Three-year-old Elisha Alvarado could not control her excitement. Jumping up and down as she saw her two favorite cartoon characters walk in to the play room. Toys, video games and other activities did not distract her from seeing Disney’s Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse and giving them both a hug.
“This is the highlight of her week,” Vanessa Alvarado, Elisha’s mother said. “She’s been crying all week and when I told her who was coming to visit she didn’t even want to put her shoes on,” she continued.
Last week Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse visited the Edinburg Children’s Hospital and visited with children at one of the play rooms in the hospital and also made individual visits to children who were too sick to get out of bed. Their visit came as a surprise to children and parents at the hospital.
The Disney On Ice Mickey and Minnie’s Magical Journey performed at the Dodge Arena in Hidalgo this past weekend as part of their tour. The show is about Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse traveling into the magical worlds of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, The Lion Kind, Peter Pan and Lilo & Stitch with their friends Donald, Daisy and Goofy.
Performers with the Disney On Ice show make it a point to visit children in locations where they perform. “We try to visit as many children’s hospitals when we are on tour,” said Karannina Fernandes who portraits Lilo in the show. Fernandes said in every city they visit, they try to make stops at children’s hospitals. “When Mickey or Minnie walk inside their hospital room, it is great to see the smiles on their faces,” she said referring to the children they visit.
Fernandes, who is a native of Canada, said visiting with children is possibly the best part of the job. “Some of the children are not as lucky and they don’t deserve that. So when they see Mickey and Minnie, their day gets better and they get excited to see them,” she said.
Dalinda Guillen, Public Relations Coordinator for South Texas Health System said visits like these give children the opportunity to see the characters in person. “Some of the children will not be able to make it to the show, so this is great for them.”