When it comes to creating a wish experience, sometimes it is more than just that one week at Disneyland.
In Ellington’s case, his wish experience started a few weeks before his trip to California and the “Happiest Place on Earth”.
Ellington was invited to the Dugout Suite at an Arizona Diamondbacks game as a guest of Jack-in-the-Box, the company that sponsored his wish experience. He met the President of the Diamondbacks, Derrick Hall, who is also a Make-A-Wish Arizona board member. Ellington was excited to meet Derrick and learn how the team really worked from the top down.
Then he was invited to throw out the first pitch, which meant he was going to be on the jumbotron at Chase Field.
“I've always wanted to be an actor or famous so being on TV, talking about my wish made that real for me,” said Ellington. “It made me even more excited for Disneyland®.”
Soon after his game day experience, Ellington and his family traveled to California to visit Disneyland, and he couldn't wait to get out of the Arizona summer. However, Ellington was in for a big surprise.
“I thought we were just going to Disneyland but we also went to Knott's Berry Farm, California Adventure, and Universal Studios! I didn't know I would get to go to all of the parks and it was so awesome,” said Ellington.
Once inside Disneyland, his wish became even more personal and fun, with Ellington visiting Goofy’s Kitchen and meeting characters like the Mad Hatter, and his two favorites, Chip and Dale. “I love the friendship that Chip and Dale have and they’re really funny. I also think the animation is really impressive because they are realistic but still fun,” said Ellington.
After all of the fun and visiting all of the parks, Ellington couldn't begin to share which was his favorite, though he did have a special memory at Knott's Berry Farm.
“We went to Knott's Berry Farm first, so it was the first time I was ever on a roller coaster. While I was terrified, I ended up really loving it!” said Ellington, “My favorite was the Xelerator. There were tons of twists and turns and it felt like it was going 100 mph! I loved the rush.”
Ellington describes his wish in many ways, but the one that stands out is “magnificent.” He says he is very grateful to Make-A-Wish Arizona and everything they provided him and his family.
“The entire trip was a blast. I really can’t believe that I was able to do everything and have so much fun. Make-A-Wish Arizona really does make wishes come true,” said Ellington.