Owen's Make A Wish Come True

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by Owensheart, Dec 16, 2011.

  1. Owensheart

    Owensheart Mouseketeer

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    Owen's Make A Wish trip was the best experience ever! We had an early start on Sunday when the "shuttle" showed up at 8am. Much to our surprise.. there was a white stretch limo in our driveway! The driver had us loaded up in no time and we were on our way to the airport.
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    Owen loved the limo ride. He kept saying.. "this is the best limo ride ever!
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    We used curbside check in at the airport and found our wish granter that was sending us off. It wasn't long before we were passing through security and found our way to the gate. I loaded us up with snacks and water bottles for the 4 hour plane ride. We always pre-board because of Owen's oxygen concentrator and all his luggage. The pilot let him hang in the cockpit while I cloroxed his seat and surrounding areas.
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    Kam and Daddy got the front row of seats with all the extra leg room, while Owen and I took up the row behind them. Kam worked on her algebra the majority of the flight, while Owen played iPad and ate snacks. We were all excited to finally be on our way to Orlando!
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    The four hour flight went by surprisingly fast and soon we found our GKTW greeter. She escorted us, and another MAW family from Phoenix, to baggage claim and to find our rental cars. Alamo let us pick out any car we wanted and a minivan it was! I don't pack light and we had 7 checked bags and million carry ons.
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    We hit the road and before we knew it, we were at the village. (stock photo)
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    We checked in at the House of Hearts and Owen was given a plush Mickey and Kamryn a Shamu. There was a big tree in the middle of the house and Spiderman was peeking down from the ceiling.
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    We arrived just as the cookie cart was passing by with lemonade and chocolate chip cookies...yum! Our villa was decorated for Christmas and it felt like home, rather than a hotel. We unloaded our luggage and made our way to the Gingerbread house for a quick dinner. As soon as we walked in, we knew how amazing this village was. There were so many volunteers helping out, taking our trays to our table and they were all so sweet.

    After dinner we spent a few minutes at the ice cream parlor before I had to be at the 7:45 orientation. Carson took the kids over to Matthews Boundless Playground which is designed after the Candyland game. It was Candyland night and the kids had so much fun! I have no pictures because we left the camera in our villa and I missed out due to orientation. But.. I hear it was very fun!

    After orientation, I ran to the office to see if Apria delivered Owen's oxygen and of course.. they did not. I called in and they had to make a late night delivery so that we had oxygen for day 2. In the meantime, the manager took me to the storage building and we found some oxygen tubing and leftover oxygen tanks to get us by. When I got back to the villa.. the kids were settled into their room for the first night.
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    As I finished unpacking and picking up for the night, I took a shot of our villa Christmas tree. Isn't she pretty?
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    We had a great start to our trip and the next ten days proved to be magical with lots of surprises along the way. I crashed by 11pm (9pm AZ time), and we only played musical beds once on the first night.
     
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  3. lorasmom

    lorasmom DIS Veteran

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    Yay, you've started your TR!!!

    Can't wait to hear more :)
     
  4. cogero

    cogero DIS Veteran

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    Great start to your report
     
  5. mommyof2princesses

    mommyof2princesses Being mom to 2 princessess is a lot of work!

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    So excited to be reading! Sounds like a great beginning! And Owen seems to have loved the Limo!
     
  6. ellenbenny

    ellenbenny DIS Veteran

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    Joining in. Looks like a great start to the trip, can't wait to read more!!
     
  7. billwendy

    billwendy DIS Veteran

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    :thumbsup2Off to a great start!!!
     
  8. Moodyzblu

    Moodyzblu DIS Veteran

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    Great start !! So excited to be reading this .. it's getting me very excited for our trip to GKTW !! :banana:
     
  9. dianemom2

    dianemom2 DIS Veteran

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    I can't wait to read all about your trip! I am sure it was great!
     
  10. effervescent

    effervescent Mouseketeer

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    Sounds like a great start! I can't wait to hear more!
     
  11. miprender

    miprender <MARQUEE BEHAVIOR=ALTERNATE><img src=http://www.em

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    :surfweb: I'm in! Can't wait to read more.
     
