Walt Disney World and Make-A-Wish® have announced a special event called the “Once Upon A Wish Party,” designed exclusively for wish families. The first wish recipient of this event has been revealed as a Florida first grader from the Orange County Public School district.
The surprise was unveiled to 7-year-old Scarlett from Ventura Elementary School in Kissimmee, Fla. Minnie Mouse, along with Disney cast members and Make-A-Wish representatives, surprised Scarlett, who had wished for a “Disney Princess experience.” Overwhelmed with joy, Scarlett was joined by her first-grade classmates, teachers, and family members during the announcement. B-roll footage and interviews from the reveal can be accessed here, while photos are available here.
Scarlett’s mother expressed her excitement, stating, “She’s going to have this super special experience and be able to go to the royal ball as a princess… I know she’s going to enjoy every single second of it. To see her happy and completely fulfilled is every mother’s dream. It means so much that she’ll be able to experience life as a normal kid at a theme park where we don’t have to think about a lot of the medical stuff that has consumed our lives in the past.”
Scarlett’s journey has not been easy, as her family learned she needed a heart transplant when she was just a baby. After undergoing numerous surgeries and receiving a transplant at 18 months old, school became a place of solace for her after spending so much time in the hospital. Disney and Make-A-Wish collaborated to make this surprise happen just before the start of summer vacation, ensuring Scarlett could cherish this experience.
Make-A-Wish America President and CEO, Leslie Motter, expressed her admiration for Disney’s long-standing partnership, stating, “Disney is the largest wish granter in the world, and over our more than 40-year relationship, we’ve granted some pretty incredible wishes together. Whatever Disney does, they go all out. I can’t wait to see the new happy memories Scarlett and our other attending wish families will be able to make at what is sure to be an unforgettable event.”
The “Once Upon A Wish Party” will take place during Walt Disney World’s World Princess Week celebration from August 20-26. Apart from Scarlett, wish families from across the country will be invited to participate in surprises from dusk to dawn. The activities will include tea and treats, immersive Disney character meet and greets, and a ball that promises to create lifelong memories.
This event follows the resort’s World Wish Day efforts, during which the 150,000th Disney-inspired wish was granted to 16-year-old Mikayla from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Further information about Disney’s enduring partnership with Make-A-Wish can be found at wish.org/Disney, and details about Disney’s impact in Florida are available at DisneyFlorida.com.
Gray is a lifelong Disney fan! From Disney+ to the parks, he loves it all. His favorite Disney movie is Beauty and the Beast, and his favorite attraction is The Haunted Mansion.