U.S. theme park Disney Land had the first black Santa Claus in 66 years. Actors portrayed as black Santas appeared to celebrate Christmas at both Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, and Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Black Santas with a mustache in their symbolic red hat and clothes greeted visitors on a parade while posing for commemorative photographs.
It was the first time for non-white Santas to make an appearance in Disney theme parks since the first one opened in 1955. Disney Land intended to deliver a message in favor of equalities and diversity by portraying black Santas in the theme parks, according to CNN on Friday. A Disney spokesperson said that Santa Claus has various representations in different local communities across the globe, adding that this year’s new Santa Claus will provide a window into the diversity of surrounding communities.
Disney Land’s release of black Santa Claus was made without any promotion or prior notice to give a surprise to visitors. In response, a Twitter user posted: "I'm pretty sure I just caught the very first black Santa to ever be at Walt Disney World and I am seriously crying happy tears." Victoria Wade, a famous social media influencer who is black, wrote: "Never in life did I think Disney would actually put a black Santa in the parks. Legit cried because it means so much to me to be able to see Santa and have him look like me.”