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 UpdatesDIS email updates
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read





 
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 09-02-2010, 10:42 PM   #1
casper_jj11
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 919

Princess Sydney's Magical Wish Trip Report ~ Aug 7-18

Where do I start? We returned home about two weeks ago from the most amazing, magical experience that we're likely to ever have. Was it perfect? No, but life rarely is.

For those that followed our PTR, HI! For anyone new, especially any new wish families planning trips, I hope you enjoy the report and I hope there's something here that will be helpful as you plan.

I guess I should give a bit of a background. I'm mom to three wonderful kiddos: Lucas is turning 8 later this month, Caiden is turning 3 in two weeks and Sydney, our wish kiddo, is 4 going on 14. She really is older than her years but I think that's in large part due to everything she's been through. She starts school in two weeks and I'm having a bit of a hard time grasping that really.

Sydney was diagnosed with neuroblastoma (cancer of the sympathetic nervous system) just after her first birthday. We were completely blindsided. Our journey started when she was only 5 weeks old. Her paediatrician ordered an ultrasound to see if there was a reason for her reflux. The ultrasound shows her reflux was normal; however, there was a mass in her left adrenal gland. Our paediatrician didn't give up and kept sending us back for more ultrasounds. By the time Sydney was 8 months old, we had a referral to oncology, just to see. They ran a full range of tests over the run of a week and concluded that Sydney had a benign mass in her adrenal gland and that she'd be just fine. We were relieved, to say the least. We had our first trip to Disney World planned for a few weeks later and the doctors said to go, she was fine. So we did. Oncology wanted to do a follow up ultrasound and urine test in three months just as a last follow up so we did that in early January 2007 (this type of cancer can be detected with a simple urine test).

A few weeks later, the day before Sydney's first birthday, we found out I was pregnant with Caiden. It wasn't a surprise. We decided that month that we wanted three kiddos and whenever we tried, I got pregnant... my problem was keeping them. I had lost one baby before Lucas and four trying for Sydney. We learned I had a clotting disorder causing the miscarriages so I needed many medications including daily heparin type injections to prevent another miscarriage. I still had medication left over from being pregnant with Sydney so I started that and booked an appointment with my doctor for a few weeks time. The next day, we celebrated Sydney's first birthday. The following week I took Sydney for her one year doctor's appointment.They called the lab to see if the test results were back and everyone was in shock. The ultrasound had shown the mass had grown. And the urine test was positive. It was cancer. I think I'll remember that day for the rest of my life. It was all in slow motion. We met the oncologists within hours and on the way home, I went to my own doctor's office. I had to know if the pregnancy was viable. If so, I couldn't go into any testing that Sydney was scheduled for the following week. It turns out that Caiden was a real little fighter. For all we went through over the next nine months, he was just fine. Sydney was scheduled for surgery to remove her left adrenal gland. The tumor had completely subsumed it so they said it wasn't working anyway. She flew through the surgery with flying colours and was actually released early. Because they caught the cancer just as it went active, it hadn't spread. She didn't need chemo or radiation, thank God.

Every three months she was put under for a CT or MRI to make sure it wasn't back. Before her first follow up MRI and once we had the go head from her doctors, we took the children back to Disney. We needed to recoup and for us, Disney was magical. After the first year, she moved to 6 month follow up with urine testing only, no more scans. Everything was fine until last Fall. Out of the blue, the urine test flagged. They retested the following month and everything was fine. We were told it was lab error.

Sydney had been granted a wish when she was just 2 years old but she wasn't allowed to take it until she was at least 3. We decided to wait until she was a bit older so she could truly have a say in what she wanted to do. She's a princess fanatic so no one was surprised when this past Christmas she decided that she wanted to return to Disney to eat with the princesses. She asked to stay where the princesses stay and she asked to see dolphins.

Three months later, Sydney was released her from the oncology outpatient clinic. They did one last urine test but told us there was more danger to her on the playground. It was hard to believe after all this time. And I'll be honest, it did make me a bit uneasy but I think everyone goes through that. One month later though we were told there was a problem. That last urine test, it flagged again. They retested and she was fine but they said the first test wasn't an error. It was back. We were told they missed something during the surgery but we shouldn't worry because it seems to be healing itself. They wouldn't scan her but said they wanted to watch her. By the time this cancer is usually found in children, its gone metastatic. We weren't willing to wait and see. I had started planning Sydney's trip a few weeks before and thanks to a wonderful wish mom on the Dis whose little one also had cancer, we were give contact information for one of the leading researchers on neuroblastoma in the US. She was amazing! Within three weeks we were at the children's hospital in Chicago. Sydney was given a CT scan as well as other testing. The results: she's fine. Its not back. There's nothing there. Our hospital made a mistake. The weight of the world was off our shoulders. She really was ok.

