Queen Elsa casts spell of smiles for hospitalized children

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COLUMBIA- It’s no secret anything related to a Disney character can dazzle a child.

Lauren Kight, a senior at the University of Missouri, has been dressing up as Queen Elsa from the popular children’s movie "Frozen" since her freshman year of college.

She started with birthday parties for children in her hometown of Jerseyville, Illinois.

“I would show up in my snowflake dress and sing songs from "Frozen" to the kids for their birthday. They always got a kick out of it,” Kight said.

This year, she broadened her Elsa magic to cheer up children staying at MU Women’s and Children’s hospital.

She visited the hospital for the first time recently. Even though she had to cover her sparkling snowflake dress with a medical gown, she still charmed her audience while singing “Let it Go.”

“It was amazing. I loved walking in and seeing the look on each child’s face when I said their name and made them feel so special," Kight said. " I can’t get enough of it! I want to keep doing this forever.” 

One little boy named Tyson got especially excited when Queen Elsa showed up in his room.

“Every little thing he did, I couldn’t get enough of. He was so happy, so joyful,” Kight said.

Tyson’s mother, Valerie Jones, said his absolute favorite characters are the Ninja Turtles or Batman, but he loves Elsa too.

Tyson lit up when Kight waved her arms to use her pretend ice powers and say, “Be careful, I might freeze you!”

“Nobody can deny Elsa,” Jones said.

Kight said she loves the environment the hospital creates.

“Even though it should be kind of a sad place, it’s really not. It’s the opposite. I think that is what makes the MU Children’s hospital so cool, because there is always hope and a reason to push on,” Kight said.

To transform into Elsa, Kight starts with full makeup, including false lashes and braiding her long light blonde hair. She pins snowflake barrettes into the braid to top off the look. Her dress is adorned with silver snowflakes and light blue fabric reaching to the floor.

“All you need is a lot of glitter!” she said.

Kight said she is excited for the second "Frozen" movie to come out so she can keep playing the favorite character. 

“If I can somehow be a part of the reason a kid laughs or smiles just once then I will continue to do it for as long as I possibly can,” she said.