Saturday, November 23, 2013

Cultural Diversity Gems

Two recent events in Disney news have caught my eye lately, in that they illustrate Disney's effort to respectfully appeal to a diverse audience.  First, a new children's television show has been announced, featuring the children of the world from the it's a small world attraction at the parks.  There's been a sneak peek released of "it's a Small World, the Animated Series", which depicts children exploring and learning about a new country each episode.  

I am optimistic about this effort, imagining kids meeting new friends and learning about unique and special customs, food, clothing from each region.  A healthy combination of stylish Mary Blair-reminiscient art and fun cultural diversity sounds like a winning idea to me.  And with the success of previously pioneering shows like Dora the Explorer I have no doubt many kids will embrace this fun series.

The development of this series combined with iasw's recent new merchandise line proves that this attraction truly stands the test of time and achieves its message of world peace almost half a century after its creation.

Photo from the Disney Parks Blog

Moving along to the Disneyland Resort, a new holiday celebration has debuted in Disney California Adventure park.  Disney ¡Viva Navidad! celebrates Latino culture and customs, and is currently taking place from November 15 to January 6.  Components of this new Holiday Time offering include a festive street party featuring beloved characters Jose Carioca and Panchito, live mariachi and samba musicians and dancers, and Mexican mojiganga puppets (giant figures made of paper and cardboard used in celebrations).  Other offerings include face-painting, dance lessons, and a whole menu of comida latina that has gotten some great reviews! 

Above photos from the Touring Plans Blog

This new addition to the Disney Parks' already impressive holiday-exclusive draws seems to be a huge win.  The location is prime as well, as being from Arizona I am familiar with the rich Hispanic population in the Southwest United States.  Embracing the colorful and longstanding traditions that many people who frequent Disneyland celebrate is a great way to encourage diversity and promote learning in a fun way.