It’s an inclusive world after all.
Disneyland updated the “It’s a Small World” ride Friday to feature two dolls in wheelchairs — a first in the California park’s 67-year history, CNN reports.
One doll appears in the ride’s South America scene, while the other sits among dolls from around the globe, sending riders off with one final song.
Erin Quintanilla, manager of accessibility for the Disneyland Resort, told CNN that Disneyland creatives brought the idea to her team months ago.
Imagineers kept the two dolls in their same clothing, but reworked them into a seated position to match the vibes created by the ride’s original designer, Mary Blair.
Quintanilla — who uses a wheelchair — said her team tried to make the changes look as authentic as possible, even paying attention to the angle of the dolls’ feet on the wheelchair footplates.
“I feel seen. I feel represented. It’s a monumental moment to have my community be in an attraction and represented,” Quintanilla gushed about the new additions. “I teared up when I saw them in the attraction.”
The updated dolls are part of the ongoing mission to examine the mouse house “with a magnifying glass” for opportunities for inclusion, said Kim Irvine, executive creative director of Walt Disney Imagineering for Disneyland Resort.
“We are always looking to enhance our attractions with not just fun things, but meaningful things as well. And keeping timely with what’s happening in the world, and especially, you know, making things new,” Irvine added.
Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland Paris are also expected to add dolls in wheelchairs to their “It’s a Small World” rides sometime in 2023.