Sydney had her trip in August and we extended it by four days so she could do everything she wanted. We had an option of staying at Give Kids the World or staying onsite. Because Sydney wanted to stay where the princesses stay, she was granted the wish of staying at the Grand Floridian, where the princess meals and teas are held. She met every princess including several ‘princesses' that we didn't expect to find like Pocahontas. She even ate with many which was a significant part of her wish. Our wish foundation invited her to the Bippity Boppity Boutique where she became Princess Tiana. She fed dolphins and sea lions. And she met Santa. It truly was everything that any four year old little girl could wish for... and more.

I've been trying to write the TR in full first but I realize that by the time that's done, many wish families who are planning will have already left so its probably best if I post day by day as I write it. Our best pictures are on the photopass CD which we haven't ordered yet though so I may update some posts later with better pics.

Enjoy!
__________________
Joanne (Our cast: me DH DS8 DD5 DS3)
August 2006 - ASMo (7 days); March 2007 - ASMo (5 days); July 2008 - POR and Dolphin (14 days); February 2009 - Poly and Swan (10 days)
August 2010 - DD's Wish Trip! Grand Floridian (11 days) (PreTrip Report http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2443630)
Princess Sydney's Magical Wish Trip Report http://www.disboards.com/showthread....1#post38079645
casper_jj11 is offline  
Old 09-02-2010, 11:24 PM   #2
jessica52877
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 6,491

Coming along for the trip!
__________________

Ebay ID - Jessica52877
jessica52877 is offline  
|
The DIS
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 09-03-2010, 05:30 AM   #3
TinkerbelleMom
Mom to 3 Princesses
 
TinkerbelleMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Daytona Beach
Posts: 1,055

Subbing so I don't lose this! Can't wait to read.
__________________
Nanci
TinkerbelleMom is offline  
Old 09-03-2010, 06:28 AM   #4
dlewish
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: PA
Posts: 56

Looking forward to reading your TR We leave just over 4 weeks.
dlewish is offline  
Old 09-03-2010, 07:04 AM   #5
rcq925
Mouseketeer
 
rcq925's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 397

Woo Hoo, count me in!!! My Hayley loves pricesses!! So we will be reading your TR to hear all about them! Hayley acutally wanted to sleep in the castle (in that suite they have there) but we were told that wasn't possible, oh well, we will have a wonderful time!

Can't wait to read about about Sydney's trip!!!
__________________
Becky , Mom to Nathan, age 9 , and Hayley, age 6 (Wish Kid)


PTR- http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2450895

TR- Hayley's Magical Make A Wish Trip-
http://www.disboards.com/showthread....7#post39032507
rcq925 is offline  
Old 09-03-2010, 08:32 AM   #6
that's nice
DDC #330

Maybe the entire internet is slowing down because of this thread
 
that's nice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: CT
Posts: 12,615

Checking in!

Can't wait to read all about it!!!!
that's nice is offline  
Old 09-03-2010, 08:35 AM   #7
Glo's wish
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Holland, MI
Posts: 173

I cant wait to read more!!
__________________
Jeanie- mom, Sil (DS18), Max (DS11), Sam (DS10), and
Miracle girl Gloria Joy (DD6)



WE'RE GOING TO DISNEY!!! 2/27/11 TO 3/5/11!!!
Glo's PTR:http://www.disboards.com/showthread....4#post37981164

Gloria's Carepage: gloriaspage
Glo's wish is offline  
Old 09-03-2010, 08:48 AM   #8
cassie1982
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: St. Marys Pa
Posts: 37

Im excited to hear about your trip!!! It sounds like you have had a bumpy road and I am glad that everthing is going great!!!


I went to WDW with MAW when I was little... so im excited to read a MAW TR..
__________________
Excited Family of 4! Cassie, Travis, Wesley, and Cami
cassie1982 is offline  
Old 09-03-2010, 09:57 AM   #9
casper_jj11
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 919

Quote:
Originally Posted by jessica52877 View Post
Coming along for the trip!
Quote:
Originally Posted by TinkerbelleMom View Post
Subbing so I don't lose this! Can't wait to read.
Hi! The Big Give was such a huge part of our trip. You all are so amazing! We wore all of the outfits while we were there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlewish View Post
Looking forward to reading your TR We leave just over 4 weeks.
You're going to have a wonderful trip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcq925 View Post
Woo Hoo, count me in!!! My Hayley loves pricesses!! So we will be reading your TR to hear all about them! Hayley acutally wanted to sleep in the castle (in that suite they have there) but we were told that wasn't possible, oh well, we will have a wonderful time!

