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Old 07-17-2009, 03:21 PM   #1
TinkLovinMomma
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A Make A Wish Trip Report - Update 8/9- Universal Islands Of Adventure


Since I just joined DIS and didnt write a pretrip report I will give you some background before I get into our trip!!

AJ (DS age 4) was granted a wish last December by the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Since Mickey is his favorite thing in the entire world he asked them "Please send me to Mickey's House!" So we wound up with a 7 day 6 night Disney trip!!!

I, of course, had never been to Disney World, and neither had AJ or Reid (DS age 2) So I was thrilled and so excited. I chose June 29th to July 5th because AJ Loooves fireworks and I figured that the fireworks would be incredible on the 4th!

Okay, so let me introduce you to us now...

This is me.. Mom, Jessica... Im a tinkerbell fanatic! I spent most of my childhood trying to convince my parents to take me to Disney, which obviously never happened so this trip became even more special to me


This is DH, John. He was so excited to be going to Disney as a family! The last time he went was when he was about 10 years old. We have been together 8 years (married almost 4!) My high school sweetheart


This is AJ. He is my heart baby. He was born with a complex heart defect, has had 3 heart surgeries and will have another within the next year. He LOVES Mickey Mouse but picks a new favorite before the end of the trip.. hmmm wonder who it will be??


This is Reid. He is also a miracle baby. He was born at 28 weeks weighing in at only 2 lbs 4 oz, spent 4 months in NICU and had surgery on his stomach and liver before coming home. You could never tell now though as he is solid. He is a cranky little boy though and hated the entire trip to Disney.. I am hoping this is only a phase because we have many more trips in our future.


I apologize in advance for the quality of some of the pics in my report as we didnt realize until day 4 that somehow the lens got dirty , so we thought the camera was broken because of the fuzziness so a lot of pictures were taken on DH's BlackBerry...

So onto Day 1!!

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Old 07-17-2009, 03:30 PM   #2
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Aww....your boys are so cute! What a rough time you and your family have had - you definitely deserved this trip!

Loved your siggie - I'm a tink fan myself (just had a Tinkerbell birthday and I'm 55 years old and will never outgrow it!)

I wish you and your family all the blessings in the future so that your boys continue to grow strong and healthy
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Old 07-17-2009, 03:43 PM   #3
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day 1

Our trip began on June 29th. I, of course, was "too excited to sleep" the night before and was up by 5am even though my alarm had been set for 6:30. Our limo was going to arrive at 8 and I had planned to run out and grab some bagels before we left because our plane was supposed to land at 12:45 and I didnt want us to all be starving. I got out of bed, checked my emails, got dressed and suddenly Reid comes strolling out of his bedroom. Everyone else was still sleeping and I still needed to get bagels so I dressed him fast and we ran together. By the time we got back AJ was up and standing at the back door crying because he thought we went to Disney without him!!! I packed up the last minute items (laptop, phone charger etc) and we brought the luggage outside. By the time we got the last bag out the limo was here!!!

DH decided this was a good time to decide to check the car for his debit card, and of course not be able to find it!!! So we ran around like lunatics for 10 minutes and just could not find it... Thank goodness I had taken out all the cash we needed the night before because last year on vacation DH lost our debit card into an ATM outside the crayola factory

So we are off...

The boys loved riding in the "BIG CAR!" and before we knew it we were at the airport. It took forever to get through security because apparentally the stroller was too big to fit through the scanner thing and i left my laptop in the backpack on accident and my dh had gone through with AJs bag but left me to deal with both boys.. and I dont know WHO taught AJ to be such a germaphobe but he refused to walk anywhere without his shoes on so I practically had to drag him!

Anyways we got on our flight when they called families with children and since we brought aboard both of the kids carseats we had to sit seperately with the carseats against the windows. The flight was rather uneventful except for a bit of crying from Reid. We landed about 20 minutes early and soon saw this

Ok well what we saw was a lot clearer (dirty camera remember) but it was a volunteer from Give Kids The World (GKTW) holding a sign with AJ's name on it!

She told us that the sign had gotten a lot of attention, more than she'd ever encountered. She thought it was because AJs name was so nice but I knew better... It's because our last name is Cullen and that alone will excite any Twilighter lol

So the very nice volunteer helped us get our luggage and our rental car and gave us directions to GKTW telling us "I'll see you on Thursday for pictures with Mickey & Minnie!"

And we were off again.




Last edited by TinkLovinMomma; 07-17-2009 at 09:46 PM.
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Old 07-17-2009, 08:44 PM   #4
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Your boys are adorable! I like your snappy writing style...I'm in!
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Old 07-17-2009, 09:10 PM   #5
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It didnt take long for us to arrive at GKTW. It was like pulling into our own personal cartoon. I have never ever seen anything like it.

