During World Princess Week, Disney World hosted the largest wish-granting event ever for more than 50 kids their families from organizations like Make-A-Wish: the “Once Upon a Wish” Party. The wish kids had a day filled with Disney magic, from a tea party in Wonderland to meeting over 50 Disney characters and attending a Royal Ball.
Disney has worked with Make-A-Wish since 1980 and has helped grant more than 150,000 wishes since then as the largest wish granter for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. From theme park and resort trips to cruises, studio visits, shopping sprees, talent meet-and-greets, sports-themed experiences, and more, Disney is committed to helping grant the wishes of children with critical illnesses. The Disney community has a meaningful relationship with Make-A-Wish, as many of its employees are wish alumni, family members of wish kids, or wish-granting volunteers.
Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, reflected on the impact of Disney’s relationship with Make-A-Wish, saying, “Granting wishes is some of the most important work that we do at Disney. We’re humbled that so many wish kids choose Disney – it’s an honor, and we don’t take that responsibility lightly. It tells us what our brand and the Disney experience mean to people.”
The wish children who were present at the event all wished for something related to Disney Princesses, and these wishes were granted in the event this past weekend. We will share some of their wishes and highlights from the Once Upon A Wish Party!
Once Upon A Wish Party Highlights
In advance of the Once Upon A Wish Party, Disney surprised families with Disney Princess dresses as well as Disney Princess character-themed Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse ear headbands, wands, tiaras, and a variety of Disney books from Disney Publishing to help create this amazing experience. These were some of the wishes of the kids that attended the event:
- 8-year-old Lily from Middletown, Delaware wished to have a princess tea party
- 7-year-old Scarlett from Orlando, Florida wished to have a Disney Princess experience at Disney World
- 4-year-old Andi from Bridgewater, New Jersey wished to visit Disney World and meet Ariel and Tiana
Another highlight of the party was the performance of 17-year-old Mikayla, who started her battle against cancer 3 years ago. On World Wish Day earlier this year, Mikayla learned that her wish to perform at Disney would come true and that would officially be the 150,000th Disney wish. Mikayla put on a beautiful performance singing beloved Disney songs!
You can see a glimpse of the event in a video Disney Parks shared of the Once Upon a Wish Party through their Instagram:
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Impact of Disney’s Relationship With The Make-A-Wish Foundation
Leslie Motter, the Make-A-Wish America President and CEO, commented on Disney’s relationship with the organization and its commitment to helping grant wishes: “As the number one wish granter for our organization, Disney is helping deliver joy when it’s needed most. Through their stories and characters, Disney is creating unforgettable wish-granting experiences like Once Upon A Wish Party that allow families the space to create happy new memories together that I know will last a lifetime.”
To finish their Disney wish trips, the families are now enjoying time in the theme parks and a stay at Give Kids The World Village, a non-profit organization that is committed to providing week-long vacations for critically ill children and their families around the world at no cost. Currently, Give Kids The World Village is offering a contest that you can enter up until October 16th to win a trip to Walt Disney World and a night in Cinderella’s Castle, with proceeds given to the cause.
We are so thrilled that the Make-A-Wish kids had their Disney Princess dreams come true in such an amazing event. You can find more highlights and spotlighted stories of current and former Make-A-Wish kids on the Disney Parks Instagram. Disney has also shared that the next wish-granting events are already being planned, which will take place at Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort.
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