Dolls in Wheelchairs Debut on “it’s a small world” in Disneyland Paris

Shannen Ace

Dolls in Wheelchairs Debut on “it’s a small world” in Disneyland Paris

Three new dolls in wheelchairs have debuted at “it’s a small world” in Disneyland Paris. The attraction reopened on Friday after a year and a half refurbishment.

“it’s a small world” Dolls in Wheelchairs

Disneyland Paris small world wheelchair 2

Walt Disney Imagineering shared a look at some of the new and refreshed dolls on Instagram.

Disneyland Paris small world dolls

To maintain the attraction’s unique artistic heritage, our Disney Imagineers in Paris worked closely with our workshop partners at Disneyland Paris to refresh more than a hundred toys, various animal figures, and nearly 300 of the iconic dolls, including their traditional outfits and accessories. As we always look to enhance our attractions with meaningful additions, our iconic celebration of children across the globe also welcomed three new dolls in wheelchairs. With all the special care and attention given to the attraction, including modernizing the lighting and a fresh coat of paint for the whimsical facade, it was not a small task after all! Congratulations to our Paris Design & Show Quality team!

Disneyland Paris small world wheelchair 1

Dolls in wheelchairs were first added to “it’s a small world” at Disneyland in California when it reopened for the holidays last year. The dolls in wheelchairs are part of Disney’s ongoing diversity and inclusivity initiative, Reimagine Tomorrow.

A doll in a wheelchair was also added to “it’s a small world” at Magic Kingdom.

“it’s a small world” Refurbishment

“it’s a small world” at Disneyland Paris closed in November 2021 for refurbishment work that addressed the outdoor façade and several technical upgrades.  

Much of the ride was repainted, including the façade, which was last repainted five years ago. Some wooden elements were also replaced with composite materials.

Ride control systems are also expected to have been replaced, and the control tower used by Cast Members was set to be enlarged. Other backstage areas are reported to have received flooring and electricity updates.

As for the ride scenes, lighting and hydraulic systems were reportedly updated. Approximately half of the dolls were replaced. It’s unknown at this time if the new dolls in wheelchairs will be in place, or if that addition will come later this year.

Disney also reportedly took this opportunity to remove asbestos that was used in the construction of the A/C system and framework of the building. Asbestos was not banned in France until 1997, five years after the opening of Disneyland Paris. The amount of asbestos in the building was not higher than the legally permissible level — so it has not been a significant danger to guests and Cast Members.

“it’s a small world”

Themed for world peace and unity, the original iteration of “it’s a small world” premiered at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. When the fair ended, the attraction was moved to Disneyland in Anaheim, California, where it remains one of the park’s premiere attractions.

“it’s a small world” is a water-based boat ride located in the Fantasyland area of various Disney theme parks worldwide, including Disneyland Park in California, Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, and Hong Kong Disneyland. It’s the largest indoor attraction at Hong Kong Disneyland.

“it’s a small world” has shown millions of children about the different cultures of the world, and aims to promote understanding and connection between people.

What’s your favorite part of “it’s a small world”? Will you be hopping on board in Disneyland Paris? We want to read about it in the comments below.

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