Upon check in the handed AJ a big stuffed Mickey (the same one you can get in the parks I think the 19" one) and Reid a stuffed Shamu. They gave us all of our meal vouchers (Breakfast lunch and dinner all included!) and told us that one of us would have to attend an orientation that evening to get our park tickets. Our volunteer then told me to hop into the golf cart with her and the kids and dh to follow us in the car. I should have known this was a bad idea to begin with.. Reid wanted NOTHING to do with riding n the golf cart (this will be a trend.. trust me) and tried to jump off as we were driving! So I had to get off and put him in the car with DH. Eventually we pulled up to...

How adorable is our villa?!?!?!
I wanted to move in permanently!!! The inside was basically half of a duplex. Kitchen, dining room, living room, washer dryer, 2 bedrooms (1 with a king sized bed, 1 with 2 twin sized beds) and 2 bathrooms. The kids bathroom had a walk in shower and whirpool tub. Mine and my husbands bathroom was just your basic run of the mill bathroom. This is afterall a trip for the kids! My favorite part? The playground is directly across the street from our villa!! Exactly what I was hoping for!!

So we got settled in and found a big bag on the kitchen table! It was FILLED with presents for all of us... Stuffed animals, ponchos, potato chips, candy, books and more! After we explored everything we went to Katies Kitchen for lunch (this is basically a CS on the resort- Boston Market food) We took the food back to the villa and then headed to the playground. We took some pictures but again.. blurry


The playground is basically a life sized version of Candy Land! After playing and exploring the resort we went to dinner in the Gingerbread Cafe. They were serving fried chicken with mashed potatoes and veggies. After dinner AJ met (and HELD!!) an armadillo!!




I then headed to orientation and DH got the kids ready for our first Disney destination... DTD!!!



Last edited by TinkLovinMomma; 07-17-2009 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 07-17-2009, 09:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heaven2dc View Post
Aww....your boys are so cute! What a rough time you and your family have had - you definitely deserved this trip!

Loved your siggie - I'm a tink fan myself (just had a Tinkerbell birthday and I'm 55 years old and will never outgrow it!)

I wish you and your family all the blessings in the future so that your boys continue to grow strong and healthy
Thank you so much for the compliments. I made my siggy... let me know if you ever need one!

Oh and I dont think you can ever ever outgrow Tinkerbell! Shes just so sassy I love it!


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Your boys are adorable! I like your snappy writing style...I'm in!
I am so glad you are enjoying the TR! It will get better once we get into the parks... We had such an amazing time
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Old 07-17-2009, 10:53 PM   #7
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Love the TR!!! We are going to Disneyland in November I can hardly wait. I think I will come along on your trip to help get me through the next few months. Beautiful family....
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Old 07-17-2009, 11:34 PM   #8
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How sweet - cant wait to read and see what happens next!!
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Old 07-18-2009, 09:19 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by VallCopen View Post
Love the TR!!! We are going to Disneyland in November I can hardly wait. I think I will come along on your trip to help get me through the next few months. Beautiful family....
Thank you! Im happy to have you aboard! Will Disneyland be having a Christmas Party too?

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How sweet - cant wait to read and see what happens next!!
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Old 07-18-2009, 09:43 AM   #10
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SO where were we... Orientation right? Well the orientation was supposed to be an hour long but ended up lasting almost 2 hours. A LOT of wish families had arrived this day so we all had to orientate. We all recieved 3 day park hoppers, 1 day at Sea World and 2 days at Universal! I had known this ahead of time and set up an itinerary for our week (Seeee I was a DIS'er at heart before I even knew about DIS- Always Planning!) We also recieved our Guest Assistance Cards. While I was orientating DH took these pictures of the kids


Okay, that second picture is a little scary..

Finally I was done and we were off to DTD!!

(Disclaimer: This portion of our trip once had lots of pictures -all taken on my cell phone- I no longer have any of those pictures. You will understand why later in the report)

We parked by the Imax and headed in. DH had never been to DTD so this was new for him as well. Luckily I had done some research and new a bit about what was around. I pointed out Characters In Flight to everyone, but it was closed that night because of lightening in the area. Then I had to ask somebody how to get to the Lego store. We LOVED all of the lego displays, especially the one of the lego tourists taking pictures of the tourists taking pictures of them lol so clever!

Of course it was insane walking around the store, so we only stayed for a minute to watch the guy in the middle of the store setting up his next lego display. DH quickly announced that this was the job he wanted... "The Official Lego Builder"-as he called it.

We walked past World of Disney. Man, that store is HUGE! But we especially loved the spitting Stitch... When DH saw all the kids getting wet he ran over there so he could surprise the kids but of course there was a looong pause between "spits" then so he gave up lol.

Reid fell asleep at this point so we figured we would walk around and look at the restaurants. DH took this picture- He couldnt believe how cool this restaurant looked

(Side tracking- Is the food any good there? Its not on the DDP right?)

