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Old 12-26-2009, 03:46 PM   #1
StefaniLyn
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Bella’s Very Merry WISH-mas Party ~ 10 Days of Dreams Come True MAW/GKTW Dec 3-10

After months of planning, hours of DISing, days of packing, and with just minutes to spare before our ride picked us up to head off for the airport, the time had FINALLY come for Princess Bella’s Make A Wish trip to Disneyworld to come true.

STOP. Wait just one minute! I think I need some sort of an introduction first, right? A little history, a bit of background information maybe? The Who, What, When, Where and Why. . . . isn’t that how every good story begins? If you’re interested in going way back in time and reading about our planning process, my pre trip report, Fairy GodMAW Grants Princess Bella's WISH! Can be found here.

Before we begin, I feel obliged to caution you of a few quirks that will likely accompany this trip report:
1. Me = First Time TR Writer. Please be gentle! I’m just hoping to get throuh this without violating any DIS laws, boring you to death, or burning your eyes out with an intense deluge of pictures. Which brings me to #2 -
2. Warning: This TR will be VERY photo intensive. I take A LOT of pictures and I like to share them. DH estimated I took over 4000. I think it’s closer to 2000, but either way I am in the process of editing out duplicates, bad shots, and unnecessary photos. However even after editing, there will still certainly be a LOT of pics left. You have been warned. Seriously. Not. Kidding.
3. Slow Moving TR Ahead: Unfortunately, the initial pace of this TR may be sluggish, especially for the next couple of weeks. Basic math will tell you that it has sadly already taken me 2 weeks just to get started. Additionally, I am still in the process of ‘catching up’ from being gone. Add Christmas and all of its preparation and festivities into the mix, and I am WAY behind on life in general. Once the kids return to school I hope to have more free time and move things along in a more timely manner. Please bear with me.

Are you ready . . . . get set . . . here we go!

WHO? I’ll begin with a short recap of our cast of characters. As it’s already taken me long enough to get this started, I’m going to cheat and copy/paste directly from the PTR although I have added a handful of updates as it was written over 6 months ago.

Bella (DD5) – Isabella, BellaBoo, TinkerBella, Izzy, Princess. . . is the Wish Child and Star of the show. Bella is an adorable, precocious, 5 and ˝ year old self-proclaimed princess. She is truly Miracle and we are so blessed that she completes our family. Bella was born 4 weeks premature and weighed just 4lbs. Her first 3 months of life were spent in a NICU. In total, she has spent over 225 nights in the hospital. This includes 7 major surgeries and over a dozen minor ones. In February of this year, her list of life-threatening diagnoses hit 5 (if you’re interested in the medical these for more info: pure esophageal atresia, multiple congenital heart defects (ASD, VSD, PDA), celiac disease, platelet function disorder, and pancreatic enzyme insufficiency) and her medical team and I decided she was overdue to have a wish granted. She struggles daily with multiple health issues but her strength and spirit are an inspiration to many who know her including myself.

Kennedy(DD8) Sister of the wish-child and another self-proclaimed princess. Kennedy is 8 years old and in 3rd grade where she enjoys math and science. She plays soccer and loves gymnastics. She is exceptionally outgoing and friendly. Kennedy has a creative mind and a tender heart. Last week she tried to convince me that the only way she would have sweet dreams was if I would allow her to sleep with candy under her pillow! Her nick name is DeedleBug. She aspires to be President one day but back up plan is vet school.

AJ (DD10) – Short for Adrianna Jadyn. AJ is our oldest sister of our Wish Kid at 10 years of age. She is incredibly intelligent (has a 12th grade reading level in 4th grade) and a born leader. Adrianna seems to excel at whatever she sets her mind to and never ceases to amaze me. She also enjoys soccer, volleyball, basketball, and gymnastics. You can almost always find her with her nose in a book or playing school with her sisters – she is always the ‘teacher.’ AJ is starting to grow up before my very eyes and I am so glad we are going to take her to Disney at least one more time before she’s too old to believe in the characters and “magic” of Disney.

