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Wishes Do Come True: How One Wish Child Became a Disneyland Resort Cast Member

Kevin Rafferty, Jr.

by , External Communications Manager, Disneyland Resort

For Lexi Marincovich, making wishes come true is part of the job. As an entertainment host at the Disneyland Resort, Lexi facilitates wish visits for children with life-threatening medical conditions, in partnership with Make-A-Wish and other wish-granting organizations.

When she was a little girl, Lexi had no idea she would someday be working as a Disneyland Resort cast member.

“I was a wish child,” she said. “So when I was little, my mom said she wanted to see an older version of me. This is my shot to show these families that one day their child can work and be healthy.”

Each year, the Disneyland Resort grants approximately 750 wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions. More than half of the wishes include character encounters, hosted by cast members like Lexi.

According to Lexi, Disney characters can be a family’s symbol of hope. One wish visit that stood out to her was a child who met Oswald the Lucky Rabbit on Buena Vista Street. The child’s family considered Oswald their lucky rabbit because they would watch his cartoons and read his comics during medical treatments.

“Depending on the situation, I will tell the families I was a wish child,” Lexi said. “Working here and still being able to be involved with wishes is the best of both worlds. It means so much to me to give these families the hope and strength they need to get through whatever hardship they’re going through,” she said.

Kaavya Chanamolu, age 4, recently had her wish granted at the Disneyland Resort. Kaavya’s wish was to receive a transformation at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, experience “World of Color” and stay at the Disneyland Hotel with her family. A favorite moment was when Kaavya walked hand-in-hand with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse down Main Street, U.S.A.

“To feel the goodness coming from everyone reaffirmed our faith in humanity,” said Kaavya’s mom, Priyanka. “We saw so much joy in Kaavya and the normalcy in her again. Make-A-Wish is so important because emotional healing is what these families need. This was an emotionally elevating experience for us.”

Thank you to our amazing cast members like Lexi who make wishes come true every day for Disney Parks guests!

Comments

  • Disney, I want to say a big thank you for doing these special wish moments. I had a friend whom I met when DCA had Who wants to be a millionaire. He was so excited that him and his family got chosen to receive a trip on the Disney Cruise Line. But sadly, he passed away right before the trip was going to happen. But Disney still let the family go on the trip. On the behalf of their loved ones, thank you for letting the family go.

  • Lexi likely has one of the most rewarding jobs around!
    Bless her and all the wishes she helps make come true!
    Happiness to all the recipients of Make A Wish <3

  • This is so heartwarming. As a former cast member, I met many wish children who came to Disneyland, and those were some of my favorite interactions. While Disneyland gets a lot of repeat local visitors, those kids were there for the first, and perhaps only, time, so I wanted to do everything I could to make sure their trip was special. Knowing that a former wish child is now a cast member helping to grant wishes just makes me really happy.

  • And I’m a mess. So important. Thanks Disneyland.

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