By now AJ is getting fed up too.



So we decide to head back... But not before stopping at the candy store!! Now, at the time I didnt notice, but I am pretty sure we were in Goofy's Candy Co. I just know we had gone in because they had Caramel Apples in the window and DH NEEDED to have one.
Since they are huuuge we decided to share one. I am allergic to chocolate (caffeine allergy) so we got the Caramel & Nuts one. I wish I had been DIS'ing then because I would've had pictures of all the food we ate, and the apple was especially pretty... Oh well next time

On our way out was the first time I noticed the DVC Member Kiosk... I told DH "Before we leave we HAVE to find out what thats all about" (Theres a bit of foreshadowing for ya )

When then went back to the villa. The kids were passed out. We enjoyed our caramel apple, showered and went to bed.

Tomorrow is Sea World and I couldnt wait to see Shamu!!

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Old 07-19-2009, 10:18 AM   #11
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Since the kids had fallen asleep late the night before we though for sure they would sleep in on Tuesday. Who were we kidding!! So I got up and bathed the kids and got myself ready. Finally I was able to drag DH out of bed. We walked outside and one of these was coming around the corner..

They stopped and asked us if we wanted a ride to breakfast. Of course we did! So we hitched a ride to the Gingerbread Cafe. Breakfast was good. French Toast, yogurt, oranges, and breakfast sausages.
While we were eating someone came in and told us that Spongebob was in the castle and we should go see him.

Can I just say that Spongebob in "real life" is kind of scary. I had to coax AJ to get him to even shake Spongebob's hand, and Reid didnt even want to be in the same building! So DH waited outside with him




Finally we were off to Sea World. As soon as we got inside the gates it started raining so please excuse my lack of pictures.

DH thought this lighthouse set up was cool


We watched the divers in the tank with the oysters for a few minutes. They looked really beautiful and I thought about opening an oyster for a pearl. But I had remembered hearing that Epcot did the same thing in Japan so I figured if I really wanted it still when we got there I would do it then.

Then we were trying to find the sea lion show and it started to DOWNPOUR. Of course we were unprepared and didnt have our ponchos on us. SO we ran into the shark exhibit. AJ had strictly prohibited this exhibit from the beginning of my planning("I DO NOT WANT TO SEE SHARKS!!!) but it was right there.. and it was raining... and guess what... he LOVED it. He thought it was so cool that the fish were able swim over us. I thought it was really great that there were some divers in the Shark cage thing when we went under the second tank. They were waving at us and looked like they were having a ton of fun.

We we exited we went down a hill and I saw the sign for "Blue Horizons" I heard great things about this show and it had just started so we ran inside. We got front row seats. Cue meltdown number one for Reid. He hated the idea of sittting there. He was "scared" of the music, of the performers, of the dolphins, of the birds. Now I dont blame him for being scared of the performers. I mean Ive always know he doesnt like when people dress up and wear face paint. I guess it just doesnt make sense to him. but I KNOW he loves dolphins and birds (my mom has a green wing macaw and he is the only person that will go up to it and feed it right out of his hand). So he cried. The show wasnt long and the music drowned out his crying so we stayed. He was okay not traumatized.

We were going to head back to the resort for lunch and then come back feed the dolphins and watch Shamu but I pointed out to DH that there was a show starting in a half hr and maybe we should just stay and watch.

We figured if we got Reid some snacks it would keep him happy for most of the show. I REALLY wanted to sit in the soak zone (remember I have never been.. and what child doesnt want to get soaked by shamu lol still a child at heart here) So we did. We found a seat about 6 rows back on the right hand side of the stage.


The show starts and Reid is pretty happy with his caramel popcorn. It starts with about 5 smaller whales and they do lots of beautiful tricks. I love how you can see how much the trainers really truly love them. They give the whales so many hugs and kisses. It literally brought tears to my eyes.

Then the trainers came to the front of the stage. They taught us to call Shamu and warned us "If you dont want to get wet move now!" One of the trainers looked at me pointedly when she said this. But I thought to myself "No way lady! we wanna get wet!" So out comes Shamu, quite possibly the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life. You can tell how much older Shamu is than the rest of the performing whales. Well as he (she?) came swimming around the tank a trainer come running around to the front of our sections and throws her hands in the air. Suddenly I just see a HUGE tidal wave of water coming at us. I grabbed AJ and shielded him some with my body. John did the same for Reid... It didnt matter! We were all SOAKED! It was like we had been swimming in the tank with the whales and I LOVED it!!!!! I was hysterically laughing while i wiped the water out of my face. The boys on the other hand were not so happy. As soon as I settled them down Shamu came around again and sent more water our way! I loved it again! But Reid was so upset at this point that I left with him. DH and AJ stayed to watch the end of the show.(it only lasted about 5 more minutes) I got Reid changed and settled down. It started raining again then so we went back to the villa for some lunch (Boston Market again) got everyone changed into dry clothes and went back to Sea World.

