Disney and Make-A-Wish® UK Create a Magical Disney Experience for UK Wish Children

Posted on 20th Jun 2023

News release for immediate use:

This summer, The Walt Disney Company UK & Ireland, Make-A-Wish®UK and The Kentown Wizard Foundation will once again come together to create a magical Disney Wish experience for children living with serious illness.

Hosted at Hoar Cross Hall, over 160 families living with life-limiting or life-threatening illnesses will each experience a special three-day immersive Disney experience, at the Staffordshire hotel, which will be transformed into an enchanted manor from 21 June 29 June.

Many of the Make-A-Wish® families are unable to travel abroad due to their circumstances, therefore the Disney Wish experience provides a memorable opportunity for families to take part in unforgettable events with their favourite Disney stories and characters.

This year’s special activities include: a Princess experience, Marvel training experience, Winnie the Pooh and Friends picnic, Jedi Training Academy, dinner in a Main Street U.S.A-inspired restaurant, a brand-new Moana themed area, a Frozen Sing-A-Long (coinciding with the 10-year anniversary of the original film), and a Mickey & Minnie Bedtime Story. As ever, there will be lots of surprise and delight moments for guests too. To add to the excitement, a week before families arrive, they will receive a letter from Mickey Mouse himself.

Lillia Sheppard, seven, from Sheffield is living with Mitochondrial disease and is just one of the children who will be attending the event. She loves Disney princesses, and can’t wait to meet Belle and Moana in particular.

Emma, Lillia’s mum, said: “Children like Lillia deserve a Wish because they go through so much. It’s something so special, and it’s just for them. Lillia has been through a huge amount but seems to come through smiling every time. We love to keep making memories as a family, and this experience will give us the opportunity to do just that”.

This year, Kimberley Walsh and Mason Mount will be joining as celebrity ambassadors and lending their support, meeting and spending time with wish children and their families, and meeting volunteers.

Deborah Armstrong, Senior Vice President and Country Manager, Disney UK & Ireland, said:

"A Disney Wish makes me so proud to work at Disney. Seeing the positive impact and joy our characters and stories bring to these families is priceless. It's fantastic to see this event return for its third year, knowing it will support hundreds more children living with serious illness and providing Moments That Matter for the wish children and families when they need it the most."

Make-A-Wish UK® Chief Executive, Jason Suckley, said: “Over 60,000 children in the UK are living with a critical illness, and may not be able to travel abroad due to the limits of their condition – or because they tragically may not have long left. We’re absolutely delighted that all these children have had their wishes come true by experiencing the magic of Disney right here in the UK and create lasting memories that they will treasure forever. We are extremely grateful to The Kentown Wizard Foundation and Disney for making this event possible – their support really does mean everything to the children and families who turn to us.”

Margaret Ingram, Chief Executive of The Kentown Wizard Foundation, said: “Over the past 2 years, we have witnessed first-hand the sheer joy that “A Disney Wish” has brought to seriously ill children and their families. We are therefore delighted to once again be collaborating with Disney and Make-A-Wish UK to bring this unique and magical event back to the UK”.

Partners involved in the event include: The Kentown Wizard Foundation, Hoar Cross Hall, EPH Creative, JL Live, Rhino, Jumbulance, Culligan, Print Room, Premier Relocation, Ebuyer, Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Destinations International, Poundland, DNC UK, Jakks, Disguise, Rubies, Simba, Disneyland Resort, Moose, Asmodee, Get Ready Comics, Hasbro, Smiffys, Disney+, Baker Ross, Mattel, Mobility Hire, Direct Mobility, Mars, CoolMed, Tesco, Uber Eats, Soltan, ES Promotions, We Are Tricycle, Roll a Ramp, KUEHNE+NAGEL, Izzy’s Wheels, Amarante.

To find out more about how wishes can help, visit make-a-wish.org.uk or follow the charity on social media: Twitter (@makeawishuk), Instagram (makeawishuk) and TikTok (@makeawishuk).

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For further information, please contact:

Molly Hayward-Sampson at Dundas Communications
[email protected]

Media contact

Simon Henry
Make-A-Wish UK Communications
[email protected]
07786 650922
Make-A-Wish UK, 7th Floor, Thames Tower, Station Road, Reading, RG1 1LX

For images or video footage to support this story, please contact [email protected]

About Make-A-Wish UK

Every day, the lives of 10 families in the UK are changed forever when a child is diagnosed with a serious illness. From that moment, childhood takes a backseat to medical appointments and worry. A wish helps to restore that childhood and puts worry on the backseat. It provides an opportunity to choose something positive to look forward to and the chance to be a child first and a patient second.

Make-A-Wish UK is a registered charity that was established in the UK in 1986 to support children and young people diagnosed with a serious illness or life-limiting condition, by granting them their dearest wish. The charity receives no Government funding - registered charity numbers: 295672 in England and Wales, SC037479 in Scotland.

Notes to editors

We do not use the phrase ‘terminally ill’ and ask that you follow suit because some poorly children and young people are not made aware of the exact nature of their diagnosis and we respect their family’s approach to their situation. Some also recover fully from their illness.

Please refer to us as Make-A-Wish® UK in the first instance to distinguish us from affiliates in other countries. Thereafter ‘Make-A-Wish’ is suitable.

Please hyperlink to our website (https://www.make-a-wish.org.uk) when you mention Make-A-Wish online.

You can also find us on social media @makeawishuk