Disney Information Station Logo

Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - DISboards.com > Disney Trip Planning Forums > Disney Trip Reports > Completed Trip Reports
Find Hotel Specials & DIScounts
facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 07-09-2008, 04:36 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 318

Sebastian's Make A Wish Trip to Disney


Hi All! We are very excited to be sharing our son’s Make A Wish Disney Trip with you! First let me introduce our cast of characters: I'm Amber (25) and my fantastic husband is Brian (35). Brian and I have been married for nearly six years. We were married at the Vatican in Italy-that was my first big adventure in mirco-planning. Brian is an easy going Aero Space Project Manager. In my former (pre-mom) life I was a Corporate Event Planner (surprised?). These days I stay busy as the manager of our crazy-wonderful household and side-line as a professional photographer (check out www.angphotos.com).

We have two wonderful children, Sebastian (3 ½ years) our wish boy, and Siennah (22 months). Sebastian and Siennah are nineteen months apart. They are both ultra outgoing and energetic.

Sebastian is sweet and loving but every bit the feisty imp his red hair suggests.

Siennah is a super funny charmer. She gets into all sorts of two year old mischief but you can’t help but adore her.

We also have another little bundle of joy, Savannah, due to arrive the middle of August 2008 (4 ½ weeks to go!). Judging from all the kicking she does, I think the Lord must be sending us another "spirited" one.

It’s been one wild ride for us this past year! We’ve joked that Episodes of “House” don’t have anything on us The following is the Reader’s Digest version of Sebastian’s journey:
The week before Christmas, December 2007 we noticed that Sebastian had a nickel sized lump on the back of his skull. He had had no injury to the area and the area showed no signs of bruising. We took him to see his Pediatrician late December, 2007. She said that she believed that the area represented Cutis Aplasia (diagnosis #1) a dermis type of problem, but that we should take him to see a Pediatric Plastic Surgeon because she felt a “bony defect.”

The process of getting an appointment with the single Pediatric Plastic surgeon in our area was painstaking. We were able to finally be seen by him, late February, 2008. After physically examining Sebastian he said that he believed Sebastian had a “cranial defect” (diagnosis #2). He recommended that Sebastian have an MRI because he felt something “soft” coming through the “hole” and that he believed that it could possibly be the sagittal sinus vein that runs between the two hemispheres of the brain.

On March 4th, 2008 Sebastian had an MRI with contrast under general anesthesia. I called the following morning for results and got none. I called the next two subsequent mornings for results and again got none. We were told by the Pediatric Plastic Surgeon’s receptionist that he was tied up in surgery. Finally on the evening of Friday, March 7th, 2008 the doctor called to say that the MRI revealed a “solid soft tissue mass,” and that I should call his Secretary the following Monday to schedule a surgery to remove the mass.

My husband and myself began to seriously question if we were still working with the “right” kind of doctor to be operating on our son’s skull. On the morning of Saturday, March 8th I called the branch of our Pediatrician’s office that offered Saturday hours to ask if we were working with the right kind of doctor before moving forward with scheduling a surgery on Monday.

Meanwhile, the size of the “lump” on the outside of Sebastian’s head had grown from nickel sized to half dollar sized.

I was able to speak with one of our Pediatricians. She was appalled at the length of time it took to get us results and said that she would review the MRI and call us back. Within a half hour she called back and told us that an Oncologist would meet us at Hemby Children’s Hospital in an hour.

Once at the hospital Sebastian had a gamut of blood tests done. He also had a CT scan with contrast. Following the Oncologists review of the blood work, MRI and CT scan he told us that evening that he was 99% sure that Sebastian had a form of cancer called Langerhans’ Cells Histiocytosis (diagnosis #3). Specifically the Eosiniphilic Granuloma kind. He said that a biopsy of the tumor would be done so that we could be 100% sure and recommended that a Port-a-Catheter be placed during the same surgery so that Sebastian could begin Chemotherapy treatments the following week. That same evening (March 8th) we met with the Nuero Surgeon who would be performing the biopsy.

Sebastian had a full skeletal survey on Wednesday, March 12th. The survey revealed a tumor in the center of his upper right humerus about two thirds of the way up from his elbow.

On Friday, March 14th Sebastian underwent surgery to have the Port-a-Cather placed by a Pediatric Surgeon and was then flipped over to have the biopsy done by the Nuero Surgeon. The initial biopsy results done during the surgery came back that the tumor was NOT Langerhan’s Cells Histiocytosis after all. The Nuero Surgeon went ahead and removed the tumor which was larger than a “golf ball.”

We met with another Oncologist from the practice on Monday, March 18th. She explained to us that the Pathologist at Presbyterian Main Hospital thought that the tumor might be a Juvenile Xanthogranuloma (diagnosis #4) and that the specimen had been sent to the Pathologist at Carolinas Medical Center Hospital nearby and they concurred. They were not willing however to “close out” the pathology before having the case reviewed by THEE “World Expert” in bone Tumors, a guy named Dr. Krishnan Unni.

We were told that this expert was retired and out of the country for two weeks but that he agreed to review or case when he returned. In the meantime Sebastian would have a Bone Scan which our oncologists predicted would be negative. Sebastian had the Bone Scan done on Tuesday, the next day. The Oncologist called the day after that with the results of the Bone Scan. The scan confirmed the presence of a tumor in his right arm.

The Bone Tumor Expert determined that the tumor in Sebastian’s head was what is called a Giant Cell Tumor (diagnosis #5). The Expert said that he thought the tumor in Sebastian’s arm was completely un-related. Every other doctor we spoke with concurred. Giant Cell tumors are particularly aggressive and have a 60% recurrence rate. The Nuero Surgeon who removed the tumor didn’t perform the surgery the “right way” for this type of tumor because no-one guessed that this is the type of tumor that it would be.

The reason why no one would have determined it to be a Giant Cell Tumor is because these tumors don’t occur in people with open growth plates (meaning males under the age of 17---Sebastian is 3!). They also do NOT occur in flat bones like the skull. They are usually found in the joint area of the long bones of 20-40 year old females. Sebastian’s case is an exceedingly rare phenomenon.

Six weeks later we took Sebastian for another MRI to see how his head was doing and to get images of the tumor in his arm. He also had a fine needle biopsy done of his right arm at this time. To our dismay the MRI showed that the tumor that had been removed from his head had already started to grow back. The results from the biopsy of the tumor in his arm were inconclusive.

On May 29th he had another surgery to remove the recurrent tumor and to cut away a "radical" margin from his skull, leaving quite a large hole in his head. The Nuero Surgeon who worked on him filled the space with a synthetic calcium paste. He did an amazing job! Aside from a 5 inch incision down the back of his head we think his recovery has been incredible. During the same surgery Sebastian also had an open biopsy done of the tumor in his right arm by a Paediatric Orthopedic Surgeon.

The samples were all sent again to the World Bone Tumor Expert doctor to review. The Pathology report confirmed that the recurrent tumor in his head was another Giant Cell Tumor but to everyone's surprise the tumor in his arm was also a Giant Cell Tumor--making his already exceedingly rare case that much more extraordinary.Giant Cell tumors are usually isolated and do not occur simultaneously throughout the body. His sixth diagnosis is now Multicentric Giant Cell Tumors. So far as any doctor can tell us they can't find another case like it.....EVER!

The treatment for him is repeated surgery. Which means that we wait to see if the tumors grow back or more develop and then cut them out with “radical” margins. The chemotherapy and interferon “modalities” that this type of tumor responds to are highly toxic. Sebastian will have another round of testing done in the next dew weeks. He'll have a CT scan and a bone scan to see if any new tumors are developing. We hope and pray that his tests are clear.

Sebastian has been such a strong and brave boy throughout this whole ordeal. We could not be more proud of him. He is really resilient –heck most of the time I can’t keep up with him and his sister.

