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Old 08-10-2008, 01:20 PM   #241
BellaSwan
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Hi wave:

I just caught up on your pre-trip and trip report

You have a beautiful family and I can't wait to read more.
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Old 08-10-2008, 01:42 PM   #242
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Great start!!!
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Old 08-10-2008, 06:28 PM   #243
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We followed the great directions to Give Kids the World village-which would be our home away from home for the week.I know a lot of you know all about this but I have some friends and family reading and they are new to all this...so bear with me.Give kids the World(or GKTW) is a 70 acre resort that is just for Wish Families.This is the happy sign we saw when pulling up to the gate, the House of hearts and the check in desk:

We were welcomed inside where Hannah recieved a stuffed Mickey mouse and Logan a stuffed Shamu.The kids got T-shirts also.We recieved our villa keys and Hannah's magic pin, the pink GKTW button that got us all kinds of royal treatment.Then we hopped in the van and followed a golf car to our villa.We got the tour and he was off.The table had a bag full of goodies and a fridge stocked with soda, milk and water.


I called a couple of my friends who planned on coming up and meeting us.They would arrive in about an hour and a half so we quickly grabbed some lunch and explored the village a bit.The kids were particularly thrilled with this tree that snored.Every day they had to check to see if he was still sleeping.(Finally at the end of the week we all decided he must have a sleep disorder since he was asleep all the time)



A short time later my friends all arrived.There were two families.These were friends that I have known online for years but have never officially met in person.Christina and Meredith and I all belong to a Down syndrome forum.Christina has a daughter who is the same age as Hannah.Meredith has three children with Down syndrome.Two of them were adopted this past March(I think ) from the Ukraine.Emma is five years old and had an unrepaired heart defect(very similar to the one Hannah had)The Dr's were shocked that this child was still alive at this age with this defect.Two days after our visit Emma went into surgery(Monday Aug 4th) Her heart was repaired and she is already home from the hospital.This is a miracle as some Dr's were afraid to operate fearing it would kill her outright.It was her only chance at life(she would not have lived another two months or so with out the repair)We are so happy that the surgery was a sucess!This is the whole crew outside of the resturant where we all went to dinner.(Emma is in the stroller)I also wanted to add that in a lot of other countries children with Down syndrome are often put into orphanages and many will live out their lives in mental institutions.There just is not an understanding or the money to help these kids lead normal lives.Emma and Micha lived much of their lives in cribs until now.


After dinner we bid them goodbye and we did a little shopping.

We went back to GKTW and Paul took the kids to the pool while I went to the orientation session where I recieved all of our park tickets and instructions.


After the pool and orientation we went to our villa to settle down for the night.The kids like the big whirlpool tub.(they refused to look at me because they were busy admiring themselves in the huge mirror behind me!)


The kids finally crashed at 10:00


Paul went to the Walmart to pick up a few things we needed and I packed up to be ready for out first big day at the parks. Next up:Sea World!!!!!!
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When you wish upon a star- Hannah's Make a Wish trip report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1852434
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Old 08-10-2008, 06:37 PM   #244
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Heather,
I love it
Did you bring your friends into GKTW. We are meeting my high school best friend on the Sat. that we arrive and I didn't know if anyone other than wish families can get into GKTW?

I love all the pictures

Waiting for more
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Old 08-10-2008, 06:49 PM   #245
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Heather!!!! That isn't nearly enough!!! You can't leave us hanging like that, get to the good stuff. WE WANT SHAMU!!

Glad you're all home safe, hope you had a great time, can't wait to hear more!

...t.
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Old 08-10-2008, 06:50 PM   #246
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Robin, Yes your freinds can come into the village.They need to tell them at the front gate who they are visiting and then they need to go to the front desk and sign in.They can hang out at the village with you but they can't sleep there.If they want to eat at the gingerbread house with you I think they said they charge them $1.00 per meal! We couldn't believe that! They are super nice and are fine with visitors.
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When you wish upon a star- Hannah's Make a Wish trip report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1852434
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Old 08-10-2008, 06:51 PM   #247
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t-beri View Post
Heather!!!! That isn't nearly enough!!! You can't leave us hanging like that, get to the good stuff. WE WANT SHAMU!!

Glad you're all home safe, hope you had a great time, can't wait to hear more!

