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Belle surprises patients at AdventHealth for Children with a princess party

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Walt Disney World Resort and Starlight Children’s Foundation hosted a princess party fit for royalty for the young patients at AdventHealth for Children, complete with a visit from Belle and a new delivery of Disney Starlight Hospital Gowns and Pants inspired by beloved heroines like Cinderella, Ariel, Mulan, Belle and Tiana.

“After the stressful week we had, this was the biggest blessing,” said one patient’s mom, Iris Melendez. “The moment she put on the gown, she said, ‘Mom, I’m a princess.’ It’s amazing to now see her happy, relaxed and motivated.”

Disney Princess Belle reads with a young patient at AdventHealth for Children in Orlando.

AdventHealth for Children's flagship campus in Orlando is home to the Walt Disney Pavilion, which features Disney best practices, theming, characters and activities to make hospital stays more comfortable for young patients and their families.

“Our clinicians work tirelessly to provide expert care and make hospital stays less scary for our young patients, because we’re not just in the business of treating a child’s physical ailments, but treating the whole child – body, mind and spirit,” said Dr. Rajan Wadhawan, senior executive officer of AdventHealth for Children. “I can’t think of a better way to fill their hearts and lift their spirits than a visit from Belle herself and the opportunity to channel their inner princess."

This latest donation of princess-inspired hospital gowns is the most recent collaboration between Disney and Starlight Children’s Foundation, a national nonprofit organization that aims to provide programs to hospitals and medical facilities across the country to help kids cope with the stress of being hospitalized. For more than 20 years, the two organizations have worked together to help create positive memories during hospital stays through entertainment and personal moments that deliver joy and comfort.

Disney Princess Belle hugs a young patient at AdventHealth for Children.

“We are so grateful to collaborate with Disney for so many years to deliver happiness to hospitalized kids and their families,” said Adam Garone, CEO of Starlight Children’s Foundation. “Our collaboration allows us to transform the hospital experience for kids across the country through our vital programs – like today’s princess-themed delivery.”

Events like this are part of Disney’s $100 million global commitment to help reimagine the patient experience in children’s hospitals and pediatric places of care around the world, creating distinctly Disney experiences that deliver moments of joy when they’re needed most. 

“Our characters demonstrate strength and courage, and that’s exactly what we hope to inspire in these young patients,” said Tajiana Ancora-Brown, Director of External Affairs at Walt Disney World. “Alleviating stress and bringing new, happy memories for families during a hospital stay – even if just for a moment – is some of the most important work we do.”

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