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Old 11-23-2012, 07:21 AM   #2671
DelanaAndKyra
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Originally Posted by newdrama12 View Post
I would do the Wish star as early in the week as possible. That way, you can come back to the Castle and see it without having to rush on the last day to see it.

Good idea!
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:27 PM   #2672
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Originally Posted by Cassondra View Post
Every year our the Make A Wish Foundation of Iowa, along with other local sponsors, has an event called Jolly Holiday Lights. They have been doing it for as long as I can remember. It is a giant holiday light show set up through one of our big public parks. It is open from the week of Thanksgiving until Dec 31. People volunteer to take the admission, $10 per car, and all proceeds go to the Make A Wish foundation of Iowa. It is a great holiday tradition in town and every year the lights are set up like different characters, themes etc. It takes about 10 to 15 min to drive through the entire park. Last year they raised enough money for 30 wish trips! This year we were invited along with some other make a wish families to "light" the jolly holiday lights. The kids were given magic wands to wave around and "turn on" the holiday lights. This is a photo of my boys that our wish representative shared with me. After the reception/party we were able to drive through the park and enjoy the lights before it opened to the public.

How sweet! Glad y'all enjoyed the festivities!
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Old 11-24-2012, 05:54 PM   #2673
KaylaM
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Originally Posted by alyssaswish View Post
You have to go online and retrieve your photos within 30 days and order the CD. I think the code on the back of your card has to be entered into the promotion code and it will be free but they won't send the CD unless you order it online.

FYI- For anyone going on their trip soon, the photopass card will allow you to add all ride and character meal pictures free of charge. You will also get free prints at the character meals by showing your photopass plus card.



You will need a large bag to bring everything home. We ended up with 2 board games, 2 puzzles, stuffed animals, and lots of small toys. We barely got everything home without going over the weight limit at the airport.
We had plenty of room with the clothes Kayla bought, and her two small gifts from GKTW. I also got a few things too. I was planning to buy a GKTW bag for the extra goodies, but wasn't necessary.
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Old 11-24-2012, 06:59 PM   #2674
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We arrived at GKTW this afternoon! Nothing anyone says can prepare you for this place! They go above and beyond with everything to make you feel amazing!
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:05 PM   #2675
KaylaM
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Hello everyone!

Just a fast report...

We are back from our week at GKTW. We had a great time once we overcame some obstacles there at GKTW. We didn't get off on a great start unfortunately. My MAW coordinator ordered the one main piece of medical equipment we really rely on daily, absolutely need. It arrived at GKTW (according to GKTW) on schedule two days before we arrived. GKTW had our flight schedule. When we arrived at GKTW, only the boxes I shipped were in our Villa, but not the medical machine. I asked about it and they said, "oh, we don't know where it is". I thought, that is weird because I was told two days ago that it was here. To make a long story short, it took them two days to get it to locate it and get it to us. During those two days, we couldn't do much because of her health was at risk, and especially with the overcast, windy, cold days. We made the best of it, but just so much stress on me worrying and having to be so cautious. Once we finally got it, we used it and then off to Universal Orlando to track down Sponge Bob. Universal Orlando and Island Adventures go above and beyond expectations! THey were AWESOME! We were trying to get over to Island Adventure to see Dr Seuss by such and such time, but it was difficult because we kept getting pulled over by park employees asking if we have seen so and so, and if I said, no, didn't know they were here, they would say come with me. One employee took us to 6 different characters. It was amazing. We finally got over to Island Adventure to see Dr Seuss Landing. What a great area. So cute the way its done. We saw the Dr Seuss show and was told to hang out a few minutes afterwards so we could meet the characters (all the characters). After the show, a fwe of the characters met with others (meet and greet) while we waited. We didn't mind at all. Then before they had to go back stage, they met with my daughter and then we all did a group photo.

I don't know how many times at the parks they would let us in to see a character right before they needed to step away on break. I felt bad as they would take us and not others who had been waiting for a long time in these situations. I know my daughter truly deserved all this special attention and it was amazing. At one point, I thought, "its about time she gets something for what all shes been through". I don't ever think like that, but I just thought this is so neat!

