Recently, Walt Disney World Resort, Disney Cruise Line, and Starlight Children’s Foundation surprised patients at two children’s hospitals in Florida with some extra pixie dust, delivering a mobile movie theater unit, character-themed hospital wear, toys, and more. It’s all part of The Walt Disney Company’s global commitment to help reimagine the patient experience in children’s hospitals around the world—a $100 million pledge that began in 2018.
“We know that a little Disney magic can go a long way in making someone’s day, and that’s exactly why events like these are so important to us,” said Tajiana Ancora-Brown, Director of External Affairs at Walt Disney World Resort. “A hospital stay can often be overwhelming, and we hope these special deliveries will bring new happy memories, inspire hope and help build resilience for these patients and families across Florida and around the world.”
Mickey Mouse joined in the celebration at AdventHealth for Children, along with Disney leaders and cast members, as patients enjoyed an advanced screening of Disney On Ice presents Frozen & Encanto to mark the arrival of this new theater. It was the first of six mobile movie theater donations by Disney to hospitals and nonprofit organizations across central and south Florida. These efforts build on Walt Disney World Resort’s long legacy of supporting those in need and join other recent initiatives, including the return of regular character visits to children’s hospitals in Central Florida.
Meanwhile, Captain Minnie Mouse joined Disney Cruise Line cast and crew members in Fort Lauderdale at the Salah Foundation Children’s Hospital at Broward Health for the first wave of deliveries being made to children’s hospitals in several port communities across the country. “We jumped at the chance to participate in the event,” said Shameem Adam, Crew Engagement Manager. “Of course, we love bringing happiness and magic to our guests onboard, but today was really special. We were grateful for the opportunity to help bring some joy and smiles to the children and their families.”
The theaters will screen new releases and beloved classics to help create positive memories during a child’s time at the hospital, in addition to immersive experiences and personal moments that deliver joy and comfort. Patients and families will continue to enjoy the latest Disney storytelling through complimentary Disney+ access and first-run movies through Disney Movie Moments, both provided to child life professionals.
“Our hearts are full knowing we can ease the burden and anxiety for our young patients and their families—at least for a little while,” said Bruce Bergherm, President and CEO of AdventHealth Tampa. “We believe in healing the whole person—body, mind, and spirit—and this opportunity is exactly what our patients need as part of their recovery to feel whole.”
Throughout March, Walt Disney World Resort and Disney Cruise Line will deliver nine additional mobile movie theater units to hospitals and nonprofit organizations across Florida and the United States—with more theaters arriving at children’s centers around the world very soon.