For more than 40 years, Disney and Make-A-Wish have worked together to make life-changing wishes come true for children facing critical illnesses, and Disney celebrated World Wish Day 2023 with several events.
Disney is the largest wish granter in the world for Make-A-Wish, having made nearly 150,000 wishes come true from all parts of the company, including across the parks, resorts and cruise ships.
In fact, Disneyland resort was part of the first official wish Make-A-Wish granted, beginning a shared journey of bringing joy to children and families who need it most for years to come.
“We know the power of the Disney brand when it comes to evoking positive emotions,” said Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, Josh D’Amaro, who is a board member for Make-A-Wish America. “And we take great pride in the fact that we have granted 150,000 wishes with Make-A-Wish since 1981.”
In honor of World Wish Day, and that first wish that inspired the founding of Make-A-Wish, a special window dedication at Disneyland park was held this week with three windows on Main Street, U.S.A.
Marking the first time in Disneyland park’s history that a window on Main Street, U.S.A., has been dedicated to a non-profit organization, the three windows include a center window dedicated to Make-A-Wish and all the wish kids past, present and future; plus side windows honoring Chris Greicius, the wish that inspired the creation of Make-A-Wish, and Frank “Bopsy” Salazar, the first official wish granted by Make-A-Wish (and the first Disney wish).
The window dedication ceremony included remarks from Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock, Make-A-Wish America President and CEO Leslie Motter and Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, Josh D’Amaro.
Also present at the window dedication ceremony were six children on their official wish visits to Disneyland Resort, as well as the mothers of Chris and Bopsy, whose sons continue to inspire these children and thousands more all over the world.
Here is a look at the creation of these special windows:
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, Disneyland Paris and Make-A-Wish partnered for a huge weekend for Oliver (10), Ollie (14) and Aëden (7) and their families, who were invited to participate in the European Gala celebrating “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3” as honored guests.
They even got to meet the film’s stars Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldaña.
The kids and their families then joined others who were invited to enjoy a weekend at Disneyland Paris.
More than 80 wish children and their families from across Europe stayed at the Disney Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel and got a special visit to Avengers Campus in the Walt Disney Studios Park.
There was even a special surprises at Disneyland Paris today:
Here are the highlights of the weekend:
For World Wish Day, Addie’s wish was to be a voiceover actress, a wish that Pixar was happy to fulfill:
Disney also fulfilled the wish of a kid named Kyle Stickles, who got to announce an NFL Draft pick live on ESPN for World Wish Day:
There is a new limited time Disney PhotoPass Lens for Make-A-Wish available in the My Disney Experience and Disneyland apps:
How To Get Involved
Whether you want to help fulfill a wish, know a child who needs a wish filled, or just want to see other wishes Disney has granted, you’ll find all the details at wish.org/Disney.