With its catchy song and beautiful display of culture and language, “it’s a small world” is more than just a beloved ride. The attraction uniquely positions Disney to honor the diversity of people around the world – and that’s not a responsibility we take lightly.
Nor does Magic Kingdom Park cast member Jean Collins who first rode “it’s a small world” when it debuted in 1964 at the New York World’s Fair. She fell in love with the attraction’s representation of peace through understanding and celebrating the unique and individual differences that make us human. Her affinity for the attraction brought her to Magic Kingdom, and as an attraction host, she now spends her days helping guests delight in the ride the same way she did all those years ago.
“‘it’s a small world’ is special because so many people are able to see themselves reflected throughout the ride,” Jean says. “Walt would be proud if he could see the attraction today.”
The diversity of our cast and guests inspire us to keep our parks and experiences in a constant state of becoming: becoming more vibrant, more inclusive, and more relevant. In fact, Walt Disney Imagineering continuously considers updates to our parks and experiences to better reflect the world around us. Just last night, a new doll in a wheelchair was welcomed to the Magic Kingdom attraction, building on “it’s a small world’s” longstanding legacy of diverse representation.
Among those seeing this for the first time this morning were cast members who are part of the ENABLED Business Employee Resource Group, a cast member led group with shared passion around accessibility.
“The parks are very special to my family,” Liv, a member of the ENABLED leadership team explains. “My sister Chloe used a wheelchair, so to see a character in such an iconic attraction that puts the spotlight on accessibility makes my heart feel full.”
This addition to “it’s a small world” is more than just a doll, it allows even more guests and cast members to see themselves and their loved ones depicted in the experience. We remain committed to our ongoing work to champion inclusivity and are excited for what the future brings as we continue to reflect the beauty of our individual experiences. It doesn’t matter who you are. If you are a guest in our park or a cast member, we celebrate you — your background, your culture, your identity — and we welcome you every day.