Grandma Chari (prounounced Shar-ee) (DMIL) – I’m so thrilled that my mother-in-law will be joining us on this trip! Not many people are lucky enough to say that about their inlaws, but I am blessed as we get along very well. Chari retired in January from her job as a school psychologist in New Jersey and moved to Indiana where Grandpa Curt was transferred to a new position. Now that she has more free time she is able to come along on our Wish Trip. She has been with us on every Disney Trip we’ve taken with the kids so far. She really enjoys spending time with and doing things for her grandkids. She and Grandpa are very kind, generous, and loving and experts at spoiling their grandchildren. Unfortunately, Grandpa has to work and won’t be able to join us.

Ben, (DH31) – My Prince Charming, husband, and father of the princesses. He treats us all like royalty. We met in high school and started dating soon after he broke up with my best friend. We were high school sweethearts for 2 ˝ years and went to college together after graduating. I’m sure nobody was surprised when we married and started a family 3 years later. We’ve now been together for 15 years and married for 10 (celebrated our anniversary in May in Vegas!). Ben is an incredible father and husband. He is a manager at a TV and appliance store. He coaches the soccer teams both Kennedy and Bella’s soccer teams. His commitment and dedication to our family is second to none.

Me – I’m Stephanie, but you’ve probably already guessed that from my screen name. I am a 31 (gasp!) yr old stay at home mom to 3 beautiful princesses. My girls are my world and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am the PTO President at the school AJ and Kennedy attend. I am also on the local Board of Education. In 2007 I was elected to a 3 year term. In my free time, I pretend to be an amateur photographer because my DH spoiled me with a really fancy camera after Bella was born. I don’t really know what I’m doing but love surprising myself when a picture I took takes my breath away. I also enjoy scrapbooking when I get a chance though I’m about 7 years behind. Now that Bella will be in school full days next year, I intend to return to school and earn a degree in a medical field – possibly surgical tech.

Here is a group shot from my brother in law's wedding this past summer. DH and I are on the far right hand side. DH in the blue shirt and I am in front of him in the pink/black dress. DMIL, Chari, is on the left in the brown and orange dress.


WHAT? Isabella’s Wish was to go to Disney World. The Make A Wish Foundation of Wisconsin and Give Kids the World Village gave us the trip of a lifetime which included:
7 days and 6 nights at GKTW
3 Day Disney Park Hopper Tickets
1 Day Sea World Tickets
2 Day Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure Tickets
All of the amazing events at GKTW
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Ticket
And a generous expense check which, combined with savings and gifts from Grandpa and Grandma also allowed us to do the following:
Candlelight Processional with guest narrator Steven Curtis Chapman
2 Hour Guided Bass Fishing Excursion on 7 Seas Lagoon
Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique
Cinderella’s Royal Table
Happily Ever After Dinner with Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine, Anastasia, and Druzilla
And much, much more . . . . .

WHEN? December 3-12, 2009. We chose December for our trip as Bella doesn’t do well in heat and I honestly couldn’t think of anything more magical than Disneyworld at Christmastime.

WHERE? We spent our first 6 nights at Give Kids the World Village, about 20 minutes from Disney Property. The last 3 nights of our trip were spent at a hotel just minutes from the parks.

WHY? Last spring, when Carrie, the Wish Granter, asked Bella what her one wish would be, Bella answered without a doubt – to go to Disneyworld and be a Princess. Of course, when we heard that Bella’s wish would be granted, AND that our entire family would get to go too, we were all thrilled!

So there you have it! The first official post of my first official trip report!

I hope that you will follow me in reliving all of the magical moments and special surprises that were in store for our family during ten delightful, incredible, and memorable days.



Act 1: Scene 1 - For Breakfast this morning, we have a wonderful Limousine Surprise!

