Wish kids walk in parade at Disneyland Paris

World Wish Day: How Disney Celebrates Around the World  

Happy World Wish Day®! From animal-themed wishes at Disney’s Animal Kingdom to a very special “Cars” wish in Hong Kong Disneyland Resort; here’s how Disney parks are joining Make-A-Wish this World Wish Day. 

Celebrated every year on April 29, World Wish Day marks the anniversary of the wish that inspired the founding of Make-A-Wish in 1980. In 2024, Disney continues to be the world’s largest wish granter for Make-A-Wish and has granted more than 155,000 wishes over the past 44 years. 

“We’re thrilled to spend another year celebrating World Wish Day at our parks and experiences around the world,” said Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Experiences, and Make-A-Wish America Board Member. “It’s an honor to witness first-hand the transformative power of a Disney wish in the lives of thousands of wish kids and families every year.” 

Disney World Helps Wild Wishes Come True 

On the heels of its largest wish-granting event ever, Walt Disney World Resort made four wild wishes come true for children wanting an up-close experience with Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment team. They had the opportunity to meet the animal keepers featured in “Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom,” ride an exclusive safari at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, have an up-close encounter with cotton-top tamarins and lemurs, a private visit with cast and a few furry friends at Rafiki’s Planet Watch and more. One wish child named Cora even had the chance to meet baby elephant Corra who made her big savanna debut at Disney’s Animal Kingdom two months ago. 

Wish kids get behind the scenes look at animals at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Beyond this, Walt Disney World is helping to make even MORE wishes come true through the sales of its specialty license plate in Florida, which have raised more than $2.5 million for children with critical illnesses and their families through Make-A-Wish Central and Northern Florida. 

The Force is Strong at Disneyland 

Among the many wishes that Disneyland Resort grants year-round, a few unique Star Wars™ experiences stand out. 5-year-old Lucas visited Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge along with his friends and family for a day filled with immersive experiences including building his own Lightsaber at Savi’s Workshop and discovering the Dark Side with Kylo Ren and stormtroopers. Earlier this month, 8-year-old Kanton had his own Star Wars adventure and met the Mandalorian and Grogu before battling the First Order at Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

Disneyland Paris, Wish Kids are all ‘Stars’ 

Disneyland Paris held another edition of Wish Weekend from April 26 to 28, an unforgettable wish-granting experience for 85 wish children and their families from 12 different countries. This year’s event was inspired by the song “I’m a Star” from Disney’s latest animation film “Wish” with kids, VoluntEARS and Wish Makers participating in a pre-parade in Disneyland Park. Some of the highlights from the weekend include a “Wish Upon a Star” breakfast the kids and families got to enjoy, a parade with Asha and Mickey and special meet and greets to top it all off. 

Lightning McQueen Welcomes Wish Kid at Hong Kong Disneyland 

Hong Kong Disneyland Resort teamed up with Make-A-Wish Hong Kong to grant a wish for 8-year-old Heison. A big fan of Lightning McQueen since he was two, Heison found great inspiration in his favorite character’s speed and resilience, especially during his own battle with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. After bravely completing treatment in 2019, Heison wished to meet the beloved character who was a source of strength during the treatment.  

To grant his wish, Hong Kong Disneyland invited Heison to meet and roll with Lightning McQueen at the park Processional. During the parade, renowned racecar driver, Jonathan Hui joined to march alongside them. The trio of heroes were cheered on by over 400 guests including wish children and their families, medical staff from Hong Kong and Macau and Disney VoluntEARS. 

Wish kid Heison meets Lightning McQueen with an outfit to match the car

Disney Ambassador of Tokyo Disney Resort Making Magic for Wish Kids in Japan 

Disney Ambassador of Tokyo Disney Resort Nodoka Mikata will greet Make-A-Wish children from Japan at a World Wish Day ceremony. Shortly after the ceremony, 9-year-old Miku-chan will go to Tokyo DisneySea fulfilling her wish to have her photo taken with Duffy and ShellieMay. Meanwhile, 5-year-old Chi-chan will go to Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Tokyo Disneyland Hotel to be transformed into a princess. 

Shanghai Disney Takes 200th Wish to Infinity and Beyond  

Shanghai Disney Resort celebrated by sponsoring the Make-A-Wish Shanghai charity gala at the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel, looking back on the wishes granted at this park since 2016. They also granted their 200th Disney wish in March where 8-year-old Zuozuo and his family got to meet his favorite character Buzz Lightyear from the Pixar Animation Studios’ film series Toy Story! At the Toy Story Hotel, Zuozuo was also tasked with a special mission to become a pirate for the day and hunt for treasure before ending the day as the Grand Marshal of Mickey’s Storybook Express.  

Granting Wishes in Hawaii from our ‘Ohana to yours 

In 2024, Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa is hosting three ‘wish week’ events – the first two, one in March and one in May, will host more than 40 wish children and their families for a full Hawai’i adventure, including a lū‘au, dance parties and character meet and greets.  

In a Galaxy Down Under… 

Disney Consumer Products is helping Make-A-Wish Australia grant 16-year-old Alex’s wish of becoming one with the force by building his own custom Lightsaber powered by kyber crystals from the far reaches of the galaxy. On May the 4th he will embark on an extraordinary adventure in Queensland, Australia. 

Making wishes and dreams come true is at the core of everything we do at Disney. We’ve worked alongside our friends at Make-A-Wish for more than 40 years to grant more than 155,000 Disney wishes together. Learn more about Disney’s work with Make-A-Wish at joy.Disney.com