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Old 04-15-2010, 03:22 PM   #1
noahsketomom
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7 parks in 5 days with 4 kids – A survival story!

So I’m hoping adrenaline will keep going and I can get this TR started!

This is a trip report for Noah's Make-A-Wish trip to Disney. For Noah’s backstory, please check out our PTR : www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=35183102

Here’s the full cast and a little bit about our likes and dislikes:
Me (Beth) – I love Goofy, all Disney characters mostly, and will usually be suckered into most rides (for better or worse)
DH (Brian) – hardworking, extremely TALL (6’11”) man who loves fast rides!
9yo DS – John – Star wars and lego crazy, does NOT like DARK or scary rides
7yoDD – Abby – Loves Hannah Montana and PREFERS scary, fast, daredevil rides
4yo DS – Noah – (our wish kid) – Will try anything ONCE, loves Star Wars and REALLY wanted to do Jedi Training! Also did not particularly care for Mickey – until this Trip! Does NOT like girl (“goy-l”) characters!
3yoDD – Ella – Is scared of most every ride but loves Princesses, Dora, Elmo and Minnie! Does not like the boy characters unless they are nice to girls!
Pam (aka “Nanni”) – my mom and a HUGE help with the kids; prefers the tamer rides.
Courtney (aka “Auntie) – the best auntie around, our official trip photographer and enjoys most rides!

So I’m going to start this thing off, but I want to warn you that I don’t have Courtney’s photos yet. She took over 600 and saved the day at MK when I realized I left my camera at GKTW! So stop by again and maybe I’ll add some of hers, but I’m going to start anyhow. My memories are fresh and the adrenaline is still pumping, so here goes!

April 6th was my 35th birthday, but it was spent in full packing mode! By the end of the night I had forgotten it had even been my birthday! Oh, well – we had more important things to do in the coming week! This trip was not just about going to Disney…it was a celebration of where we have come from and Noah’s current state of seizure freedom. By the day we left, he had been seizure free for almost 8 months – a miracle in and of itself. A large part of his treatment is the ketogenic diet, something you’ll hear a lot about if you continue to read this TR – so I won’t bore you with the details. In general, it is a high fat diet and I have to measure everything he eats on a gram scale, accurate to the tenth of a gram. Needless to say, I was nervous about taking this keto show on the road!!!

I’m not even sure I heard the 4am alarm on the day we left – I remember waking up sometime while I was putting on some makeup and packing our toiletries away. We stirred the kids (didn’t take much) and the limo barely made it in our driveway -- it was a 14 passenger Navigator stretch limo! Wow! After packing all our stuff and kiddos in, we were OFF TO DISNEYWORLD!!!!

All of our stuff:


Limo pics:






My mom and sister met us there, as did our wish granters, Ed and Diane!



We curb checked our luggage and next up was my greatest anxiety – SECURITY. I was travelling with liquids, thawed foods, and frozen foods. I was a walking security nightmare. We had prearranged to have a manager meet us and walk us through the procedures. It went really well. They tested a few of the liquids and the only problem they had was with our carton of 40% cream. Since they couldn’t open it to test it, they x-rayed it, then had to search me, swab my hands and my bag for what? I don’t know and I didn’t care. All I cared about was that it all came back clear and we moved on. PHEW!!! Big stressor load off for mom.
We headed to our gate, where Noah and I worked on his breakfast and meds and the others went and got food and….COFFEE!! Yes, it’s still only 5:45am by now. The gate operator saw our MAW shirts and allowed us all to preboard. We were on our way!!!



Our flight was uneventful and even got in 30 min early! Noah CRASHED hard on the flight and slept for most of the second half. He woke up shortly after we got there and met our greeter!



He was super nice and helped us get to our rental car. We had been reserved a minivan and asked if we could have an 8 passenger minivan, so that for the parks we wouldn't have to take two cars. Unfortunately they only had a 7 passenger van -- so that was a bummer. My mom and sister had reserved their own car too, and our greeter helped them get to their rental car too! That went up and beyond in my opinion!

We decided to meet up at Walmart, where I had to get some brand specific foods for Noah. I'm glad Katie warned me that they are renovating this Walmart because it was chaos! But I was still able to get everything for Noah except his fruit2O water, which we use to mix his CitraK crystals. We did eventually get it down the road at Publix. After that, we headed down the road (with grumbling bellies, I might add!!)



We were welcomed immediately and headed right to the house of hearts for checkin.