Can't wait to read about about Sydney's trip!!!
We were fortunate that our wish organization gives us an option of GKTW or onsite. The GF was wonderful but GKTW is just amazing too and I know you'll love it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by that's nice View Post
Checking in!

Can't wait to read all about it!!!!
Hi!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glo's wish View Post
I cant wait to read more!!
I'm going to try and post one day a day but with the labour day weekend coming, aside from today's, I likely won't post others til next week.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cassie1982 View Post
Im excited to hear about your trip!!! It sounds like you have had a bumpy road and I am glad that everthing is going great!!!


I went to WDW with MAW when I was little... so im excited to read a MAW TR..
Hi!Its nice to have a former MAW kiddo on board!

Ok, Day 1:

Saturday August 7th

Our day began way too early. I had such great plans to get to bed by 8am on Friday night and although the packing was done and the van was even loaded by 5:30pm, I didn’t see the bed until well after 11pm... just too excited I guess. :-) The alarm went off at 5am. I had a shower, finished packing the few things that had to wait til the last minute, and woke the kiddos. They didn’t even question waking while it was dark. They just jumped up and screamed ‘We’re going to Disney!”. We got everyone dressed and headed for the van. I had intended for us all to wear our Children’s Wish tshirts that day but Sydney’s and Caiden’s were just swimming on them and Sydney didn’t want to wear it. Rather than push it, I gave in and she got to choose her outfit. I wanted to leave by 545am but DH, who travels all the time for work, figured that since the first leg wasn’t international, leaving at 630am for a 8am flight would be just fine. As it was, we were heading to the airport by 615am so it wasn’t too bad. We already had our boarding passes so I figured check in would be a breeze. It wasn’t. We had this real grumpy lady at check in who kept telling us we had too much luggage. DH is Star Alliance Silver and I had the online information that he was allowed two pieces where the rest of us could have one. When we got our boarding passes on Friday night the system even allotted us 6 total because of his airline status but the check in lady kept insisting that we were wrong. Low and behold, when she actually used her computer, there was no problem at all. :-) Off we were sent to oversize baggage to drop the double stroller and car seat. It took DH ages there. I eventually found out that apparently the WD40 that DH used to oil the tires on the stroller flagged the security scan. Apparently it has the some of the same ingredients as explosives! They opened the stroller box and rescanned everything. They let the stroller go but DH ended up being tagged for special screening because of it. He was separated from the rest of us and taken off to the side. Good job he didn’t pack the rest of the bags. They only wanted the ones he packed which was his briefcase... that left me with three kids and four carry on bags to get through security. Sounds scary but I found it so funny that DH was sent for special screening that I didn’t care. It was the start of an adventure!

The flight to Toronto was fine. All seats had personal tv screens so the kids didn’t even want their bags. I was a bit concerned about clearing customs in Toronto though. We usually travel from Ottawa directly to a US stop over so that we clear customs in Ottawa. Toronto was a new experience for me and honestly, one I’ll never do again if I have a choice. We arrived in Toronto a little early and then about ½ hr later reached the customs area. We had to wait for our luggage, stand in line at customs with all of it and the kids (remember we had 6 pcs of luggage and five carry on!) and then reload it on to the US bound flight before we could head to our gate. It took ages! I seriously thought we were going to miss our flight. The customs agent was wonderful though. When we were asked why we were going, we told him about Sydney’s wish. He said he wished he knew we were coming because they usually do something special for wish kids. He did, however, let each of the kids stamp their own passports. He was so nice!

Next flight was to Orlando. Yeah! It was perfect until we started landing. Lucas never handles it well and as expected, was sick. It never last long but the expectation of it worried him for most of the flight. We arrived at MCO and were greeted by Virginia from GKTW!







She was so nice. It finally felt real! We collected all our luggage and made our way to the garage to get the car. I wasn’t so sure about that and she ended up calling GKTW to verify. Remember we planned to extend the trip? Well, I called National a few days earlier and was told that at the desk, we could extend the return time for the car and pay with our credit card without having to return to the airport. Turns out, we really did need to go to the garage to get the car. We got a minivan just as requested but we couldn’t extend it there. We were told to return to the airport on Aug 14 and rebook it in our own names otherwise, the card on file would be charged (and that was GKTW). She did say that some families have done it and GKTW had helped so I figured I’d ask once we arrived.

