A Disney trip of a lifetime for a group of Maritime kids will be even more special, as they honour the memory of the man who helped get them there.    

Const. Mark Royal never got to go on a Dreams Take Flight adventure himself. He died of brain cancer last May at the age of 36.

But trip organizer Donnie Vaters says the Cape Breton Regional Police officer did his fair share to make the dream a reality.

"His dream was to go on this trip to Disney one day, and he said, 'Donnie, one of these days if I get well enough, I'd love to go on the trip.' And I said, 'You'd be more than welcome,'" says Vaters.

But Vaters says Const. Royal will be with them in spirit, as their trip of a lifetime is being named in his memory.

"They're all going to have a little piece of Mark with them,” Vaters says. ”Mark was a good guy, and he wanted to do great things for the kids."

One hundred and sixty Atlantic Canadian children are going this year. Vaters says Const. Royal helped get the Cape Breton chapter back up and running, even while battling his illness.

When the group reaches the Magic Kingdom, Vaters says they'll pay their police friend special tribute.

“We're going to get together in front of Cinderella's Palace as soon as we get there,” he says. “We're all going to turn around, we'll have our Cape Breton flag, and we're going to do a little salute to Mark and say, 'Welcome to Disney, Mark.'"

During his last two years with the police, Const. Royal was the director of the force's Cops Against Cancer movement. He was also a longtime volunteer with minor hockey and safe grad programs.

“I think everybody's proud that we had a chance to work with Mark,” says Const. Dwight Miller of Cape Breton Regional Police. “It's just a sign of respect for someone who did so much for the community in the short time he was here."

Const. Royal’s memory will also be honoured in Cape Breton. A first-annual floor hockey tournament in his name will be held in April at the Dominion rink. 

"Hopefully that will raise quite a bit of money,” Const. Miller says. “Last year we raised the best we ever did for Cops Against Cancer, and I think that had a lot to do with Mark."

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Ryan MacDonald.