Disney Kicks Out Make-A-Wish Family, Attempts to Salvage Mistake

in Disney Parks

Credit: Disney

For millions of guests each year, Walt Disney World Resort is a place where real-life stress and problems can be left at the door, and for a few hours, guests of all ages can live in the moment and enter the worlds of their favorite stories.

magic kingdom crowds during fireworks
Credit: Brett Kiger / Flickr

Walt Disney World offers a magical experience for visitors across its four theme parks: Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Each park has its unique attractions, entertainment, and atmosphere, ensuring a diverse and enchanting experience for guests of all ages, and in most cases, abilities.

Magic Kingdom is the iconic centerpiece, featuring Cinderella’s Castle and classic Disney charm. Guests can embark on classic rides such as Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Haunted Mansion. Fantasyland brings beloved characters to life with attractions like Peter Pan’s Flight and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. The park is also renowned for enchanting parades, character meet-and-greets, and the nightly fireworks spectacular, Happily Ever After.

Space Mountain at sunset at Magic Kingdom
Credit: Disney

EPCOT, or the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, stands as a testament to the boundless imagination and innovation that defines the magic of Disney. What makes EPCOT truly enchanting is its unique blend of futuristic technology and global cultural immersion. From the iconic Spaceship Earth geosphere that welcomes visitors to Future World to the diverse pavilions of World Showcase, EPCOT invites guests on a journey through time and around the world.

The park seamlessly combines thrilling attractions like Test Track and Soarin’ with educational experiences, allowing guests to explore cutting-edge advancements and appreciate the rich tapestry of global traditions. On top of that, it is home to Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, arguably the best thrill ride at Disney World.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios immerses visitors in the magic of movies and entertainment. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge allows fans to live out their Star Wars fantasies, while Toy Story Land brings beloved characters to life. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith offer thrilling experiences. The park’s live shows, including Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular and Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage, add a touch of Hollywood glamour.

Tree of Life on Discovery Island
Credit: Disney

Disney’s Animal Kingdom combines the magic of Disney with the wonders of the animal kingdom. The most popular area (for many), Pandora – The World of Avatar, features the breathtaking Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey. Kilimanjaro Safaris takes guests on a safari adventure through an African-inspired landscape, and Expedition Everest provides a thrilling roller coaster experience. The park’s commitment to wildlife conservation is evident in exhibits like the Maharajah Jungle Trek and the Festival of the Lion King show.

Across these parks, guests can also enjoy themed dining experiences, character meals where they can eat a Mickey waffle with Mickey Mouse himself, and a variety of entertainment options, ensuring there’s something magical for visitors of all ages.

Disney World can also be a very costly vacation and one that is certainly going up year by year. Now, some families have even opted out of a Disney trip as a European vacation can now be priced for less in many cases, especially considering ticket prices are nearly $180 per person, and some rooms price at $900 per night for a regular two queen bed room.

Disney Invites Over 80 Make-A-Wish Children to Honor the 150,000 Wishes Granted Thus Far
Credit: Disneyland Paris

For families who have other expenses, such as medical expenses, a trip to Disney may not always be in the cards.

This is where Make-A-Wish steps in.

As noted on their website, “For children diagnosed with critical illnesses, a wish come true can be a crucial turning point in their lives. A wish can be that spark that helps these children believe that anything is possible and gives them the strength to fight harder against their illnesses. This impact is why we are driven to make every one of these wishes come true.

Make-A-Wish Weekend Celebration
Credit: Disneyland Paris

Today, Make-A-Wish has granted hundreds of thousands of life-changing wishes to children battling critical illnesses. Wishes that give families hope through dark times, strength to persevere and experiences that forever change their lives.”

The company has been around for over 40 years, and over 150,000 of their 500,000+ wishes have been a Disney vacation. Disney works very closely with Make-A-Wish, in order to provide Wish children with the most magical vacation they can imagine.

While these vacations are often memorable for all the best reasons, a recent visit was the complete opposite for one family.

From arriving to Paradise Pier and finding a water leak, to being told that there was not a planned wheelchair for the Make-A-Wish child, to being kicked out of Disney California Adventure because of Oogie Boogie Bash upon arrival, to no one but two cast members acknowledging the family and treating them special on their whole trip — this family stated that their Make-A-Wish Disney vacation was one of the worst they have ever been on.

Disney typically goes above and beyond for these families, so it is highly confusing how things went so horribly wrong that no one was able to get a proper wheelchair or someone could not have given the family tickets to Oogie Boogie Bash that evening at Disneyland.

Credit: Make-A-Wish

Now, it appear Disney is attempting to make up for their massive mistake with a new family. 

WXPI shared, “A 6-year-old boy was granted his wish to go to Disney World at a restaurant in the North Hills on Monday. The owner of Thorn Hill Tap House, Marc Teklinski, donates a portion of sales to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“We’re on our fourth year here, we’re lucky enough to grant a wish each year since we’ve been open and we’re very happy to be involved,” Teklinski said. This year’s donation is being used to send Decker Hopkins, 6, and his family to Disney World.”

Credit: Make-A-Wish

The publication noted, “We’re just very excited, obviously. Supposedly it’s, everything I read online, it’s a great time for kids like him. They roll out the red carpet so we’re looking forward to it,” Sean Hopkins, Decker’s dad, said.”

This description of rolling out the red carpet for children who come to the park through Make-A-Wish is what the previous family expected, but did not receive, so now, Disney will have another shot at redemption with the Hopkins family.

Do you think Disney should bring the other Make-A-Wish family back to the theme parks for a re-do of their trip? 


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