Kaletha Hardwick huddled under the fiberglass tree on the fourth floor playground at Children's Hospital of Georgia, listening to the story about Aladdin and not knowing that her favorite Disney character was waiting in the next room to make a surprise appearance.
As cast member Jonathan Nuss finished the tale of Aladdin, all eyes turned toward the hallway for the grand entrance.
The magic of Disney filled the room as Mickey and Minnie Mouse entered, walking arm in arm. The characters, along with other cast members from Disney on Ice Treasure Trove, were there to visit children at the hospital on opening day of their five show stand at James Brown Arena.
For Nuss and the cast members, it’s a chance to make a difference in a child’s life. “I hope it raises their spirits and makes a difference,” he said.
And no one’s spirits seemed more raised than Kaletha's as she made a beeline to give Mickey and Minnie a hug and a kiss.
“I think she was excited because she likes Minnie Mouse,” Kaletha’s mother Saketha Pineda said after her daughter got to meet and pose for pictures with her favorite Disney character. After all, according to her mother, she does have her own Minnie Mouse doll.
But this Minnie threw Kaletha off briefly with her red with white polka dot outfit.
“She's used to seeing the pink one,” (on TV) Pineda quipped. “She's never seen the red and white one.”