Animal Kingdom was cool too. We had a character breakfast at Tusker House. Let me tell you, no food tasted better than there, especially there eggs. And I am picky about eggs. It was a bit overwhelming for my daughter the first 30 minutes inside or so, but after that she adjusted and came comfortable. Well, Mickey had come by when she was still adjusting and so it wasn't a great greeting, but I asked our waitress if there was any way we could see Mickey now that she is feeling better. They took us over to the other dining room where Mickey was and let her see him. That was the only way, and I didn't mind because my daughter loved the idea of "chasing Mickey down". He came out and played with her since she was in such a good mood. I kept thinking we need to let him get back to his routine, but he kept going. Then the outside Donald Duck came in and grabbed her autograph book and said, "shhhh our secret". He doesn't sign books. They had a little parade with goofy in there where the kids could shake rattles and follow goofy around the restaurant. Just amazing. The waitress gave us a discount and didn't charge for my daughter.

Magic Kingdom was great, but I will have to admit, it really depends on the person you come across. Some where great, and others had a chip on their shoulders or just didn't treat us any different. Okay, so I was getting spoiled and expected more out of them. But they were still great. So many characters came up to my daughter during the parade. She liked some of them, and I only wish she could of seen them outside of the parade.

The Osborne Light show at Hollywood Studios was AMAZING!!! My daughter loved it, and sat there watching it for an hour in a half. I felt bad when we had to leave. Hollywood Studios was amazing too for characters. An employee literally grabbed me/stopped us as we went by Buzz and Woody. I didn't see them and apparently she knew. She asked if we had seen them and I said no. There was a 2 1/2 hour wait at that time to see them and she took us right in. I was glad that another wish family was near, and heard her with us so they followed. I couldn't get Kayla away from Buzz and Woody. They had fun playing her toy with her. Hollywood Studios went above and beyond inside the Animation bldg where many characters were.

We loved the trick-or-treating Halloween party night at GKTW. She didn't enjoy the CHristmas night as much, but it was still neat. She loved being out after dark and enjoyed all the lights. It really is a neat place. She was more less asleep during most of the character greetings at GKTW because of the time change, but we saw them again in the parks. Santa was great, and such a neat set up.

My daughter, not eating anything by mouth for months decided our first night there she was going to eat a scoop of ice cream and she did!! She loved it!! Unfortunately, that was the only night she really ate it. I found that she seem to want some during the day while in parks, and didn't by the time we got back. Or at least it seem so the way she was acting. I felt bad that I couldn't give her any at the parks (it just wasn't possible as I tried once, and checked other times). She also had two bites of mashed potatoes and gravy on Thanksgiving (let me just say that was a good Thanksgiving dinner). She was more into playing her toy than eating that evening.

The star is so cool. We did it a few days before leaving, but unfortunately, they didn't have out star ready to view til the night before we left, which was too late. I hope to get back there one day so we can see it.

Magic Pillow was cool too.

I loved the lobby of GKTW all decorated in Christmas. The avenue was decorated differently almost nightly.

We didn't do too many rides since we were so busy with characters, or most parks just didn't have much for my daughter. We did go on a few at Disney (some of our old time favorites).

It was really a nice time there and was sad to see it end. I did feel like we got cheated out of two days due to the medical equipment issue, but I should of known to bring ours just in case something went wrong like it did. The whole point though was to not have to take it. I didn't feel comfortable checking it. Lesson learned.

