Wishes really do come true!
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.
Wishes for children and their families in these stressful situations can be transformative moments during a child’s treatment. Wishes renew hope and uplift spirits, and bring a child’s family, care team and community closer together.
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 our 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.”
Just in time for World Wish Day tomorrow, which celebrates the anniversary of the wish that inspired the founding of Make-A-Wish, we are proud to honor this longtime relationship with a special window dedication at Disneyland park, 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; and 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.
“Since we began partnering with Make-A-Wish in 1980, wish granting has been in our DNA. At every level across the company, Disney cast members are passionate about working with Make-A-Wish to create hope, happiness and make dreams come true,” said Potrock. “Today, we are thrilled to celebrate our relationship with the very first window dedicated to an organization at Disneyland in honor of all Wish kids – past, present and future.”
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.
The three new windows can be found above the Wish Lounge, which serves as a calming respite in Disneyland park for wish kids and their families during their visits to the resort. In addition to designing the windows, Walt Disney Imagineering worked with artists from Walt Disney Animation Studios to bring to life this incredible wish lounge inspired by the visual style and characters from Disney Animation’s upcoming animated film, “Wish,” releasing November 2023.
Disneyland park’s time-honored tradition of window dedications to individuals who impacted the course of the resort’s history is highly cherished by cast members and guests alike. The addition of these three special windows will continue to help tell the stories of people who’ve left a legacy at the Disneyland Resort, and we are honored to forever highlight Chris, Bopsy and the wish children of the world.
To join in the celebration, be sure to check out the Wishes Come True Disney PhotoPass Lens, now available as a complimentary offering for all guests in the Disneyland app and My Disney Experience app at Walt Disney World Resort. The Lens will be available until the end of May.
There is truly nothing like the power of a wish come true, and at Disney parks around the world, we look forward to continuing our work with Make-A-Wish as we celebrate on this World Wish Day. Follow along with us here on the blog to see how we are celebrating the power of wishes around the world all month long. We’ll be sharing some of our favorite Make-A-Wish stories. Check out the first of these next week, with more to come all month long!