There was an initial confusion because there were TWO Noah's checking in at the same time! But once we played "who's who", we sat down and did some preliminary check in stuff. They gave each of the kids a tee shirt and a shamu stuffie, and a big Mickey one for Noah. Now, if you asked me before if Noah liked Mickey, I would've probably said he could take him or leave him. Well, Noah took this Mickey and wouldn't let him go! He immediately broke into "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, come inside......" and "M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E" clapping Mickey's hands together as he sang.... It was awesome.

Well our bellies must have been grumbling pretty loud by now and since our villa wasn't ready, we happily agreed with the suggestion to go over to Katie's Kitchen for some lunch.



I had packed food for Noah and the ice cream shop next store was able to heat it up. We all ordered and ate right outside, soaking in the Florida sunshine. We all ordered different things (from meatloaf sandwiches, to ceasar salads, to chicken salad sandwiches, to mac and cheese ) and it was all really good!

After lunch our villa was ready and we headed over to our villa! It was in the "fairytale" part of the village and it looked every bit of it's moniker!




I don't have any pics of inside right now, but I hope to add them later! Inside we found GOBS of presents for the kids -- mostly in the Star Wars theme! The favorite was a remote controlled R2D2! Very cool!
All I know was that as soon as the kids saw the loot, they tuned out to everything else our greeter was trying to tell them.

We had a fun time exploring our new digs and it wasn't long before it really did feel like home.



Up next: So what's there to do in this village???
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Last edited by noahsketomom; 04-30-2010 at 11:10 PM. Reason: added pics
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Old 04-15-2010, 03:23 PM   #2
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Table of Contents

I'm leaving this one blank in case I could ever figure out how to to an Index of the threads -- feel free to help if you know how!!!!

GKTW - Day 1 - http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...3&postcount=12
Day 2, part 1 -Mickey - http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...4&postcount=17
Day 2, part 2 - Seaworld - http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...3&postcount=20
Day 2, part 3 - CHRISTMAS - http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...6&postcount=31

Yes even MORE pics from Day 1&2.. http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...1&postcount=84

Day 3, part 1 - Animal Kingdom - http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...8&postcount=39
Day 3, part 2 - Epcot/The wrong way! http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...3&postcount=58

And even MORE pics of day 3!!! http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...3&postcount=85

Day 4, part 1 - Horse riding at GKTW - http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...4&postcount=65
Day 4, part 2 - DHS - http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...1&postcount=76
Day 4, part 3 - MORE DHS - http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...6&postcount=86
Day 4, part 4 - LAST DHS post! http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...6&postcount=91

Day 5, part 1 - Universal - http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=100
Day 5, part 2 - IOA/DTD - http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=101

Day 6, part 1 - MK - http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=115
Day 6, part 2 - more MK - http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=116
Day 6, part 3 - parade, chef mickeys - http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=117
Day 6, part 4 - LAST part of MK http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=118

Day 7, part 1 - We have to leave? (sob, sob)

;-)
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Last edited by noahsketomom; 05-02-2012 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 04-15-2010, 03:30 PM   #3
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Whoo hoo! It has started!!
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Old 04-15-2010, 03:40 PM   #4
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Sounds like a good start to the trip. Glad there were no issues getting through security! I know that was a load off your back! Wow! Star Wars goodies! What fun!
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Old 04-15-2010, 03:40 PM   #5
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I'm in!! What an awsome looking villa!! You all look great in your matching shirts.
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Old 04-15-2010, 03:47 PM   #6
Wee Annie
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Yay! Another TR! Welcome home! And great pics, btw. We're going on Sat (oops, I guess I should get off the computer and pack!)
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Old 04-15-2010, 03:48 PM   #7
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What a great start. Beautiful kids. I saw the picture with the greeter at the airport, saw a pair of legs and kept on looking up. Guessed it had to be your DH. Bless the person who decovered that diet so kids can go seizure free. Can't wait for more.

Last edited by luckylady; 04-15-2010 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 04-15-2010, 03:49 PM   #8
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Can't wait to read all about your trip! Glad it started out so well.
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Old 04-15-2010, 04:52 PM   #9
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Yay! Im in, and just a little tip. Keep going while the motivation is still there.
So glad security went well.
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:09 PM   #10
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Wahoo!!! Another TR! Can't wait to read all about it. I read your PTR too, so this should be great! Kiddos look uber happy already!!!
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:47 PM   #11
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Yeah!!!!! Welcome back!
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:00 PM   #12
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Here we go round the village -- by way of the carousel!

