Disney Cast Member Creates Happiness Through Wheelchair Wraps and Adaptive Costumes

Emi Kamezaki headshot

by , Senior Specialist, Communications & Public Affairs, Disney Consumer Products, Games and Publishing

“Costumes chose me!” said Caroline Sanchez, senior manager of product design for Disney Consumer Products, Games and Publishing.

Over the past ten years, Caroline has been bringing fans into the magic of their favorite Disney stories as a roleplay costume designer. From the feel of fabrics to the tiniest embroidered detail, she puts care and passion into every piece, including adaptive costumes and wheelchair wraps.

Her lifelong affinity for fashion led Caroline to Disney, where she’s helped redefine our approach to costumes and roleplay, one stitch at a time. She’s on a mission to ensure our adaptive costumes and wheelchair wraps are as magical as they are functional.

“Magic should be accessible to everyone,” she reflected. “There should be no limit to the magic that any adult or child can feel through roleplay and dress up.”

Throughout the month of July, we’re celebrating the accessible with Disability Pride Month. Across the organization, we’re honoring the diversity and intersectionality of the disability and neurodivergent communities through increased representation, celebration, education, and accessibility. We are all greater than a single story and we all deserve to feel represented and understood, not only during heritage months but year-round.

Making Magic for Our Guests Who Use Wheelchairs

This month, Caroline helped launch Disney’s new The Little Mermaid Adaptive Wheelchair Wrap—a nine-piece set including colorful, whimsical details like Ariel’s rock, Triton’s shimmery castle and adorable Flounder riding the waves, inspired by Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” (1989).

“We really took the time to develop the product in a very informed and careful way. It was definitely a labor of love,” she shared.

To guide the new design, the team started with in-depth research on the entire experience of our fans who use wheelchairs, down to the availability of benches near Disney Parks retail locations where individuals could assemble their wheelchair wraps. The detailed exploration was a passion project driven by Julia Pita, associate product design manager for Disney Consumer Products, Games and Publishing.

Next, steered by the knowledge that accessibility, durability and ease of use were crucial, Caroline and her team began to build the new wheelchair wraps.

“We traced wheelchairs to build the pattern pieces onto it in a way that would best fit the wheelchair,” Caroline explained, adding that her team hand-sewed each component to create their first prototype.

They also wanted to ensure the wrap material was wipeable and washable, so it can be used again and again. The wheelchair wrap is designed to hold its shape through multiple uses, comes with a reusable storage bag and fits standard, manual wheelchairs for adults and kids with 24” wheels.

Other wheelchair wraps inspired by Disney’s “Aladdin” (1992), and Star Wars: “The Mandalorian”, as well as Disney’s “Cinderella” (1950), Disney and Pixar’s “Toy Story” films and “Incredibles 2”, created by Disguise—are also available on shopDisney and at select Disney Parks retail locations.

Adapting to the Needs of Our Fans

In addition to wheelchair wraps, Caroline also helps create happiness for our fans through adaptive costumes. The team began developing adaptive roleplay items in 2020, starting with costumes for Cinderella, “Incredibles 2”, Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Jasmine, Ariel, and Elsa, with more exciting options coming soon.

“It was important to me that the adaptive version matched back to our other Cinderella costume,” said Caroline, recalling the first adaptive costume she created. “I didn’t want it to feel like if you have to buy the adaptive version it’s different. There’s no feeling of exclusion.”

To create the design templates, Caroline and her team sewed various adaptive features into the existing roleplay costumes by hand.

Caroline also noted that “adaptive” apparel can include many different elements, including features like self-stick fabric closures for ease of use, flap openings on the front for easy tube access and longer lengths to accommodate seated guests. Her team is constantly assessing current and new features to meet the needs of our fans.

“The plan is always to expand the amount of characters we have,” Caroline hinted. “In the future, we’re looking at experiential plusses for the needs of fans who use adaptive costumes. So, it’s going to grow and with every iteration, it improves.”

To learn more about how Disney is elevating Disability Pride, visit our Reimagine Tomorrow website.


  • This is so cool and thoughtful! I love the Cinderella costume!

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