By Elissa Margolis, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Social Responsibility
Helping children and families facing serious illness dates back to when Walt Disney himself joined animators and characters at children’s hospitals to bring patients a little more comfort and joy.
Sharing the magic of Disney with children continues today as part of Disney’s philanthropic and outreach commitment to dedicate resources that deliver comfort and inspiration to children and families. Through this five-year, $100 million investment, transformations to the patient experience will take place in children’s hospitals around the world.
And I am thrilled to share that in Central Florida, these transformations will soon expand and make an impact in three local hospitals including AdventHealth for Children, Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital and Nemours Children’s Hospital.
Areas within these children’s hospitals will be reimagined with interactive play spaces, whimsical murals and comfort corridors that bring our beloved characters and treasured Disney stories to life, all while providing positive distractions to ease the stress of a hospital stay. There is so much that goes into these transformations, so let’s take a behind the scenes look into what it takes to bring them to life.
Using the powerful combination of our much-loved characters, innovation and legendary creativity, teams across Disney, including Walt Disney Imagineers, worked with patient care experts to create these healing experiences that are distinctly “Disney” and designed to inspire young patients and families. The patient care experts’ medical insights have been invaluable in helping our talented Imagineers to bring the stories and characters of Disney to life through mesmerizing and interactive technology. Hear more from the team in the video below!
Disney has a long history of caring for children, which includes granting nearly 10,000 wishes annually through the Make-A-Wish Foundation and sending care packages to children’s hospitals. “We are thrilled that this important initiative is expanding to three of our local children’s hospitals right here in Central Florida,” said Rena Langley, senior vice president of communications and public affairs at Walt Disney World Resort.
Beyond the experts behind the magic of this company commitment, there’s already been an overwhelming response from the three Central Florida children’s hospitals that will soon receive transformed spaces. The anticipation and joy for this program to arrive is incredible, and each hospital’s response reminds me that we are impacting so many lives in tremendous ways.