ANAHEIM, Calif., March 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- In front of a crowd of wish granters, volunteers, and wish families, Disneyland Resort and Make-A-Wish® celebrated the success of the global "Share Your Ears" campaign and announced that Disney Parks will double its original donation from $1 million to $2 million in recognition of the overwhelming support from fans around the globe.
To honor the 100,000th Disney wish granted globally, and in celebration of Disneyland Resort's 60th Anniversary, fans were invited to share images of people wearing Mickey Mouse Ears or creative interpretations of ears. Photos uploaded with the hashtag #ShareYourEars unlocked a $5 donation from Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, up to $1 million.
"We were overwhelmed by the response to Share Your Ears," said David Williams, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish America. "The campaign not only raised valuable funds for wish granting, it allowed us to engage with both current Make-A-Wish supporters and those who learned about us for the very first time. We now have a worldwide community who is more enthusiastic about our unique relationship with Disney than ever before."
Today Disney Parks announced that it would donate $2 million to Make-A-Wish, double the original pledge, to recognize the outpouring of public support for the campaign. An exclusive dazzled Ear Hat and two exclusive Disney experiences are part of a Make-A-Wish sweepstakes to raise additional funds. Proceeds from the sale of collectible 60th Anniversary Ear Hats sold at Disneyland also will go to Make-A-Wish.
"We're thrilled that so many of our guests, fans, and cast members supported Make-A-Wish by sharing their ears and joining Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in making even more children's wishes come true," said Bob Chapek, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.
For more than 35 years, Disney and Make-A-Wish have granted the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions, touching millions of people around the world. Nearly 8,000 Disney-related wishes are granted worldwide every year – including experiences at Disney theme parks, voyages on Disney Cruise Line, meetings with Disney characters, and visits to TV and movie sets – making Disney the most popular request by Make-A-Wish children.
Jon Stettner, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish International said: "We are grateful to Disney and the hundreds of thousands of fans around the world who shared their simple, artistic and sometimes even wacky ears. It's because of you that wish kids and families experience the life-changing power of a wish-come-true."
For more information, visit www.ShareYourEars.org.
Make-A-Wish® grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Based in Phoenix, Arizona, Make-A-Wish is the world's largest wish-granting organization, serving children in nearly 50 countries on five continents. With the help of generous donors and more than 32,000 volunteers worldwide, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the world every 21 minutes on average. Since 1980, it has granted more than 350,000 wishes to children around the world. For more information about Make-A-Wish America, visit wish.org and for more information about Make-A-Wish International, visit worldwish.org.
ABOUT WALT DISNEY PARKS AND RESORTS
Disney Parks and Resorts are where dreams come true. More than sixty years ago, Walt Disney created a new kind of entertainment families could experience together, immersed in detailed atmospheres and vibrant storytelling. His vision now includes a collection of five of the world's leading family vacation destinations – Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, Calif.; Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.; Tokyo Disney Resort, Urayasu, Chiba, Japan; Disneyland Paris, Marne-la-Vallée, France; and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, located on Lantau Island. A sixth resort, Shanghai Disney Resort, is opening in June 2016 in Pudong New District, Shanghai, China. In addition, Disney Parks and Resorts includes the world-class Disney Cruise Line; Disney Vacation Club; Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa; Adventures by Disney, a guided group vacation experience to some of the world's most popular destinations; and Walt Disney Imagineering, which creates and designs all Disney parks, resorts and attractions.
SOURCE Walt Disney Parks and Resorts