Now on to the positive stuff:

Last time Sebastian was staying in the hospital one of the Oncologists told us that they refer all of their “tumor” kids to the Make A Wish Foundation. We’d always been under the impression that Make A Wish was for terminally ill children and were surprised to find out that the majority of “wish kids” go on to lead happy and healthy lives (we hope that’s our Sebastian!). Within a week I was speaking with a woman named Liz from Central and Western North Carolina Make A Wish Foundation. She said they work with Sebastian’s Doctors and the Child-Life specialist at the Blume Hematology and Oncology Clinic all the time…how cool! So I gave Liz all of our family information (Sebastian’s age, siblings, interests, favorite characters-- that sort of thing) and she said they would be in touch after reviewing Sebastian’s case with his Doctors to determine Sebastian’s medical eligibility.

We were so surprised to get that call from a woman named Erin Hess. She said she was from the Make A Wish foundation and was going to be one of Sebastian’s “Wish Granters.” OMG! I started balling. I’d put it out of my mind not wanting to set our hopes for Sebastian on something like that. With three surgeries in three months and another still to come it’s been a difficult year for the little guy. We were so excited to see what he would come up with. Whatever he chose we were sure that it would bring him much joy.

On June 17th, 2008 Sebastian met his “Wish Granter’s” Erin and Shonda. Sebastian was so excited that he waited by the door ready to let them in when they arrived. What a joy to see him and Siennah filled with such delight. I was tearing up and they had not even come through the door yet!

Erin and Shonda arrived at 6:15 p.m. hands full of goodies for the kids. They introduced themselves and gave Sebastian a play-doh set, a stuffed dinosaur and a purple inflatable guitar and Siennah a book called “Elmo Loves You.”

The kids were excited to show Erin and Shonda their rooms and playroom. Then we settled into the bonus room to talk. Sebastian and Siennah dug into the play-doh straightaway. Grandma and Pap Pap came over around 6:30 and helped keep the kids occupied while Brian and I filled out all sorts of paper work and publicity releases. It was all so exciting!

Back on the day that we got the phone call from Erin, as we were driving home from grocery shopping, Brian asked Sebastian what he thought he might wish for if he could have “one wish.” After an explanation of exactly what a wish is, Sebastian said, completely unprompted and without hesitation, “I want to go to DISNEY!! I want to see Buzz Lightyear, Mickey Mouse, and Lightning McQueen. That’s my choice!” Big grin.

With his hero Buzz Lightyear in October 2007

I wish I possessed that kind of self assured decisiveness. My friends and I often joke about how it took me over a month to settle on what color Bumbo seat to order (there were only 3 color choices) and four times that long to choose a double stroller.

It was easy for Sebastian to conjure what would bring him the most joy. I think his happiest memories in his 3 and half year life are from our family trip to Orlando in October 2007. It was a magical time for all of us and it made perfect sense that he would want to go back and see his beloved heros, Buzz, Mickey and McQueen and of course enjoy his favorite past time…RIDES!

Knowing what Sebastian was likely to tell his Wish Granters when we met we started “googling” “Make A Wish Disney Trip” to get an idea of what to anticipate. We found loads of information right here on the DIS forums. We read as many “Wish Tripper” stories as we could. Each and every inspiring story made me choke up.

We found that Disney is actually the number one wish of kids who have faced life threatening condition. Disney fulfilled more than 6,000 Disney-related wishes in 2007 (out of 13,007 total wishes in 2007!) sponsored by Make A Wish. Disney has been a part of over 50,000 wishes since the Foundation started 25 years ago.

With Disney being the most common request the “Disney Wish” process seems to have been made into a smooth and streamlined experience yet personalized and unique depending on each child’s specific Disney wish. We learned that most Wish trip kids stay at a resort called Give Kids the World (GKTW). This resort is like a wonderland that exists solely for wish trips. The whole thing was started by a Holocaust survivor named Henri Landwirth. You have to check it out for yourself at http://www.gktw.org/

From what we found Make A Wish takes care of the transportation to and around Orlando and spending money while Give Kids the World provides accommodations in one of their two bedroom spacious villas” and donated theme park tickets. They offer 3 day park hopper tickets for the four Disney parks, 2 days park hopper tickets for Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure and 1 day tickets for Sea World as well as other are attractions like Bush Gardens.

GKTW also provides all meals at the resort for free. They serve breakfast and dinner in a restaurant called “The Gingerbread House” and frozen delights are available all day long at the “Ice Cream Palace.” The Village also has a carousel, mini golf course, Castle of Miracles, arcade, pool, splash area, train and Movie Theater. They host a plethora of activities during your stay such as horseback riding, pirate and princess parties, character meet and greets and a life size game of Candy Land. They even make it Christmas once a week complete with Santa, carriage rides, snow and twinkling lights! Here I go again with the crying as I type this!

When Erin and Shonda started talking to Sebastian he rattled off the full list of Disney characters he wants to meet. Most importantly, Buzz Lightyear, Mickey Mouse and Lightning McQueen. He has also added Emperor Zurg and Mater to the throng.

Sebastian with his "Wish Granters" Erin and Shonda

Erin and Shonda asked Sebastian his favorite color- green, food- pizza, drink- soda (Ha!) T.V. shows –Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Buzz Lightyear of Star Command (surprised?) Ice-cream- vanilla/chocolate with “eyes” like at Bruster’s, Candy- giant swirl lolli-pops (wonder where he’s had those?), sports teams –Steelers, Carolina and USF (just like Daddy!)

Erin had Sebastian draw his wish on a specially marked piece of paper. With some assistance he drew Cinderella’s castle with Buzz Lightyear standing in front of it. At least that is what it somewhat resembled.

When Erin asked Sebastian what his “second choice” wish was in case Disney World was not possible he couldn’t even grasp the notion. So his second choice wish is actually Disneyland. He’s determined.

Brian and I requested to make the trip in the early part of December. We have a plethora of reasons for wanting wait. The biggest of which is the impending arrival of baby #3, little Savannah. We figure by December Savannah will be sleeping longer stretches at night and nursing a little less often. Being from Florida, we don’t want to go anywhere near the huge Disney crowds in the hot and humid summer months (especially this pregnant!) “Summer” in Florida lasts well through the end of September so we would like to wait for it to cool off. The weather in December should be pleasant and according to my handy dandy Disney guide books the weeks preceding Christmas are also the least crowded time of the year. Plus, all the theme parks have special holiday themed events and decorations that run throughout the month. Making the happiest place on earth that much more magical. Our second choice was early November, again for the weather and crowds followed by January 2009 around Sebastian’s birthday.

Last week we found out that Sebastian’s wish has been approved. We selected the travel dates of December 6th-14th, 2008.

We asked if it was possible to extend our trip beyond the time at GKTW and move over to another hotel using our Hilton Honors points. Our request was approved. We will be staying at Give Kids the World for the standard five nights and then moving to another hotel. We’ll be traveling with a three and a half year old, a two year old and a three month old. We figure we’ll need time plenty of time for naps and nursing.

Having lived in Florida for most of our lives, I guess you could call us Orlando theme park veterans. We used to buy annual passes for Disney. Our children seem to have inherited our enthusiasm for theme parks. As previously mentioned, last October 2007 before Sebastian got sick, we fulfilled a life-long wish of mine to experience the wonder of Walt Disney World with my children. We spent nine wonderful days touring the four Disney parks, the two Disney water parks and Mickey’s Back Yard BBQ. (I didn’t do a DIS forum “trip report” but I did write all about it on our family blog. If anyone is interested in reading PM me)

I'm sure this trip will be quite different and special. Thankfully Brian and I don't feel any pressure to see any particular attraction since at some point we've covered pretty much everything. We are excited to make Sebastian the star of the show! He has grown over four inches since our last trip and if he grows another ¾ of an inch between now and December he should be able to experience the 40" rides at the parks. I think he will love Soarin!

