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maroo 08-17-2008 05:05 PM

Make A Wish Sends Lauren to Disney World! * IT IS FINISHED...* *Updated 1/28/09*
Lauren's Make A Wish Trip Report

*** Welcome to the DISboards! It has been brought to my attention that Google is directing people to this thread when they are looking to plan a wish trip to Disney World!

You have found the right place to help plan your wish trip!

I would like to invite all of you reading this to come and join our Wish Trippers Unite thread - Just click HERE and it will take you to the most recent information about planning wish trips. We have LOTS of families planning wish trips and some former families that are still here answering questions and helping families plan!

You may want to just "lurk" - which means you don't register for the website, but just read things...Or you may want to register at and jump right in and introduce yourself and even write a pre-trip or trip report. Many families have indicated one of the highlights of their wish trip experience was being part of the DISboards while they planned and meeting other families going through similar circumstances.

Welcome to the DISboards!!

Now on to the TRIP REPORT!!!

To skip all of this and go to the TR....



continue on...


And thank you so much for reading and posting!!!! :thumbsup2

Hello all! For those of you guys that have already read this TR... everything has changed about the trip! We are very excited, but Lauren could not do Wish Flight (long story) and GKTW was full by the time they figured it all out...

OUR Dates are October 3 - 9, 2008! :)

SO>>>> Let's start over!! :) Let me introduce the cast for the trip:

Lauren: The Wish Teen! Lauren is 15, has progressive cerebral palsy, uses a wheelchair to get around. She qualifies for a wish because she has a significantly low lung capacity and uses a baclofen pump and has progressive cerebral palsy. She is a diva! :cutie: Makes straight A's in school because she works really hard :teacher: and is so excited about Disney World.

William: Lauren's little brother. William is 9 years old. :yay: William actually has some medical issues, too. He is lactose intolerant, has stomach ulcers, frequent headaches and generally doesn't feel well a lot of the time. :sick: He, too, is excited about Disney World. :)

Richard, Lauren's Dad: Richard is a Type I brittle diabetic. And he might just be the most excited about going to DW! He is a very fun and funny :rotfl2: person and has never met a stranger! He will be a trip on this trip!

Lauren's Mom, Lisa: Momma of Lauren and William, Wife to Richard and my best friend. Lisa gets a little stressed she has lots to do :laundy: to take care of her 2 awesome kids and loving husband!

Then there is Me: My friends call me Maroo. :) Short for Mary...although it isn't much shorter. But it sounds more fun! I am going on this trip to help Lauren with her medical stuff (I am her CNA) and keep Lisa sane. :) Make A Wish is going to let me go to help considering we have three folks with medical needs and Lisa sometimes can't handle them all at once. :)

I have been to Disney World many times as a child, once in High School with someone that was disabled and once in college...but that was a while I need any help you guys can give me to help plan this trip!!

We are currently working on figuring out how much we can get done in a day and how to organize our days so that William gets to do as many rides as possible, Lauren doesn't get too hot or worn out and does as much as she can and Lisa doesn't go crazy with too much rushing around and activities. :)

Yeah...I know...:rotfl:

Agenda: See below on this post!

Links for Pre-Trip Report:
Change of Plans! Read this first...
Contemporary Resort, Here we come!
Pixie Dust!
An Update...sorry, no pictures!
The Big Give - Part One! (Can you believe all of this stuff?)
The Big Give - Part Two!
MAW Pre Trip Send off Party!

*** UPDATE (9/26/2008): This is the FINAL (well, maybe) schedule!

Friday - I am actually DRIVING Lauren's wheelchair to Disney World. There are multiple reasons for this, not the least of which was that the airline told me "we treat it like luggage"... I have SEEN what they do to luggage! So, we are not putting her wheelchair on that plane. Lauren and William have never been on a plane, so this will allow them to fly and will help Lauren A LOT so that she is not too tired when she gets there.

I plan to catch the GKTW orientation at 9:00 AM OR catch the afternoon one, depending on when they have orientation. The plane lands at 12:30, so I plan to meet them at the airport. Before I head to the airport, though, I will get the luggage unloaded at the Contemporary. Our rooms probably will not be ready, so I will leave our luggage at the Concierge area.

