From the Disney Parks Blog and written by: Thomas Smith
Since the first wish was granted at Disneyland Resort 40 years ago, Disney and Make-A-Wish® have worked together to make more than 140,000 wishes come true. And while these unprecedented times have caused a temporary suspension of in-person wish experiences, they have also created opportunities to grant wishes in a whole new way. That’s why we were so excited to help our friends at Make-A-Wish grant their 500,000th wish!
This 500,000 milestone was for 16-year-old Karina, who generously wished “to give kids a day to forget they’re sick.” Karina has fond memories of her care-free days at summer camp where her problems and stresses took a backseat to fun and laughter. Inspired by this experience, Make-A-Wish collaborated with her to create a virtual camp called “Kamp Karina” with activities designed to put a smile on the faces of children in need from the comfort of their own homes. The virtual day-long “camp” was streamed on YouTube and included a magic show, a science class, story time, and some special Disney surprises!
Since every part of The Walt Disney Company helps Make-A-Wish grant life-changing wishes, it was only fitting that the whole company get involved in granting Karina’s wish! Walt Disney Animation Studios hosted a “Frozen”-inspired drawing class featuring a professional animator and Josh Gad, the lovable voice of Olaf. ESPN worked with the NBA to put 32 wish kids, including Karina, in the virtual stands for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Disney Parks, Experiences and Products provided Disney-themed trivia as part of Disney Family Game Night and a sweet fireworks show to cap off the Kamp Karina program. It was a magical day for everyone involved!
Check out this video to see how Disney was able to play a part in this inspiring day of laughter and fun!
Granting wishes creates magical memories for children and their families, and Disney is working closely with Make-A-Wish to find innovative ways to stay engaged with children whose wishes have been deferred due to the pandemic.
Be sure to stay tuned for a sneak-peek tonight of an exciting Make-A-Wish announcement happening tomorrow, and continue to follow us on Disney Parks Blog for more incredible stories of hope and joy as we celebrate Make-A-Wish’s 40th anniversary.