In Honor of World Wish Day, Disney Fulfills More than 100 Wishes Globally for Make-A-Wish Children 

On this day in 1980, 7-year-old Chris Greicius had his wish granted to become a police officer. That moment led to the creation of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which has granted hundreds of thousands of wishes to children with critical illnesses since that first wish was granted. In honor of the anniversary, April 29 is now recognized as World Wish Day.

World Wish Day has become an annual celebration of the impact the granting of a wish can have on a critically ill children and their families. Most children wish for experiences, many of which involve travel.

In Chicago, 9-year-old Idris Lockett, who was born with a congenital heart disease, had his wish of becoming a CTA operator granted. 

Joseph, an 8-year-old from New Jersey, is a Super Mario Bros. fan and wished to visit Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood and was surprised with the trip.

Many of the wishes granted on World Wish Day and throughout the year are Disney experiences. More critically ill children globally request Disney-related wishes than any other, and Disney has granted more than 155,000 wishes during a 44-year relationship with Make-A-Wish.

World Wish Day has been grown into World Wish Month, a time for Make-A-Wish’s corporate partners like Disney to help by facilitating the granting of individual wishes as well as participating in large-scale wish-granting events and initiatives. 

Corporate partners participating during World Wish Month, sometimes in collaboration with each other, include: American Airlines, Avis, Bakers Square, BHG Financial, BuzzRx, Chase, Dave & Buster’s, Disney, Duck Donuts, Famous Dave’s, Fanatics, Frios Gourmet Pops, GameStop, Granite City, IT’SUGAR, Jumpzylla, Keebler, Kendra Scott, Maggiano’s Little Italy, Main Event, Marquis, Painting with a Twist, Red Lobster, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers & Brews, Royal Caribbean International, Snappy, Sugarwish, The Learning Experience, Topgolf, United Airlines, Village Inn, Vivid Seats, and WWE.

One such example of corporate collaboration was between Disney and American Airlines. The airline pitched in to fly 28 wish children and their families from Texas to Walt Disney World to grant their wishes

Photo courtesy of Disney

This year, Disney is honoring World Wish Day and highlighting the company’s commitment to being a top wish granter by fulfilling more than 100 wishes throughout the month.

“We’re thrilled to spend another year celebrating World Wish Day at our parks and experiences around the world,” said Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Experiences, and Make-A-Wish America Board Member, according to a press release. “It’s an honor to witness first-hand the transformative power of a Disney wish in the lives of thousands of wish kids and families every year.”

Photo courtesy of Disney

As part of the celebration and in recognition of Earth Month alongside World Wish Day, Walt Disney World in Florida granted several animal-themed wishes, including a memorable encounter for an animal lover and aspiring veterinarian named Cora. Five-year-old Cora met a baby elephant also named Corra, who made her pubic debut two months ago at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Cora also met some of the veterinarians featured on the National Geographic’s show Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney's Animal Kingdom elephant Corra
Photo by Brooke McDonald

At Disneyland Resort, young guests had their Star Wars-themed wishes granted at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, participating in experiences like building a lightsaber and interacting with Kylo Ren and Stormtroopers and meeting the Mandalorian and Grogu.

International Disney locations also joined in the celebration, with Disneyland Paris hosting a Wish Weekend event for over 70 children from across Europe, and Shanghai Disney Resort marking its 200th wish granted. At Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, professional race car driver Jonathan Hui helped grant the wish of racing and Lightning McQueen fan Heison, who got to meet and ride alongside Lightning. 

How to Help:

Donate today to support Make-A-Wish in continuing to grant life-altering wishes. Your contribution helps sustain the organization’s vital work, bringing hope and joy to children when they need it most.

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