Once they land, we will head to GKTW. We plan to play at GKTW all afternoon, because they won't have much time there after today. We will eat supper at GKTW and then go to the Contemporary and check in, get our luggage, etc. Someone will head to Walmart to get some last minute items like milk (Lactaid for William) and such. We already have most of our snacks purchased, though!

Saturday - Eat breakfast in the room to save some park time. Magic Kingdom!!! Hopefully by rope drop...or soon thereafter. We will ride stuff, explore and hang out. If Lauren needs a break, we will go to the Wish Room. Lauren and her mom have an AWESOME lunch at the Castle at 3:00, so we will eat some snacks or something earlier in the day. I don't have major "goals" or ride plans for this day. We will probably just start walking around and catch the rides that look fun to the kids. I do have a list of all of the rides and how Lauren can I have to transfer her to a seat on the ride...or can her chair fit, etc. So we are prepared...we are just going to go with the flow.

The Magic Kingdom closes at 7:00 for a MNSSHP (but we aren't going tonight!). We are not sure what we will do for the evening. If everyone is tired, we will head back to the room. If we want to explore some more, we will head to Epcot. I think the plan is to head to the World Showcase and eat some "Food and Wine Festival" appetizers for supper, if we have the energy. :) Depending on where we are in the Contemporary (tower room?? On the park side?), because we may head back to the room to watch the fireworks from the Halloween party, IF we can see them from our room.

Sunday - Sea World!!! We will have breakfast in the room again and our goal is to be at Sea World by 8:15 (hopefully we will really make it by 8:30 or 8:45). Lauren REALLY wants to feed and hang out with the that is our first stop when we get there. Hopefully they will be hungry and come get some fish from Lauren. We have already signed up and paid for "Backstage at Believe"...buffet lunch where they can see the back of the Shamu show and get a behind the scenes look at the training area for the whales. Honestly, we did this because it was not terribly expensive, no lines to wait to get food, and we can eat in a covered place and rest for a while. We will catch all the major shows...Believe (Shamu), Blue Horizons (Dolphin), Clyde and Seamore (will get there early for the pre-show), and Odyssea.

THEN...we will leave Sea World about 4:30 or 5:00 and head to the Pirates Dinner Adventure. We will get discounted tickets through GKTW. We plan to pay a little extra for the "VIP upgrade" so that William can sit near the front and possibly participate in the show! He would LOVE that!

Monday - Character Breakfast at GKTW! We plan to be there in time to do the 9:00 character pictures and then eat breakfast. Then we are going to go back to the Contemporary and head to Epcot (Future World). We will ride Soarin' (I have NO idea how we are going to get Lauren on that ride...but we ARE...somehow... :)) and anything else that we can catch (depending on time, etc). We have a late lunch reservation at Coral Reef at 3:00. We did the late lunch since we were having a late breakfast and to save some $$ by not doing dinner prices. is up in the air. Have we seen the World Showcase yet? Do we want to? Do we have more to explore at Epcot? If not, we will probably head back to the Magic Kingdom. We definitely want to catch the night parade and fireworks at MK. Then, back to the room. :)

Tuesday - Sleep IN!! At least a little. :) We are going to Downtown Disney to shop. We plan to eat at Rainforest Cafe for an early lunch. Then Lauren is going to have a makeover! She is registered to do Hannah Montana, but after some research, it looks like she might want to do Tinkerbell instead. She loves getting all made up and we have the big Halloween party tonight!!! YEAH!! (William will be busy at the toy store and lego store while Lauren is doing this.)

Then we will head back to the room for a little rest time and get ready for MNSSHP! I heard from the grapevine that you can actually get in to MNSSHP at 4:00, so we might head over there early to get this party started!!! We will ride lots of rides, dance, eat lots of candy, and basically have a blast until we completely drop! I anticipate us going to back to the room in shifts, but we can, since it is a monorail hop away. So, as we get tired, we will head to the room. :)

- Late Breakfast at Bouma (Animal Kingdom Lodge). Hang out there as long as we want. Then to MGM. (I know, I know...but it will always be MGM to me...sorry, Disney.) We will stay for the rest of the day and catch everything we can. It is our last park day. We do have an ADR at 50's Prime Time Cafe in the middle of the afternoon (considering a big late breakfast!). And we will see Fantasmic! sad...back to the room.

