By Jerome D. Smith, General Manager, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser welcomed its very first travelers this week, and I could not be prouder of the crew members aboard the Halcyon starcruiser who made this possible. Before we took off on our first official voyage though, the crew made extra magic for some very special kids visiting us through wish-granting organizations like Make-A-Wish as they boarded the magnificent ship before it opened to the public.
As the General Manager of the Halcyon starcruiser, it was a great honor to welcome these travelers. You see, I’m no stranger to the power of a wish. In fact, I have a very special place in my heart for wish families, as my little cousin Cory was the recipient of a Make-A-Wish trip to Walt Disney World Resort more than 20 years ago. Cory was diagnosed with Wilms’ tumor in 1993, and this trip provided a special time for his family to gather together outside of hospital rooms and make lasting memories.
I was reminded of the importance of a wish as the families and kids boarded the ship. The crew and I were filled with renewed energy seeing their faces light up as they entered the grand atrium for the first time and created memories with each other. They each chose their own paths once onboard – some working together to help the Resistance and some joining forces with the First Order.
“Oftentimes, wishes play a key role in helping children build the physical and emotional strength needed to fight – and even overcome – a critical illness, and I have loved hearing from our wish families and chapters across the country as they share their Star Wars stories with us,” Make-A-Wish America president and CEO Richard K. Davis said.
We have a long-standing relationship with Make-A-Wish, partnering together for more than four decades and granting more than 145,000 Disney-inspired wishes together. This wish voyage was a reminder of how fortunate we are to help bring these families together to enjoy our beloved characters and stories – here in our theme parks and in galaxies far away – that help inspire resilience, hope and family togetherness.
We have a saying here on the ship, “together as one,” and we stand together as one with all wish kids and their families.