Christian Marlowe, a 5-year-old from Coos Bay, Ore., was all smiles today aboard a magic carpet when he, along with the Genie from Aladdin, a huge magic lamp and a special cake, arrived in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland for a ceremony in his honor. Christian is the 50,000th child to have a Disney theme park wish granted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Disney. His special wish was simple: he wanted to visit Disneyland and meet Mickey Mouse.
In attendance with Christian, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, was his brother Anthony, his sister Jennifer and his parents Lisette and Alex. Also recognized during the ceremony was Octaviana Trujillo, who is the mother of Frank "Bopsy" Salazar -- the very first child to have a wish granted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Disney 25 years ago. More than 75 other past and present wish children from around the U.S. and abroad also gathered as ambassadors for the week-long celebration, which also commemorates Make-A-Wish's 25th Anniversary.
In addition to being a part of the 50,000th wish celebration, the ambassadors were featured guests during a Cinderella-themed birthday party last night, and they will ride in a Disneyland parade, enjoy a performance of Disney's "Aladdin - A Musical Spectacular" and attend a live concert at Disney's California Adventure Park during the rest of the week.
"Through all of our outreach programs, Disney is committed to granting wishes for children to brighten their lives, and the lives of their families, when they need it most," said Jody Dreyer, senior vice president, Disney Worldwide Outreach. "Through our work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, we are proud to make possible the special wishes of children that bring joy to them in so many meaningful ways."
"Each child in attendance here today serves as an inspiration to all children confronting life-threatening medical conditions," said Make-A-Wish Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer David Williams. "Children's wishes not only bring them happiness and give them something to look forward to during treatment, but they also give the family quality time to spend together."
Relax and enjoy they did. Mickey invited Christian to his house for a special meet and greet before the park opened. The two new friends spent time together and took a walk together, hand-in-hand, through the streets of Mickey's Toontown. Christian is also spending a week at the Disneyland Resort as part of his wish.