Make-A-Wish Family “Kicked Out” of Disney Park

in Disneyland Resort

A little boy and his aunt at Disneyland for a Make A Wish trip with the Make-A-Wish logo added overtop.

Credit: @mothermayyyi on TikTok / Make-A-Wish

A “devastated” aunt took to TikTok this week to share her nephew’s “terrible” Make-A-Wish experience at Disneyland Resort.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation sponsors life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses, and The Walt Disney Company has spent 40 years granting more than 145,000 wishes alongside the organization.

TikToker @mothermayyyi went on a Make-A-Wish trip to Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park with her nephew, who has chronic kidney disease and is awaiting a transplant. As amazing as the family’s experience was with Make-A-Wish, they felt Disneyland Resort didn’t fulfill the organization’s promises.

@mothermayyyi

Do better for these kids – please didney. #disneyland #makeawish #disneyfail #chronickidneydisease #makeawishkid @Just Breathe @Disneyland California

♬ original sound – Mothermayi

The family stayed at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, where their welcome was not so magical.

“We get into the hotel room; there’s a puddle of something wet on the ground,” the guest recalled. “No idea what it is. My niece goes to lay on the bed. The light bulb falls and hits her on the head. Okay, fine, cool, whatever. It’s fine with us.”

But their Disney Resort hotel experience foreshadowed the rest of their Disney Park day.

Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel exterior
Credit: Disney

“Then we go down to get my nephew’s wheelchair that he needs for Disneyland Park,” she continued. “It’s for a toddler. He’s 12 years old… Then they say, ‘We’re sorry. We’re all booked up on reservations for wheelchairs. They’re all reserved right now.’ So he has to go through the park with no wheelchair.”

The TikToker explained that Make-A-Wish told her nephew that Disneyland Resort cast members would make a “big hurrah” about him, offering priority access to characters and other extraordinary experiences. But that didn’t happen.

“Zero people made a big deal about him,” she recalled. “Zero people had acknowledged him. It was terrible.”

Mickey's Fun Wheel and Incredicoaster on Pixar Pier at Disneyland Resort's California Adventure
Credit: Brandi Alexandra via Unsplash

Make-A-Wish and Disneyland Resort give visiting families a “Genie” pass, allowing priority attraction access. Families enter through the Lightning Lane or ride the exit anytime they like. But the TikToker explained that the Lightning Lane line sometimes took 45 minutes.

“They tell us you have to go to the exit of every ride, and then you get right on,” she said. “They send us to the Lightning Lane, which, my nephew obviously has kidney disease. He can’t wait in lines. He has to use the restroom. He has to cath. We’re waiting for 45 minutes for rides.”

“Make-A-Wish has promised we’re going to get special treatment; this is all going to happen,” she continued. “Nothing happens. No characters come up to him. We go up to a character; they tell us to go to the back of the line. We tried to see the Mandalorian yesterday, and the person with the character told him, ‘Oh, he doesn’t stop for anybody. I don’t know where he’s going to go. He can’t say hi.’”

Pocahontas poses with a little girl.
Credit: Make-A-Wish

The family spoke with a Disney Park manager, who offered to set them up with unique experiences when they hopped to Disney California Adventure Park later that day. Unfortunately, an issue with their Disney Park tickets kept them waiting for a while.

“We get in there; we get to spend an hour in there, and they kick us out because of Oogie Boogie [Bash],” she said. “‘Oh, you don’t have a ticket for Oogie Boogie Fest? We’re closing down the whole park.’ And they kick us out. We had to leave Disney around 6:30 and come back to the hotel, which was super sad for him, and it was just super disappointing.”

“He has received none of the treatment that he was promised, none of the treatment that he was told,” the TikToker continued. “And we get it, not everybody can be treated specially. But when you’re a Make-A-Wish kid, and you’re told these things are going to happen for you, and they don’t happen, it’s extremely disappointing.”

A Make-A-Wish family walks on a red carpet as Disney cast members cheer.
Credit: Make-A-Wish

“It’s just extremely disappointing how Disney has handled all of this,” she said. “It seems like they’re extremely desensitized to Make-A-Wish kids. Every ride, nobody has acknowledged him. Nobody has made him feel special. It’s just like another Make-A-Wish kid. Because they say, one in every two wishes is Disneyland.”

The next day, they tried to walk into Goofy’s Kitchen, a Character Dining experience. But no tables were available.

“We go in there. We say, ‘We’re with Make-A-Wish,’” the TikToker recalled. “‘Oh, sorry. We’ve decided we’re not taking… walk-ins for the rest of October. That’s something that Disney should’ve worked out for you before you came as a Make-A-Wish person.’”

The restaurant cast members tried to find her nephew a wheelchair for his second day at the Disney theme parks, but none were available.

mickeys at goofys kitchen
Credit: Disney

“So he has to walk today in Disneyland again with no wheelchair,” the TikToker concluded. “It is just absolutely insane. I’m just extremely disappointed with the whole way Disneyland treats Make-A-Wish. Make-A-Wish is doing amazing things in the background…But there’s only so much they can do because Disney is Disney and obviously doesn’t care about Make-A-Wish.”

She ended by thanking two Disney cast members who made her nephew feel special.

“There was two people in Disneyland yesterday, a photographer named Bruce, and he was absolutely amazing,” she said. “He was wonderful. We wish we could’ve took him everywhere with us. He was so kind and such an awesome spirit. We loved him. There was also a girl who recognized him and got him a funnel cake… The two people in the park that were amazing, I wanted to thank them.”

What would you like to see added to the Make-A-Wish program at Disneyland Resort or Walt Disney World Resort? Share your thoughts with Inside the Magic in the comments.

Please note that the story outlined in this article is based on a personal Disney Parks Guest experience. No two Guest experiences are alike, and this article does not necessarily align with Inside the Magic’s personal views on Disney Park operations.

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