Thursday - Swim at the hotel (I will drive Lauren's power chair home, so I will leave early). Totally chill out! They will eat at The Wave for breakfast. Their flight leaves mid-afternoon, so they will need to be at the airport a little bit after noon.

NicoleDisneyFan 08-17-2008 10:29 PM

Great start to your trip report! It is great to see that the family has your support!! Make sure that Lauren's mother Lisa gets some of that stress taken away even if it is just for the week to have a special time with her family. Also, make sure to rest as much as possible especially because of both children(teenager)I never like being called a child at Lauren's age...and for Richard too because I am also a diabetic and a lot of walking, running around and activity can really put strain on blood sugars.

Here is a link for the food and wine even

It is our first time to disneyworld so I wish that I could give some information. Looking forward to hearing about your planning and the trip. All the best

GoofyDoo 08-17-2008 10:42 PM

So cool that you get to go, and EXTREMELY cool that you all get to be on the Wish Flight!!! I want to hear all about that! I can't imagine why Lisa would be stressed out very often!! :rolleyes: I know she'll be so thankful to have you there to help out. Sounds like a great prospective itinerary to me! If EPCOT and AK aren't must-dos for you, I think you'll be able to get a TON done in MK! I felt pretty well satisfied that we spent one full day plus one evening there. That was the most important to me! Sounds like your plans to do Blue Man Group at US while the others ride rides will work out great, too. My DH so wanted to see Blue Man Group, but the week we were there they were appearing on Thursday night, and that was Christmas at GKTW. We weren't missing that!

Need some pics!! I'm so looking forward to more. :)

bex271 08-18-2008 07:25 AM

This is great start to the report and Lisa is lucky to be able to have you go and help with everything. can't wait to read more and hear about the wish flight.


AmberGreenawalt 08-18-2008 04:06 PM

Great start to your report. I'm looking forward to reading all about your planning and then the trip itself :)

maroo 08-18-2008 05:34 PM

Thanks all...
Thanks Nicole, I definitely have a goal of helping plan a non-stressful trip! Which I know is a trick at Disney. :) And I am going to start walking 3 times a week now, so that I can get my stamina up. Richard is very athletic, so hopefully that will help with the blood sugar issues. He might actually get less exercise on the trip, as he is a soccer player and runs all the time. So hopefully that will work out to his benefit (and ours! :))

I will look at the food and wine event and see if Lauren would like that. :)

GoofyDoo, We are very excited about the WishFlight! Our trip is working out so that we aren't going to be there on Thursday night, which I am a little disappointed about. Because I have read a lot of good things about the Christmas Party. But we are very excited!

Well, more info to come!! :) Thanks for you help!! :)

maroo 08-20-2008 12:53 PM

New Agenda! :)
Ok...we had some flight changes and have talked with the whole family and have a new agenda! :)
Some questions for you guys: Lauren's little brother has some issues with chronic pain, etc, from his stomach ulcers, :sick: as well as GI difficulty and headaches... Lauren (uses a wheelchair full time and has CP) will get a GAC from GKTW and shouldn't have any trouble...but there may be some rides that William can ride with his parents and Lauren can' do we get William a GAC, too? Would he qualify for one? Our fear is that he will end up in a long line and have to run to the restroom...but we can save his spot? :confused3 Or not?

Also...Dinner Shows...I think we have settled on the Pirates pirate: after talking to friends, this board and researching the options... so does anyone know how GKTW deals with Pirates Dinner Show? I think they have a discount or something for the family, but not sure if it is always available? Should we make reservations anyway?

