After months of planning, hours of DISing, days of packing, and with just minutes to spare before our ride picked us up to head off for the airport, the time had FINALLY come for Princess Bella’s Make A Wish trip to Disneyworld to come true. STOP. Wait just one minute! I think I need some sort of an introduction first, right? A little history, a bit of background information maybe? The Who, What, When, Where and Why. . . . isn’t that how every good story begins? If you’re interested in going way back in time and reading about our planning process, my pre trip report, Fairy GodMAW Grants Princess Bella's WISH! Can be found here. Before we begin, I feel obliged to caution you of a few quirks that will likely accompany this trip report: 1. Me = First Time TR Writer. Please be gentle! I’m just hoping to get throuh this without violating any DIS laws, boring you to death, or burning your eyes out with an intense deluge of pictures. Which brings me to #2 - 2. Warning: This TR will be VERY photo intensive. I take A LOT of pictures and I like to share them. DH estimated I took over 4000. I think it’s closer to 2000, but either way I am in the process of editing out duplicates, bad shots, and unnecessary photos. However even after editing, there will still certainly be a LOT of pics left. You have been warned. Seriously. Not. Kidding. 3. Slow Moving TR Ahead: Unfortunately, the initial pace of this TR may be sluggish, especially for the next couple of weeks. Basic math will tell you that it has sadly already taken me 2 weeks just to get started. Additionally, I am still in the process of ‘catching up’ from being gone. Add Christmas and all of its preparation and festivities into the mix, and I am WAY behind on life in general. Once the kids return to school I hope to have more free time and move things along in a more timely manner. Please bear with me. Are you ready . . . . get set . . . here we go! WHO? I’ll begin with a short recap of our cast of characters. As it’s already taken me long enough to get this started, I’m going to cheat and copy/paste directly from the PTR although I have added a handful of updates as it was written over 6 months ago. Bella (DD5) – Isabella, BellaBoo, TinkerBella, Izzy, Princess. . . is the Wish Child and Star of the show. Bella is an adorable, precocious, 5 and ½ year old self-proclaimed princess. She is truly Miracle and we are so blessed that she completes our family. Bella was born 4 weeks premature and weighed just 4lbs. Her first 3 months of life were spent in a NICU. In total, she has spent over 225 nights in the hospital. This includes 7 major surgeries and over a dozen minor ones. In February of this year, her list of life-threatening diagnoses hit 5 (if you’re interested in the medical these for more info: pure esophageal atresia, multiple congenital heart defects (ASD, VSD, PDA), celiac disease, platelet function disorder, and pancreatic enzyme insufficiency) and her medical team and I decided she was overdue to have a wish granted. She struggles daily with multiple health issues but her strength and spirit are an inspiration to many who know her including myself. Kennedy(DD8) Sister of the wish-child and another self-proclaimed princess. Kennedy is 8 years old and in 3rd grade where she enjoys math and science. She plays soccer and loves gymnastics. She is exceptionally outgoing and friendly. Kennedy has a creative mind and a tender heart. Last week she tried to convince me that the only way she would have sweet dreams was if I would allow her to sleep with candy under her pillow! Her nick name is DeedleBug. She aspires to be President one day but back up plan is vet school. AJ (DD10) – Short for Adrianna Jadyn. AJ is our oldest sister of our Wish Kid at 10 years of age. She is incredibly intelligent (has a 12th grade reading level in 4th grade) and a born leader. Adrianna seems to excel at whatever she sets her mind to and never ceases to amaze me. She also enjoys soccer, volleyball, basketball, and gymnastics. You can almost always find her with her nose in a book or playing school with her sisters – she is always the ‘teacher.’ AJ is starting to grow up before my very eyes and I am so glad we are going to take her to Disney at least one more time before she’s too old to believe in the characters and “magic” of Disney. Grandma Chari (prounounced Shar-ee) (DMIL) – I’m so thrilled that my mother-in-law will be joining us on this trip! Not many people are lucky enough to say that about their inlaws, but I am blessed as we get along very well. Chari retired in January from her job as a school psychologist in New Jersey and moved to Indiana where Grandpa Curt was transferred to a new position. Now that she has more free time she is able to come along on our Wish Trip. She has been with us on every Disney Trip we’ve taken with the kids so far. She really enjoys spending time with and doing things for her grandkids. She and Grandpa are very kind, generous, and loving and experts at spoiling their