Disney says its parks are “Where Dreams Come True,” but that statement was never so literal as it was for two foster kids during a recent visit to the Magic Kingdom.
Janielle and Elijah Gilmour, ages 12 and 10, got the surprise of a lifetime in April, when foster parents Courtney and Tom Gilmour announced news of their official adoption date during a visit to Walt Disney World.
“We planned it as soon as we got the [official] date, which was the Friday before our trip,” Courtney tells Fox News.
What Courtney didn’t plan on, however, was that Disney would catch wind of the duo’s plans and offer to lend a mouse-like, white-gloved hand.
After arriving at the park from Portland, Penn., Courtney tweeted out a photo of the family’s Walt Disney World celebration buttons, and the park got in touch to offer a private meet-and-greet with Mickey Mouse himself.
“They got in contact me within minutes,” said Courtney. “I really just thought they were going to give us a free dessert, and I would’ve been completely happy with that!”
Instead, Disney secretly arranged a Memory Maker package for Janielle and Elijah, with a professional photographer documenting their visit with Mickey Mouse.
“When we got there, we knew it was going to happen, we just didn’t know when it was going to happen,” says Courtney.
In the middle of their family’s meet-and-greet, a Disney employee suddenly announced that “Mickey has something really special to share with you guys,” and holds up a small sign telling the children of their official adoption date of May 24.
“We were kind of shocked,” Courtney admits. “They didn’t give a heads up … but Janielle’s reaction was just so natural and pure. They said, ‘Get the family in there!’ and I was like, yeah! We’re the family!’”
Courtney recently shared footage of the sweet moment to Facebook, where it has garnered more than 1 million views in just a few weeks. She also remarked that she’s thrilled the video is bringing so much attention to foster care and adoption efforts.
Courtney and Tom Gilmour had been foster parents to Janielle and Elijah for three years.
“We are all happy Gilmours,” Courtney tells Fox News.