Act 1: Scene 2 - A Sprinkling of Pixie Dust at the Airport
Act 1: Scene 3 - GKTW Greeter Gone Astray, and Avis, We have a Problem!
Act 1: Scene 4 - It's No Castle, but it sure does feel like HOME!
Act 1: Scene 5 - Lunch Launches A Lengthy Bella History Lesson - (skippable)
Act 1: Scene 6 - Fun Times in a Special Place Called Amberville
Act 1: Scene 7 - Adorable Christmas Pixies Meet Mrs. and Mr. Claus
Act 1: Scene 8 - The Part of Christmas that I Missed

Act 2: Scene 1 - Doo You Know Who We Met Today?
Act 2: Scene 2 - The US/IOA Adventure begins!
Act 2: Scene 3 - Donkey Love and Ogre Affection
Act 2: Scene 4 - A Shoe Swappin', Jaws Droppin', Simp-ly Good Time!
Act 2: Scene 5 - Bella's Stars In Her Own Disaster! Movie
Act 2: Scene 6 - Magic for Mommy at the Pirates and Princess Party

Act 3: Scene 1 - The Best Laid Plans are Like Cracked Eggs - Broken and Runny
Act 3: Scene 2- Seeing Seas, Club Ceeeeewwwl and Crash Test Dummies meet Vikings!
Act 3: Scene 3 - We're Your Basic Average Girls, And We're Here to Save the World
Act 3: Scene 4 - Magical Moments when we Meet Mickey Mouse and Pluto
Act 3: Scene 5 - The Candlelight Processional Exceeds Expectations
Act 3: Scene 6 - A Pictureless Pouty Surprise Party

Act 4: Scene 1 - The Wish Kid Goes Fishing
Act 4: Scene 2 - Will Our Fishing Excursion Be Fruitful?


Last edited by StefaniLyn; 04-09-2010 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 12-26-2009, 04:23 PM   #2
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Welcome back!

I just jumped on here to check something and I saw that you posted!!! I'll be back later to read all about Bella's trip!
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Old 12-26-2009, 04:54 PM   #3
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2nd!

Just had to say that.
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Old 12-26-2009, 06:08 PM   #4
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Jumping on board! I have already seen some wonderful pictures and can't wait to see more. Your girls are just gorgeous!
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Old 12-26-2009, 06:27 PM   #5
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my MAKE-A-WISH Trip Report!!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=34622202
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Old 12-26-2009, 07:21 PM   #6
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I'm in too!
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Old 12-26-2009, 09:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by that's nice View Post
Welcome back!

I just jumped on here to check something and I saw that you posted!!! I'll be back later to read all about Bella's trip!
I'm working on the first part of day 1 right now and trying to finish it up. I'm a little worried that I have included too many details though because it's really long already and we haven't even gotten off the plane yet!
Quote:
Originally Posted by maroo View Post
2nd!
Just had to say that.
Hello Maroo! I had to jump over when I saw Matty's Trip link in your signature! Awwwwww . . . . . that is so cool! Our trip had some magical moments of it's own. I just wish we had stayed a couple days longer so we could have met up with you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jessica52877 View Post
Jumping on board! I have already seen some wonderful pictures and can't wait to see more. Your girls are just gorgeous!
Uh oh! I hope I didn't spoil the TR by posting the pictures on facebook!
Quote:
Originally Posted by thatkid View Post
I'm excited to get started too! I've missed you guys
Quote:
Originally Posted by christymarie View Post
I'm in too!
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Old 12-26-2009, 11:24 PM   #8
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Act 1: Scene 1 - For Breakfast this morning, we have a wonderful Limousine Surprise!

On the evening of December 2nd, the day before our Wish Trip was to begin, AJ, Kennedy, and Bella worked together to pull our LAST Mickey head off the Wish Trip Countdown! DH and I then tucked them all into bed, wishing them sweet Disney dreams. The eve of our Wish trip had finally arrived and before we knew it, our magical family vacation was about to begin!



