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I recently shared some of our cast members’ favorite memories with Make-A-Wish recipients and their families, which represented a few of the 100,000 wishes The Walt Disney Company has fulfilled with Make-A-Wish. One Disneyland Resort cast member who has a particularly special connection with Make-A-Wish is Chelsey McConnell.

Before joining the Disneyland Resort Corporate Citizenship team to help fulfill Disney wishes, Chelsey served as an intern with Make-A-Wish, coordinating volunteer work. At one event for wish recipients, Chelsey instantly connected with volunteer Matthew McConnell. A friendship began, and four years later the couple married.

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“It was encouraging to know there was someone out there who cared as much about Make-A-Wish as I did,” Chelsey said. Matthew’s younger brother was a recipient of a wish about 20 years ago that sent their family to Walt Disney World Resort. The trip gave their family a reprieve from the hardships of medical treatment. “Because of that, Matthew wanted to give back to the organization that did so much for his family.”

Instead of gifts to their wedding attendees, the McConnells decided to give back to Make-A-Wish in honor of their guests and used the Disney Employee Matching Gift program to match their donation. Not only does Chelsey work on wish visits to the Disneyland Resort, she and Matthew continue to volunteer with Make-A-Wish. They also participate in the annual Walk for Wishes event and attend the foundation’s annual gala.

“Disney and Make-A-Wish are two big passions for me,” Chelsey said. “One of the reasons I really wanted to work for Disney is because of our commitment to making wishes come true for Make-A-Wish recipients and their families.”

Disneyland Resort Cast Member Finds True Love, Her Calling Through Make-A-Wish by Kevin Rafferty, Jr.: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Some of our favorite things about Disney Princesses are their incredible stories and qualities that help them achieve their dreams, like Tiana’s entrepreneurial spirit to build a business, or Merida’s courage to break tradition. Guests can experience this first-hand when they meet and share a special moment with their favorite princess at our Disney Parks and Resorts around the world.

Disney’s new “Dream Big, Princess” campaign, which launched this week, will bring these great stories front and center to inspire girls and kids around the world to realize their full potential and dream big.

For Academy Award®-winning director/writer of “Frozen” and writer of “Wreck-It Ralph,” Jennifer Lee, it was Disney’s “Cinderella” that helped her dream big. To read Lee’s inspirational letter, click here.

Over the next year, “Dream Big, Princess” will be celebrated with new themes each month tied to the Disney Princesses, such as kindness, friendship and adventure. If you’re staying in one of our resorts or ships, tune your in-room TV to the Company Clips channel to experience the stories of real-life young girls who have dreamed big, including a 16-year-old pilot from Canadian, Texas, and a 14-year-old world champion rock climber from New York City.

Also keep an eye out for “Dream Big, Princess” on Disney Channel during its “Night of Big Dreams” on February 19 (7:30–9 p.m. ET), and during Disney Junior’s “Day of Big Dreams,” February ?26 (8 a.m.–2 p.m. ET) on Disney Channel. And for a fun look at the Disney Princesses, follow the new @TheDisneyPrincesses account on Instagram.

‘Dream Big, Princess’ Inspires Girls and Kids of All Ages to Realize Their Ambitions by Jeffrey Epstein: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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