I am very excited to have started the nitty gritty planning of our trip-- which park to visit on which day, the schedule for each day, where to eat etc. I am an organizational fanatic and really enjoy planning for positive events—almost as much as the events themselves. Oh I can see the big beautiful binder and page protectors in my head already! How absolutely wonderful it will be to spend my time on-line planning a vacation instead of just furiously researching tumors!

I’ve read The Complete Walt Disney World, Passporter’s Walt Disney World, Beyond Disney the Unofficial Guide and The Unofficial Guide Walt Disney World cover to cover. I’ve been using the Touringplans.com website for the crowd calendar to choose which parks to visit on which days. On our last trip to Disney I printed out the live entertainment schedules, character greeting time locations, and menus for the restaurants we would be eating at. I made numbered maps with our touring route. I even had it planned out what each person was wearing each day of the trip as well as check list for what to pack in my diaper bag for each half of the day. Nuts, I know!

While I am always delighted by those unexpected, spontaneous surprises on the trip I find that all the time spent in planning makes the trip itself so much more enjoyable. Who wants to “think” on vacation? I loved knowing what we were wearing, where we were headed when and what we needed to bring. This trip will be a little different with Make A Wish doing a lot of the major planning –like flights and transportation. Much will be “out of our control.” Still I’ve found tons of great information from past Wish Trippers here on the DIS forums. Please keep the great tips coming!

Sebastian’s wish has brought even us adults “hope” and something to look forward to through all the crap. Someday we’ll be riding real roller coasters instead of metaphorical emotional ones!

Stay tuned for our “Rough Draft” Itinerary.

Last edited by AmberGreenawalt; 07-10-2008 at 07:20 AM.
AmberGreenawalt is offline  
Old 07-09-2008, 05:05 PM   #2
Join Date: May 2008
Location: West Jordan, Utah
Posts: 372

Oh my goodness. You really will be ready for this trip by December. How wonderful for you and Sebastian and everyone. A few years ago, my husband and I took a quick trip to Disney World the week after Thanksgiving. It was so wonderful. It really got us into the holiday spirit and the decorations were so cool! You certainly have done a lot of research so you can be an expert for us all on the Wishtrippers.

You kids are darling, we love redheads in our family. Of course we love blonds and brunettes and even bald guys. Sebastian has such a wonderful face. As I do for all wish kids, I will pray for you and your family if that is alright.

Looking for more info soon,
OKW Aug 1994, Sept 2008
All Star Sports With 14 people Aug 1997
Marriott Residence Inn May 2000, Feb 2003, Mar 2005, Mar 2006
Port Orleans Riverside June 2002
Pop Century Nov 2005, Jan 2008

Karlyn's Wish is Coming True
bigdisgrandma is offline  
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 07-09-2008, 05:20 PM   #3
Missing Orlando...
GoofyDoo's Avatar
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 340

Amber, your report is SO moving...I had chills as I was reading about Sebastian's trials. I am so excited for you and don't know of a more deserving family. Your kids are precious!!
GoofyDoo is offline  
Old 07-09-2008, 05:44 PM   #4
Proud mama to a DD who beat HLH
Iluvmickeymouse!'s Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Iowa
Posts: 612

What an absolutely wonderful start to your tr! Love the pics Your little one has been through sooo much!! I can't wait to read more!!!
Iluvmickeymouse! is offline  
Old 07-09-2008, 11:50 PM   #5
DIS Veteran
LeeLee2U's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Great State of TEXAS
Posts: 2,008

I'm in I'm in I'm in!!! I know this is going to be fantastic!!!
I might be sporadic with being able to read this with the things going on with my own wish kid and my DH who was almost a Wish kid but got to sick and then he was too old!!!
But Oh you are such a great writer and your kids are beautifull!!!!


Wish Trippers Unite home Page
"Those that mind don't matter. Those that matter don't mind." Dr.SEUSS

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. PSALM 121:1-2

Please Don't Take Your Organs to Heaven.
Heaven Knows We Need Them Here!
LeeLee2U is offline  
Old 07-10-2008, 11:02 AM   #6
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 13


And I thought I was an organization freak!!
I'm leaving for my trip August 19th, and have read Frommer's,
Birnbaum's, The Unofficial Guide to Disney, and Disney for
Kids. And that's just in the last month!
It's good to know I'm in good organizational company...
You have a gorgeous family!
laurenmama is offline  
Old 07-10-2008, 11:19 AM   #7
bex271's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Location: alabama
Posts: 446

I'm in too, your kids are so cute.

bex271 is offline  
Old 07-19-2008, 03:05 PM   #8
DIS Veteran
jham's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,004

Originally Posted by AmberGreenawalt View Post
our last trip to Disney I printed out the live entertainment schedules, character greeting time locations, and menus for the restaurants we would be eating at. I made numbered maps with our touring route. I even had it planned out what each person was wearing each day of the trip as well as check list for what to pack in my diaper bag for each half of the day. Nuts, I know!
Nuts? What are you talking about? This is the Disboards! Some people even change their kids outfits several times a day for different meals or rides

Thank you so much for sharing Sebastian's story! I followed your link from GoofyDoo's PTR. Your kids are absolutely gorgeous! I love that so much personality shines through in those photos! I'm excited to follow along as you plan your trip!

Last edited by jham; 07-19-2008 at 05:47 PM.
jham is offline  
Old 07-19-2008, 04:24 PM   #9
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 318

Originally Posted by jham View Post
Nuts? What are you talking about? This is the Disboards! Some people even change their kids oufits several times a day for different meals or rides

Thank you so much for sharing Sebastian's story! I followed your link from GoofyDoo's PTR. Your kids are absolutely gorgeous! I love that so much personality shines through in those photos! I'm excited to follow along as you plan your trip!
I AM one of THOSE people. I changed my kids clothes at the park!!! I had Siennah wear a Minnie Mouse Dress when we met Minnie, Sebastian wear a Mickey Mouse costume when he met Mickey and his Buzz costume when he met Buzz. I had Siennah wear a snow white costume for our Princess Dinner at Akershus and a Tink costume on another day. And that's not even getting started on the coordinating ensebles I made the whole family wear aside from Character meetings. Brian thought I was completely insane. At least I can take some comfort in the fact that there are others out there just like me. So glad to have found a home here on DIS.

AmberGreenawalt is offline  
Old 07-19-2008, 08:12 PM   #10
Earning My Ears
fanofgrumpy's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Fort Wayne, IN
Posts: 19

Hi Amber! I just love the idea of changing outifts to meet different characters and dinners. My children would never allow me to do this. I'm very enivous of when you are going, my dream is to make it to wdw at Christmas time. I'll be waiting for updates.
Shellie DH DS 11 DS 5

1st trip 11/2000-offsite
06/2007-AS Sports
08/2009-ASMv-for ds bday
fanofgrumpy is offline  
Old 07-19-2008, 09:41 PM   #11
DIS Veteran
bellasmommy0's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 666

Hi, I am definitely in on this. Your children are both gorgeous. I dont even know how I would be feeling if in the situation you are in. I am grateful everyday for my DD health, I cant imagine if something like this were to come up with her.
We will be there the same time as you. We will be there Dec 6-16th at All Star Movies. I will keep my eye out for a cute little red head!! Cant wait to hear more
bellasmommy0 is offline  
Old 07-20-2008, 10:13 PM   #12
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 318

I still can’t believe that Sebastian is having his wish granted! I feel so unbelievably grateful that he and our entire family are going to get to have such a positive experience. Whenever I think about it, it fills me with such joy!

We’ve been a little preoccupied lately with Sebastian’s recent round of testing and preparing for the impending arrival of baby #3, Savannah. All the while though we’ve continued to talk about and get excited for Sebastian’s wish trip. I’ve found that working on the planning has been a nice little diversion and it’s been great to hear Sebastian tell us all about the things he wants to see and do. This will give you some insight into how “into” the whole planning process I get. It’s a work in progress (especially since I usually only have 5-15 minutes to spare at any given time) but it’s coming along.

