Disney & Make-A-Wish: The Story of Roel’s Spectacular Graduation Celebration

For Roel, a Make-A-Wish® kid, a dream graduation recently became a reality at Disneyland Resort, where his wish to experience the joy and excitement of Grad Nite, an exclusive night-time park celebration designed for graduating high school seniors, came true.  

Making up for a missed milestone

Roel, who graduated from high school in the spring of 2023, was unable to attend his commencement ceremony and Grad Nite because he was undergoing chemotherapy. Inspired by the celebrations he saw around him, Roel wished for a special graduation experience with a touch of Disney magic – which was granted thanks to the efforts of Disneyland Resort and Make-A-Wish. 

“I missed out when I was in high school because I didn’t get that experience. I saw my friends post about it online thinking, ‘Oh, they went to Grad Nite and had so much fun.’ I was just thinking, ‘I wish I could go,’” Roel shared. “Now I will!” 

A magical graduation celebration 

At Grad Nite, Roel’s wish took center stage as he enjoyed an evening filled with thrilling attractions and spectacular shows, along with a surprise private photo opportunity with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, dressed in their graduation best. Further adding to the magic, Disney Ambassadors of Disneyland Resort, Jada Young and Raul Aquino Rojas, gifted Roel a special “Class of 2023” Mickey Grad Cap, perfect for creating unforgettable graduation photos. 

Roel pictured with his family, Mickey and Minnie, Disney Ambassadors of Disneyland Resort.

Roel pictured with his family, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse and

Disney Ambassadors of Disneyland Resort.

Ahead of his visit, Roel’s excitement was palpable. “I can’t wait to ride the Incredicoaster, maybe make a lightsaber, and just have fun with my family,” he said. 

Roel’s graduation celebration at Disneyland Resort was more than just a day of fun; it was a reminder of the importance of marking this well-earned milestone. “I think it’s important to celebrate moments like these because it is a core memory that you will have, and it will motivate you to keep going and recreate that feeling in the future,” Roel shared. 

Make-A-Wish & Disney: Creating magic for decades on end

For more than 40 years, Disney and Make-A-Wish have worked together to deliver joy when it is needed most to wish kids and their families around the world. Since the very first official wish was granted at Disneyland Resort, Disney has helped fulfill more than 155,000 wishes globally with Make-A-Wish, including for kids like Roel.  

Roel’s story is a testament to the magic of Disneyland Resort and the power of wishes coming true, making memories that will last a lifetime. To learn more about how Disney and Make-A-Wish create magical wishes together, visit wish.org/Disney