Off we went! GKTW or bust! It started raining and traffic was terrible so we didn’t make good time. We arrived at GKTW at 3:05pm. We checked in and the gentleman suggested that we get something to eat. I asked about orientation and he said ‘Oh, there’s one that started 5min ago... did you want to go to that one?” I was so excited! I’m sure he thought I was nuts. I had no idea how we were going to attend orientation if we didn’t get to one in the afternoon since we were staying offsite. They said they’d watch the kids but I saw DH coming in with Caiden so off I ran. Orientation was wonderful. I learned so much about GKTW and what to expect on our special trip. It lasted about an hour and then I went in search of a few things. The person running the orientation said that I could ask the front desk to extend our GAC for the extra time we’d be there. I also needed to ask about the car rental. First, the GAC. Front desk said they couldn’t do it. I was really surprised. She actually wasn’t even really nice about it.... maybe she was new. Second, car rental. I apparently needed to speak with a manager who was in a meeting. I hung out in the lobby wondering where DH and the kids were off too while I waited. When I spoke with the manager, I was told that they couldn’t extend the car rental but that if I went to any National dealership, such as the one on site at Disney, they could do that for us so we didn’t need to return to the airport. She also confirmed that Disney was the only one that could provide a GAC for the dates beyond Sydney’s actual wish trip. I have to say, I was really disappointed.

I went in search of the kids and finally found them at Katie’s Kitchen. I was starving so I grabbed something to eat. The kids wanted ice cream so we went in to get some while waiting for my food to arrive. The boys had no problem but when I asked about peanuts, the girl made a phonecall. Apparently, the ice cream is not peanut friendly. Sydney couldn’t have any. I was honestly shocked. She can’t be the only wish child with a peanut allergy. She was so disappointed that it was all you could eat ice cream but she couldn’t have any. [Just as an extra note, we learned a few days later from the chef that he does have special ice cream in back along with special spoons not to be used with the other ice cream for peanut kids... we just weren’t told that at the time. I guess the servers didn’t know about it.]





Once we were finished snacking, we went to the Castle of Miracles. We didn’t know if we’d be back so I wanted to make sure that Sydney received her star and pillow. The star ceremony was wonderful! I was so disappointed that I left my video camera in the car. I never did that again for the full trip.








We then headed for the pillow making area. The boys were given pillows but only Sydney was able to do the actual answering of questions. I’m not sure why. I thought each of them would get a chance. Sydney did it, saying it was for a princess, and then three pillow arrives... two for boys and one for girl. Sydney never questioned it but I could see Lucas was confused. It didn’t last for long though. Off they ran to the indoor playground in the Castle. They LOVED that area as well as the magic mirror. Here's Sydney making her pillow.





We headed outside for a walk. Our next destination was the playground! As we were walking, Sydney was a bit concerned. She had run into the snoring tree while I was in the orientation and wasn’t impressed... quite scared actually. She told us we needed to avoid the snoring tree so off we went. The playground was wonderful! The kids had a blast. We spent about 45 min there and figured it was time to head to our resort. Lucas really wanted to do the arcade but it was already after 6pm and we needed to get a few groceries on the way. We did, however, find time to stop at the caroussel!






DH had an orientation of his own while I was in orientation and was told about the Christmas party. It was on my birthday. I didn’t say anything to anyone but I pretty much decided then that it was more important for the kids to get back to GKTW than it was for us to go to LeCellier that night. It was the best decision I made all trip... but more about that later.


We stopped at Walmart on the way to the Grand Floridian. I have no idea how we fit everything in but we managed. We arrived at the GF around 7:30pm and the magic started. We had been upgraded .... to Magic Kingdom view! And they linked that reservation with our personal reservation for the extension so we got to stay there for the full 11 days! We also received parcels... more Big Give! The kids LOVED them and Lucas was so excited about his bday shirt! Apparently, I had left the flash on nighttime lights so the pics didn’t come out well but there’ll be more pics later while they’re wearing them. Thank you so much to Jessica, Jill and Heather!














We arrived at our room and it was wonderful. I have to say, I’d stay at the GF again in a heartbeat. Its by far my favourite resort. I said to DH at check in that I’d never have paid for a MK view as we’re never there but it was so magical. Every night we could see the fireworks at MK and Epcot as well as the Electric Water Parade. It was just beautiful and the kids loved it. It was a location like no other. This was on our first night:







The kids watching the fireworks:







And our daytime view!








