April 29 is World Wish Day. World Wish Day is a day dedicated to celebrating the inspiring impact a wish come true can have on a child who is battling a critical illness. This year, Walt Disney World Resort is honoring the more than 8,400 wishes granted at its parks and resorts every year. It is also investing $20,000 in Make-A-Wish Central and Northern Florida to assist in making the dreams of children become a reality.
Approximately half of the children that are eligible for wishes through wish-granting nonprofit organizations in the United States ultimately choose a Disney-inspired wish, which also encompasses visits to Walt Disney World Resort. Walt Disney World Resort lives up to its reputation as the place where dreams come true. This is especially accurate for trips fulfilled through wish-granting organizations, such as Make-A-Wish, for these children and their families.
Rena Langley summarizes the experience of all those involved in making these wishes a reality so eloquently. “Seeing the magic of Disney through the eyes of a wish child is an unforgettable experience. Granting these inspiring wishes at Walt Disney World Resort creates magical memories not only for the families, but also for our Cast Members who help make these special wishes come true.”
The Walt Disney Company actually has partnered with Make-A-Wish starting in 1980. That year, the first official wish kid’s dreams came true at Disneyland Resort. Today Bob Chapek, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products, sits on the national board of directors for the organization which further cements the longstanding partnership. All through the years, more than 130,000 Disney-inspired wishes have been granted through Make-A-Wish. This includes visits to the theme parks, Disney cruises, as well as met and greets with beloved Disney celebrities and characters. In fact, one of every two Make-A-Wish wishes in the United States comes true every year in conjunction with the partnership with The Walt Disney Company.
Per Anne Cuba of Make-A-Wish Central and Northern Florida, “Disney-inspired wishes have long been the most requested among wish kids across the country. Granting a child’s wish is already a magical experience, but folding the Disney magic into it as well makes for an unforgettable, life-changing moment for the child and their family.”
As of today, The Walt Disney Company and Make-A-Wish have joined together once again and have launched the #FriendLikeMe Challenge. In short, Disney will donate $5 up to $1 million to Make-A-Wish to assist in granting life-changing wishes all over the world. Visit FriendLikeMe.org for more information.
Make-A-Wish is not the only foundation The Walt Disney Company supports. Walt Disney World Resort has also supported Give Kids the World Village. This is a nonprofit vacation resort specifically for critically ill children and their families. The resort opened its doors in 1986 and Walt Disney World Resort has been supporting them since the beginning. Give Kids the World Village is able to provide unforgettable experiences to 7,000 families each year with the help of almost 40,000 Disney VoluntEARS hours annually. Families staying here receive expeditated attraction entry to Walt Disney World Resort attractions, complimentary stroller and wheelchair rentals, and have exclusive access to the Disney Wish Lounge at Magic Kingdom Park.
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