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Disney World Cast Members, Fans & Adults Band Together to Make Terminally Ill Child’s Day

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Cinderella Castle, Magic Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World Resort / Credit: Disney

In a heartwarming turn of events, cast members, fans, and Disney adults banded together to help make a terminally ill child’s day.

The Walt Disney World Resort is known for being “The Most Magical Place on Earth” and for good reason. Guests can immerse themselves in the Disney experience with a stroll down Main Street, U.S.A., or a ride on Space Mountain or Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in the Magic Kingdom. Alternatively, one can also enjoy safaris with the animals at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park or a walk on Sunset Boulevard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

There’s so much to love about the Disney Park itself, and recently, the heart of the Disney experience—Disney cast members—banded together with fans and Disney adults to help a young terminally ill boy make the most of his time at the park.

New Events Mickey's not-so-scary halloween party

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party / Credit: Disney

Little Drew Patchin, currently ten years old, has survived brain cancer twice. In the past, each time the brain cancer had come back, the doctors managed to surgically remove the tumor. However, with its latest return, the surgeons explained to Patchin’s family that the cancer was inoperable, and the family probably had nine months left with him.

Jennifer Patchin, Drew’s mother, along with her family, decided to make that time wholly about her young son. He’d been featured in local news a few times during his battle with brain cancer, and he’d loved the rush of being recognized like a celebrity in his hometown of St. Louis, Patchin said.

So, the family trekked down to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom to see if they could also find a way to give Drew the celebrity treatment at the Disney Park.

Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood Studios Theme Park

Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Theme Park, Walt Disney World Resort / Credit: Disney

Related: Devastated Mother Hopes to Take Terminally Ill Son to Disney World

One event the family attended was Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, where Drew hoped to find his favorite character, Dopey, from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Patchin’s sister posted online to see if anyone could help them with their mission to help Drew feel like a celebrity by “recognizing” him.

A TikTok creator jumped in to help the request go viral, and the rest worked like magic, pun intended. As the Washington Post reported, “Everywhere Drew went during the Sept. 29 party, visitors and Disney employees shouted his name, asked for autographs and posed for photos.”

Moana Meet and Greet Disney's Animal Kingdom

Moana Meet and Greet at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park / Credit: Disney

Related: Teen Faked a Brain Tumor to Raise Funds for Disney World Vacation

The entire experience truly made little Drew Patchin’s day. When his mother asked him later what his favorite part of the day was, he had a simple answer.

“All of it.”

More on Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World

Magic Kingdom Park is one of the most famous Disney theme parks in the world. It’s home to the iconic Cinderella Castle, the famous Haunted Mansion, Walt Disney World Railroad, Jungle Cruise, TRON: Lightcycle/Run, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and more. The park will also soon be home to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, the rethemed Splash Mountain.

About Priyanka Kumar

Priyanka is a writer, artist, avid reader, and travel enthusiast based in Chicago. In her free time, she is probably walking by the lake, catching up on the latest releases on TV, or spending inordinate amounts of time rewatching Moana, Encanto, and her Disney Channel life-long favorites Zack and Cody wreak havoc on the Tipton.

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