Disney and Make-a-Wish celebrate World Wish Day

Nonprofit began granting wishes 42 years ago

BAY LAKE, Fla. – Walt Disney World celebrated World Wish Day alongside its partner Make-A-Wish on Friday.

The Make-A-Wish organization helps fulfill life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Since the founding of the organization in 1980, Make-A-Wish has become the world’s leading children’s wish-granting organization, serving children in every community in the United States and in nearly 50 countries worldwide.

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Walt Disney World has a long-standing relationship with Make-a-Wish, partnering with them for more than four decades. Through the partnership, the two organizations have helped grant more than 145,000 Disney-inspired wishes together.

Back in March, Disney helped make some dreams come true for children who were fans of Star Wars. A select number of families were among the first to take a voyage on the all-new Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser.

Leading up to Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebration, the resort has worked hard to help support the nonprofit organization.

Disney sold a special ‘Wishes Come True Blue’ merchandise collection that benefited Make-A-Wish.

Florida drivers could also help the cause by purchasing a new 50th anniversary specialty license plate. Each license plate sold contributed a portion of money to Make-A-Wish Central and Northern Florida. Disney said sales recently surpassed half a million dollars.

Design revealed for Walt Disney World Florida license plate benefiting Make-A-Wish

“I am blown away by how much the team at Disney has helped us raise to help fund future wish-granting efforts,” said Make-A-Wish Central and Northern Florida President & CEO Anne Cuba. “Wishes often play a key role in helping kids build the strength to fight and overcome their critical illness, and this support means the world to our wish kids and to my team.”

As part of World Wish Day, Disney selected two of its cast members last week — who are former wish recipients — to be the Grand Marshals ahead of the “Festival of Fantasy Parade” at Magic Kingdom.

World Wish Day at Walt Disney World Resort (Disney)

The two cast members rode down the parade route in the Grand Marshal vehicle, which also sported a Disney specialty license plate on its front and back.

Celebrating World Wish Day at Walt Disney World Resort (Disney)

Click here to make a donation to the Make-A-Wish organization.

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About the Author:

Landon joined News 6 in 2017. He grew up in Southern Illinois and graduated from Southern Illinois University with a bachelors degree in TV and digital media. When he is not at work you can catch him at one of Orlando's theme parks or the beach. Before working at News 6 he worked for stations in Miami and Fort Myers.