If you’ve been following along with recent Disney Parks news, then you know World Princess Week was a celebration of royal proportions at our destinations around the world as we celebrated the timeless magic and beloved storytelling of Disney princesses. It was an extra special week for us here at Walt Disney World as we welcomed more than 50 incredible wish kids and their families from organizations like Make-A-Wish for our largest wish-granting event ever: “Once Upon A Wish Party.“
“Granting wishes is some of the most important work that we do at Disney,” said Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. “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.”
We know wishes are powerful, transformative experiences for children facing critical illnesses, and granting wishes is an enormous honor for us here at Disney as the largest wish granter in the world for Make-A-Wish. In fact, one out of every two wishes granted in the U.S. through Make-A-Wish has been a Disney wish.
Many of those wishes are to meet a Disney Princess and we wanted to find a unique way to make these greetings even more special. So, with the help of the Fairy Godmother, cast members across the company worked together to dream up a full-day affair filled with fun fairytale adventures.
Wish kids were proclaimed royalty for the day, had a tea party in Wonderland, met more than 30 iconic Disney characters and danced the night away at a Royal Ball. Alongside an array of books from Disney Publishing, our friends at shopDisney delivered an extra dose of magic and surprised families with Disney Princess dresses, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse ear headbands, wands, tiaras … and so much more. Take a look at the best day ever!
Every second of this event was pure magic, and I haven’t stopped smiling since. One of my favorite parts was seeing Mikayla’s wish come true, our 150,000th Disney wish granted through Make-A-Wish. Mikayla is a 17-year-old from Palm Beach Gardens who began her battle fighting cancer three years ago. She wished to perform at Disney, and that wish came true in a royal way when she took the stage during the ball for a special singing performance alongside Belle and The Beast from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.”
“As the number one wish granter for our organization, Disney is helping deliver joy when it’s needed most,” said Leslie Motter, Make-A-Wish America President & CEO. “Through their stories and characters, Disney is creating unforgettable wish experiences that renew hope and uplift the spirits of children facing critical illnesses and their families.”
We’ve been granting wishes alongside our friends at Make-A-Wish for more than 40 years now, and it’s one of the traditions I’m most proud of. We’ve granted more than 150,000 wishes together – a number that grows every day. In fact, we’re already planning our next wish-granting events at Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort.
To learn more about our longstanding relationship with Make-A-Wish and other recent ways we’ve supported the organization, visit Wish.org/Disney.