Disney plans to include a black Santa Claus at Walt Disney World this year as the company continues its diversity and inclusion program

Nov 10, 2021 in "Holidays at the Magic Kingdom"

Posted: Wednesday November 10, 2021 10:15am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Disney is keeping to its commitment to diversity and inclusion and plans to include a black Santa Claus in Walt Disney World's Christmas holiday celebrations this year.

Disney has been heavily committed to reviewing every aspect of the company and its content library, including representations of characters in the theme parks.

We have already seen changes made to attractions, including the recent changes to the Magic Kingdom's Jungle Cruise and the upcoming changes planned for Splash Mountain.

The commitment to diversity and inclusion is being spearheaded by Carmen J. Smith, who has recently been promoted to Executive Creative Development Product/Content & Inclusive Strategies for Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, with a focus on Imagineering, including Live Entertainment, as well as Consumer Products, Games and Publishing.

In her newly expanded role, Carmen advises on content to make sure that Disney stories, characters, and products are culturally accurate, authentic, inclusive, and devoid of stereotypes.

During the holiday season at Walt Disney World, Santa Claus can be found at Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Disney Springs.

The first appearance of a black Santa Claus at Walt Disney World may come to the Magic Kingdom at an upcoming night of the new 'Disney Very Merriest After Hours.'

During the ticketed event, Santa Claus makes an appearance in the 'Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime parade' as the finale float which you can see in the video below.

Disney is yet to make an announcement about diversifying the representation of Santa Claus at Walt Disney World, and details here should be treated as speculation.

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LilofanNov 27, 2021

It may be much ado about nothing because some are fearful of change even if not admitting it but may create their own reasons to deflect.

LilofanNov 27, 2021

The Yeti at AK will be fixed before that ever happens. I applaud TWDC plan to improve their diverse offerings. In regards to Diversity, kudos to Disney for making the Black Panther sequel , " Black Panther , Wakanda Forever ".

Bullseye1967Nov 27, 2021

Salvation Army is having the same issue. I will be swinging a bell a few shifts at the request of a friend for the first time in my life. Not sure how it will go, but willing to give it a try.

Bullseye1967Nov 27, 2021

I was thinking the same thing. Sometimes much ado about nothing.

Phil12Nov 27, 2021

Santa comes in all forms, shapes, sizes, races and orientations: Merry Spudmas!

eliza61nycNov 27, 2021

Unfortunately, I saw on the news today that even Santa is having labor issues? Can't find enough helpers.

Dear PrudenceNov 27, 2021

He looks like such a good Santa! 😃

Vegas Disney FanNov 27, 2021

I can’t tell if this Santa is white or black… “problem” solved…

ThelazerNov 27, 2021

at Disney stories, characters, and products are culturally accurate, authentic, inclusive, and devoid of stereotypes. So talking mouses and Goofy dogs, have to go then.. because.........

GimpYancIentNov 26, 2021

Santa's helpers come in all kinds of descriptions. Not ground breaking news. For as far back as I remember there have been many different Santa's in many different locations globally and children are explained to by the parents that these are Santa's helpers. I have yet to see any confusion as far as that goes on the part of Littles. Have you ever done a Jingle Bell run? Explain this to the Littles.

wdwmagicNov 15, 2021

I think this thread has served its purpose. If anything further develops regarding the original subject we can reopen or create a new thread. For now it will be locked.

LittleBufordNov 15, 2021

I suppose what I’m getting at is that there’s nothing wrong with such decisions. These small, easy changes make a difference too.

wdwmagicNov 15, 2021

Arguments are getting deleted. Better to take personal squabbles to private messaging if you both want to partake in that.