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Something’s happening at Disney Parks right now that has never happened in the parks’ 66 years-long history

During the Christmas season this year, Disney is welcoming a black Santa to visit with children and hear their wish lists. Though there was no formal announcement from the merry House of Mouse about hosting a black Santa at its parks, the decision is in keeping with Disney’s diversity and inclusion initiative that’s been in full swing for some time now.

Credit: Instagram/@hensonamil

Disney had not announced the new offering; rather, the pleasant surprise came as Guests at both the Disneyland Resort in California and the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida got to have a meet-and-greet experience with good ol’ Saint Nick himself, and they noticed he was black at both parks.

RELATED: You’ll need a reservation to meet Santa at Disney this year!

It’s the first time in the 66 years of theme park history for The Walt Disney Company that its parks have had a black Santa Claus. According to one spokesperson for Disney, who says the measure is a way of showing the many ways in which Father Christmas is depicted all around the world.

Pere Noel at EPCOT’s France pavilion/Credit: Becky Burkett

RELATED: Holiday storytellers return to EPCOT’s International Festival of the Holidays this year!

TikTokker @rozyqueenofcups couldn’t help but express her gratitude to Disney for “representation” after seeing Santa at the holiday nighttime spectacular.

@rozyqueenofcups

I can’t express how magical this moment was. Thank u @disneyparks for the representation. #blacksanta #verymerriest #representationmatters #disney

♬ When Christmas Comes to Town – Matthew Hall & Meagan Moore

And a Guest of the Walt Disney World Resort was overwhelmed with emotions at the sight of a black Santa at the parks. @maciiann says she was “crying happy tears.”

Yet another user online, @ghostonthestereo, unashamedly tweeted about her belief in Santa Claus, saying that he’s black all across the world. Oh, and she’s like a remake of The Polar Express as well.

And @TCJaalin has a word of caution for parents who try to hide behind the “what do I tell my kids” rhetoric: don’t do it, because if kids can understand different versions of Spider-Man, they can surely understand different versions of Santa.

The festive move on the part of Disney to welcome a black Santa to its U. S. parks has also been met with discord, but because it’s the holiday season, we won’t give a spotlight to less than joyful things for the purposes of this post.

What do you think about having a black Santa in the parks at Disney World and Disneyland? Let us know in the comments below, and if you’ve already met him this year at the parks, be sure and post your photos in the comments!

 

About Becky Burkett

I'm an enthusiastic writer who finds joy in random things like cold weather, snow, "I Love Lucy," "The Andy Griffith Show," journals full of blank paper, countdowns to Christmas, the month of December, "Toy Story," "Sleeping Beauty," my 4 kids, my 4 shih tsus, Disney Parks history, Imagineering and visiting the parks. I think Walt Disney is the standard against which genius should be measured. I love to write about Disney Parks, Disney history, all things Imagineering and PIXAR. I adore the colors, story and art direction of Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" (Team Make it Blue!), and "Toy Story" is life (minus "Toy Story 4"). I believe Walt Disney was so much more than an entertainment and theme park tycoon; I believe he was a savant with a vision for life and how it could be if happiness and kindness are strived for. I love Biergarten at EPCOT and 1900 Park Fare at Disney's Grand Floridian. You can find me croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room, chillin' on the PeopleMover or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. I'm always looking for Imagineers in the parks, and I'd rather meet Joe Rohde and Tony Baxter than anyone in Hollywood! Hey, if you dream it, you really can do it!