Thanks for the tip, Jennifer -- here's another to keep that momentum going!


I was soooo grateful that we did the wal-mart and grocery run BEFORE coming to the village. Because once we were here, we didn’t want to leave!! Orientation was scheduled for 7:45pm, which gave us most of the afternoon to explore this amazing place. First up on the agenda? THE POOL, of course! Noah’s official wish was “I want to go to Disneyworld – because there is a pool there!” The pool at the Village did not disappoint! My kids just LOVED hanging out there. And with the tropical music playing, the 80 degree Florida sunshine, and the kids preoccupied, it was a mighty nice place for the adults as well!



The pool itself is about 4 feet at the deepest, but is more like 2-3 feet in most areas. There is a “ramp” area that has been tiled to look like a beach and I saw several waterproof wheelchairs available . There are fountains around it that you can swim under and numerous “noodles” available. We had brought our own arm floaties for the little guys, but used the noodles quite a bit. The water was really warm and relaxing that day! We all swam for quite a while.









On the other end of the pool area is the water garden. This place was a hit with my kids as well – all sorts of spouts, fountains, “water guns”, buckets and bowls of water that the kids play with. It really was a ton of fun for them and hey, that meant mom didn’t have to get into the water with them, so that earned a thumb’s up from me!














There’s also a huge boat called the Seredipity, a small sand play area, and a gazebo where you can fish from. We never caught anything, but it was fun to try.



After swimming for a bit, we decided to head over to the ice cream palace – what fun! Brian had already brought up Noah’s ice cream (made in RI and stayed frozen for the plane ride ---phew!) and his toppings. They were so sweet to have it waiting there for him, so he felt like everybody else! We all sat outside, drying in the sun and enjoying our ice creams – some enjoyed it thoroughly!








After filling our tummies again, we explored the Castle of Miracles. The two days we spent at the village, we noticed that it was really quiet during the days. Then it picked up again around dinnertime. That first day, we practically had the pool and castle to ourselves!






We also checked out Amberville Train Station and had some fun playing in the arcade. I know a lot of folks have written a bunch about these places and have better pictures than I do, but they are really cool places to just hang out and explore. The volunteers inside were very friendly and were interested in talking with us and the kids.




After a while we thought we should get out of our bathing suits and grab some grub! On our way back, we noticed that the carousel had started running! Oh, boy. This begins the neverending fascination with the carousel for Noah and Ella. They would just ride over and over again! I wish I had tallied up the # of times they rode it – it would’ve been over 30 for sure! Noah usually would sit on the outside and give high fives to the volunteers -- who would happily oblige.









After a quick change, we headed back to the Gingerbread house for dinner. The dinners were varied and there was something for everyone. I think we had about 4 dinners there over the week and they were all good. It is buffet style and there’s a little train to the right that has more “kid friendly” options. They also let the kids ring the train bell occasionally – something my kids enjoyed doing (anything to make more noise, right?) They were also super accommodating with Noah and would be happy to heat up his meal if we needed it. The volunteers in the gingerbread house were amazing – friendly, helpful, and truly wanted to do EVERYTHING for you! It was so hard at first to let it go – I even caused someone to spill my milk when I kept offering to take my tray to my table!!! I’m a dork, in case none of you have figured that out yet!

Brian had to rush off to orientation – yes, Brian did this one! I wanted him to hear all about the things you guys have been telling me about! So while he did that, I talked with the concierge about the parks and picked up the up to date maps and schedules. Then I met up with my mom, sis and kids at Matthew’s Boundless Playground (after several more carousel rides, of course). The playground is a lot of fun – even for my older two. We headed home about 8:30. I wanted the kids to be in bed ontime so we could get an early start the next day! FAT CHANCE! This night would prove to be our earliest to bed --- and the beginning of survival mode – where kids are late to bed, early to rise, and running amok all day long!!!

Of course, Brian found time and stomach room for a pizza order– something that became a tradition almost every night! I wish I had his metabolism because the pizza was really good!

Next up: Scary rides and lots of Sharks at Shamu’s home!
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Last edited by noahsketomom; 04-30-2010 at 11:12 PM. Reason: added pics
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:49 PM   #13
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Yeah a trip report ... woo hoo following along
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Old 04-16-2010, 10:05 AM   #14
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I'm following too! Great trip report so far! Your kids are cute! Congrats on keeping Noah seizure free!
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Old 04-16-2010, 10:25 AM   #15
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great trip report so far
good to see everything is going well
can't wait for the next part
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