Recently, The Walt Disney Company celebrated making 100,000 wishes come true with Make-A-Wish. In celebration of this special relationship, we asked our cast members for some of their favorite memories fulfilling wishes:
Tiffany Granato recalls a visit Buzz Lightyear had with 4-year-old Caden, who was battling cancer. When Buzz hugged him goodbye, Caden said, “Mom! He’s giving me Lightyear powers! I can feel it.” Caden’s parents stayed in touch and reported back that Caden is now in remission. Tiffany says, “I’m sure the Lightyear powers had everything to do with it, too.”
Sandy Doerr volunteered with Make-a-Wish and met a 5-year-old girl who wanted to meet the Little Mermaid. After hosting the girl at Disneyland Resort, Sandy became close with the family but eventually lost touch. A few years ago, while VoluntEARing at the MS150 bike ride, a woman approached her and asked if she volunteered for Make-A-Wish. “I realized it was Meghan, my wish child from years ago,” Sandy says, “all grown up, healthy, working at Disneyland Resort and volunteering at the same event!”
Jenna Baranek felt fortunate to host “Queen” Abigail as she visited the Disneyland Resort for her wish. After a full day the parks, the team was able to help Abigail with her transformation into her favorite queen, Elsa, at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique — just in time for Halloween later that night. “It was a magical day taking this family around and helping make this little girl’s dreams come true,” Jenna says.
Eric Olsen was piloting one of the “Fantasmic!” barges on the Rivers of America during the 100,000 Make-A-Wish celebration in October. “It was an honor looking out of my barge and seeing all the kids enjoying the show,” Eric said.
Danny Chase remembers several years ago when Buzz Lightyear visited his attraction, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, with a young wish child, defeating the Emperor Zurg. As Danny says, “What makes it so memorable to me is that the experience was truly a team effort between the family and all cast members involved. Everyone rallied behind this child and gave him a truly unique and special experience, and I’m sure the family will continue to cherish that memory forever – I know I will.”
Half of all wish requests are for Disney wishes — and the experience is truly memorable for everyone who touches it!