Disney announces donation and highlights the company’s 41-year relationship with Make-A-Wish during one-of-a-kind grand reveal of the Disney Wish
CELEBRATION, Fla. (April 29, 2021) – On World Wish Day, The Walt Disney Company announced a $1 million donation to Make-A-Wish as part of a grand unveiling event for the highly anticipated Disney Cruise Line ship, the Disney Wish, scheduled to set sail in summer 2022. The name Disney Wish carries a powerful meaning, evoking all the wonder and optimism of a wish come true, presenting an opportunity to connect this timeless theme to the invaluable work Make-A-Wish does every day to support children with critical illnesses. This donation is earmarked to reach even more Make-A-Wish kids from all backgrounds, supporting Disney’s ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion.
“Making wishes come true is a big part of Disney’s DNA, and on World Wish Day, I want to say how proud we are to partner with organizations like Make-A-Wish,” said Bob Chapek, chief executive officer, The Walt Disney Company. “When we join forces, we’re able to make magic happen and be a source of hope and optimism for others, and we look forward to working together to create even more special moments for deserving wish kids and their families in the years to come.”
These remarks kicked off a first-of-its-kind virtual Disney showcase in which viewers were invited to “step aboard” the Disney Wish for an overview of what they will experience when the fifth Disney Cruise Line ship sets sail next summer. With character appearances, musical performances and state-of-the-art technology, the half-hour production revealed some of the most innovative and iconic spaces of the Disney Wish while also highlighting the 41-year global relationship between Disney and Make-A-Wish.
Since 1980, Disney and Make-A-Wish have helped grant life-changing wishes for more than 145,000 children with critical illnesses around the world. Historically, one out of every two wishes granted in the U.S. is a Disney wish, with many of these wishes involving visits to global Disney destinations and sailings with Disney Cruise Line.
“Knowing that Disney’s next cruise ship will be the Disney Wish, I can’t help but think of the countless children who have experienced the power of a wish come true to help them overcome so many challenges,” said Richard Davis, president and chief executive officer, Make-A-Wish America. “Make-A-Wish gives families hope when it matters most, and that hope is needed now more than ever. I’m grateful for Disney’s ongoing support to help us deliver even more joy and strength to families.”
To celebrate the lasting power of wishes come true, Make-A-Wish alumni, who have had Disney Cruise Line wishes granted throughout the last 20 years, were featured in the virtual production. These children and young adults represent the thousands of wishes that have been granted aboard Disney cruise ships.
The showcase concluded with a stunning rendition of “When You Wish Upon a Star,” performed by Disney on Broadway Star and International Performing Artist Syndee Winters who has a personal connection to Make-A-Wish.
“Make-A-Wish has a really special place in my heart,” said Syndee. “In 2010, my youngest brother Logan was diagnosed with a brain stem glioma, so he became eligible for Make-A-Wish. His wish was to go on a cruise, and Make-A-Wish made that happen … Now Logan is 16, and he’s beaten the glioma – and he is thriving. Any chance I get, I stop what I’m doing to meet a young child who is part of Make-A-Wish because it means a lot to me, and it did great things for my family.”
During her heartfelt performance, Syndee was joined by favorite Disney characters as images of
Make-A-Wish alumni appeared on the ship’s large screen.
World Wish Day 2021
Every year, the global Make-A-Wish organization and supporters come together in celebrating World Wish Day on April 29, the anniversary of the wish that inspired the founding of Make-A-Wish.
This year’s campaign, “Don’t Wait for Hope. Create it.,” stems from the fact that wish families have been some of the hardest hit by the pandemic. Feelings of fear and isolation are often felt deepest by the most vulnerable members of the population, including children with critical illnesses. Now more than ever, wishes can bring hope, joy and a sense of normalcy back into the lives of wish kids and their families.
About Disney Cruise Line:
Since first setting sail in 1998, Disney Cruise Line has provided quintessential family cruise vacations, blending the magic of Disney with the excitement of ocean cruising. Unforgettable onboard experiences are paired with itineraries to sun-drenched destinations of the Caribbean year-round and awe-inspiring seasonal sailings throughout Alaska and Europe. Most Caribbean itineraries also include a stop at Disney’s Castaway Cay, an award-winning island in The Bahamas. Disney Cruise Line continues to expand its horizons, with three new ships scheduled for delivery in 2022, 2024 and 2025 and a second Bahamian destination, Lighthouse Point, located on the island of Eleuthera. The Disney Wish will set sail in summer 2022. All three new ships will be powered by liquefied natural gas and, at approximately 144,000 gross tons and 1,250 guest staterooms, will be slightly larger than the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit http://www.disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at 888-325-2500 or contact their travel agent.
Make-A-Wish creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Founded in 1980, Make-A-Wish is the world’s leading children’s wish-granting organization, having granted more than 500,000 wishes in nearly 50 countries worldwide. Together with generous donors, supporters, staff and more than 40,000 volunteers around the globe, Make-A-Wish delivers hope and joy to children and their families when they need it most. Make-A-Wish aims to bring the power of wishing to every child with a critical illness because wish experiences can help improve emotional and physical health. For more information about Make-A-Wish America, visit wish.org, and for more information about Make-A-Wish International, visit worldwish.org.
For more information about the Make-A-Wish & Disney alliance, visit wish.org/Disney.