Disney announces funding for a new state-of-the-art MediCinema at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children

During a visit to London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital, Disney’s CEO Bob Iger continued the company’s longstanding support of children’s hospitals by pledging funding for a new movie cinema for patients and their families, bringing moments of joy to patients, their families, and the staff who care for them. 

Building on The Walt Disney Company’s $100 million commitment to help reimagine the patient experience in children’s hospitals around the world, the fully accessible, state-of-the-art movie experience, was announced by Disney’s CEO Bob Iger during a visit to the hospital this week. As a future development in the hospital, the MediCinema will allow hundreds of seriously ill children and those closest to them to fully immerse themselves in the escapism and shared experience of cinema while being cared for at GOSH. 

Joined by the beloved Emotions from Inside Out, Iger surprised GOSH’s staff and young patients with the news that they, along with patients at nearly 500 children’s hospitals around the world, will be among the first to see Disney and Pixar’s brand new film, Inside Out 2. Iger spent time meeting some of the hospital’s staff, including the dedicated Play team, to hear more about their work and the impact that Disney’s support brings.

Bob Iger, CEO, The Walt Disney Company, said: “Disney’s close relationship with the United Kingdom extends back decades, and we are particularly proud of our lasting work with Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. 

“We hope that this new state-of-the-art MediCinema will bring moments of happiness and joy to the children and families who need it most, and we look forward to continuing to bring the magic of Disney to life in children’s hospitals around the world.”

Disney has had a long history of supporting GOSH, dating back to 1951, when Walt Disney himself first visited the hospital. Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSH Charity) and Disney have also been in partnership since 2008, with Disney helping to raise vital funds to support seriously ill children from across the UK.

Disney is also a founding partner of the charity MediCinema, which for the past 25 years has been building and running cinemas inside hospitals equipped with space for beds, wheelchairs, and medical equipment, bringing the magic of film to patients and their families, at no cost to the patients or the NHS. These film screenings help to ease the stress and anxiety commonly felt during stays in hospital.

Louise Parkes, CEO, Gosh Charity, said: We were delighted to welcome Bob and the beloved characters from Inside Out to the hospital this week, to see first-hand how our longstanding partnership benefits children and their families who come to GOSH for life-changing care. 

Our partnership has seen many exciting developments over the years, and we are thrilled that, following in-depth research with the hospital, the next stage will be building a new indoor play area for children and their families at GOSH, located just by the Disney Reef in the hospital’s café area. Alongside the announcement that Disney will be providing future funding to enable a state-of-the-art MediCinema at the hospital, we have an incredible few years ahead, and we’d like to thank Disney for all their ongoing support.”

Matthew Shaw, CEO, GOSH, said: “Coming to hospital isn’t just about appointments, stethoscopes and tests, we want it to be about children and their families – with a bit of syringe painting, singing and therapy dogs thrown in for good measure. 

“Our staff go above and beyond to try and ensure children feel as welcome and as comfortable at GOSH as possible, and we’re delighted Disney is continuing to make our hospital that bit more special.”

Colin Lawrence, CEO MediCinema said: “Our cinemas help patients and those closest to them to cope at very challenging times, and I am thrilled that thanks to the support of Disney and partnership with GOSH Charity we will be creating a MediCinema at this world-renowned children’s hospital.”

Disney’s commitment to uplift children facing serious illnesses has been a pillar of the company for nearly a century and continues to this day. In 2018, Disney announced a global commitment of $100 million to help reimagine the patient experience in children’s hospitals and other paediatric places of care. Teams across the company, including the world-renowned Walt Disney Imagineers, worked with a global network of experts to identify unique experiences Disney could provide to ease the fear and anxiety of a hospital stay, and share the positive power of Disney stories, characters and immersive experiences. Since then, Disney has supported more than 1,300 hospitals worldwide. 

As one of the very first beneficiaries of the initiative, in 2018, GOSH unveiled its new underwater-themed outdoor play area, the Disney Reef, which provides a place for children to spend time alongside some of their favourite characters.  Together, Disney, GOSH and GOSH Charity are also creating a new indoor play area at the hospital, and Iger saw the plans for the new space.