...t.
You make me laugh! I will get right on it!
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When you wish upon a star- Hannah's Make a Wish trip report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1852434
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Old 08-10-2008, 07:21 PM   #248
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Heather, you answered two questions that Lindsey and I have had. First, the pictures on the disk and second, could we go to visit them at GKTW. We really want to go on the Thursday Christmas party. I loved reading Amy's description of that.

We were trying to figure out how many memory cards we were going to take. Mandy and Lindsey are already the picture queens and I know that we will have pictures of everything including any cracks in the sidewalk.

I love reading about your trip and Amy's. We have one month from today until we go!

Denise
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Old 08-10-2008, 07:22 PM   #249
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Love the start to your trip. The kids look so sweet all tucked in and asleep.

I am glad you got to meet the other families and that all went well with the surgery.
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Old 08-10-2008, 07:57 PM   #250
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Wow. Those Villas look great. Looks like the first day went well!
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Old 08-10-2008, 08:48 PM   #251
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Day 2.Sea World. Sunday Aug 3.

I woke up at 6:00 and showered and got things ready for the day. We woke the kids at 7:00 and got ready.At 8:00 we went to the gingerbread house for breakfast.That was so neat.The people that volunteer there are so eager to help and wont even let you carry your own trays.They had all kinds of breakfast foods.They had scrambled eggs, pancakes,bacon, grits, homefries, cold cereal, waffles, and all kinds of pastries.I was worried that breakfast was served too late for us to get to the parks on time.Breakfast is from 8-10 every morning but you can also get a continental breakfast earlier than that.We found if we went at 8:00 we had plenty of time to get to the parks since they are only about 15 minutes away. We got to Sea world shorty after opening.All we had to do was show the parking attendant our GKTW button and we got free parking.We did find a lot of crowds at the entrance and we had to wait a few minutes to get through the crowds.I wanted to have lunch at Sharks underwater grill and they didn't take advance reservations.I ahd heard that if you go to the restraunt at opening you can reserve a spot for later that day though.So we headed to Sharks and were met by a roped off area.Apparently they open that part of the park an hour after the front gates open.So we headed over to the seal and sea lion area.We chatted with a really nice CM who actually called Sharks to see if they could make the reservation but they were not open yet.So we hung out a bit and enjoyed the exhibit.We had heard that GKTW kids can feed the sea lions for free but they were still preparing all the fish.When the pther part of the park opened we hot footed it to Sharks where we had no trouble getting a time later in the day.We then went and toured the shark exhibit which we loved.They have a great tank that you go through in a tunnel.You stand on a moving sidewalk and slowly go through the tube.That was way cool and Logan likes seeing all the shark teeth on the bottom that have been shed.





This was outside of sharks.It was pretty cool .


When we came out of that exibit we found our first pressed penny machine! We whipped out or handy dandy pressed penny tubes and squished our first pennies.I have to say that the kids got quite good at finding the machines and spotted them quicker than we did.There was one funny moment though when Hannah was in the restroom and mistook the feminine products machine for a pressed penny machine.Hey they had pictures of change on them!

After sharks we wandered around a little bit.By then it was getting really hot.We are from upstate NY and are pretty used to cold weather so it was quite an adjustment to be in such heat and humidity.Logan started to get pretty cranky.I think it was a combination of the heat and the fact that he hardly ate anything for breakfast and he was pretty hungry.Our reservation for sharks wasn't until 1:30 so he was probably starving by then.We walked back to sharks and sat outside in the shade while waiting for them to call our name.Logan became more and more miserable.Finally they called our name and we went inside the blessedly cool restraunt.We were seated and Logan continued to be miserable laying in his seat and just being whiney.We were annoyed by it but understood the reason for his meltdown.The food finally came and then Logan started to eat.I think he started to feel better and he perked up and it was like someone flipped a switch.The Old Logan was back.Hannah asked him what was wrong and he replied "I just needed to throw a fit for a while" That cracked us all up then.At least he was honest!









