MAW Questions too!

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by hotmamac, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. hotmamac

    hotmamac Mouseketeer

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    Hello to everyone!
    I am brand new to boards and am also searching for info on Make a Wish. We are in the very very early stages of planning my dd's MAW to Disney and I too was questioning where to stay. I don't really care at all about SW or Universal. Can we just go to Disney? And do we get the choice of staying on site and where. My dd is gaga over animals of any kind and I would love for her to stay at the AKL and see them right outside her window. We also have a son who would love that too.
    Also, how long do they send you for and can you add on days out of your own pocket? We won't really have the opportunity to get back to Florida that much and I want to make the most of our time there.
    Any info would be appreciated.
    Misty
     
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  3. debbiemomto4

    debbiemomto4 Mouseketeer

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    When we had our 2001 wish GKTW was full so we stayed at the Broadwalk like I posted before. Recently we stayed at AKL and loved it. The animals are right outside the window. While we were there we did see a little boy who was getting a wish granted because he had the GKTW button and the chemo head so it definitely can be done.
    I guess it depends what his wish is. As far as days we did choose to only stay at Disney on our wish trip. Our ds was still sick and his strength was zapped very quick so staying at Disney just made it easier. We added a 3 day pass to our stay paid by us instead of going to US or SW.
    Speak to your coordinators and see what can be done.
     
  4. Cheshire Figment

    Cheshire Figment <font color=red><marquee behavior=alternate>Friend

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    Hi Misty and :welcome: to both DisBoards and disABILTIES!

    Since the thread you had attached to was over three years old, I started a new thread for you with your question.

    If you go to the top of the page and click on "disABLILITIES!" it will take you to the index. On the right you will see a tab marked "Search this Forum". Click on that and put "GKTW" in the search field and it will give you a large selection of threads, with the most recent first. These will help you a lot in research.

    Be careful and search in disABILITIES (below where it shows some page numbers) and not the disABILITIES Community Board which is more to the top of the page.
     
  5. hotmamac

    hotmamac Mouseketeer

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    Thank you Cheshire Figment...clearly I'm not very good at this yet...hope I'll improve with time!
    ;)
     
  6. alizesmom

    alizesmom Pumba is my hero but I love Donald

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    We'll be going on our MAW trip in Dec. There are a few threads on the trip reports that you can refer to. One is by Bill Lin and one by Wendy Grace. We are planning on staying at the GKTW village. From what I hear, it is worth the trip all by itself. We'll probably do SW but spend most of our time at WDW. I'm really tired and not making a lot of sense but hopefully you'll get more information from Bill's and Wendy's threads. Karen
     
  7. Iluvmickeymouse!

    Iluvmickeymouse! Proud mama to a DD who beat HLH

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    Hello!! We are going on our DD's MAW trip and the end of october! :goodvibes When we first started planning her trip, I too wanted to stay on Disney property. However, after talking to fellow dis'ers I am glad that we are staying at GKTW. If you have not been to the GKTW website, please go, you will find loads of info. From what I unserstand, we recieve 3 days WDW, 2 days US and 1 day SW. We are not going to do US. DD is 4 and we have another DD that is 1. We are doing SW, mainly because my husband and I love that park and wan't DD's to experience it. If your DD likes animals, she would probably like SW. As far as adding on days, I think it depends on your MAW chapter. We were able to add two days, at our own expense. We have to pay for our hotel, figure out transportation, pay for our own meals, and we bought extra tickets.

    Here are some of the trip reports by fellow MAW families.

    WendyGrace
    http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1504402

    5dwarves
    http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1525054

    BillLin
    http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1545182

    Who'syourMickey
    http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1524815

    Here is a thread that I had started that may have some info in it for you.

    http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1520629

    GKTW site

    http://www.gktw.org/

    Good luck with your trip planning and feel free to ask as many questions as you like. We are here to help!! :)
     
  8. Who'syourMickey

    Who'syourMickey Mouseketeer

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    Hi,

    we aren't going through MAW, we are going through the Dream Factory. Each organization handles things in a different way. We could have added on extra time at our own expense, but my husband can't take more than five days off work at a time. So, we are trying to pack as much fun into one week as we can without exausting our little one, although she wants to go, go, go, so we will see. As far as Disney goes, I believe that anything over the 3 day park hopper to disney would be at your expense. Our organization paid for a character meal with our daughter's favorite character for Mom, Dad and our two princesses.