Day 1 of our Wish Trip day began early . . . . VERY early! 3:00 in the morning to be exact! We had received word two days prior that our 7:19 flight had been moved up to 7:05 and that meant, of course, less sleep for us. And though I finished packing early, I spent the remainder of the previous evening cleaning the house, doing laundry, and preparing Bella’s room for the special surprise that would await once we returned home! Bedtime for DH and I was around midnight, although sleep eluded me as I was bubbling with excitement. Even after I nodded off, I awoke with a jump every half hour or so, opening my eyes just long enough to check the clock and ensure that we had not overslept.

I was almost grateful when 3:00 rolled around – the restless bit of sleep I was getting wasn’t doing me any good! DH and I quickly showered and dressed ourselves. We unplugged all of the televisions, Christmas trees, and other electronics. Then we woke the sleeping beauties. Initially, the girls just rolled over and attempted to go back to sleep. But once we mentioned DISNEY, they quickly perked up, got dressed, and let me fix their hair. When we were all ready, I told the girls to keep and eye out the front window for a VAN that would be taking us to the airport. Yep, that’s right, the girls were expecting a VAN to pull up any minute now! The first of many surprises during this trip was just minutes away!


It was about 15 minutes before 4 when the phone rang. My first thought was that something went wrong with the car service and immediately I assumed we would miss our flight. Thankfully, I was wrong, and the driver was just calling to let us know he was going to be 5 minutes late. Sure enough, 5 minutes later he rounded the corner and turned up our street. As the lengthy car came into view under a street light, the girls all looked in unison back at me, mouths agape and eyes wide with astonshment. I, of course, was holding the camera – ready to capture the looks of surprise on their faces.




The reaction went something like this:

AJ: Is that a limo? I think it’s a limo!It is a limo! Oh my gosh!
Kennedy: It’s turning this way, I think it's coming to our house. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! (that is what Kennedy’s ear-piercing scream sounded like)
AJ: Wait – it’s stopping . . . IT’S STOPPING! Mom – it’s stopping HERE? Are we riding in a LIMO??????
Bella: A LIMO! A LIMO! A LIMO! (singing and dancing around the living room) We get to ride in a LIMO!
Kennedy: And, it glows in the dark – just wait til I tell all my friends!


As it stopped directly in front of our house, I took this photo.


Please take note of the GREEN grass on the ground here in Wisconsin on December 3rd. I also just noticed the baseball helmets left in the yard by the girls the previous evening. I am certain this will be the last time we see bare ground (and those helmets) until next spring as 14 inches of snow fell in our town while we were in Florida! I was not sad to miss that!

I could barely contain the girls from dashing out the door and tackling the poor driver. They quickly and excitedly piled into their awaiting limousine. In fact, I had to make them get OUT of the limo to take this picture!


Very quickly, the luggage was loaded and we were in the limousine, cruising down Hwy 16 on our way to the Milwaukee airport!




The girls fiddled with the lights and buttons in the limo and admired the mirrors, fancy glasses, and mood lighting. They relaxed and stretched out in our stretch limousine. We tried watching the television, but we didn’t have a video with us and none of the stations would come in.




About 20 minutes into our 55 minute ride, the excitement was overshadowed by exhaustion and all 3 of the girls fell fast asleep for the duration of our ride to the airport.




UP NEXT: Act 1: Scene 2 - A Sprinkling of Pixie Dust at the Airport

Last edited by StefaniLyn; 01-07-2010 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 12-27-2009, 12:16 AM   #9
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Act 1: Scene 2 - A Sprinkling of Pixie Dust at the Airport

Making great time, we arrived at the airport in less than an hour. We woke the girls once more. Our wonderful driver, Jeff, helped us unload our luggage and then offered to take a family picture for us.



After waving goodbye to Jeff, we began hauling our baggage into the airport. We had made the girls an offer the previous evening in an attempt to increase their souvenir money. If they each took one piece of luggage and rolled it through the airport the entire trip (there and back) without whining, they could have the money from our expense check that was allocated for checked baggage - $30 each!

As we entered the airport, I had a moment of panic. We had 1 hour and 45 minutes until our flight, but there was a LONG line for Midwest Airlines that wasn’t moving . . . . AT ALL! Without another option, we joined the back of the line which extended well beyond the stanchions and ropes.