Unfortunately, my daughters wheelchair (the frame part) got bent on the plane on the way out, but I was able to fix it enough for it to work. On the way back, I asked if there was anyway that they do not take it apart and leave it together, standing up, so it doesn't get damaged like it did on the way out. The agent said, "that should be possible especially with this plane". She went out herself to tell the guys not to take it apart, etc. She returned to me and said, "it will not be taken apart and......". When we got to our destination, it had been taken apart and I couldn't even put it back together because it was bent so bad and two pieces broken. Delta Airlines. I was furious. It took me over an hour to get it back to a position that I could at least put it together and have her use it safely. It is so out of wack. I have always supported Delta because of friends I have that work for them. The flight attendents on the way over to Fl were nice and helpful, but only one of them on the return acknowledged us. Orlando airport was great, but unfortunately, Los Angeles was the pits. I basically was pushing my daughters chair with my knees so I could pull our two roll bags to the baggage counter to check them when we got there. Two agents just watched us go by. Our limo driver asked this one agent to help, but since we didn't curb check (we weren't checked in), he wouldn't help (Delta person). I did expect the airline to be more helpful, and treat us a little better. I hear of all these great stories. We use to fly a lot when my daughter was younger, and we had better experiences then than we did this trip. I do have to say though, we had a Delta flight attendent sit next to us today on the way home, and he was amazing with her, and more helpful and caring than any Delta employee we encountered. He was headed to Tokyo to start a shift.

It will still be a week I will never forget despite the issues.

Oh, and you all need to do the tuck-in visit with one of the rabbits at GKTW. We scheduled the last one of the night and Mayor was awesome with my daughter. She wasn't ready for bed, but he still tucked her in and everything. That was really neat.

Hope you all have a great trip!!!!

Pictures to come!
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:49 PM   #2676
NEmel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaylaM View Post
Hello everyone!

Just a fast report...

We are back from our week at GKTW. We had a great time once we overcame some obstacles there at GKTW. We didn't get off on a great start unfortunately. My MAW coordinator ordered the one main piece of medical equipment we really rely on daily, absolutely need. It arrived at GKTW (according to GKTW) on schedule two days before we arrived. GKTW had our flight schedule. When we arrived at GKTW, only the boxes I shipped were in our Villa, but not the medical machine. I asked about it and they said, "oh, we don't know where it is". I thought, that is weird because I was told two days ago that it was here. To make a long story short, it took them two days to get it to locate it and get it to us. During those two days, we couldn't do much because of her health was at risk, and especially with the overcast, windy, cold days. We made the best of it, but just so much stress on me worrying and having to be so cautious. Once we finally got it, we used it and then off to Universal Orlando to track down Sponge Bob. Universal Orlando and Island Adventures go above and beyond expectations! THey were AWESOME! We were trying to get over to Island Adventure to see Dr Seuss by such and such time, but it was difficult because we kept getting pulled over by park employees asking if we have seen so and so, and if I said, no, didn't know they were here, they would say come with me. One employee took us to 6 different characters. It was amazing. We finally got over to Island Adventure to see Dr Seuss Landing. What a great area. So cute the way its done. We saw the Dr Seuss show and was told to hang out a few minutes afterwards so we could meet the characters (all the characters). After the show, a fwe of the characters met with others (meet and greet) while we waited. We didn't mind at all. Then before they had to go back stage, they met with my daughter and then we all did a group photo.

I don't know how many times at the parks they would let us in to see a character right before they needed to step away on break. I felt bad as they would take us and not others who had been waiting for a long time in these situations. I know my daughter truly deserved all this special attention and it was amazing. At one point, I thought, "its about time she gets something for what all shes been through". I don't ever think like that, but I just thought this is so neat!

Animal Kingdom was cool too. We had a character breakfast at Tusker House. Let me tell you, no food tasted better than there, especially there eggs. And I am picky about eggs. It was a bit overwhelming for my daughter the first 30 minutes inside or so, but after that she adjusted and came comfortable. Well, Mickey had come by when she was still adjusting and so it wasn't a great greeting, but I asked our waitress if there was any way we could see Mickey now that she is feeling better. They took us over to the other dining room where Mickey was and let her see him. That was the only way, and I didn't mind because my daughter loved the idea of "chasing Mickey down". He came out and played with her since she was in such a good mood. I kept thinking we need to let him get back to his routine, but he kept going. Then the outside Donald Duck came in and grabbed her autograph book and said, "shhhh our secret". He doesn't sign books. They had a little parade with goofy in there where the kids could shake rattles and follow goofy around the restaurant. Just amazing. The waitress gave us a discount and didn't charge for my daughter.

