The Kingdom Of Little People is not some Disney-inspired place dedicated to "Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs," it's an actual amusement park in southwestern China that is completely staffed by little people, who perform songs and dances for guests. After opening in 2009, the park has received a lot of media attention, most of it negative. For a Westerner even the idea of the park sounds oppressive and exploitive. But the reaction from the actual little people who live and work there may surprise you.
Mingjing envisioned a fantastical amusement park, which would give people with dwarfism an opportunity to work.
At 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. everyday the little people perform for visitors. The performers wear ridiculous and at time degrading costumes, such as ballet tutus on the men. The dwarfs performances range from singing and dancing to acrobatics. A popular performance is their rendition of "Swan Lake."
The park has come under fire from human rights groups like Handicap International and Little People of America. The activists have decried that the amusement park is exploitive and enforces negative stereotypes.
“What is the difference between it and a zoo?” a spokesman for Little People of America asked The New York Times.
One performer told Vice News that before she came to The Kingdom Of The Little People she didn't know that there were other people out there like her.
Another performer, who once was a graphic designer, told Vice News that before he game to the park he was constantly mocked and ridiculed.
This park is not yet very profitable, but Mingjing hopes that it will became a popular attraction for both Chinese and international tourists. They offer English lessons for their performers and hope to one day employ 1,000 dwarfs.