We tend to be pretty commando in our theme park touring. Our extended family has lamented that they have a hard time keeping up with us in a theme park…even with two kids, a double stroller and a big pregnant belly. We like to have a basic “plan of attack.” Of course with little ones we have to be flexible and make changes as needed. The inevitable potty trips and nursing breaks will of course take some time. I’m sure we won’t get to everything on our touring plan and that’s okay but we know we’re sure to get to do more with a plan than without one.

Brian and I are coaster junkies so we plan to get our big adult ride done first thing in the morning (when there is no wait) so we can spend the rest of the day focusing on making Sebastian’s dream’s come true. Our number one goal is for Sebastian (and Siennah) to get to do the things that they love and hob-knob with their favorite characters. I get more of a thrill seeing their faces light up than any coaster could offer.

GKTW gives Wish families three day park hopper tickets for the four Disney parks. Since Disney Hollywood Studios is all about Pixar these days and we have one little boy who sure loves the Pixar characters we plan to spend a whole day there. We like to break up the Magic Kingdom over the course of several days. I find it to be the most “overwhelming” park in that there is just so much to see and do there for little ones. We are also big fans of minimizing walking and back tracking if it can be helped. So we try to tackle one or two MK lands per day. Adding a half day with Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas party will definitely help keep things at a less frantic pace.

We’re planning on making “rope drop” each morning. Our kids are early risers. We are lucky if Sebastian ever sleeps past 6:30 a.m.! They also prefer eating cereal to just about anything else on God’s green earth so the “continental” breakfast fare at the Gingerbread House in the early hours should suite them just fine. We’re used to doing Extra Magic Hour mornings so a 9:00 park opening will feel positively “leisurely.”

For now we’re planning on playing the nap situation by ear. On our last trip we headed back to the hotel several days for an afternoon siesta. The problem was that with the travel time it ate up a huge chunk of the day. We found that on the days that the kids fell asleep in the stroller while still at the park they slept just as well (if not better) than when we made the journey back to the resort. Thankfully we’ll be able to utilize the Wish Lounge at Magic Kingdom and the V.I.P. lounge at Epcot. We’re also planning on bringing a double jogger that has fully reclining seats. This is one of our reasons for passing on the Disney double rental. One the extended portion of our trip we are planning on staying at a hotel very near Sea World/Universal so it should be easier to return for naps should the need arise.

I’m actually excited for the shorter park hours in December. It means that shows that we love like Spectromagic and Fantasmic run earlier, making it so we can enjoy them and still be back at GKTW for their evening festivities and our kid’s early bed times.

As you’ll see, we are big fans of character dining. We tend to spend our money on these types of experiences instead of souvenirs. Our kids think that the character meals ARE attractions. It probably takes more time than a counter service meal (though in our experience not much more) but it’s a nice chance to sit down, relax and take a break. Let’s face it, us Commandos don’t plan too many of those. The kids delight in the up-close and personal interaction with the characters and are thrilled to collect more signatures for the autograph book and pillow cases.

So here goes our annotated and pictorial touring plan. Hope you enjoy!:

Saturday, December 6th

We plan to spend our first day traveling and checking out the Give Kids the World Village and all the wonderful activities it has to offer. I'm still ine awe that such an amazing place exists.

Breakfast, Get ready to go
Depart, Charlotte N.C.
Arrive Orlando, Florida
We requested an early morning flight. Hopefully that will work out.
Get Baggage
Get Rental Car
Check into Give Kids the World Village
Attend afternoon Orientation pick up Theme Park tickets
Freshen Up
Lunch and ice cream at Ice Cream Palace
Go to nearby Wal-Mart for diapers, wipes, etc.
Make the kid’s special Pillows
Make Sebastian’s Star
Arrange to rent video camera from GKTW
Ride Carousel
Ride Train
Play Putt Putt Golf
Give kids Bath
Get Stuff Ready for Next Day
5:00 Dinner at Chef Mickey’s
[/COLOR]We have yet to get an ADR for this, but we’ll keep trying.
7:30 PM Mayor Clayton’s Birthday Party -8:30 PM
8:30 PM Put kids to bed

Sunday, December 7th

6:30 AM Wake Up
7:30 Get ready to go
8:00 AM Arrive Animal Kingdom
Pick up park map and times guide
Take pictures in front of Tree of Life

8:30 Donald’s Safari Breakfast at Tusker House
We are pretty excited that this Character meal is now located at Tusker House in Africa. When we are done eating we will be positioned right by Kilimanjaro Safari for the park opening.
9:00 AM Animal Kingdom opens head straight for Asia
Get Fast Passes for Expedition Everest
~9:15 Ride Kilimanjaro Safaris 22 min. Avg. wait: 20 min morning, 45 min afternoon. Fast Pass Available
Last time we rode Expedition Everest first thing when the park opened and by the time we were done baby swapping for it and walking over to Kilimajaro Safari we ended up waiting in what was our longest que at AK.

~9:45 See Pangani Forest Exploration Trail allow 20 minutes
I’ll never forget that Pangani is Swahili for “place of enchantment” this trail truly lives up to its meaning.

~10:15 See Maharajah Juncle Trek allow 20 minutes
It’s not everyday that you get to see Kimodo dragons, tapirs, giant bats, and tigers. Our kids really enjoyed these trails. Hopefully the animals will be active in the cooler early morning hours.

~10:40 Ride Expedition Everest with Fast Passes. 3 minutes. Avg. wait: 30 min morning 90 min afternoon. Fast Passes Available- passes sold out by noon. 44”

~ 11:05 Get in line for Finding Nemo the Musical
11:30 See Finding Nemo the Musical 35 min. Avg. wait: 45 min for great seats. Fast Passes available. 1:00, 3:15 & 4:45pm
This Broadway quality show is arguably Disney’s best, the beautiful spectacle of color, movement and imagination makes it our favorite! We’d like to be able to sit in the center this time.
While in line for Nemo one of us get Fast Passes for Dinosaur
12:15 PM Lunch at Flame Tree Barbeque
Best Fast Food in the park and great seating by the water.
Ride Dinosaur 3 min 30 sec. Avg. wait: none morning 30 min afternoon. Fast Pass Available. 40”
Baby Swap for Dinosaur
We think this is actually the scariest ride at Disney World! If we are short on time Brian and I could pass on this intense and frenetic attraction.
Ride TriceraTop Spin 1 ½ min Avg. wait: 15 min morning 30 min afternoon
Our kids enjoyed this so much on our last visit that we rode it fours times in a row. We’ll probably end up switching off to ride Dinosaur and taking the kids on repeated rides on Triceratop Spin.

1:20 Head to Camp Minnie Mickey and get in line for Festival of the Lion King
2:00 See Festival of the Lion King 28 min. Avg. wait: Get to the theater at least 45 min early to get one of the best seats. 9:40, 10:40 & 11:40am, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 & 4:30pm
The singers, dancers, fire twirlers, acrobats, robotics and all our favorite Lion King characters are amazing. I hope our wish boy gets chosen to be a part of the show.
2:35 See Character Greeting Trails
See It's Tough to be a Bug! 8 mins. Avg. wait: 30 min. Fast Pass Available.
Must remember to snap a picture of the kids in their uber cute “bug eyes” 3D glasses.
3:25 Stake out seats for the Jingle Jungle Parade See near tip board- at point nearest exit to park.
3:45 See the Jingle Jungle Parade 15 min.
The kids have not seen this parade and I am really looking forward to seeing the Holiday version.
4:30 Arrive Magic Kingdom
 Check out Make A Wish Lounge
Head for Adventureland and ride Pirates of the Caribbean 9 min. Avg. wait: 10 min morning 60 min afternoon. Fast Pass Available
Ride Jungle Cruise 10 min. Avg. wait: 10 min morning 60 min afternoon. Fast Pass Available
The kids love the “animals” and I think the corny jokes are a hoot… “The Nile River goes on for Niles and Niles and Niles. If you don’t believe me, then your in de-Nile.”
Aloha Isle for Dole Whip snacks
Pineapple soft serve ice cream, YUM!
Ride The Magic Carpets of Aladdin 90 sec. Avg. wait 5 min morning, 30 min afternoon
Another “hub and spoke” ride. Our kids can’t get enough of these! You get a great view over Adventureland clear through to Space Mountain across the park.