Thank you all for your help!! We are SOOOO excited. do I post a picture? I was going to try to post a picture of the "cast"... :)

maroo 08-22-2008 12:35 AM

Update... Houston, we have a problem...
This is a quick update. Not sure if there are any folks out there really reading this... but we got a call today that Lauren can't go on the WishFlight. :confused: Evidently it is not safe to have Lauren travel on the plane that they had us booked on. I am not sure I totally understand it. But if it is not safe...we aren't doing it!! :)

Which means we might not be able to stay at GKTW. Lauren didn't know about WishFlight they won't "miss" it...and it will allow us to fly directly there instead of going to Dallas and then Orlando.

Anyway...we should get some more details tomorrow or Monday regarding what the new plans are. The dates will stay the same, because they work VERY well for Lauren's intense school schedule - high school, here we come! (she has exams that end Thursday and then off to DW for the week!! :)) It is possible we will be staying on the WDW site...but not sure where. We are a little nervous about the room we will have...since there are 5 of us and I am not related.

kimmylaj 08-22-2008 05:00 AM

i thought this trip report might help with some of the planning and it is uplifting and wonderful to boot. she has muscular dystrophy (?) and if i remember correctly she talks about what she can and cant ride due to her needs. hope it helps. and have fun

maroo 08-22-2008 08:33 PM

The link

Originally Posted by kimmylaj (Post 27080256)
i thought this trip report might help with some of the planning and it is uplifting and wonderful to boot. she has muscular dystrophy (?) and if i remember correctly she talks about what she can and cant ride due to her needs. hope it helps. and have fun

YES!! that is a fabulous trip report! I have actually read it. All of it, if I am not mistaken! :) It was very, very helpful! :)

maroo 08-22-2008 08:37 PM

We are still not exactly sure how the trip is going to end up...where we will stay or how we will get there. We think the dates are still the same, though :)

We are supposed to get some confirmation from the National Make A Wish office at some point in the next week or so. So I will let you guys know what we end up doing.

It is possible we will fly. And it is possible we still stay at GKTW...or we might drive and stay at GKTW or we might fly and stay on property. Once I we know how we are getting there, what time, etc and where we are staying, I will update the pre-trippie!

maroo 09-02-2008 11:51 PM

NEW TRIP!!!!! Everything changed!!!

Originally Posted by maroo (Post 27095173)
We are still not exactly sure how the trip is going to end up...where we will stay or how we will get there. We think the dates are still the same, though :)

We are supposed to get some confirmation from the National Make A Wish office at some point in the next week or so. So I will let you guys know what we end up doing.

It is possible we will fly. And it is possible we still stay at GKTW...or we might drive and stay at GKTW or we might fly and stay on property. Once I we know how we are getting there, what time, etc and where we are staying, I will update the pre-trippie!

OK>>> start over!!! You can go back to page 1 and re-read this... :) Because it all changed. So, if the comments before this post don't make any sense... well... just read on... hopefully they will start making sense soon!! :)

mrsksomeday 09-03-2008 12:27 AM

Hi, my b/f has CP, is in a power wheelchair, and he has been to WDW 9 times, I have been with him on 4 of those trips. Everyone must be so excited.

May I ask which airline told you that they treat the weelchair "like luggage"? We have flown Southwest each time and they treat his chair with complete and total respect. They allow us to get on the plane first, I transfer him, then they take the wheelchair down on the tarmac. I actually watch them load it on the plane. I have taken pictures each time while they are loading it. That just baffles me that someone would tell you that about the chair. It is an extension of Lauren's body.

It is so great that you get to go and help out.

mistymouse5001 09-03-2008 01:57 AM

Editing for fun...
I love it when everything changes and we get to try to edit pages of post :rotfl: It's so neat that you get to help! Sounds like you have your hands full! You're doing a great job!! :surfweb: Good luck reporting:hug:

SallyfromDE 09-03-2008 09:30 AM

I came across your TR and find I am now having to stick around to see how this mystery ends. :rotfl: Do you have dates yet? My only reccomendation, would be to avoid the MK on the weekend. The crowds can be pretty bad. You most likely may not have to wait in lines becuase of your wish buttons and wheelchair. But it is just a suggestion. I always look for the low level days, then make my plans around that. We went Easter week a few years ago, and never waited more then 15 minutes in a line. Yet I read report after report about how bad the lines were and the crowds.

Can't wait to read more.

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