More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

Believing in Wishes: A Cast Member Inspires Dreams for Japan’s Future

Jennifer Fickley-Baker

by , Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

Hi everyone. Today, I have a special story to share with you about wishes.

Some of Disney’s biggest heroes possess a special tool which they use to make magic. For Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother, it was her magic wand. For Aladdin, it was his magical genie lamp. And for Epcot cast member Huyen Kibo Bui, it’s a tiny origami crane.

Epcot Cast Member Huyen Kibo Bui

Huyen, originally from Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, was devastated when the recent earthquake hit Japan. Wanting to find a way that she and other Epcot cast members could send a special message of hope back to this ravaged country, Huyen turned to a Japanese belief that the recipient of 1,000 folded origami cranes receives one wish. With her goal in sight, Huyen began folding.

Believing in Wishes: A Cast Member Inspires Dreams for Japan’s Future

And so did her fellow Merchandise cast members. And when the pavilion’s shop, Mitsukoshi, donated origami paper to the project, word quickly spread through the rest of Epcot. Cast members from all over the park began folding cranes during their lunch breaks. Others took cranes home to fold, relying on extra help from their family members.

Oversized Crane, Named ‘Kibo’

Touched by the support of her fellow cast, Huyen created an oversized crane, named “Kibo” (the Japanese word for “wish”), which made its way around World Showcase for guests at other international pavilions to sign.

Suddenly there were more cranes than anyone ever expected – a stash of nearly 3,000.

Believing in Wishes: A Cast Member Inspires Dreams for Japan’s Future

Earlier today, an overjoyed Huyen, accompanied by Epcot Vice President Dan Cockerell and other park leaders, presented a total of 2,760 of these winged “wishes” for hope and recovery to Hayato Nakamura, Consulate General of Japan.

Perhaps it’s fitting that today’s presentation coincided with Children’s Day, a national holiday in Japan that celebrates all the beautiful things that children bring into our lives – especially hope for the future.


  • Beautiful

  • Jennifer, Thank you so much for sharing the “good things” that Disney castmembers (like Huyen Kibo Bui)are doing to inspire others. So often it is the “little things” that so touch our hearts and inspire us to do better inthis world.

  • That is awesome! Thanks for sharing this story.

  • When we were at Epcot in February both of my girls received a folded crane from the hostess in the Japan pavilion. I will make sure they see this article. Thanks for sharing Huyen’s story with us!

  • Hi !That’s so awesome. I live in Tokyo and the earthquake was very scary. About two months have passed since the day but there is a lot of ploblem in Japan. This article cheer me up. I can feel the Disney’s magic and I love Disney forever.

  • Disney Cast Members are some of the most special people in the world. They are full of kindness and make any trip to a park or resort so fun. Many of them love their jobs and it is always so much fun getting to know about them or what they do for the company. This young lady is an outstanding example for your company.

    Three cheers for disney cast members!

    • Thanks so much for the kind words. I agree that Disney cast members – especially those at our parks – are great at making magic for guests.

  • This is awe-inspiring. Absolutely amazing.

  • Great Job Huyen, as a Fellow Epcot cast member its a great show of support to our Feloow cast in japan and in epcot

  • きぼう is characters of KIBO.

  • What a beautifully moving and touching story. I wish more people did things like this! Thank you for sharing and I am going to pass it on.

    • Thanks so much, Kristen! I hope your friends enjoy the story!

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