See The Enchanted Tiki Room 11 min. Avg wait: 5 min morning 15 min afternoon
Head for Frontierland and ride Big Thunder Mountain Rail Road 3 ½ minutes. Avg. wait: 10 min morning, 60 min, afternoon. 40”
Baby Swap for Big Thunder Mountain Rail Road
Ride Splash Mountain 12 min. Avg. wait: 10 min morning, 75 min afternoon. Fast Pass Available. 40”. Duck down before the splash, stay down till after the splash. Front seat get wettest.
Baby Swap for Splash Mountain
Sebastian will be tall enough to ride these big attractions. He’s a coaster lover but we’ll see how he is feeling about Splash Mountain.
7:00 Magic Kingdom Closes
Dinner Gingerbread House GKTW
7:30 Candy Land Party GKTW –8:30 p.m.
Give kids Bath
8:30 PM Put kids to bed
Get Stuff Ready for Next Day

If we have lots of extra time, which I highly doubt, we will do Primeval Whirl, Play in the Boneyard, explore the Swiss Family Tree House and ride the Liberty Square Riverboat. If we arrive at the Magic Kigdom in time we’d like to catch the 4:25 set of Captain Jack Sparrow’s Pirate Tutorial.

This trip we will be skipping Rafiki’s Planet Watch since it eats up a lot of time. We also plan to pass on Flights of Wonder. We are not keen on rides where you get completely drenched, especially since it will be December, so we’ll also be skipping Kali River Rapids. At Magic Kingdom we’ll be skipping Country Bear Jamboree. It is the only WDW attraction that Brian and I just plain don’t enjoy. We spent a lot of time exploring Tom Sawyer Island last time because Sebastian wasn’t tall enough to do the Mountains. So this time we’ll be headed for the Big Thunder and Splash instead. We’re also opting to pass on the WDW Railroad. Breaking down two strollers for our three kids is too much of a PIA.

Monday, December 8th

Since Sebastian loves all things Pixar and there are many wonderful shows we plan to see we’ll be spending a full day at Disney Hollywood Studios.

6:30 AM Wake Up
7:30 AM Get ready to go
8:00 AM Disney Character Photos at GKTW (try to do Thursday morning)
8:20 AM Arrive Disney Hollywood Studios try to get into Breakfast earlier
8:45 Breakfast Play and Dine at Hollywood and Vine JoJo & Little Einsteins
If we can get into the park and seated earlier than our 8:45 a.m. ADR then great! If not we’ll cancel this since we don’t want to be tied up at a restaurant when the park opens.

Pick up park map and times guide
9:00 Disney Hollywood Studios Opens
Get Fast Passes for Tower of Terror
Ride Rockin Roller Coaster 1 ½ min. Avg. wait: 30 min morning, 60 min afternoon. Use Single Rider line. Fast Pass Available. Choose right line to ride front seat.
Baby Swap for Rockin Roller Coaster
We plan to get this “adult” ride done and out of the way early when there is no line.
Ride Toy Story Mania 5 ½ min. Fast Pass Available
This is a “must do” for our wish boy Sebastian who is crazy about Toy Story!
10:30 See Playhouse Disney Live on Stage 22 min. Avg. wait: 25 min. Sit in the middle the stage is a few feet high. 9:30, 10:30 & 11:30, 12:15, 1:30, 2:30, 3:40, 4:25, 5:15 & 6:30pm
Looking forward to Sebastian seeing the revamped version of this interactive show. It now includes all his Disney channel favorites like Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Handy Manny.
~11:00 See The Voyage of the Little Mermaid 17 min. Avg. wait: 10 min morning 45 min afternoon Fast Pass Available. Don’t sit too close to the stage. Best view in center rows.
Sebastian loved the water curtain and lively musical numbers—especially the “Under the Sea” number sang by the little red crab that shares his name.
See The Incredibles at the Magic of Disney Animation 10:45-1:50, 2:25-5:35
11:25 get seats for Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage
Take turns riding Tower of Terror with fast passes while we wait for Beauty and the Beast 4 min. Avg. wait: 20 min morning, 60 min afternoon. Fast Pass Available. In Library go to the corner furthest away from the door you enter the room from. Left line is quicker.
Since Beauty and the Beast and TOT are close to each other we figure we’ll maximize the wait and sneak in another adult ride during this time. I love that since the drop sequence has been randomized it’s never the same ride twice.
12:00 See Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage 25 min. Arrive 45 minutes before show time to sit down front. 10:45, 12:00, 1:45, 3:35 & 5:00
12:30 Lunch Toy Story Pizza Planet
Sebastian has specially requested that we eat lunch here. He loves Pizza Planet because it’s from Toy Story.
[~1:10 See Jim Henson’s MuppetVision 3-D 25 min. Avg. wait: 15 min. (mostly spent watching pre-show)
See Toy Story Friends Al's Toy Barn From 10:00am to 1:40pm & 3:35pm to 5:20pm
See Lightning McQueen & Mater Streets of America 9:35, 10:35 & 11:35am, 12:35 & 4:15pm
Buzz and Lightning McQueen are MUST see characters on Sebastian’s wish trip.

~1:40 Get seats for Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
2:00 See Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular 32 min. Avg. wait: 10 min morning, 30 min afternoon. Get there early to sit in the first few rows. 11:30, 12:45, 4:00, 5:15, 7:15
2:30 Stake out a seat for the Block Party Parade By where parade starts between Star Tours and Indiana Jones.

3:00 PM Block Party Parade 15-20 minutes
We’re looking forward to seeing this new parade filled with a cavalcade of Sebastian’s favorite Pixar buddies. I hope the “Streetmosphere” pre-parade entertainers are still a part of it. They were great at keeping us amused while we waited.
~3:20 Ride Star Tours 7 min. Avg. wait: 10 min morning, 45 min afternoon. Fast Pass Available. 40”
Baby Swap for Star Tours
See Mike & Sully of Monsters, Inc. Commissary Lane 11:00am to 1:25pm; 2:35pm & 3:30pm to 6:10pm
Ride The Great Movie Ride 22 min. Avg. wait: 25 min morning, 60 min peak afternoon.
4:00 Get seats for Lights Motors Action Extreme Stunt Show
4:30 See Lights Motors Action Extreme Stunt Show 33 min. Arrive 30 min early for good seats. 1:00
We have not seen this show before. We didn’t have time on our last visit. I think Sebastian will really enjoy the cars.
5:20 PM Dinner Mama Melrose Ristorante Italiano Fantasmic Package
We have not been able to get an ADR for the Fantasmic dinner package yet. If it doesn’t work out we’ll pick up some yummy sandwiches at Starring Rolls and take them over to the stadium to eat while we wait.
See Osborne Spectacle of Lights
6:15 Stake out seats in the reserved area for Fantasmic
We hope to be able to do the dining package and use the special reserved seating entrance for the Fantasmic Show. It was nice to be able to scoot in a half hour before show time and get great seats. We bring along glow in the dark goodies from our local Dollar store to keep the kids amused while we wait.
7:00 Fantasmic! 25 minutes
Fantasmic is the “kitchen sink” of nighttime extravaganzas. You can’t help but utter “Wow!” at this show.
8:00 Disney Hollywood Studios closes

8:00 Safari Double Dare GKTW
Give kids Bath
8:30 PM Put kids to bed
Get Stuff Ready for Next Day

If we have lots of extra time, which from the show schedule isn’t likely we’ll try and sneak in The Magic of Disney Animation and some time at Honey I Shrunk the Kids Playground. We’ d also enjoy the Jedi Training Academy but because of his age, I doubt that Sebastian would be chosen to learn the Jedi routine.

