

“I fail to see a problem,” @ultrathreastx said. “This is beautiful.”

A Christmas Fantasy Parade at disneyland resort with sleeping beauty castle in the background
Credit: Disney

“This is why I love Disney,” @chrismh91 echoed.

“Santa is a spirit of Christmas so that spirit can take any form,” @terrordon wrote. “As long as the spirit is there.”

At this time, Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort don’t share where and when different Santa Claus cast members will be performing or meeting. Check throughout the day if you’re hoping to meet someone in particular!

Do you have a favorite Christmas memory from Disneyland Resort or Walt Disney World Resort? Share it with Inside the Magic in the comments. 

Please note that the story outlined in this article is based on personal Disney Parks guest experiences. No two guest experiences are alike, and this article does not necessarily align with Inside the Magic’s personal views on Disney Park operations.

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