Eighty kids from the Atlantic provinces have landed in Orlando, Florida for a day of chasing down Mickey Mouse and laughing on roller coasters.

The children have various health challenges and were selected by the Sunshine Foundation of Canada for a one-day trip of a lifetime to the Walt Disney World Resort.

They left Halifax early Wednesday morning.

The CBC's Phonse Jessome was along for the ride, chronicling their adventures through the day. He said the flight to Orlando was relatively quiet, as many of the children slept after gathering at the airport at 2 a.m.

"Others watched — appropriately enough — a Disney movie," he said, laughing.

Each child is teamed with two volunteers.

The charity was started by a police officer who lost his son. The connection with police was evident Wednesday, as 35 members of the Halifax Regional Police volunteered to help out.

After they landed in Orlando, the flight was greeted by members of the Orange County Sheriff Service.

The children get to decide how they spend the day. Some said they wanted to stay in groups with their friends, while others sought out specific rides or a meeting with their favourite characters.

Jessome said many were eager to find Mickey Mouse.

It's a quick trip — the children will return to Halifax on Wednesday night.

This is the 51st DreamLift organized by the Sunshine Foundation. It's the first time in 15 years the trip has originated in Halifax.

Jessome's participation was not sponsored by the foundation. The CBC paid for his flight.