We’ll be skipping Sounds Dangerous, which would totally freak Sebastian out! Loud sounds in the dark is way scarier to him than any roller coaster. I read this show is being turned into an American Idol attraction anyway. Journey into Narnia is also expendable. We also plan on passing on the Backlot tour. For the amount of time it takes and it’s out of the way location it’s not worth a repeat visit to us.

Tuesday, December 9th

Tuesday is our day to Relax and enjoy the Give Kids the World village again. Brian and I are looking forward to eating a “hearty” breakfast this day. Including a heaping helping of the much talked about Gingerbread House waffles!

8:00 Breakfast at the Gingerbread House
Horse Back Riding 8:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
Ride Carousel
Ride Train
Pool/Putt Putt/Play Room
12:00 Lunch and Ice Cream at The Ice Cream Palace
12:30 PM Long Naps
3:00 Get Ready to go
4:00 Arrive Magic Kingdom for Very Merry Christmas Party
Get the kids hair cut at the Harmony Barber Shop on Mainstreet USA $12.00 9:00-5:00
Not just any haircut, the kids get a sprinkling of pixie dust and mouse ears painted with colored hair-gel.

Head straight for Fantasyland. Get Fast Pass for a Fantasyland Ride.
Ride Dumbo the Flying Elephant 2 min. Avg. wait: 20 min morning, 90 min afternoon
For us Dumbo is the iconic epicenter of the Magic Kingdom experience.

See the Little Mermaid at Ariel’s Grotto
Ride Snow White’s Scary Adventure 2 ½ min. Avg. wait: 5 min morning, 60 min afternoon.
Ride Cinderella's Golden Carrousel 2 min. Avg. wait: 5 min morning, 30 min afternoon.

Ride The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh 3 ½ min. Avg. wait: 5 min morning 60 min afternoon. Fast Pass Available.

Ride Peter Pan’s Flight 3 min. Avg. wait: 5 min morning, 90 min afternoon. Fast Pass available.
See Mickey's PhilharMagic 12 min. Avg. wait: 10 min morning, 30 min afternoon
Ride "it's a small world" 11 min. Avg. wait: 5 min morning, 60 min peak afternoon
Sebastian and Siennah were awestruck by this happy and upbeat tour around the world but that blasted tune was hard to shake.
Head to Liberty Square, ride The Haunted Mansion 11 min. Avg. wait: 10 min morning, 45 min afternoon.
Through the years each time we’ve visited this masterpiece of special effects and detail we’ve noticed something new.
6:00 Dinner Columbia Harbor House Get Free Cookies and Hot Chocolate (also available at The Diamond Horseshoe Saloon and Tomorrowland Terrace Noddle Station)
Ride Mad Tea Party 2 min. Avg. wait: 5 min morning, 30 min afternoon.
The kids were absolutely delighted by the whirling twirling teacups. Sebastian kept urging Daddy to make it go faster and Siennah was grinning from ear to ear.

Take picture with Donald at his Tree Lot
7:00 PM Very Merry Christmas Party officially starts
This is sure to be one of the highlights of the trip. We are excited to spend the evening experiencing all the special holiday shows and events.
7:00 See Mickey's 'Twas the Night Before Christmas Show Galaxy Forecourt Stage 8, 9, 10:15 & 11:15
Get Holiday Photo done at The Time Keeper Theater (other photo location Adventureland Veranda)
7:45 PM Stake out seats for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parade featuring Santa and Mrs. Claus
7:45 While waiting see Celebrate the Season Show at the Castle Forecourt Stage 10:05 & 11:30
8:15 Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Parade (parade also at 10:30 PM)
9:30 Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season Fireworks Spectacular
10:00 See Belle’s Enchanted Christmas Story at Fairytale Garden 7:15, 8:10, 11:15
See “snow" on Main Street, U.S.A.
Snow in Florida! Now that’s magical!
See Santa at the at Exposition Hall
Change kids into Pajamas and brush teeth
Leave Park
Put kids to bed
Get Stuff Ready for Next Day

Wednesday, December 10th

6:30 AM Wake Up, Get ready to go
7:30 Breakfast at the Gingerbread House
8:20 AM Arrive Epcot
Pick up park map and times guide
9:00 AM Epcot opens
Ride Soarin’ 5 min. Avg. wait: 20 min morning 180 min afternoon. Fast Pass Available. 40”. The best Soarin’ seats are the top row center. Ask for Row 1 Gate B
This exhilarating yet mellow attraction is our favorite ride at WDW! I am so excited that Sebastian will get to go on it this time!
Baby Swap for Soarin’
Pick up Fast Passes to ride Soarin’ again later
~9:40 Ride Spaceship Earth 15 min. Fast Pass Available.Spaceship Earth was under refurbishment during our last visit. Sebastian had really wanted to go inside “the ball.” This trip we’ll get to see the new changes.
Get Fast Pass for Mission Space
~10:00 Ride Seas with Nemo & Friends 15 min. Avg. wait: 30 min morning, 90 min afternoon
~10:30 See Turtle Talk with Crush 17 min. Avg. wait: 17 min morning, 60 min afternoon.
The technology behind Crush’s spontaneous conversations with the audience blows my mind!
~11:00 Ride Journey into the Imagination with Figment 6min. Avg. wait: 5 min morning, 20 min afternoon
~11:20 See Honey I Shrunk the Audience 20 min. Avg. wait: 7 min morning, 15 min afternoon. Fast Pass Available. The show has the best focus if you sit in the center rear.
~11:45 Ride Living with the Land 14 min. Avg. wait: none morning, 60 min afternoon. Fast Pass Available.
~12:00 See Circle of Life 13 min. Avg. wait: 15 min
12:15 PM Lunch The Sunshine Season’s Food Fair Get Nestle Toll House Cookies for dessert
This is an awesome place for Counter Service lunch in Future World.
1:00 Ride Test Track 9 min. Avg. wait: 20 min morning, 90 min afternoon. Fast Pass Available. 40”
I’m jazzed that Sebastian is now tall enough to go on this ride!

Baby Swap with Sebastian while we get the girls started on Naps at Epcot V.I.P. Lounge
While the kids are napping Baby Swap for Mission: SPACE®
Ride Mission: SPACE® 6 min. Avg. wait: 10 min morning, 30 min afternoon. Fast Pass Available 44”. Stare straight at your monitor and do not close your eyes.
Ride Ellen’s Energy Adventure 45 min. New shows every 17 min. Avg. wait: 10 min. Sit in the theater’s back far right. You’ll be with the Dinos more and go under a few.
This attraction is long and we may not have time for it. If we do, it would be a great chance for Sebastian to get see some Dinosaurs.
Enjoy Ice Station Cool Coca Cola
Brian loves this little diversion. I can’t wait to get a picture of Sebastian and Siennah’s faces as they try the yucky “Beverly” soda from Italy.
See Characters at Innoventions
Take monorail to Magic Kingdom ride in the front car
This is such a neat experience. The monorail seems so much faster from the front car!

~3:00 Head to Tomorrowland and get Fast Passes for Space Mountain
Ride Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin 4 ½ min. Avg. wait: 10 min morning, 60 min afternoon. Fast Pass Available.
This addictive and goofy ride is Sebastian’s favorite. I imagine we’ll be riding this more than once!
See The Laughfloor Comedy Club 20 min. Avg. wait: 30 min morning, 60 min afternoon. Fast Pass Available.
Ride Astro Orbiter 2 min. Avg. wait: 10 min morning, 60 minutes afternoon.
See Carousel of Progress 21 min. No wait. Many sound details come from rear.
Shows this long will offer me a nice chance to nurse baby Savannah. The theme song of this attraction, “It’s a great big beautiful tomorrow” sums up our outlook for Sebastian’s tumor-free future.
Ride Tommorowland Transit Authority 10 min. No wait
We could not believe how much the kids enjoyed this ride. It offers great views of the Magic Kingdom, never has a wait and is a perfect respite for our tired feet.

