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Year In Review: 2021’s Most Feel-Good Disney Stories

Much like 2020, 2021 was a tough year for a lot of people. Many hoped that COVID would finally be under control, and for a while, things were moving in a positive direction, but the past couple of months have been reminding people of early 202o. Tensions seem to be at an all-time high, but that does not mean there were not some bright spots this year. A lot of amazing things happened for a lot of people, and it is important that we remember those good moments.

Disneyland Cast Members

Credit: Disney

Let’s take a look at some of the most feel-good Disney-related things that happened this year.

Little Girl Becomes a Princess

5-year-old Olivia McCleary has been battling multiple chronic illnesses — including cerebral palsy and epilepsy — her entire life. She is also currently the only person alive living with Pilarowski- Bjornsson Syndrome, but she never lets that get her down. The courageous little girl had dreams of becoming a princess, so two Orlando area charities — Give Kids the World and Majic Messengers — teamed up to turn Olivia into her favorite Disney Princess, Elsa from the 2013 film Frozen. After they transformed Olivia, she was then given an incredible photoshoot so she and her family could have those wonderful memories to look back on.

Credit: Photographer Chris Glenn

Read More: 5-year-old girl with multiple illnesses becomes a Disney princess for Christmas

Autistic Teen Leads Main Street Philharmonic in Christmas Parade

This year, as in years past, the Main Street Philharmonic was a highlight of Disney’s magical Christmas Day parade. However, this year they were led by someone very special — 17-year-old Luke Barry from Mansfield, Massachusetts. Luke was diagnosed with autism when he was just a toddler, and at the same time, he developed a deep love of music. Luke has over 30 instruments and leads a parade in his neighborhood for his birthday. The Main Street Philharmonic heard about Luke and invited him to lead them down Main Street for the annual holiday parade.

Credit: Disney

Read More: Autistic Teen Leads Main Street Philharmonic in Christmas Day Parade

New Jersey Boy Surprised With Trip to Disney World

Much like Olivia McCleary, 6-year-old Sebastian Foster has spent most of his childhood in and out of hospitals because he was born with chronic kidney disease. Due to his illness, his family has never been able to take a vacation together. Fortunately, Sebastian was able to get a much-needed kidney transplant during the pandemic, and a local charity decided to help the little boy celebrate this milestone. Baking Memories 4 Kids — a local charity near Sebastian’s home — surprised him and his entire family with a paid-for vacation to the Most Place on Earth.

Credit: ABC6 Action News

Read More: Chronically Ill New Jersey Boy Surprised With Walt Disney World Vacation

Louisiana Principal Surprised With Disney World Vacation

Marco French has only been the principal of Queensborough Elementary School in Shreveport, Louisiana for two years, but in that time, he has taken the school from one on the verge of closure to one of the top pubic schools in the state. Mr. French believes that children not only learn from books but from the world and people around them. That is why he does things, like teach his students a proper handshake and teaching children how to build a résumé. French’s hard work did not go unnoticed by some people at Disney, and they worked with his school and family to surprise him with a Walt Disney World vacation.

Marco French

Credit: Disney

Read More: A Louisiana Principal Turned His School Around, So Disney Surprised Him With an Ultimate Vacation

Little Girl Hands Out Flowers to Cast Members

Cast Members have been through a lot these past couple of years. Tens of thousands were furloughed when the parks were forced to shut down due to the pandemic. And now they have to deal with changing policies and a lot of Guests who can be less than polite. However, one girl is hoping to add a little bit of brightness to the days of the Cast Members she encounters on her trips to the Happiest Place on Earth. Miss Ellie Honeybee — as she is known on social media — visits Disneyland with her family on a regular basis and always brings flowers with her to hand out to the Cast Members, and brightens their days along the way.

Credit: Miss Ellie Honeybee Instagram

Read More: Adorable Girl Brightens Cast Members’ Days

Little Boy Greets Disney Princesses

There are just some things that make your heart absolutely melt, and this story may be one of them. Earlier this year, a woman was watching a princess cavalcade at Magic Kingdom Park and noticed a young boy acting like a true prince. Each time the little boy saw a princess, he would take his hat off. Not only did millions of people who saw the video love it, but so did each princess, who seemed to be shocked at his incredible manners.

Credit: Vanessa Geudert TikTok

Read More: Video Goes Viral of Little Boy Greeting Disney Princesses

Cast Member Helps Guests With Directions

Some Cast Members absolutely love their job at Disney, regardless of what it is. They could be working on an attraction, or helping feed the masses, or even being a part of the team that keeps the Parks clean and beautiful. One Disney Cast Member also loves to interact with Guests and give them a laugh with his jokes. The Cast Member saw a fork laying on the ground and then asked a Guest if he needed directions — there was a fork in the road, and he didn’t want the Guest to get lost. Just a little bit of Disney magic to make the Guests day even more memorable.

cast members vaccine mask

Credit: Becky Burkett

Read More: Video of Disney Cast Member’s Joke About Directions Is Too Cute

We hope you loved these stories as much as we did. It is always great to read about the magical things that people do for one another throughout the year.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!