Magic Kingdom was great, but I will have to admit, it really depends on the person you come across. Some where great, and others had a chip on their shoulders or just didn't treat us any different. Okay, so I was getting spoiled and expected more out of them. But they were still great. So many characters came up to my daughter during the parade. She liked some of them, and I only wish she could of seen them outside of the parade.

The Osborne Light show at Hollywood Studios was AMAZING!!! My daughter loved it, and sat there watching it for an hour in a half. I felt bad when we had to leave. Hollywood Studios was amazing too for characters. An employee literally grabbed me/stopped us as we went by Buzz and Woody. I didn't see them and apparently she knew. She asked if we had seen them and I said no. There was a 2 1/2 hour wait at that time to see them and she took us right in. I was glad that another wish family was near, and heard her with us so they followed. I couldn't get Kayla away from Buzz and Woody. They had fun playing her toy with her. Hollywood Studios went above and beyond inside the Animation bldg where many characters were.

We loved the trick-or-treating Halloween party night at GKTW. She didn't enjoy the CHristmas night as much, but it was still neat. She loved being out after dark and enjoyed all the lights. It really is a neat place. She was more less asleep during most of the character greetings at GKTW because of the time change, but we saw them again in the parks. Santa was great, and such a neat set up.

My daughter, not eating anything by mouth for months decided our first night there she was going to eat a scoop of ice cream and she did!! She loved it!! Unfortunately, that was the only night she really ate it. I found that she seem to want some during the day while in parks, and didn't by the time we got back. Or at least it seem so the way she was acting. I felt bad that I couldn't give her any at the parks (it just wasn't possible as I tried once, and checked other times). She also had two bites of mashed potatoes and gravy on Thanksgiving (let me just say that was a good Thanksgiving dinner). She was more into playing her toy than eating that evening.

The star is so cool. We did it a few days before leaving, but unfortunately, they didn't have out star ready to view til the night before we left, which was too late. I hope to get back there one day so we can see it.

Magic Pillow was cool too.

I loved the lobby of GKTW all decorated in Christmas. The avenue was decorated differently almost nightly.

We didn't do too many rides since we were so busy with characters, or most parks just didn't have much for my daughter. We did go on a few at Disney (some of our old time favorites).

It was really a nice time there and was sad to see it end. I did feel like we got cheated out of two days due to the medical equipment issue, but I should of known to bring ours just in case something went wrong like it did. The whole point though was to not have to take it. I didn't feel comfortable checking it. Lesson learned.

Unfortunately, my daughters wheelchair (the frame part) got bent on the plane on the way out, but I was able to fix it enough for it to work. On the way back, I asked if there was anyway that they do not take it apart and leave it together, standing up, so it doesn't get damaged like it did on the way out. The agent said, "that should be possible especially with this plane". She went out herself to tell the guys not to take it apart, etc. She returned to me and said, "it will not be taken apart and......". When we got to our destination, it had been taken apart and I couldn't even put it back together because it was bent so bad and two pieces broken. Delta Airlines. I was furious. It took me over an hour to get it back to a position that I could at least put it together and have her use it safely. It is so out of wack. I have always supported Delta because of friends I have that work for them. The flight attendents on the way over to Fl were nice and helpful, but only one of them on the return acknowledged us. Orlando airport was great, but unfortunately, Los Angeles was the pits. I basically was pushing my daughters chair with my knees so I could pull our two roll bags to the baggage counter to check them when we got there. Two agents just watched us go by. Our limo driver asked this one agent to help, but since we didn't curb check (we weren't checked in), he wouldn't help (Delta person). I did expect the airline to be more helpful, and treat us a little better. I hear of all these great stories. We use to fly a lot when my daughter was younger, and we had better experiences then than we did this trip. I do have to say though, we had a Delta flight attendent sit next to us today on the way home, and he was amazing with her, and more helpful and caring than any Delta employee we encountered. He was headed to Tokyo to start a shift.

