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Critically ill kids treated to World of Frozen |

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Critically ill kids treated to World of Frozen

Dolly Dy-Zulueta -
Critically ill kids treated to World of Frozen
Rhianne, the wish child from the Philippines

MANILA, Philippines — It all started with one child’s wish.

That of Dominic, a child from Singapore who made a wish to meet the Imagineers involved in creating the all-new World of Frozen, which recently opened as a new attraction in Hong Kong Disneyland.

Dominic was diagnosed with hemophilia seven days after being born. Despite having an incurable condition that requires a lifetime of treatment, he has not lost hope but, instead, remains steadfast in his pursuit of knowledge, fueled by a passion for mathematics, science, engineering, and space.

After watching the documentary “The Imagineering Story” on Disney+ during the pandemic, Dominic got deeply inspired by the Imagineers’ creativity and innovative use of technology to build Disney parks and attractions.

“While many Disneyland guests may only see what is presented, I am drawn to explore the rationale behind the scenes,” he said. “The work of Imagineers combines robotic techniques, architecture, engineering and other disciplines, turning imagination into reality through numerous trials and experiments. I am thrilled to meet them to learn more about their work.”

Wish children with Disney VoluntEARS

Jo Phoa, Director of Creative Development of Walt Disney Imagineering Hong Kong, and Angus Chan, Principal Ride Control System Engineer of Walt Disney Imagineering Hong Kong, were so touched by Dominic’s thirst for knowledge and excitement about Imagineering. So they designed a special exploratory tour for Dominic, guiding him through the new attraction Frozen Ever After, which utilizes state-of-the-art Audio-Animatronics technology.

During the exploratory tour, Dominic also learned about the electric motion simulator system of Iron Man Experience—the first at any Disney park—and had the unique opportunity to witness the design process.

This trip to Hong Kong Disneyland was Dominic’s first time to visit a Disney park, and it thrilled him no end to be able to do so. But he was not alone. For the first time in forever, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort (HKDL) teamed up with Make-A-Wish to grant life-changing wishes at the all-new themed land World of Frozen. They hosted an event, Summer Snow Day Wishes Celebration, for critically ill children.

A total of 11 children living with critical illnesses and their families from around the world traveled to Hong Kong to visit the new World of Frozen theme area and have their wishes granted. They are among approximately 130 guests traveling from local Make-A-Wish affiliates, including the Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan, to join the Summer Snow Day Wishes Celebration.

“Making wishes come true is one of the most important work that we do at Disney,” said Jill Estorino, President and Managing Director of Disney Parks International. “In fact, Disney is the largest wish-granter in the world for Make-A-Wish. Hong Kong Disneyland joined that journey when it opened in 2005, and has been bringing Disney magic to the local community and beyond ever since.”

Dominic, the wish child from Singapore who inspired the staging of the Summer Snow Day Wishes Celebration, was among the children who happily explored the new World of Frozen. So was Rhianne, a wish child from the Philippines, whose wish was originally supposed to be granted by the end of 2019. She was ready to travel in early 2020, but then the pandemic hit. During the wait for travel to be safe, Make-A-Wish Philippines continued to engage with her over three years through Disney-themed care packages, a surprise birthday party, and a special invitation to the first Wish Ball to give a testimonial. Throughout the last three years, Rhianne has been bravely going through her medical treatment while patiently waiting for her wish to come true.

“This is my first visit to Hong Kong Disneyland and also my first trip abroad, which is so exciting. I can’t wait to visit World of Frozen and experience Wandering Oaken’s Sliding Sleighs,” Rhianne said.

Experiencing the World of Frozen at Hong Kong Disneyland

“This is a remarkable day for Make-A-Wish. For the first time ever, we are granting wishes from the Southeast Asian region at Hong Kong Disneyland,” said Dr. Kevin Lau, Board Director of Make-A-Wish International. “I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to Hong Kong Disneyland for inviting us to this special event celebrating the power of wishes at the kingdom of Arendelle and joining hands with Make-A-Wish in bringing hope to children from all around the world.”

To commemorate the opening of World of Frozen and the 25th anniversary of Make-A-Wish Hong Kong, the resort will donate HK$10 for every transaction made at Tick Tock Toys & Collectibles in the kingdom of Arendelle to Make-A-Wish Hong Kong until January 10. Combined with the proceeds from the recent “Wish Upon a Chocolate Cake” charity sales at the resort, HKDL plans to contribute a total of HK$600,000 to support the development of Make-A-Wish Hong Kong.

For over 40 years, Disney and Make-A-Wish have together fulfilled more than 150,000 Disney-inspired wishes around the world. The bravery, tenacity, and optimism displayed by the wish children are an inspiration for all cast members at Hong Kong Disneyland, and the resort will continue to work with Make-A-Wish Hong Kong and other Make-A-Wish International affiliates to support the wishes of wish children living with critical illnesses and their families, creating magical memories that last a lifetime.

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