Black Santas are showing up at US Disney parks this season for the first time

Los Angeles (CNN) – Without official announcements or fanfare, America’s Disney Parks are including a black Santa Claus in Christmas celebrations this year for the first time in the company’s 66-year history of the company’s theme parks.

Both at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, and at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, a black Santa has been spotted at some after-hours Christmas gatherings and parties.

A Disney spokesperson told CNN that Santa Claus is portrayed in various ways in local and regional communities and around the world – and with that in mind, Santa Claus will reflect the diversity of the surrounding communities at Disneyland Resort and Walt. Disney World Resort.

Disney parks are the last place families can see a non-white portrayal of Santa Claus, with more black Santa Claus appearing in recent years in malls and in a recent Oreo cookie ad.
On Friday, Old Navy is hosting Santa Bootcamp, an inclusive online training program encouraging participation “from a wide range of backgrounds, ethnicities and cultural heritages to provide greater representation in the role of Santa Claus.”

As expected, Disney guests and the general public took to social media with strong opinions.

Twitter user @maciiannn posted: “I’m pretty sure I just caught the very first black Santa to be at Walt Disney World and I’m seriously crying tears of joy.”

But Twitter user @hawksmurray commented on the news, saying, “Everyone knows Santa isn’t black, they shouldn’t be making a black Santa just for a publicity stunt.”

Some users responded to this by saying “Everyone knows Santa Claus is not real”.

Victoria Wade, a theme park social media influencer who is black, tweeted about including a black Santa Claus in Disney parks, writing: “Never in my life did I think Disney would put actually a black Santa Claus in the parks. ”

The move made her emotional and more likely to spend money to attend the parks Christmas parties, she said in her post.

“With Disney implementing this change as part of its diversity and inclusion initiative, it really makes me feel more comfortable and seen when I visit the parks,” she said. told CNN.

“In the end, it makes me feel more accepted, welcome and I am delighted with what it will do for kids from all walks of life when they visit Disney parks.”

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