It will still be a week I will never forget despite the issues.

Oh, and you all need to do the tuck-in visit with one of the rabbits at GKTW. We scheduled the last one of the night and Mayor was awesome with my daughter. She wasn't ready for bed, but he still tucked her in and everything. That was really neat.

Hope you all have a great trip!!!!

Pictures to come!
Sorry to hear everything didn't turn out. It sounds like despite all of the problems you had a wonderful trip. Can't wait to see pictures!
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:52 PM   #2677
NEmel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DelanaAndKyra View Post
We arrived at GKTW this afternoon! Nothing anyone says can prepare you for this place! They go above and beyond with everything to make you feel amazing!
Have a wonderful week!!!
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:13 AM   #2678
lakinbum93
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We leave tomorrow!!!! So excited and the kids stay
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:14 AM   #2679
lakinbum93
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We leave tomorrow!!!! So excited and the kids stayed up past midnight so they could say that WE LEAVE TOMORROW and went and screamed into their pillows because their dad is asleep! Hope I've got everything covered and ready to go!
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:25 AM   #2680
NEmel
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Originally Posted by lakinbum93 View Post
We leave tomorrow!!!! So excited and the kids stayed up past midnight so they could say that WE LEAVE TOMORROW and went and screamed into their pillows because their dad is asleep! Hope I've got everything covered and ready to go!
YEA!!! Have a wonderful trip!
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Old 11-25-2012, 05:50 PM   #2681
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DelanaAndKyra View Post
We arrived at GKTW this afternoon! Nothing anyone says can prepare you for this place! They go above and beyond with everything to make you feel amazing!
So glad it's amazing. Have a wonderful time



KaylaM -Sorry you had some problems Glad you had a nice time overall.



Quote:
Originally Posted by lakinbum93 View Post
We leave tomorrow!!!! So excited and the kids stayed up past midnight so they could say that WE LEAVE TOMORROW and went and screamed into their pillows because their dad is asleep! Hope I've got everything covered and ready to go!
Yay! Have a wonderful trip!
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:34 PM   #2682
KaylaM
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Hope you guys have a wonderful time!!!
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:09 PM   #2683
Nevada Jen
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Kayla, sorry it wasn't perfect. Give it a couple of weeks and I bet you look back on the trip with a lot more fondness! Lankinbum, hope you have a wonderful time!
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:15 PM   #2684
KaylaM
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Kayla, sorry it wasn't perfect. Give it a couple of weeks and I bet you look back on the trip with a lot more fondness! Lankinbum, hope you have a wonderful time!
We had a good time, and our feelings of the trip will not change, its just the issues we had were so preventable if people did their job, and what got me, was that GKTW staff could of cared less in helping us resolve the issue when it was their fault to begin with. Anyway, it could of been so much worse, I definitely know that, and we had many moments we will always cherish, and we made the best out of it! I just hope that no one else has the same bad experiences we did.
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:47 PM   #2685
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Back to reality:(

Well, we arrived back at home last night...and I am still sad! The week we just spent at GKTW was amazing. All of our experiences at GKTW were awesome...my daughter is currently suffering ice cream withdrawls The parks were great, I really wish we could have squeezed in Universal, it was all so much and Sarah was so worn out. We took Thanksgiving day off from the parks to let her relax a little. We drove to Cocoa Beach that day, which was great. We ate lunch on the pier, let the kids play in the sand, and checked out Ron Jon Surf Shop. That gave us plenty of time to get back to the village for the Christmas Party! I will try to do write a trip report to be more detailed...

As far as the extra stuff you come home with...the more kids you have, the more stuff you get. They left something for the girls every day, and combined with the souvenirs we bought...it was a lot! We had one bag that was pretty much just diapers on the way down, so it was perfect for getting everything home!
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