The REAL Magic of Disney

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Beyond the rides and movies, there’s a special Disney magic that few get to see, but is very real. Read on to explore the REAL Magic of Disney.

"Happily Ever After" Fireworks and Projection Spectacular Debuts May 12 at Magic Kingdom Park
photo credit: Walt Disney Co.

The REAL Magic of Disney

At a recent Disney Social Media Moms conference, we had the pleasure of hearing from Bob Chapek, the Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. He said, “There is an intangible and real feeling that sets Disney apart from everyone else.”  If you’ve ever been to one of the Disney parks or on a Disney cruise, you understand what he’s talking about. That intangible and real feeling, and the imagination and the feeling of happy excitement, could easily define the magic of Disney. But, there is more. Much more.

What is the REAL Disney Magic?

The Real Magic of Disney- John Breckow

The REAL magic of Disney is in what the corporation gives back to communities around the world. It is in the wishes they fulfill for thousands of children with life-threatening illnesses and their families each year, and in Disney’s commitment to provide comfort, happiness, and inspiration to kids and families around the globe. At our conference, we met John Breckow, Director of Corporate Citizenship for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. He claims to have the best job in the world, and after listening to him speak, we agree. John oversees the philanthropic and giving efforts across Disney Parks Worldwide. Here is just a glimpse of what we learned about the REAL magic of Disney.

Disney Play Rooms in Chinese Children’s Hospitals

  • Walt Disney himself visited children’s hospitals in his day, taking Disney characters and animators with him to cheer up hundreds of sick kids.
  • When the Shanghai Disney Resort opened in 2016, Disney donated $3.1 million dollars to fund a five-year program to provide 50 Disney Play Rooms in children’s hospitals across China.
  • There are now Disney Play Rooms in Nanjing, Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Chengdu.
  • The colorful play rooms are designed with a focus on the mind-spirit-body connection through play therapy and play curriculum.
  • Shanghai Disney Resort VoluntEARS (Disney cast members and their families) donate their time to bring smiles to children and families during their hospital stays.

Disney and The Make-A-Wish Foundation

  • The Walt Disney Company partners with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to grant hundreds of thousands of wishes for children with medical conditions.
  • 200 hours goes into making sure each wish is a personalized and special experience for each child and his or her family.
  • Studies show the child’s medical conditions improve after receiving taking a break from the stress, and having a fun time with their family. If that isn’t REAL magic, I don’t know what is!
  • Disney has put together some magical campaigns to get the community involved in helping more children have their wishes come true. Do you remember the #ShareYourEars campaign? Disney encouraged everyone on social media to share pictures of themselves with Mickey ears using the hashtag, and donated $5 for every photo shared. They had an incredible response with almost 1.8 million photos posted across social platforms!
Make A Wish Logo
Make A Wish Disney California Adventure
Disney’s 100,000th wish – photo credit: Walt Disney Co.
Disney Share Your Ears Campaign

photo credit: Walt Disney Co.

Mickey and Minnie Mouse Visits

Mickey and Minnie are busy little mice when it comes to worldwide visits. Corporate Citizenship for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts often sends the famous mouse duo to bring hope and encouragement to people hit with a natural disaster or tragedy. Disney doesn’t expect any publicity from these visits. But we wanted to give them props for their efforts!

  • When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, Texas, Mickey and Minnie comforted young and old at area schools and shelters. Disney raised more than $15 million to support relief efforts.
  • Just days after the 2017 Las Vegas shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival that left 58 people dead and 851 injured, Mickey and Minnie visited six hospitals. They talked with doctors, nurses and medical staff who saved hundreds of lives in the aftermath of the tragedy.  One triage medical staffer hugged Mickey for a full minute! They loved seeing that there is still good in the world, and the Disney visitors confirmed that.
Mickey and Minnie at Las Vegas Hospital

Want More Disney Magic?

On land or sea, check out details on these magical Disney experiences!

Learn More

If you need some inspiration and a reason to believe that dreams really do come true, grab a box of tissues and read these wish stories. What we’ve shared here is not even the tip of the iceberg.

Disney Make A Wish Share Your Ears
photo credit: Make A Wish Foundation

To learn more about the charitable giving of The Walt Disney Company, click here.

Disney Charity
photo credit: Walt Disney Co.

The Disney Social Media Moms Celebration is a conference by invitation only for Social Media Influencers. We pay a fee to attend. Disney provided us with complimentary items, discounts, food, and entertainment so we could experience the magic of the Walt Disney Company. We were not required to write about our experiences and all opinions are our own.

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About the author

Echo Blickenstaff

Echo lives in Pleasant Grove, Utah with her husband, Todd, who works in advertising, and her four kids: two girls and two boys. She deploys her accounting degree as the blog’s resident problem solver. In her time outside the kitchen, Echo loves to get away from the phones and busy schedules and spend quality time with the family. Anywhere’s great – but getting out into nature in the mountains or on the beach – is the best kind of getaway.

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