We had waited no more than a minute when we were hit with a dash of pixie dust! A Midwest employee started calling for “passengers traveling with small children (that’s us!)” to go to another line . . . . that currently had NO waiting! As best we could, our herd scurried into the new line! We checked our 2 large suitcases and proceeded to the security line with our 5 carry on bags in tow.

Security generally takes us a bit longer than most people as we must travel with medications, formula, and other items that often require extra scrutinazation by security. Normally we just go through the regular line, but this morning, there was another line to our left with no waiting and a sign in front of it that read “passengers traveling with medical liquids.” Again, that was us! So we breezed through security as well and we were soon at our gate.

We spent the next ˝ hour purchasing snacks to eat on the plane and using the restrooms. We also met another Wish family that was going on the same plane as us. They were staying at the Nickelodeon hotel though as it was part of the Wish Kid’s wish.

As soon as DH returned with the snacks, our flight was called to board. We pre-boarded when they called for families with small children. The rows were 6 across, so DH sat in-between DD10 and DD8 on one side and I sat on the other side with Bella by the window. Fortunately, the other seat in our row remained unoccupied.

I let DH handle packing the bags in the overhead and settling the other children while I started feeding Bella her meal. I knew there was a small window of time where we would be stationary and able to have the tray out before we took off. Fortunately, her meal of yogurt and milk went relatively well and though she gagged several times, she didn’t vomit. Afterward, she complained of a headache and started shivering so I wrapped my fleece around her to keep her warm. I also suggested she use Minnie Mouse as a pillow and lay down her head.


Bella fell asleep before the plane even took off.


She was still tired from the early morning and, upon checking her blood glucose level, she was at 208, which also makes her very lethargic. As the flight attendants were doing their final checks before take off, one asked me if Bella was a Wish Child. I affirmed that she was, and the flight attendant swiped a credit card in Bella’s tv so Bella had free TV for the entire flight! I resisted the urge to steal her TV while she slept!


She woke up after about an hour and enjoyed episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Dora the Explorer while simultaneously coloring for the duration of the flight.


AJ and Kennedy both worked on their homework books and reading for about an hour and were then allowed to choose their activity.


They spent time coloring, playing with their I-spy bags, and listening to music.


Let me just tell you that the crayon roll ups and I-Spy bags were a lifesaver during our flight. In all of our years of flying with children (3-4 times per year for the past 10 years), we have never had such a pleasant flight. Thank you so much to the Vanderbilt Family for the I-Spy bags and Lynn (DIS Id: Cajunfan) for the crayon rollups and other activities which kept the girls busy and quiet for the entire flight!


Before we knew it, the captain turned on the seatbelt sign and we began our descent into Orlando!


The girls did a wonderful job of toting their own luggage all the way through both airports!

UP NEXT: Act 1: Scene 3 - GKTW Greeter Gone Astray, and Avis, We have a Problem!


Last edited by StefaniLyn; 01-07-2010 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 12-27-2009, 06:22 AM   #10
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I'm really enjoying your report so far and looking forward to more!
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Old 12-27-2009, 06:58 AM   #11
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I am really enjoying your report so far! Your daughters are beautiful. We are headed to DW in 4 weeks but have another trip planned for early December next year so I am eager to see and hear your report from the same time this year.
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Old 12-27-2009, 08:28 AM   #12
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Great TR! I can't wait for the next post and to see how your trip went. I love that week(s) in December...best time to go to WDW!
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Old 12-27-2009, 08:46 AM   #13
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A great start to your trip report! I'll be checking in to read all about it.
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Old 12-27-2009, 08:48 AM   #14
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LOL, I sleep the same was as you the day before going to Disney. I have no idea why I even try.

I love the girls' response to the Limo. Especially that it "glows in the dark", too funny.

Can't wait for the next installment!!
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Old 12-27-2009, 09:05 AM   #15
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love your report so far, can't wait for more pictures
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