    Our daughter is swimming with dolphins as part of her wish. We paid for the adults to go swimming with dolphins. The gas to the beach and jetski we will pay for, and any meals that we don't eat at GKTW are out of pocket. Everything at GKTW is free, and they serve 3 meals a day, plus unlimited ice cream. I think that those who stay off site (meaning not at GKTW) either recieve food vouchers or expense checks to cover food purchases. Our wish organization provides transportation to the airport, the airfare, lodging at GKTW, and rental car. At GKTW, they give US/IOA tickets, 3 day disney park hopper tickets, tickets to Kennedy Space Center, and a long list of other places. So many ticket options are available at GKTW, that you would have a hard time doing it all in two weeks! I think you pick the tickets you would like on the first day. The wish child gets to pick and choose which parks they would like the most. They get a GKTW button that makes it so they don't have to wait in lines. They give you parking passes. They give an expense check right before the trip and I mean right before. We still haven't gotten ours and our trip is in 14 days. One family might not get their check to purchase sunblock, and trip incidentals until the morning they leave! There is a walmart right by GKTW. I am checking into how many extra tickets we can get to Busch Gardens, and possible discounted rates for the four we will need, or if our Discovery Cove comes with free tickets to Busch Gardens. We will do the park hopper for 3 days to Disney, the Discovery Cove, and hopefully one day at Busch Gardens, and the beach.

    Our daughter has food allergies and we recieved a phone call from GKTW and a special allergy shopper who understands food allergies is shopping for her gluten, corn, and egg free food for the week and stocking it in the fridge at the villa we will be staying in. The villas at GKTW have kitchens so that I can prepare her special foods, and medicines which are so icky, we mix them with flavors and have a little laboritory going on to mask the awful taste.

    Part of our daughter's wish is dressing like a princess, and my mom made the princess dresses for our two youngest girls. Her wish is to sleep in a princess bed, so we plan to get one of those hanging things to go over the bed to make it look princessy. She wants to ride with Cinderella in her Carriage, and we will let the CM's or GKTW know about that wish when we get there. Our daughter wants to help raise money for a new retina camera for the eye clinic she goes to, so when she is on the news, she plans to let people know how much they need one on TV. We are in the beginning stages of planning a walk a thon to raise money for the retina camera.

    BTW, Busch Gardens is near the beach and they have animals too. My daughter loves animals and we are hoping to do both the AK and BG. GKTW has horseback riding.
     
  9. Bill_Lin

    Bill_Lin Grateful to God

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    WELCOME to the world of wish trips:grouphug: . You will find some good friends here to help you along the way :cool2: . We are going on a MAW trip to GKTW 9-17 to 9-23 :cool1: . We will be staying at GKTW village.

    My DDs original wish was a night in Cinderella's castleprincess: , but that was not possible due to it being the main prize in the Year of a Million Dreams:guilty: . From our Wish Coordinator, we learned about GKTW and our DD decided she wanted to go there as her back up wish:love: . She will get to meet Cinderella and dine with her. We are also hoping for a tour of the castle.

    I would love to focus, in some way on Disney parks only, but I have learned a lot about the rides and attractions at Universal, Islands of Adventure and Sea World. I have gotten pretty excited about the following:
    I.O.A. -Spider Man simulator, Cat in the Hat ride, Jurassic Park ride, One Fish Two Fish etc. rides.
    U.S.- E.T. ride, Jimmy Neutron simulator, Men in Black Ride, Shrek 4-D show and, yes, meeting Barney.
    S.W.- "The Arctic" simulator ride, Journey to Atlantis ride, and dolphin petting; plus I have never seen a manantee before. :yay:

    I think the GKTW package will provide a variety of experiences. At any rate, they give you 6 nights there. There is the fly-in day, five days and nights more, and then the fly-out day. They try to make the flights in and out timed to maximize your time in Orlando. This is true even for us as we fly all the way from Washington State:sick: .

    Make sure to let MAW know up front that you want LOTS of Disney. If you stay at a Disney Resort you will get the same number of days, I believe, but it will be access to Disney Parks only. Access to Extra Magic Hours would be available to you (but this means the park you are in will always be the most crowded one). One of the families on this board is going that route the same week we are going. We will both post how it went and you can read about it when we get back.:dance3:

    See if Make a Wish can get you more Disney days (we get only three) AND GKTW Village. The idea is that each Wish is unique and they are set up to meet unique requests. :wizard:

    Check out our links:
    Wendy Grace: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1504402 our guru and mentor's recent trip
    5Dwarves: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1525054 recent trip
    Our upcoming trip: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1545182
    New Wish Tripper: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1464992

    Bless you. Ask any of us for any help you would like finding out stuff. Check out the Universal Orlando website http://www.universalorlando.com/ and the Sea World Orlando site http://www.seaworld.com/SWF/ before you decide.

    Bill
     
  10. hotmamac

    hotmamac Mouseketeer

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    To Bill and all the other wonderful posters ~
    Thank you all so much for your help and input. I really feel so much better having this outlet (and inlet). It's amazing how heartwarming it is to find other people who are going or have gone thru a similar situation and are so willing to help and offer assistance. The world really is full of beautiful people. Thank you all.
    Misty:love:
     
  11. LeeLee2U

    LeeLee2U DIS Veteran

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    Hi, Misty!:goodvibes
    I'm the other Wish family BillLin was talking about. The one who's going the same week and doing the Disney route. We are not going thru MAW. We are going thru The Texas Wishing Well Foundation and to those out there that have pmd me NO they STILL havn't updated their website so B is not on there yet. Actually my husband might start doing it for them when we get back from out trip, but that's another story.
    Any way Going thru TTWWF we aren't going thru GKTW. That makes me a little nervous in the fact of we won't have the button and I don't kow how the lines will be, but we will get a GAC and use it. Plus DS will be in his wheelchair so we will be using the w/c lines. Although a nurse from my husbands Dialysis center said her nephew went 2 yrs ago thru the same org. and WDW gave him a button and he was treated the same as the GKTW kids.
    After reading and "talking"(pming!!) Elisa and Wendy, that's 5Dwarves and Wendygrace, reports I am kinda wishing we were going to be at GKTW but on the other hand I'm very glad that we will be onsite at WDW (Beach Club Resort)and we have 6day parkhopper passes. While we aren't doing the EMH in the a.m. we are planning on 2 of the evening EMH. I will be posting a TR when we get back. Due to us staying onsite and having the 5day hopper passes we also have the dining plan so that gave us a few more TS options as some were a little more expensive. We are doing 4 character meals!!
    Going this route our WISH org payed for everything OOP. They said going thru GKTE you get the tickets like the other posters already posted. Since WDW donates those tickets any extra you have to buy on your own.
    Can't wait to read more on your plans and know that you got a whole bunch of us behind you!!!:goodvibes
    We are a reg little DIZ WISH family!!!!!
    Oh yeah I'm also the one that gets the expense check either the night before or the day of!!!!!:eek:
    Oh WELL
    WE ARE GOING TO DISNEYWORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:yay: :yay:
     
  12. MarieS

    MarieS DIS Veteran

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    My boys had their MAW trip 2 years ago. It was fabulous! Here is our trip report:
    http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=957368&referrerid=&highlight=MAW+trip+report

    We stayed at GKTW and really enjoyed it! There is so much to do there and they have a party or activitiy every night. The staff really made my boys feel special.
    I asked my MAW coordinator if I could help plan the trip. I made all our reservations for character meals before we left home--actually as soon as reservation times opened up. I'm glad I did this because all the restaurants were very busy. Our loval MAW gave our money for lunch in the parks and that is how we payed for the character meals. GKTW provided breakfast and dinner.
    Have a magical trip!:wizard:
     
  13. bopper

    bopper <font color=green>Which way to the Hundred Acre Wo

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    If your daughter really likes animals, wouldn't she really like Sea World as well?
     
  14. Eeyore's Mom

    Eeyore's Mom Mouseketeer

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    My DS(4) was just granted his wish through MAW for a DW trip too :yay:. We will be there from Jan. 18th- 25th- we are given an extra day because we will be flying in from our home in Alaska (about an 11 hour flight :scared1: ) We also have a DS (10) and DS (2). You guys are so helpful and I am glad so many have posted questions... I have been lurking for a month and can admit that I have become a little obsessed now :surfweb: Love hearing about everyone's wish!! This is our first time to DW for all of us!! :banana:
     
  15. Iluvmickeymouse!

    Iluvmickeymouse! Proud mama to a DD who beat HLH

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    Welcome!! :grouphug: Glad you found us! And Bill thought his flight was going to be bad!! :scared1: :lmao: Pretty soon we will have more trip reports :cool1: and we will be able to learn even more!!!
     
  16. Purple Princess

    Purple Princess Earning My Ears

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    Hi Misty!

    We went on DD's Wish trip last November and had a wonderful time!
    We stayed at GKTW and it is truly a very lovely Village and the staff are super loving and friendly! Due to my daughters age (21 yrs.) she was over the age limit to stay at GKTW. I emailed them asking if they had ever made exceptions and was told they had only 3 times in their history. Yep, my daughter was #4! Woo hoo! When we were told GKTW was out and we would have to go to an offsite resort and share one room for the 4 of us, I knew that wasn't going to work in our family. So I sort of took matters in my own hands by emailing them. It worked and we are so glad! I can't imagine staying anywhere else for her Wish trip! They do so much for the families. If she had been under 18 there wouldn't have been any other choice for us than GKTW through the Special Wish foundation. You'll have to ask your Wish foundation if you can actually choose where to stay.

    We received 3 day park hoppers to WDW, 2 day hoppers for Universal and 1 day at Sea World. We had to rest in between so we missed Sea World. I wish we could have gotten that in but there was no way. We were given a handicap Van for our stay, money to cover the gas costs as well as money for eating at the parks. We actually CAME HOME with money left over! We ate every morning at GKTW and had a couple lunches there as well as a few dinners. Their food is very, very good by the way :-) It is prepared by Perkins and we know they are good.
    Ice Cream Shoppe is Friendly's Ice Cream and they have sandwiches and drinks also. Movie Theatre has yummy Icees, sodas and popcorn for everybody. Goodness there is so much at GKTW that we couldn't see or do it all!

    One thing I must point out is that just because you get the big button from GKTW saying it's your Wish trip does NOT mean you will get to bypass all lines! NO that isn't true! It didn't happen for us all that much and I have heard from others who have said the same thing. No one likes to report that :-) My DD is in a wheelchair and we were sent to the wheelchair lines and we were at the end of that line always. It is a shorter line than the regular line but we have to wait until the wheelchair car came back around and that was usually 15 or 20 minutes after we got to the front of the line. If there wasn't a wheelchair line we were placed in the fast pass line and again that line can be long too. I know you don'tw ant to go to Universal but they were actually MUCH better to us than WDW... oops... We were given the full treatment there. They even give you a free picture at each of their photo stations! We didn't go to all the photo spots so we only got a few. But they are great to our special families! We actually DID get to bypass lines and they all made a huge fuss over her, and my son too. You get to meet all the characters if you wish. Just incredible! I wouldn't miss Uni , just so you know....

    We didn't even try to add on days but wish we had now. Yes, that is an out of pocket expense and should be told to your Wish org. immediately. Once your flight plans are made they wont want to change your return flight date because the airlines charge the Wish org. a crazy amount of money to change it! So try asking NOW, if you can, if you think you will add days. We want you to have the time of your lives! :hug:

    This was our very first vacation and we had the best time EVER! We all want to go back again (NOW WOULD BE NICE hehehee)!

    If I can answer any questions please don't hesitate writing me on or off the board.

    HAVE FUN!!!

    P.P. princess:
     
  17. 5dwarves

    5dwarves DIS Veteran

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    Hey hotmamac:

    First of all, you have come to the right place. The best info I got to prepare for my son's wish trip to WDW, our first time there, came from the Disboards. There is a ton of info here and it can seem overwhelming at first, but it is all very helpful. Just take in a little at a time.

    Our wish trip was not with MaW. From reading on this board though, I have found that MaW guidelines on the trips vary from state to state. Your best asset will be your wish coordinator for specific wish granting info. Your second best asset will be these boards, for day planning.

    You had a question about adding days to your WDW stay. We tried to add days to our passes from GKTW, but were told that it was not possible to add days to complimentary tickets for wish families. We could, of course, add days on our own with a new pass. Some MaW organizations allow you to stay longer, some do not. GKTW usually only allows 6 nights (check in on Sun, check out on Sat) but I believe there are exceptions. If you stay there, you can contact them directly thorugh their website...

    It would be good for you to read some of the TRs about GKTW and wish trips here. There should be several new ones :wizard: forthcoming as there are 3-4 families leaving in the next week for their trip.

    Hope this helps a little...keep posting your questions. There are several dozen wish families who frequent here, and we have all been in your shoes in the planning stages...we would be happy to help you through the bumps...

    ~Elisa
     
  18. Pez Pez

    Pez Pez Mouseketeer

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    Hi,
    I am new around this board but wanted to thank you all for what you have posted. I have many questions that aren't really specific that your stories are answering. A special thanks to Iluvmickeymouse for all the reading material - I LOVE it!! :surfweb:

    My son Trevor (12) has Shone's Syndrome, it is basically a series of Congenital Heart Defects. He has had 5 surgeries in his young life, the first open heart at 2 weeks. I always felt guilty about requesting any "special" services, but he needs all the "special" he can get right now :hug: His doctor recognized this and introduced us to Make-A-Wish. Trevor is expected to have a double valve transplant the first of the year and has really been more anxious about his condition since he started Middle School. Trying to convince your child that they are not "different" is harder with age. :headache: He is no longer proud of his scar a.k.a "The Zipper" and he begs to play football (no contact sports). Of course I give his positive encouragement and always boot his self esteem, but I am sure you all can understand the constant emotional struggle ;)

    I am a huge planner and very detail oriented (this is good and bad) :magnify:. I have already booked a couple ADR and BBB for Princess Bianca :wizard:. But, I do wonder how much spending money MAW gives you (I know this can differ) for souvenirs and for meals outside of GKTW? How much of your own money did you spend? :confused: We won't be extending our trip at all but I wonder how much I should plan on bringing. I don't see that anyone has posted any specifics, but I am still reading, so I appologize if this is a duplicate question. I found the GKTW website long ago and have it as our homepage right now. Did any of you take your own stroller, or did you use the WDW freebie? If so, could you pack a small collapsable cooler down below with waters to avoid the $2.50/each price that WDW charges? :idea:

    Trevor is 12 going on 25 so we plan on being at GKTW for the major events, but I worry that he might be bored with too much time there, Bianca would love it though!! So we are planning on visiting Universal and all of the Disney parks - he is already busy customizing his maps :yay:

    Thanks again for all of your help!!!
     
  19. Iluvmickeymouse!

    Iluvmickeymouse! Proud mama to a DD who beat HLH

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    I had wondered the same thing and never posted it!! If you would like, we now have a home spot for all us wish trippers. Wendy started a thread for us on the community page. :cool1: Check out the link in my signiature below to get you there.

    I am so glad you got my pm....and again :welcome:
     
  20. Bill_Lin

    Bill_Lin Grateful to God

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    Pez Pez... I am sure you will find that the amount of time and energy it takes to do the theme parks will leave such a small amount of time at GKTW that you will not have the chance to be bored. There is so much to do there, ride the carousel, fish, play in the Castle of Miracles, eat ice cream, run the remote controlled boats or trains, ride the big train, play miniature golf, meet characters, ride the pony or carriage, pray in the chapel, talk with other wish families, have pizza delivered to your villa (for free), swim or play in the water park, or take a nature walk. Did I leave anything out?

    Bill
     
  21. Bill_Lin

    Bill_Lin Grateful to God

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    One thing to keep in mind when dealing with false guilt about accepting all the perks that come with a Wish Trip, many kids never get the chance to do a trip like this.

    When we took our trip with Lysi, we also took it in honor of Lin's daughter Becki who died of Lysi's disease before she was old enough to go on a Wish Trip. She was less than 2. It seemed that her spirit was with us on that trip, enjoying it with us.

    Take your trip for the sake of your precious child. In honor of what your child has gone through, and may continue to go through, and for all those who never got the chance for a trip, enjoy your trip to the full!
     

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