It is no surprise that 10-year-old Brendan is a fireworks enthusiast. His fun and bubbly personality shines bold and bright. When Brendan and his family visit amusement parks, their favorite attraction is watching the fireworks light up the night sky. Thus, when Make-A-Wish® offered to grant Brendan, diagnosed with neurofibromatosis, a wish, he shot for the moon and wished to set off the fireworks at Disney’s Magic Kingdom®.
Brendan and his family arrived at Give Kids the World Village, a resort for children like Brendan and spent time enjoying food, entertainment, swimming and lots of all-you-can-eat ice cream. They also visited Universal Studios and SeaWorld.
"From the moment we arrived at the airport to the moment we returned home and landed back in Pittsburgh, we were treated like royalty," said Brendan's dad. "Hundreds of people worked hard and volunteered their precious time to make this the best week of our life."
By far, though, the family’s best memory of the trip was setting off fireworks at Magic Kingdom®. Brendan and his family arrived at City Hall where they were greeted by a member of the fireworks crew. From there, they walked to Cinderella’s Castle to meet the Tech Operations Manager on the fireworks crew who explained the history of fireworks at Disney and showed the family a box of actual firework shells.
Then, it was Brendan’s time to shine as he entered “Mission Control.” He received the start-up key from the crew leader and inserted it into the “live slot.” After a 10-second countdown, he pushed the launch button, and the show began! During the show, Brendan communicated wind speed and direction and misfires to safety spotters located around the park. Brendan’s dad watched in awe saying, “He was really doing this. He was working as a member of the fireworks crew!” At the end of the show, Brendan spoke into the headset, “694 out of 700 fireworks successfully launched. Good job team!”
The family was thrilled to have experienced such a magical part of the Disney experience. Brendan’s dad said, “It was an amazing experience fulfilled by the wonderful men and women at Make-A-Wish. Thank you.” Brendan’s mom also remarked, “I still get goosebumps thinking of how wonderful Make-A-Wish, Give Kids the World, Disney and all the other workers and volunteers were to my family. I can never thank the people involved enough.”