grandchildren. Unfortunately, Grandpa has to work and won’t be able to join us. Ben, (DH31) – My Prince Charming, husband, and father of the princesses. He treats us all like royalty. We met in high school and started dating soon after he broke up with my best friend. We were high school sweethearts for 2 ½ years and went to college together after graduating. I’m sure nobody was surprised when we married and started a family 3 years later. We’ve now been together for 15 years and married for 10 (celebrated our anniversary in May in Vegas!). Ben is an incredible father and husband. He is a manager at a TV and appliance store. He coaches the soccer teams both Kennedy and Bella’s soccer teams. His commitment and dedication to our family is second to none. Me – I’m Stephanie, but you’ve probably already guessed that from my screen name. I am a 31 (gasp!) yr old stay at home mom to 3 beautiful princesses. My girls are my world and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am the PTO President at the school AJ and Kennedy attend. I am also on the local Board of Education. In 2007 I was elected to a 3 year term. In my free time, I pretend to be an amateur photographer because my DH spoiled me with a really fancy camera after Bella was born. I don’t really know what I’m doing but love surprising myself when a picture I took takes my breath away. I also enjoy scrapbooking when I get a chance though I’m about 7 years behind. Now that Bella will be in school full days next year, I intend to return to school and earn a degree in a medical field – possibly surgical tech. Here is a group shot from my brother in law's wedding this past summer. DH and I are on the far right hand side. DH in the blue shirt and I am in front of him in the pink/black dress. DMIL, Chari, is on the left in the brown and orange dress. WHAT? Isabella’s Wish was to go to Disney World. The Make A Wish Foundation of Wisconsin and Give Kids the World Village gave us the trip of a lifetime which included: 7 days and 6 nights at GKTW 3 Day Disney Park Hopper Tickets 1 Day Sea World Tickets 2 Day Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure Tickets All of the amazing events at GKTW Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Ticket And a generous expense check which, combined with savings and gifts from Grandpa and Grandma also allowed us to do the following: Candlelight Processional with guest narrator Steven Curtis Chapman 2 Hour Guided Bass Fishing Excursion on 7 Seas Lagoon Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique Cinderella’s Royal Table Happily Ever After Dinner with Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine, Anastasia, and Druzilla And much, much more . . . . . WHEN? December 3-12, 2009. We chose December for our trip as Bella doesn’t do well in heat and I honestly couldn’t think of anything more magical than Disneyworld at Christmastime. WHERE? We spent our first 6 nights at Give Kids the World Village, about 20 minutes from Disney Property. The last 3 nights of our trip were spent at a hotel just minutes from the parks. WHY? Last spring, when Carrie, the Wish Granter, asked Bella what her one wish would be, Bella answered without a doubt – to go to Disneyworld and be a Princess. Of course, when we heard that Bella’s wish would be granted, AND that our entire family would get to go too, we were all thrilled! So there you have it! The first official post of my first official trip report! I hope that you will follow me in reliving all of the magical moments and special surprises that were in store for our family during ten delightful, incredible, and memorable days. Act 1: Scene 1 - For Breakfast this morning, we have a wonderful Limousine Surprise! Act 1: Scene 2 - A Sprinkling of Pixie Dust at the Airport Act 1: Scene 3 - GKTW Greeter Gone Astray, and Avis, We have a Problem! Act 1: Scene 4 - It's No Castle, but it sure does feel like HOME! Act 1: Scene 5 - Lunch Launches A Lengthy Bella History Lesson - (skippable) Act 1: Scene 6 - Fun Times in a Special Place Called Amberville Act 1: Scene 7 - Adorable Christmas Pixies Meet Mrs. and Mr. Claus Act 1: Scene 8 - The Part of Christmas that I Missed Act 2: Scene 1 - Doo You Know Who We Met Today? Act 2: Scene 2 - The US/IOA Adventure begins! Act 2: Scene 3 - Donkey Love and Ogre Affection Act 2: Scene 4 - A Shoe Swappin', Jaws Droppin', Simp-ly Good Time! Act 2: Scene 5 - Bella's Stars In Her Own Disaster! Movie Act 2: Scene 6 - Magic for Mommy at the Pirates and Princess Party Act 3: Scene 1 - The Best Laid Plans are Like Cracked Eggs - Broken and Runny Act 3: Scene 2- Seeing Seas, Club Ceeeeewwwl and Crash Test Dummies meet Vikings! Act 3: Scene 3 - We're Your Basic Average Girls, And We're Here to Save the World Act 3: Scene 4 - Magical Moments when we Meet Mickey Mouse and Pluto Act 3: Scene 5 - The Candlelight Processional Exceeds Expectations Act 3: Scene 6 - A Pictureless Pouty Surprise Party Act 4: Scene 1 - The Wish Kid Goes Fishing Act 4: Scene 2 - Will Our Fishing Excursion Be Fruitful?