Next day: Magic Kingdom!
__________________
Joanne (Our cast: me DH DS8 DD5 DS3)
August 2006 - ASMo (7 days); March 2007 - ASMo (5 days); July 2008 - POR and Dolphin (14 days); February 2009 - Poly and Swan (10 days)
August 2010 - DD's Wish Trip! Grand Floridian (11 days) (PreTrip Report http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2443630)
Princess Sydney's Magical Wish Trip Report http://www.disboards.com/showthread....1#post38079645

Last edited by casper_jj11; 09-03-2010 at 10:04 AM. Reason: Hmmm.. pictures not working!
casper_jj11 is offline  
Old 09-03-2010, 10:06 AM   #10
casper_jj11
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 919

Wow! Those pictures are BIG! Any idea how to make them a bit smaller?
__________________
Joanne (Our cast: me DH DS8 DD5 DS3)
August 2006 - ASMo (7 days); March 2007 - ASMo (5 days); July 2008 - POR and Dolphin (14 days); February 2009 - Poly and Swan (10 days)
August 2010 - DD's Wish Trip! Grand Floridian (11 days) (PreTrip Report http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2443630)
Princess Sydney's Magical Wish Trip Report http://www.disboards.com/showthread....1#post38079645
casper_jj11 is offline  
Old 09-03-2010, 02:05 PM   #11
Glo's wish
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Holland, MI
Posts: 173

You have such a beautiful family, I look forward to reading more(after the holiday!!!).
I like the big pictures. I'm interested to hear how your son's birthday went. My DD6 (and wish kid) will probably be on her wish trip when she celebrates her 7th bday. I am trying to figure out something special for her.
I LOVE the Big Give shirts you received, and was excited to hear that your room was upgraded!!!
Have a WONDERFUL weekend!!
__________________
Jeanie- mom, Sil (DS18), Max (DS11), Sam (DS10), and
Miracle girl Gloria Joy (DD6)



WE'RE GOING TO DISNEY!!! 2/27/11 TO 3/5/11!!!
Glo's PTR:http://www.disboards.com/showthread....4#post37981164

Gloria's Carepage: gloriaspage
Glo's wish is offline  
Old 09-03-2010, 03:11 PM   #12
heaven2dc
DIS Veteran
 
heaven2dc's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: California
Posts: 3,372

What a magical story so far! Your daughter (and family) is beautiful - how precious life is and I am so glad everything turned out alright with her final tests. Love the view you got - another pixie dust moment!
__________________
The "C" Family
DM DS36 DGD2 DGbaby::: DD34 DGS6 DGD1 DS31 DS27 DS21


WDW Trips: March 1997 (BWV), February 2008 (BWV), December 2008 (BWV), Nov/Dec 2010 (BWV)

Disneyland Trips: September 1983, AP Holder July 2013 (twice), August 2013 & November 2013

All Our Dreams Come True If We Have the Courage To Pursue Them - Walt Disney
heaven2dc is offline  
Old 09-03-2010, 03:41 PM   #13
cantwaittoseemickey
DIS Veteran
 
cantwaittoseemickey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,320

I made it to your tr What a beautiful view you had!
cantwaittoseemickey is offline  
Old 09-03-2010, 04:18 PM   #14
jessica52877
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 6,491

Fun 1st day! It looks like you crammed so much into that day and glad you got to explore GKTW some too. Bummer about the ice cream the first day. From reading TR's that didn't sound right, glad you found out about the other.
__________________

Ebay ID - Jessica52877
jessica52877 is offline  
Old 09-03-2010, 06:21 PM   #15
Haybuggsmom
Mouseketeer
 
Haybuggsmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Newpor t News VA
Posts: 287

SUBBING!!!!
I'm so excited to follow along!
__________________
Renea
Proud mom of:
Jonathan (24), Amber (21), Dustyn (my angel baby),Haylee (16) my special princess and my new grandbaby Lilly
Miss Haylee Pre-trip report:http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2513540
"Wake up Princess"~Trip Report:http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2563916




~ September 2014 – Disney Fantasy ~
~September 2014 – Wilderness Lodge/ Bay Lake Tower
~ September 2014 – Animal Kingdom Resort ~

~ April 2014 – Disney Dream
~ April 2014 – Art of Animation/Caribbean Beach ~~ September 2013 – Shades of Green
~ September 2013 – Art of Animation ~

~ May 2013 – Disney Dream/Shades of Green
~ April 2013 – Shades of Green ~
~ September 2012 – Shades of Green ~
~ April 2012 – Swan and Dolphin
~ March 2012 – All Star Movies ~
~ September 2011 – Shades of Green ~
~ April 2011 – All Star Sports
~ September 2010 – Make a Wish ~
~ April 2010 – Shades of Green ~]~ March 2010- Shades of Green
Haybuggsmom 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
GET OUR DIS UPDATES DELIVERED BY EMAIL



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:30 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

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

You Rated this Thread: