'I wish that you never stop feeling like a kid' ... 'I wish that you see your friends (Disney characters) and introduce them to your family' ... 'I wish for every day to feel like a celebration' ... 'I wish that you never stop believing.'
These were some of the many wishes expressed on giant screens by Disney cast and crew members and Make-A-Wish kids before Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Chapek and Josh D'Amaro, chair of Disney Parks and Resorts, took the stage.
More than six years in the making
'Disney Wish was more than six years in the making, purpose-built to inspire a sense of delight and wonder,' Chapek said. He added that Disney and Make-A-Wish have granted wishes for more than 145,000 children with critical illnesses, thousands aboard Disney Cruise Line.
'A labor of love'
D'Amaro called Disney Wish a 'labor of love' and said 22,000 people had worked on the ship. Adding a few bits of trivia, he noted 70,000 garments were created for cast and crew. And Rapunzel, the character on the ship's stern, has nearly 60 feet of hair.
D'Amaro acknowledged Thomas Mazloum, president of New Experiences Portfolio and Disney Signature Experiences; Sharon Siskie, SVP and GM, Disney Cruise Line; and Barbara Bouza, president, Walt Disney Imagineering, along with Bernard Meyer, managing partner of shipbuilder Meyer Werft.
Capt. Minnie Mouse and Capt. Mickey Mouse arrived to a shooting star and Anika Noni Rose, who voiced Tiana in 'The Princess and the Frog,' sang 'When You Wish Upon A Star.' Disney characters swarmed the stage, along with Marvel and Star Wars characters.
That set the scene for three Make-A-Wish godchildren ambassadors to step forward and do the Disney Wish naming honors, as a giant bottle tilted on screen, triggering a burst of sparklers, smoke and flares.