Ride Space Mountain 2 ½ min. Avg. wait: 10 min morning, 60 min afternoon. Fast Pass Available. 44”. Take the Left Track. Ask for front row.
Baby Swap for Space Mountain
Ride Tomorrowland Speedway 5 min. Avg. wait: 10 min morning, 30 min afternoon
The kids also really enjoyed cruising along this miniature raceway. Never mind that Sebastian steered us into the guided track every couple of seconds.

Head to Toontown Fair and Ride The Barnstormer 1 min. Avg. wait: 30 minutes 35”
Sebastian won’t want to get off this short but zippy coaster.

See Princesses/Characters at Toon Town Hall of Fame
This one is for our little Princess Siennah. On our last trip we found this to be the best place for hob-knobbing with the royal gals. They spent even more time with us than at Akershus.

5:15 Dinner Liberty Tree Tavern
We still have not been able to get ADRs for Liberty Tree Tavern. It’s our favorite Character dining location. We all enjoy the Thanksgiving style food –especially the kids. Hopefully there will be some cancellations closer to our departure date.

6:20 PM Stake out seats for the Spectromagic Parade Either along Main Street near park exit or center of the Walt Disney Rail Road platform
Right in front of the castle is nice, but we’ve learned that closer to the exits is even more important.
7:00 See Spectromagic Parade 20 minutes
Spectro Magic is spectacular! The kids loved all the colorful lights on the floats and characters.
7:30 Leave Park immediately after- ahead of the crowds staying for Wishes Fireworks
Brian and I vowed that there is no way that we would ever get caught in the mass exodus funneling down Main street toward the park exit after the Wishes fireworks show ever again. Last October it took us over two hours after the 9:00 fireworks to get back to our hotel. This was after giving up on Disney transportation and taking a cab back to our hotel. The kids were exhausted and so were we. Not worth the 10 minute show. This time we figure we’ll be seeing the special holiday Fireworks at MVMCP in the middle of our night there so we can totally pass on the regular “Wishes”
8:00 Magic Kingdom Closes
Give kids Bath
8:30 PM Put kids to bed
Get Stuff Ready for Next Day

If we have lots of extra time we plan to re-ride Soarin’. Also depending on when the kids nap we’d like to catch the Dreams Come True parade again. If it doesn’t work out, it’s no big deal, we’ll be seeing several other parades including Spectro Magic that evening.

You might be wondering, “Where’s the World Showcase?” Given our kid’s ages and interests’ we’ve decided to skip it on this trip. While Brian and I love the world showcase the beauty of Venice and the detail of China is totally lost on them. If I had my druthers we’d be going to the Candle Light Processional...but alas we live in Toddlerville. I can’t see the kids appreciating it at their age. That’s part of the beauty of Disney though. There’s something for all stages and ages a family goes through. Hopefully someday we can comeback and enjoy savoring Christmas in the world showcase together. We did see the American Adventure and rode Maelstrom and Mexico ride last time so I don’t feel like they are missing too much. We’ll also be passing on Illuminations. Of all the evening shows this is the one that is least geared towards our kid’s ages. The hour long wait to stake out great seats last time seemed the least worth the 15 minute show of all the evening night-cap choices at Disney. Plus this show is only offered at 9:30 p.m. and we hope to have our little ones in bed by then.

In Tomorrowland we plan to skip Stitch’s great escape. Sebastian isn’t tall enough for this scary attraction anyway and Brian and I find it to be dumb and just plain gross.

Thursday, December 11th

We have never done Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure with kids. It will be a great to experience these parks through their eyes.

6:30 AM Wake Up, Get ready to go
7:30 Breakfast at the Gingerbread House
8:00 GKTW Disney Character Photos
8:30 AM Arrive Islands of Adventure
Pick up park map and times guide
9:00 AM Islands of Adventure opens head for Marvel Superhero Island
Ride Incredible Hulk Roller Coaster 1 ½ min. 54”. Universal Express available.
Baby Swap for Incredible Hulk Roller Coaster
Ride Amazing Adventures of Spiderman 4 ½ min. 40”. Universal Express available.
This was always our favorite attraction at IOA. I think Sebastian will enjoy hanging with Spidey.
Baby Swap for Amazing Adventures of Spiderman
Ride Storm Force Acceletron 1 ½ min. Universal Express available.
Since this is essentially a Marvel Comics version of the Tea Cups, the kids are sure to love it!
Enjoy Me Ship the Olive
Enjoy Camp Jurassic
See the Discovery Center allow 15 minutes
Ride Pteranodon Flyers 1 ½ min. 36”. Must be accompanied by an adult.
Head to the Lost Continent and ride Dueling Dragons Fire 1 min. 45 sec. 54”. Universal Express available.
Once upon a time we rode these coasters 14 times in one visit (seven each). Those days are long gone. Once on each coaster will probably do us in. We’ll try and plan this baby swap with nap time since it will actually involve 4 separate rides.
Ride Dueling Dragons Ice 1 min 45 sec. 54”.
Baby Swap for Dueling Dragons
Ride the Flying Unicorn 1 min. Universal Express available. 36”
Baby Swap for Flying Unicorn
See Poseidon’s Fury 17 min. Avg. wait: 25 min. Universal Express available.
See the Eighth Voyage of Sinbad 17 min. Avg. wait; 15 min. Universal Express available.
Head to Suess Landing and ride the Caro-Suess-El 2 min. Universal Express available.
What fun it will be to see our kid’s favorite bed time stories come to life.
Ride the Cat in the Hat 3 ½ min. Universal Express available.
Ride the High in the Sky Suess Trolley Train 3 ½ min. Universal Express available. 34”.
Ride on One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish 2 min. Universal Express available.
See Grinchmas Live Stage Show
See Who-ville
6:00 Islands of Adventure closes
We’re actually glad that the park closes early this evening. We should be back at GKTW in plenty of time for the Christmas festivities.
Dinner at Gingerbread House GKTW
Carriage Rides 6:30-8:45 GKTW
7:30 Winter Wonderland -8:30 GKTW
7:45 Winter Wonderland Parade GKTW
Give kids Bath
8:30 PM Put kids to bed
Get Stuff Ready for Next Day

Again we’ll be passing on the water rides: Dudley Do-Right’s Rip Saw Falls, Jurassic Park and Bilge Rat Barges.

Friday, December 12th

It’s been over seven years since we have visited Universal Studios. Looks like some pretty neat attractions have been added/revamped since then.

6:30 AM Wake Up, Get ready to go
7:30 Breakfast at the Gingerbread House
Checkout of Give Kids the World
8:20 AM Arrive Universal Studios
Pick up park map and times guide
9:00 AM Universal Studios Opens
Ride The Revenge of the Mummy 3 min. Use singles line. Switching off is available. Universal Express available.
Baby Swap for Revenge of the Mummy
We’ve never experienced Revenge of the Mummy. It is our one “must do” adult ride at Universal.
Ride Men In Black Alien Attack 2 ½ min. 42”. Universal Express available.
Baby Swap for Men In Black Alien Attack
Ride The Simpsons Ride 6 min. Universal Express available. 40”
Baby Swap for The Simpsons Ride
Ride E.T. Adventure 4 ½ min. Ride before 10:00! Universal Express available.
Both kids ought to love this high flying adventure.
Ride Disaster 20 min. Universal Express available.
Excited to see this revamp of Earthquake.
See Shrek 4-D 20 min. Universal Express available.
Our whole family enjoys the Shrek films so we’re looking forward to seeing them come to life in “4-D”
Ride Jimmy Nuetron’s Nicktoon Blast 4 min. 40”. Under 40” can sit in the motionless seats.
Lunch counter service
See Twister…Ride it Out 15 min. Avg. wait: 26 min. First show after rides. Universal Express available.
See Terminator 2: 3D 20 min. Avg. wait: 20-40 min.
Ride Jaws 5 min. Universal Express available.
We might consider switching off to ride this during a nap time otherwise we’ll probably skip it altogether. Brian and I have seen it so we know it’s likely to scare the pants off our preschoolers.
See KidZone Holiday Show
See Animal Actors on Location 25 min. Avg. wait: 25 min.
See Universal Horror Make-Up Show 25 min. Avg. wait: 20 min.
From what I remember this tongue-in-cheek show was more funny than gory.
See Beetlejuice’s Grave Yard Revue 18 min.
See Curious George Goes to Town
Sebastian loves Curious George and his crazy antics!
Ride Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster 36”
See Fivel’s Playground
I remember before I had kids thinking what a neat place this would be to bring my own some day. Now, we’ll have the chance!
See Barney's Christmas Show
Dinner Mel’s Drive In
See the Macy's Holiday Parade™
7:00 P.M. Universal Studios Closes
7:30 GKTW Pirates & Princesses Party with Shamu –8:30 p.m.
Check in to Hilton Hotel
Give kids Bath
8:30 PM Put kids to bed
Get Stuff Ready for Next Day

We will definitely be skipping Fear Factor Live-- none of us are interested in seeing someone eat sheep intestine or some other gross concoction. We’re also passing on the Lucy, A Tribute attraction.