We were going to feed the dolphins at this point but again it was raining and we were all getting soaked so we fed the sting rays intead. The kids wouldnt do it but DH and i had a blast. Then we watched the divers some more, did some souvenior shopping and since it was raining and the kids were miserable so we called it a day. Had Panda Express for dinner and went mini golfing! We had a bunch of fun but again I have no pics (You will find out why soon)

Tomorrow is Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom!
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Old 07-19-2009, 10:56 AM   #12
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I just wanted to say hi... I"ve read through your entire TR and I LOVE IT. Your family is adorable it looks like you had a great start to your trip!!

I"m completely in
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:20 AM   #13
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I just wanted to say hi... I"ve read through your entire TR and I LOVE IT. Your family is adorable it looks like you had a great start to your trip!!

I"m completely in
Thanks for coming aboard! Im so excited to have more followers! I'll have another update up soon!!
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:40 AM   #14
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You're a cute family Loved your DH wanted the Lego Builder Job. I think he may have some competition out there That life size Spongebob did look a bit scary And sorry Reid got a little grumpy. Vacations are sometimes hard on kids Looking forward to more (especially your Universal days because we might go there next trip.)
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Old 07-25-2009, 11:37 PM   #15
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[FONT="Tahoma"][COLOR="Purple"][SIZE="3"]

Ok, lets hope this update works. I already typed it out twice and lost it!!

When I had originally planned our itinerary Wednesday was going to be a full day in the Magic Kingdom. I had no desire to go to Animal Kingdom because of some of the things I had read about it (boring, hot etc) But when I showed DH pics of the Boneyard he insisted we spend at least a half a day.

The kids and I were up early so I got them bathed and myself showered and the 3 of us dressed. We woke up DH and rushed him out the door. We took the train to breakfast again and soon were ready for the Animal Kingdom.

After spending the day in the rain on Tuesday, I was smart enough to pack the 2 adult sized ponchos GKTW gave us and made DH stop to pick up 2 kids sized ones from walmart. We got to AK quickly and it was raining when we got out of the car. I put on a poncho and so did AJ. But I think DH thought he was too cool for his and decided to grin and bear the rain, and Reid flat out REFUSED to put his on ( I need a smiley that sighs...)

Now this is our first time entering a Disney park and I have to say we were quite ignorant on the goings about. We all got ready, opened the stroller, packed it up, put the kids in it and walked the 50 feet to the tram just to realize that we would now have to unload the kids, unpack the stroller, fold the stroller and all climb onto the tram and try to find a place within our row to put this massive stroller (it wound up on DHs lap) Needless to say, we did not make that mistake again

Finally we were in the park. We got the kids BACK in the stroller and got our ponchos off because it had already stopped raining. At the exact moment that we stopped to admire the Tree Of Life, Reid began to meltdown again. I ran into Pizzafari and grabbed a bottle of milk (Only a dollar!!! I was shocked) I filled up Reids cup. I handed it to him. He then yelled and threw it at me. I handed it back to him and asked him to calm down as DH ran back to the popcorn stand we had passed to grab a snack hoping it would make Reid calm down. Now Reid is SCREAMING on the top of his lungs And I have gotten to the point where I have tried everything I can possible do... So I did the only thing left to do. I ignored him. Thats right... I was that mom standing in front of pizzafari with the seemingly tortured child that was doing nothing at all to try to console him in case you were one of the many people who stopped to stare at us. The ignoring seemed to work though, because by the time DH got back with the popcorn Reid was much calmer and quieted down to enjoy his popcorn.

We decided to head towards the safari ride and saw these reall cool lights...



I Loooove Ladybugs!

We got to the Safari, parked our stroller, and I stopped to ask a CM about our GAC card. He showed me the entrance we could used and within a couple of seconds we were off on our 2 week safari!

There were a ton of animals out. Here are some of the pictures my DH got along the way.



When we got off we were right near some trail (someone help me remember the name?)
My DH loved taking pictures of the skulls

And the kids loved looking at the fish

Then we came to this guy

Im thinking that lunch might have been late... because he did NOT look happy!

Next we were off to dig up some Mammoth Bones.


The kids really enjoyed digging into the sand and I enjoyed the fact that it was nonstick sand and none of us were dirty when we left!

We saw Goofy then and decided to wait on the line, but it was really long and while there were about 15 families still ahead of us Goofy needed a break. I was getting hungry at this point (How did 1 o'clock come around so fast?) So I promised AJ that we would see Goofy in the MK later that evening and we left the line. After a quick stop at the gift shops we left the AK and headed back to GKTW for lunch...

Next Up.... And Evening At The Magic Kingdom With A Not So Happy Ending

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