Overall I was a bit disappointed with Sharks underwater grill.Unless you had a seat right by the shark tank it wasn't very exciting.The food was ok but far from outstanding.It was VERY expensive for what you got.I am glad we experienced it but I would try somewhere else next time.
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Old 08-10-2008, 08:49 PM   #252
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I love seeing your pics!! This will be so much fun, seeing what each other did. Don't worry about posting what I've already posted...I know we have some of the same readers, but into the future I think our trip reports will help other wish trippers, and you never know who's report they're going to happen onto. Your villa looks prettier than ours! But ours was nice enough. I can't wait to hear about your adventures at Sea World. We had such a limited time there that I want to see what we missed. I have in my head that I like the Texas SeaWorld better, but that's probably because we didn't have enough time to really see it all and take our time through it. So hurry and tell us about it!! Loving your report!! Don't mind what I've said in mine at all and go ahead and spill all your beans!
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Old 08-10-2008, 08:54 PM   #253
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Guess we were posting at the same time, and you beat me! I love all the pics!! Sounds like you had done your research on SeaWorld Orlando. I made a mistake and didn't--and I should've known better because Lance adores SeaWorld. Sorry the meal wasn't all you'd hoped for. I didn't know we could feed the sea lions, too! We just fed the dolphins. That Logan--what a funny kid! Can't wait for more!!
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Old 08-10-2008, 09:36 PM   #254
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Sea World Part 2

After lunch we saw the penguin exhibit and then it was almost time for the Shamu show.That was pretty amazing. I can't believe how many people that stadium seated.Before they bring out the whales they do a neat tribute to all the service men and women.I have to admit I got pretty teary during that.My cousin was killed in Iraq a few years ago.It was beautiful and very moving.Then they started the show!





Just when things were getting good the batteries died in my camera! ARGGGG!! Oh well. Take my word for it.The shamu show was amazing and I was pretty impressed.
After the show we wandered around for a while.Paul wanted to see the Odyssea show.I didn't think I would like it but agreed to try it as I knew it would be air conditioned.We found a nice CM who led us in a side door and helped us find seating with Hannah's wheelchair.We waited for the show to start and I popped out some glo sticks. I gave one to a little girl seated near us too.This is Hannah entertaining herself with them.If you look real close you can see her eyeball.

The show was actually quite good.It was very beautiful and really funny to boot.The kids loved it.My pics were not so hot as they don't allow flash photography.

After the show we wandered a bit more.It was beastly hot again and Paul spotted a stand that sold frozen slushy drinks. I have an addiction to slushies and Paul does too. Where we live they can actually be hard to find.The kids entertained themselves with our misters which by now I had decided were worth their weight in gold.

Paul brought back this lovely drink for me.I drank every drop and really enjoyed it until he told me that it cost almost five dollars!

This is a horrible pic of me but I decided to take it of myself while I was waiting.I was determined to have a few pics of me in our photos even if I had to do it myself! I wanted to kids to know I was actually there when they looked back on it years later.

So onward to the exhibits where we saw manatees,alligators,dolphins(we didn't feed them because they were soing some kind of presentation)We also doubled back and fed the sea lions.Paul had to do it because the kids refused to touch the fish.Then we went to the sting ray exhibit which we all loved.We got our free tray of fish but since it was late afternoon they were not hungry at all and would not eat them.Still it was fun to touch them and watch them swim around. Logan particular loved this. Hannah was pretty tired by this piont so she didn't do too much touching.


Logan wanted to do the sky tower ride.We headed over there and noticed that there was a three dollar charge per person.No biggie, it would probably be pretty cool.When I went to pay the man in the booth told me there was no charge for GKTW kids.Wow, cool! We went on the ride and it was neat to see the whole park from up high.


When we were done with that Paul really wanted to go on Kraken but it was getting late in the day and the sky was looking like it was going to whip up a storm.I was worried that he would be on it when the storm hit.We had some discussion back and forth and finally decided to jut call it a day.We were all hot and tired and if we headed back to GKTW we could catch dinner.Just as we were pulling out of the parking lot the sky opened up and poured for a while.We stopped at 7-11 for slurpies on the way home.Logan fell asleep in the van.We got back to the villa and showered.We went to dinner at the gingerbread house and then wandered around the village.We checked out the train room and drove the RC boats.I walked over to the house of hearts and they downloaded my memory card onto a disk for us.We went to the Ice cream palace for our first ice cream.Hannah can't have any dairy so I felt kind of bad.The did have a sherbet bar but she wasn't interested.We walked back to the villa and went to bed.

Up next: Hollywood Studios Day.Hannah sees her first characters!
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When you wish upon a star- Hannah's Make a Wish trip report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1852434

Last edited by HeatherN; 08-10-2008 at 09:41 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-11-2008, 08:50 AM   #255
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Sea World looked so much fun. I've only been to the one in San Diego. Nice that Orlando covers the Shamu show audience. In San Diego, you are in the blazing sun!
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