To commemorate World Princess Week, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida hosted its largest wish-granting event ever with the “Once Upon A Wish Party” – a party designed specifically for wish children and their families.
More than 50 wish children from organisations such as Make-A-Wish visited Walt Disney World Resort for this first-of-its-kind event, which featured more than 30 iconic Disney Princesses and characters, a tea party in Wonderland, and a regal ball, and was brought to life by hundreds of Disney cast members.
Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products, stated that granting wishes is among the most essential work that Disney does. “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.”
Wishes have the power to renew hope and raise the spirits of children with life-threatening illnesses, and experiences such as Once Upon A Wish Party can transform the entire family. Each child present wished for something related to a Disney Princess, which was granted.
Lily, age 8, from Middletown, Delaware, wished for a princess tea party.
Scarlett, who was 7 years old and from Orlando, Florida, wished for a Disney Princess experience at Walt Disney World.
Andi, age 4, from Bridgewater, New Jersey, wished to travel to Walt Disney World and encounter Ariel and Tiana.
shopDisney delivered an extra dose of pixie dust and surprised families with Disney Princess dresses, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse ear headbands, wands, and tiaras, among other items, prior to the royal gala. Disney Publishing also added a touch of enchantment by publishing a variety of Disney novels.
During the gala, 17-year-old Mikayla from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, who has been battling cancer for three years, performed a special singing performance. Mikayla, who desired to perform at Disney, was astonished earlier this year on World Wish Day with the news that her wish would come true and be recognised as the 150,000th Disney wish to be granted.
Make-A-Wish America’s President and CEO, Leslie Motter, remarked, “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.”
Families are now completing their Disney wish vacations with several days in the theme parks and a stay at Give Kids The World Village, an organisation integral to Walt Disney World Resort’s wish-granting efforts.
Since 1980, Disney has collaborated with Make-A-Wish to grant over 150,000 desires. Historically, one in every two Make-A-Wish wishes granted in the United States has been a Disney wish. The entire Disney family collaborates with Make-A-Wish to grant life-changing wishes, such as theme park and resort vacations, cruises, shopping sprees, studio visits, talent meet-and-greets, and sports-themed experiences. As many Disney employees are wish-granting volunteers, parents of wish children, or wish alumni themselves, bestowing wishes in a Disney-specific manner is an integral part of the cast experience.
Once Upon A Wish Party is one way Disney brings wishes to life throughout Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products. In celebration of the December inauguration of World of Frozen, Disney wish-granting events will also take place at Aulani, A Disney Resort and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, following the enchanting event at Walt Disney World.
Visit Wish.org/Disney for additional information on how Disney supports Make-A-Wish.