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Old 04-04-2008, 10:25 PM   #1
Queenie122
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TinkerBella's WISH comes true! A Make a Wish now TRIP Report!! May10-May 20, 2008 :-)

Hi Everyone! So I'm new to this whole report thing but I figured after all the amazing WISH trip reports I have read from those who have gone before, I owe one to all those who will come after us. We're going to *attempt* to do some live reports while we're down in Florida but no guarantees! I hear there is only dial up in the Villas

This trip is my DD's Make a Wish trip - her wish is to "Dance with the Princesses" and "See Cinderella Castle." I'm hoping we can make that come true!

So, let's start this off with our cast of characters.

Me, 34 I'm a stay at home Mom who loves her job I have some of my own medical issues to deal with so between DD and myself we are always at one doctor or another. HUGE Disney fan! I have family that lives in Orlando so over the years have been lucky to visit many times and most of them got into the parks for free or at a discount!


DH, 33 Does computer type stuff for work. Loves to play games and works for some gaming companies on the side in exchange for their products (works out for all of us!). Works very hard here at home to take care of his girls

DD, 3 1/2 Our miracle girl, Arabella, and this is her WISH trip. She's come a long way baby! See her story below.

DM, 57 (heh, I'm so bad!) No, seriously, my Mom has been a saving grace through all of this and I really think this ordeal has brought us closer together.

DB, 26 Lives here in the house with us. Is very much looking forward to enjoying this trip and adores his niece, so just seeing her happy will make it all worthwhile!


DD was born at 25 weeks gestation in Massachusetts (we live in New York) while we were away on vacation. She was 660 grams (1 pound, 10 ounces) and 13 inches long. Born with VACTRYL Syndrome, which is a collection of abnormalities, the most serious being a pinch in her airway to one of her lungs. This led to her needing a trach and needing long term vent support so also needed a feeding tube which she still has. She also had problems with her heart (healed on their own), her eyes (needed laser eye surgery), had an extra digit (had surgery to remove an extra thumb, still working on her hand issues). She also has a partial extra rib so we need to keep a close eye on her developing scoliosis. All in all, we were fairly lucky with the things wrong with her, most have been corrected or are under control. Because of all of this she spent the first 53 weeks of life in the hospital, 14 days in NICU in Mass, transfered her to a hospital closer to us where she stayed for 4 1/2 months, then to a Children's Hospital about 65 miles away for the last 7 months. We are still working on her physical issues from being in the hospital so long - when she came home at a year old she couldn't even sit up or eat anything by mouth and even today her muscles are weak. Thank God her trach is long gone, she got it out when she was 2 1/2. Still working on her feeding issues, that looks to be pretty long term.

Otherwise she is a very intelligent, happy and laid back little girl!

Our trip is planned for May 10th - May 20th, 2008 and we are all SO super excited. I can not tell you how much we all desperately NEED this trip. I have lots of planning done already and have been keeping decent track of the process and what has happened already. I'll share it all here over the next bunch of days. I hope someone reads and / or enjoys this!!!

Here's some pictures to get us started.

DD at Halloween - it's TinkerBella!!


Here's me, DH and DD all Disneyified!


Finally... DD with her special MAW bear.

Last edited by Queenie122; 06-07-2008 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 04-04-2008, 10:29 PM   #2
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Your daughter is a cutie! Can't wait to read more.
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Old 04-04-2008, 10:37 PM   #3
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Your daughter is a cutie! Can't wait to read more.
Thank you! We like to think so but of course, we're biased
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Old 04-04-2008, 10:40 PM   #4
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Glad to see you doing a TR

Great job Queenie! I know it is a little intimidating to commit to doing a TR, but once you get started, you will really find it is a lot of fun and cathartic. Looking forward to seeing your NICU baby's wish fulfilled. 53 weeks in the NICU...you are a trooper! We only did 11 and it felt like forever. So glad to hear that things are resolving for little Bella (love the name!). I'll be here for the TR...looking forward to it!

~Elisa
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Old 04-04-2008, 11:07 PM   #5
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Arabella is beautiful. Keep us updated.
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My DH wants another trip to WDW?!?! MNSSHP, F&W, and Diagon Alley A PTR for Sept 2014

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Old 04-05-2008, 11:29 AM   #6
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Great job so far!!!! You are doing great! Bella is a cutie! It's nice to put faces to names now! I can't wait to read more!
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Old 04-05-2008, 11:53 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by 5dwarves View Post
Great job Queenie! I know it is a little intimidating to commit to doing a TR, but once you get started, you will really find it is a lot of fun and cathartic. Looking forward to seeing your NICU baby's wish fulfilled. 53 weeks in the NICU...you are a trooper! We only did 11 and it felt like forever. So glad to hear that things are resolving for little Bella (love the name!). I'll be here for the TR...looking forward to it!

~Elisa
It is intimidating! But I still feel so lucky that one of hubby's coworkers (HUGE Disney fanatic) recommended the site for me, I have learned so much! Not just about Disney and all the things that have changed since I've been there but also all the special Wish stuff. It seems that a lot of us with special needs children learn to do a lot of planning (okay, I admit, I was like this before too!! ) and let's just say I'd be freaking out right now without having read the other trip reports and knowing what to expect! So I sort of didn't feel like I had a choice - but it's all good. You're right, I am enjoying it!

Those 53 weeks in the hospital were not the high point of my life, I'll tell you that. But I am blessed to have my DD and every day I feel SO SO SO lucky that she decided to stick around (on top of the disadvantages she was born with she was very ill three times during her course in the hospital stay when we didn't know if she would). And that she is a loving, sweet, kind, silly, intelligent, huggy, kissy, singy little girl is my payback

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Originally Posted by jmskinner View Post
Arabella is beautiful. Keep us updated.
Thank you and I'll try my best!!

Quote:
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Great job so far!!!! You are doing great! Bella is a cutie! It's nice to put faces to names now! I can't wait to read more!
Thank you!

I know, it's much better putting faces to names! I always have a thing about photos that makes someone go from an acquaintance to a friend once you've seen what they look like

Would you mind if I steal your link in your sig for the Wish Trippers Unite page? I think it would be good to have it
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Old 04-05-2008, 11:59 AM   #8
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One note - Some of this I am stealing off a blog I've set up for my family to read this whole process so in places it may be written for someone who knows nothing about having a Wish fulfilled or *gasp* Disney I know, there are actually some people like that out there!!! Hopefully this will give a n00bie to Disney or having a Wish fulfilled enough info to get them excited. I'm no expert on either but I'll try my best!

On to our Wish story:

For quite some time people have been telling me, “You should contact Make a Wish for Bella.” I kept saying, “But she’s not terminally ill (thank God).” I kept putting it off, no good reason really. Finally, when the 50th person said this to me I kinda said, “Fine! Once we get turned down then I can tell people to stop bugging me about it!” lol. Sorta like that. People weren’t really bugging me, it was just who wants to get their hopes up with dreams of something amazing that won’t happen - over and over? Considering we were referred by a ton of medical professionals (and my mom) I decided to proceed.

So, I did some research online and filled out the form. This was early December 2007. A couple of weeks went by and I didn’t think on it. Then we got a phone call from Cynthia from the Suffolk County Make a Wish Foundation. I voiced my concerns from the beginning and she said, “No, not necessarily terminally ill children but children who have been through or are going through a life threatening experience.” Now, Bella not only had a life threatening experience, the entire start to her life, but it was fairly prolonged. So I went “Huh… yeah, that’s her.”

She went over the process with me. The first step is that you need a doctor to fill out the qualifying paperwork. This *should* be the first step really, why meet with a team and get your child’s hopes up? I gave two doctors names and phone numbers for them to send the paperwork to. Then I again put it out of my head, after all, who knows how long the doctors would take or if we didn’t qualify would we even know?

January 24th, 2008 the phone rings and the Make a Wish name comes up on caller ID. Suddenly my heart leaps into my chest. I am assuming I’m going to find out one way or the other what’s going on. It’s Cynthia. She wanted to let us know that Bella qualified for a wish!! I was trying so hard not to cry into the phone, I just got very overwhelmed. Through this whole thing ordeal we’ve had to be very strong and hold our feelings in but now this was something so positive, so good, a lot of feelings just started coming out. She said that within the next couple of weeks we would hear from our team, they would come and ask Bella what she wanted for her one special Wish!

DH and I started thinking about it back in December, we didn’t want to get hopes up but we also wondered what Bella’s wish might be. Of course the very first thing that comes to mind is Princesses. Disney Princesses to be exact. She loves everything about them - their movies, the dolls, the clothes, the MUSIC. Everything. She also loves the Fairies - Tinkerbell and her friends from the upcoming movie. So, where can we make all these things happen? :-)

I asked Bella, “If you could have one, very special wish honey, what would it be?” “A SURPRISE!!!!” she yelled at me. Okay, let’s try again. On the second try we got “PRINCESSES!!!!!!!!” Well, Mommy and Daddy know best, right? lol

So, we had our start. Bella was going to be wishing for a trip to the most magical place on earth - Disney World. Now we just had to make her wish official!
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Old 04-05-2008, 12:03 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Queenie122 View Post
Those 53 weeks in the hospital were not the high point of my life, I'll tell you that. But I am blessed to have my DD and every day I feel SO SO SO lucky that she decided to stick around (on top of the disadvantages she was born with she was very ill three times during her course in the hospital stay when we didn't know if she would). And that she is a loving, sweet, kind, silly, intelligent, huggy, kissy, singy little girl is my payback

Would you mind if I steal your link in your sig for the Wish Trippers Unite page? I think it would be good to have it
Queenie....

I LOVE the description of your daughter...especially the "singy" part...LOL. I have boys so we don't get serenaded often. Over Easter we met my sister and her family (4 girls) in Gatlinburg and we got to hear alot of the "singy" stuff....Hannah Montana songs take on a whole new meaning when they are being belted out by a 2 year old...LOL. I am so glad that you have the attitude and realization that every day is a gift and a blessing.

Feel free to steal the link....I had to go to the tech boards to do a refresher course myself. I think the Disboards are the best place for wish families with uber planning mommas! It was recommended to me by an aquaintance with a son who had Aspbergers. It was the best advice I received!

~Elisa
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Old 04-05-2008, 01:06 PM   #10
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Ok, so now I'm snuffling and crying with happiness for you and Bella. And your PTR is just starting!
Sniff!
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Old 04-06-2008, 02:04 PM   #11
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Queenie....

I LOVE the description of your daughter...especially the "singy" part...LOL. I have boys so we don't get serenaded often. Over Easter we met my sister and her family (4 girls) in Gatlinburg and we got to hear alot of the "singy" stuff....Hannah Montana songs take on a whole new meaning when they are being belted out by a 2 year old...LOL. I am so glad that you have the attitude and realization that every day is a gift and a blessing.

Feel free to steal the link....I had to go to the tech boards to do a refresher course myself. I think the Disboards are the best place for wish families with uber planning mommas! It was recommended to me by an aquaintance with a son who had Aspbergers. It was the best advice I received!

~Elisa
We haven't graduated to Hannah Montana yet... and I know, yet... lol. She has 4 Disney Sing Along Song and 3 Princess Sing Along Song DVDS so we have a wealth of fun and sometimes weird (like the Camp singalong ) to be entertained with.

And thank you, I do try to keep a good attitude, it's what helped get me through and continues to help get me through each day! This board has really opened my horizons with my Disney info and I'm so excited to go on this trip with my wealth of new information. It'll be like experiencing everything brand new again.

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Ok, so now I'm snuffling and crying with happiness for you and Bella. And your PTR is just starting!
Sniff!
Thank you!
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Old 04-06-2008, 02:19 PM   #12
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So, onto our next installment... What Comes Next...

So, we wait and wait to hear from our Wish team. Of course, the two weeks seem to take two years! We finally get the call from Michele, she’s going to be coming to the house to meet Bella with “her friend Diane” as Bella calls them. Michele gets some basic info from us and says she will contact the Wish team and get back to us with a date. Not even an hour later we have our meeting set up for a Tuesday night. We’re so excited!

Of course, the way life works, we actually get snow that day (in one of only two lame snowfalls this year!) and we have to cancel. We were disappointed, Bella cried when she heard her friends weren’t coming over. I think it was for the best though, she seemed pretty cranky that day and for some reason suddenly kept saying she wanted books as her wish. Of course if we really thought that was her wish it would have been fine, but the 500 books currently in her room might have been jealous :-/

LOL. Anyway the meeting was rescheduled to Saturday. Saturday morning comes and Bella decides she wants to wear her Princess jumper. Appropriate! We had her Halloween pictures and some drawings and art work she had made gathered up as gifts. She drew Cinderella and also a picture of herself. She loves stickers so she decorated her art work with lots of stickers.

Michele and Diane came and as we said our hellos I noticed that Bella had suddenly become… shy! She’s never shy! Oh boy. But they came in bearing gifts for Miss Bella, including a very beautiful and special teddy bear with a Make A Wish sweater, a baby doll almost as huge as her and two princess crowns. She proceeded to retrieve her Tinkerbell crown from her Halloween costume and Mommy, Daddy and Bella all wore crowns for the rest of the meeting. Rob and I had a ton of paperwork to fill out, release forms for Make A Wish and also the Village where we would be staying in Florida.

Then came the questions for Bella to answer. She said her favorite color is orange (today it’s brown, yesterday it was red) and that she is three years old. Then they asked her, “Is there someplace special you’d like to go?” and she said, “DISNEY WORLD!!!! I want to dance with the Princesses and see Cinderella Castle!!!”

Her official wish is to “Dance with the Princesses.” How cute. I hope we can get a couple of them to comply :-)

When our meeting was over Michele said they would submit the paperwork and we would be hearing from them soon. DH and I started mulling over dates - when could he take off of work and for how long? What times did we want to avoid because it was too crowded / hot? Could my Mom, Dad or DB (who lives with me) come along? So many questions but all exciting things. We said April would be nice, especially since Easter is early this year, hopefully avoid some crowds. We could barely contain our excitement! We stayed up late a couple of nights chatting about Disney and what things we’d want to do while we were there. Every day Bella wanted to know if we were going on our trip!
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Old 04-07-2008, 11:27 AM   #13
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Planning, planning and more planning. Anyone want some planning?

It was only a couple of days until we heard from Joanne. She wanted to go over dates with me right there on the phone. We had already figured DH’s vacation - his boss is on vacation the beginning of May so that was out but otherwise we were good to go.

Joanne informed me that Give Kids the World Village was totally booked up in April and that it is a very busy time for them. How was May? Now, we figured that May would be too hot for us. We don’t do well in the heat, especially when it’s over 90F degrees. But we had some personal reasons for not wanting to wait until October / November. It would be a really nice time of year (although May and October’s weather is the same) but the waiting wasn’t really working for us. So we took a chance and said yes to May.

Joanne went over the dates available and kindly answered some burning questions including: Can we extend our vacation on our dime? Yes. Can my Mom and brother come along on their own dime? Yes… but Mom is being paid for because they normally plan for a family of 4 and we only have three. Yay! And brother doesn’t have to pay to stay at the Village or for the car (already paid for by MAW). So tickets, airfare and food when not at the Village. Not too shabby! (And for the record, MAW asked how we wanted to arrange his ticket. We had the option of getting his ticket ourselves or they would get it and take it out of our expense money. We opted for that with the clear understanding from my DB that would have to be paid before the trip. It's paid already!!). We contacted DAunt who has given us an open invitation to come and stay with her (she lives in Orlando) and she said it would be great to stay with her. Mom and DB checked their calendars for vacation. DH double checked his. Everything was in place!

I called Joanne the next day and we booked our trip - Saturday May 10th to Tuesday May 20th. DM and DB would be leaving on Sunday the 18th. Holy cow, it’s happening!!

Then began the crazy process of figuring out who wanted to do what and when, we had a family meeting to discuss this (as well as “rules” that I need to make sure everyone knows. Rule #1 is “No complaining!”). I worked up a complicated chart of which days were best and what parks based on crowd history and park hours available. I hemmed and hawed over which meals we wanted to eat out and which meals we would make it back to the Village for. Then I called Disney Dining about 10 times to see what reservations we could sneak in at three months out. I had trouble with some, had to adjust some dining times but we got everything we wanted except for Chef Mickey’s and of course, Cinderella’s Royal Table (the hottest ressie in all of Disney, you have to book this at 7am est exactly 180 out from the date you want to visit. It sells out in MINUTES). Cindy's Table was replaced with 1900 Park Fare, another Cinderella meal. I don’t think Bella will even know she’s not eating in Cinderella’s Castle (although the competitive part of me thinks I can convince them to squeeze in our Wish child on site the day we are there) and will be in heaven over all we have planned for her. All her little (and BIG) dreams are going to come true!!

(I’ve been having some thoughts about this - she has been given so many special opportunities that she’s growing up in a world where dreams really do come true. I hope one day she realizes how lucky she’s been - And not too spoiled!!!)

Up next: What we will be getting!!
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Old 04-07-2008, 02:24 PM   #14
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Then I called Disney Dining about 10 times to see what reservations we could sneak in at three months out. I had trouble with some, had to adjust some dining times but we got everything we wanted except for Chef Mickey’s and of course, Cinderella’s Royal Table (the hottest ressie in all of Disney, you have to book this at 7am est exactly 180 out from the date you want to visit. It sells out in MINUTES). Cindy's Table was replaced with 1900 Park Fare, another Cinderella meal. I don’t think Bella will even know she’s not eating in Cinderella’s Castle (although the competitive part of me thinks I can convince them to squeeze in our Wish child on site the day we are there) and will be in heaven over all we have planned for her. All her little (and BIG) dreams are going to come true!!
Wendygrace went up to the podium when they first got to MK, complete with MAW buttons, GKTW buttons and the GAC hanging around her neck and asked if there was anyway they could get it...explaining that their wish was recently granted and they didn't have the opportunity to hit the 6 month 7:00am call in for ressies. The CM stepped away from the podium and then came back and said that they would be able to accomodate them. If you really want CRT, it might be possible. Never hurts to try.
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Old 04-09-2008, 04:24 PM   #15
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Wendygrace went up to the podium when they first got to MK, complete with MAW buttons, GKTW buttons and the GAC hanging around her neck and asked if there was anyway they could get it...explaining that their wish was recently granted and they didn't have the opportunity to hit the 6 month 7:00am call in for ressies. The CM stepped away from the podium and then came back and said that they would be able to accomodate them. If you really want CRT, it might be possible. Never hurts to try.
I do remember that! I'm very happy with going to Park Fare but everyone wants to eat in the castle, right? I may try for lunch that day

And you're very right, it never hurts to ask.
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