Delivering Joy When It's Needed Most
Disney creates immersive experiences and personal moments that deliver joy and comfort to children facing illness and the people who care for them.
Providing Transformative Wish Experiences
For more than 40 years, Disney and Make-A-Wish® have worked together to deliver joy when it’s needed most to wish kids and their families. Since the very first official wish was granted at Disneyland Resort, Disney has helped Make-A-Wish fulfill the wishes of more than 150,000 children living with critical illnesses. We continue to grant thousands of wishes annually in collaboration with wish-granting organizations around the world, including theme park and resort vacations, cruises, shopping sprees, studio visits, talent meet-and-greets, sports-themed experiences, and more.
“Disney stories and characters provide a shared vocabulary between our young patients and their medical team. The magic of Disney restores some childhood innocence during a very difficult time and allows us as caregivers to be at our very best.”
Dr. James B. Fahner
Endowed Division Chief, Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital/Spectrum Health
A Legacy of Support for Kids and Families
Since Walt first brought animators and characters to visit hospitalized children, Disney stories have inspired a world of hope for seriously ill children.
In 2018, Disney announced a global commitment of $100 million to help reimagine the patient experience in children’s hospitals and pediatric places of care. Teams across the company, including our world-renowned Walt Disney Imagineers, worked with a global network of experts to identify unique experiences Disney could provide to ease the fear and anxiety of a hospital stay.
Immersive Experiences & Personal Moments
Visually stunning wall art draws children into the vibrant worlds of Disney’s storytelling. Augmented reality content can be unlocked with the Disney Team of Heroes app for a fully immersive experience.
Captivating Digital Displays
Delightful digital screens such as the magic window and magic art will spark to life with favorite characters and transport patients into the worlds of beloved stories.
Empowering Character-themed Starlight Hospital Wear
Children’s hospital wear is reimagined with familiar characters and designs from Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, Frozen, Mickey & Friends, ESPN, and Disney Princesses, providing patients with their choice of fun and comfortable clothing to wear during their hospital stay.
Complimentary Content Access
In-theater movies are made available to children’s hospitals through the Disney Movie Moments Program. Child Life Teams use the movies and Disney+ content, sometimes on a Disney-designed mobile movie theater, to help ease the fear and anxiety of a hospital visit.
Packages of toys, books, games, movies, and more from across the Disney family of brands bring patients moments of delight, and a sense of the familiar during their hospital stays. Delivered by Starlight Children’s Foundation, bundles come in varying sizes and are available throughout the year.
Support for Hospital Staff
Customized training provided by Disney Institute and Disney-themed badges equip hospital leaders and staff of all levels with engagement tools and personalized knowledge to enhance patients’ and families’ experiences.
hospital workers trained through Disney Institute since 2018
magical wishes granted globally with Make-A-Wish since 1980
of participating hospitals said content access positively impacts patients
hospitals and places of care supported globally
*Survey by Starlight Children’s Foundation in January 2023 of hospitals or pediatric places of care that are in Starlight’s network; participating hospitals were asked if complimentary Disney+ and Disney Movie Moments positively impact the patient experience
Providing Comfort & Inspiration For More Than 80 Years
The award-winning ESPN My Wish series has collaborated with Make-A-Wish since 2006 to fulfill 75 sports-themed wishes for children with critical illnesses.
Disney+ announced expansion of complementary Disney+ access to Child Life Teams in children’s hospitals and places of care in more than 30 countries.
Disney celebrated 145,000 magical wishes granted with Make-A-Wish globally.
The Walt Disney Company announced in 2018 a $100 million commitment to reimagine the patient experience in children’s hospitals and in 2019, the new experiences were piloted at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.
Disney-themed Starlight Gowns are introduced.
Disney Movie Moments program was launched to bring new movies that are still in theaters to hospitalized children and their families.
Disney and Starlight Children’s Foundation begin delivering toys, books, games, and more to seriously ill children to add normalcy to a child’s hospital stay.
The first-ever official wish request from Make-A-Wish included a trip to Disneyland. Since then, Disney has grown to grant half of all wishes by Make-A-Wish in the United States in a typical year.
Disney’s early support of children’s hospitals dates to the 1930s, when Walt Disney would visit with recuperating children, sometimes screening his studio’s films for them. Later, more elaborate programs with Disney characters and artists would also be employed to provide children with additional moments of comfort and joy.
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Diversity & Inclusion