Saturday, December 13th

Sea World is awesome for little kids! By this point in the trip we’re sure to be dragging. All the sit down shows will be a welcomed respite. Our animal loving kids are sure to enjoy this mother-of-all aquariums!

6:30 AM Wake Up, Get ready to go
7:30 Breakfast at the Gingerbread House
8:30 AM arrive at Sea World
Pick up park map and times guide
9:00 AM Sea World opens
Ride Journey to Atlantis 6 min. 42”
Baby Swap for Journey to Atlantis
Ride Kraken 3 min. 42”
I’ve never actually ridden Orlando’s tallest, fastest, longest coaster. Last time we were at Sea World I was pregnant with Sebastian and Brian rode it with our nephew.
Baby Swap for Kraken
See Penguin Encounter
I’m thinking about booking the behind the scenes Artic tour. At $12 for adults and $8 for kids the price is pretty reasonable and the kids would get to touch a penguin!
See Pacific Point Preserve
10:00 See Clyde and Seamore Take Pirate Island at the Sea Lion and Otter Stadium 30 min (other show times 12:30, 2:30, 3:00 & 4:00)
This irreverent cornball comedy is sure to make the kids smile!
11:00 See Blue Horizons at the Whale and Dolphin Theater 30 min Enter near Atlantis attraction. Arrive 45 min before show time to claim a seat up front. (other show times 12:30, 2:30, 4:00, 5:30)
11:45 Lunch
See Dolphin Cove get small tray of fish to feed the dolphins
Sebastian and Siennah will get to touch a dolphin…how cool!!
See Sting Ray Lagoon
And a sting Ray…double cool!!!
See Manatee Rescue
See Shark Encounter
See Cyldesdale Hamlet and Hospitality Center visit the horses and get samples of beer.
The kids will enjoy the horses and Mom and Dad will enjoy the free beer!
1:45 See Odyssea Nautilus Theater (other Showtime 4:00)
Head to Shamu’s Happy Harbor and ride Shamu Express
I’m also really excited about all the kiddie rides they have added to the Shamu’s Happy Harbor area.
Ride Jazzy Jellies
Ride Ocean Commotion
Ride Water Works
Ride Flying Fiddler
Ride Swishy Fishies
Ride Sea Carousel
Play Happy Harbor Playground
Ride Wild Artic
3:15 Pets Ahoy Seaport Theater other shows are 10:45, 12:15, 1:45, 3:15, 4:45
4:15 Dine with Shamu dinner
We are jazzed for this dining experience. It sounds awesome!
5:45 Get seats for Believe! at Shamu Stadium
6:30 See Believe! at Shamu Stadium 30 min sit outside “Splash Zone” other shows are: 12:00, 1:30, 3:00
8:00 Sea World Closes
Pack to go home
Give kids Bath
8:30 PM Put kids to bed
Get Stuff Ready for Next Day

Sunday, December 14th

Check out of Hotel
7:30 Character Breakfast Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary Resort
We went ahead and made an ADR for breakfast on this day because it was THEE only date/time that was available for our entire trip. However, our flight time might not work out for this and/or we may eat dinner here our first night in which case we would cancel.
Transfer to Airport
Depart for Home

Whew that sure is a lot of fun crammed into nine days! No matter what we see and what we don’t it’s sure to be one incredibly magical experience!

Last edited by AmberGreenawalt; 07-20-2008 at 11:37 PM.
AmberGreenawalt is offline  
Old 07-20-2008, 11:19 PM   #13
Join Date: May 2008
Location: West Jordan, Utah
Posts: 372

I am so impressed! I used to leave lists that detailed when I would go out of town with Mike. I would start with time to get up and end with locking the door and going to bed. My kids thought I was crazy but they never had a question of what came next. We won't be quite that good at getting our army to move to a strict schedule for Karlyn's wish trip because of the two different hotels for our trip. The GKTW group will have a little farther to travel to get to the parks so we will have to coordinate that but I know it will all work out. If we need to go back for a rest, we will go to Port Orleans Riverside for that because it will be closer.

You have really done an incredible job. Isn't organization wonderful. Waiting to hear you have a beautiful new baby girl soon.

Have a great day.
OKW Aug 1994, Sept 2008
All Star Sports With 14 people Aug 1997
Marriott Residence Inn May 2000, Feb 2003, Mar 2005, Mar 2006
Port Orleans Riverside June 2002
Pop Century Nov 2005, Jan 2008

Karlyn's Wish is Coming True
bigdisgrandma is offline  
Old 07-21-2008, 12:09 AM   #14
Missing Orlando...
GoofyDoo's Avatar
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 340

WOW is all I can say (I actually read every word!). I can only wish I was that organized, but I actually learned some things from reading, as I know you are an experienced WDWer. Are you going to get all those fast passes? I thought we didn't have to worry about that on Wish trips. I sure hope not. In fact, I'm counting on not having to!!! I certainly commend you for your detailed planning. I can see that you must've made an excellent event planner! You will have an awesome trip packed with the most activity a trip could possibly hold!! Will you plan mine for me? LOL!!! I just wish I had more knowledge of the way the parks are set up. I know there are maps, but having more actual experience in the parks is what makes for great planning, I think. Love the pics!
GoofyDoo is offline  
Old 07-21-2008, 07:16 AM   #15
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 318

Originally Posted by GoofyDoo View Post
WOW is all I can say (I actually read every word!). I can only wish I was that organized, but I actually learned some things from reading, as I know you are an experienced WDWer. Are you going to get all those fast passes? I thought we didn't have to worry about that on Wish trips. I sure hope not. In fact, I'm counting on not having to!!! I certainly commend you for your detailed planning. I can see that you must've made an excellent event planner! You will have an awesome trip packed with the most activity a trip could possibly hold!! Will you plan mine for me? LOL!!! I just wish I had more knowledge of the way the parks are set up. I know there are maps, but having more actual experience in the parks is what makes for great planning, I think. Love the pics!
Thanks Denise and Amy!!!

Amy, To answer your questions about the Fast Pass plan...I'm not sure. I have it written for us to get them for the big thrill rides that none of our kids are tall enough to experience like Tower of Terror. It might turn out that we can just use the G.A.C. card to get into the fast pass line and get a baby swap ticket from there. Whether or not using Fast Passes is necessary when we actually get there will depend on our experience of how the Cast Members handle the adults in the wish family using a G.A.C. to ride when the kids can't experience the ride. Did that make sense???

Brian and I will want to keep the time that we spend doing anything non-Sebastian-Siennah oriented to a minimum. Thus the plan for the early morning adult rides and Fast Pass ues. Hopefully the G.A.C. will work for us adults as a fast pass but I'm just not sure. Maybe you can tell me how this went for you when you get back????
AmberGreenawalt is offline  

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:19 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

You Rated this Thread: