The happiest place on Earth, just got a little bit happier.
As part of its Festival of Holidays, Disney California Adventure Park is offering adobo and chana masala as part of its food offerings. It might seem minor, but the decision to widen its cuisine is reflection of the Disney Company’s strategy of inclusion.
Through Jan. 7, you’ll be able to feast on these delicious items at the Festive Foods Marketplace and Disney ¡Viva Navidad!. This year, 12 different marketplaces are scattered throughout the area with dishes spanning various cultures and holidays. Here’s your list of everything available this year!
The adobo sits atop garlic fried rice with chichiron scattered over the dish. It is being offered at the kiosk Blissfully Braised.
International dining fare has always been part of Disney World over on the other side of the country. The Yak and Yeti Restaurant features Asian fare such a Malaysian Seafood Stew, Chicken Tikka Masala or Korean BBQ Ribs.
Disney World also has its version of the Festival of the Holidays where they feature the Hokkaido Holiday Kitchen that features Celebration Holiday Soba or Cinnamon Mochi Cake; or, the Shanghai Holiday Kitchen where you can dine on Mongolian Beef Bao Bun or Celebration Pork Rice Bowl.
This is all to point out that Disney, one of the largest and most successful corporations in America, has some recognition of the growing diversity of the United States.
Instead of fighting against the demographic trends that will have people of color in the majority by mid-century, the empire that was started by visionary Walt Disney is embracing the future instead of seeking a return to the past.
Besides the wildly popular amusement parks around the world, Disney has extended this philosophy into other parts of its entertainment business, most evident in the way it makes its movies.
In the motion pictures of Moana, Queen of Katwe, Coco, (which is currently topping the holiday box office) and the upcoming Mulan, the corporation has taken great pains to ensure the films’ cultural authenticity.
Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton’s creator) will co-star in a Mary Poppins sequel. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story had four men of color led by a woman, in the center of its story. Disney execs say that between 2016 and 2018, about 24 percent of the studio’s live-action releases will feature ethnic minority leads, Disney says.
“Across all of our studios, we strive to tell inclusive stories — both in front of and also behind the camera,” Alan Horn told Vanity Fair. “It’s one of the most important issues facing our industry, and we continue to seek out and work with filmmakers and creatives who understand and share our commitment to making films that reflect the world around us.”
That is why Diversity, Inc., has included the Disney Company as one of the top 50 U.S. companies.
They might not always get it 100% right. There have been missteps, but at least they are moving in the right direction despite the policies of Donald Trump and the fear and hatred stoked by his rhetoric. Instead of trying to mold the world into its former fantasy vision of 1900s America depicted in the Disney park’s Main Street, Disney has decided to reflect the real world in its parks and movies. The company’s decision to embark on the business strategy of inclusion – which now includes the ethnic cuisine – needs to be emulated by other U.S. corporations. It is not a Mickey Mouse decision.