Did you know that Disney has granted over 150,000 wishes? And it takes about 200 people to make each wish come true in the United States! From the child’s family to volunteers and community members, to organizations like Give the Kids The World Village, to Disney cast members, everyone comes together to make wishes come true.
Last month, we chatted with three Disney cast members who shared how they make wishes come true. Jerome, general manager at Disney Resorts, sees a wish as a representation of the hope and magic Disney provides to children and families. Stephie, a pastry sous chef at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, believes that wishes are a bridge that connects passions and dreams. Ali, a Walt Disney World Ambassador, knows that wishes are miracles. Let’s dive into each of their incredible wish journeys.
Make-A-Wish Past and Present
Make-A-Wish holds a special place in Jerome’s heart. Jerome’s cousin Cory wished to visit Walt Disney World Resort with Make-A-Wish twenty years ago, and it left Jerome’s family with incredible memories. Now, as a Disney cast member, Jerome gets to grant wishes and see the sparkle in Make-A-Wish children’s and families’ eyes as they experience adventures like visiting Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. He believes that Make-A-Wish represents “Disney at its best.”
The Joy of a Wish
Ali’s job as an Ambassador is to help spread joy and magic to cast and guests alike. Ali represents Walt Disney World cast members, and part of that role includes showcasing cast members’ work with Make-A-Wish. She has experienced the impact of a wish firsthand – recently helping grant the 150,000th wish to 16-year-old Mikayla from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Ali says witnessing Disney “cast members grant wishes” is “something unique and something only Disney can do.”
Making Delicious Wishes
Make-A-Wish children have had a significant impact on Stephie, a pastry sous chef at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Stephie was impacted by Make-A-Wish when she helped fulfill a Make-A-Wish child’s dream of becoming a Disney chef. When Stephie works with the Make-A-Wish foundation, she feels “very blessed to have the opportunity to be involved in families’ lives and bring joy to someone,” whether it is by teaching the Make-A-Wish child how to cook or preparing a special meal for their trip to Disney.
Granting Wishes for Many More Years to Come
While the stories of Jerome, Stephie and Ali may seem amazing, they are actually rather common for Disney cast members, who are passionate about granting wishes and making magic for children facing critical illnesses and their families. In fact, Walt Disney World is gearing up to host one of the biggest wish-granting events ever with “Once Upon A Wish Party” – a special event dreamed up just for wish families filled with enchanting surprises, inspiration and adventures fit for a hero or heroine. Disney and Make-A-Wish recently teamed up to reveal the very first wish as part of this party to 7-year-old Scarlett at Ventura Elementary School in Orlando, which you can read more about here on the blog.
And Disney is committed to granting wishes for many more years to come because, as the saying goes, “when you wish upon a star, your dreams come true!” To learn more, visit Wish.org/Disney.