  12. Owensheart

    Owensheart Mouseketeer

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    We slept in our first morning in Florida. There is only a 2 hour time difference, but it felt like so much more. We were exhausted from our day of travel, so sleeping in until 9am felt amazing!
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    Before heading out for a day of fun, we wanted to fill our bellies at the Gingerbread House. These rocking chairs were on the front porch of our villa.. so homey.
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    Since we arrived after dark, I wasn't able to take a good picture of our villa. Here it is.. purple, orange and turquoise.. love it!
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    Our villa was in the best location. We were right around the corner to the pool area, castle of miracles, and gingerbread house!
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    All of the tables in the Gingerbread House are filled will peppermints. It is such a happy place to be. There were so many sweet volunteers, including a couple groups of girls from Ohio State. Owen became very fond of his 'pretty girls' while we were there as they were always around the village the entire week. Breakfast did not disappoint. There was a waffle bar, sausage, bacon, eggs, cereal, bagels..you name it, they had it!
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    After breakfast, we headed back to our villa and loaded up the van because we were headed here...
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    After a long hike from the parking lot to the entrance, we were finally at Islands of Adventure!
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    The first ride of the day, just to get it out of the way, was THE HULK rollercoaster!!
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    Kamryn wanted nothing to do with it and she was petrified.
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    But after a little convincing and a quick photo.. Daddy and Kam were off to ride.
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    Owen was obviously a little small for this monster of a ride, but he would have been on it if he could. Instead, we walked around Superhero Island and soaked it all in. In case you don't know.. Owen is obsessed with Superheros!!! Loves them all... including the "bad guys".
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    As soon as Daddy and Kamryn came off the ride, Sis was all smiles and begged me to ride with her. You don't have to ask me twice. Daddy took Owen and found this bad guy.
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    Daddy was then approached by a couple members of Universal management. They wanted to know if Owen wanted to have a "surprise" greeting with his favorite Superhero characters. Um.. yes. We were lead to an area to wait for about 15 minutes.
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    It wasn't too long before we were taken behind the scenes of a ride and found these Supers waiting just for Owen!! Spiderman started by introducing the Ladies first, and then Cyclops and Wolverine introduced themselves.
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    Wolverine showed off his claws and talked about how sharp they are. I think Owen was so starstruck that he didn't know what to do! He was just so thrilled!!
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    We all jumped in the photo and showed our best superhero pose. Spidey was helping Owen figure out his spider throw hand.
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    Love this photo so much! I am so grateful to the amazing team at Universal for making this happen!
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    Captain America must have been on break, because as soon as we came around the corner, there he was! Owen LOVES Captain America.. he's up there on the top of the list with Spiderman.
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    We weren't allowed to wait in any character lines the entire trip.. cast members wouldn't have it. So we had a little hang out session with the Captain and then we all showed off our muscles. Love it!
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    Another member of management walked us right up the back exit to Spiderman and put us on the ride. It has a 40' height requirement to ride, and Owen was right there. Yeah. The ride was crazy and there were bad guys everywhere. Owen was in heaven.
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    Superhero Island was such a big hit! Owen found a Spiderman and Venom toy to take home as souvineers.
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    After we left Superhero Island, we walked right into Comic Land. Love this picture of Kamryn. She was starving and tired, so this was fitting.
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    We walked through Jurassic Land and made our way to Mythos.. rated the best themepark restaurant for the past six years. Kamryn is learning all about greek mythology this year, so we thought it would be a way cool place to stop and eat.
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  13. Owensheart

    Owensheart Mouseketeer

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    During lunch, Owen was entertained with his creepy venom toy.
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    The service and food was fantastic, as well as the atmosphere. It was so awesome inside and everywhere you looked there was more detail.
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    Carson and Kamryn eating.
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    Our waiter surprised us at the end of the meal by bringing Owen (and us) a giant banana split, compliments of management to celebrate Owen's trip. Seriously thoughtful and so sweet.
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    After our relaxing lunch, we decided to make our way up to Harry Potter Land! My kids LOVE Harry Potter and we watched all the movies this past summer. It was so cool there!
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    Owen wanted to stop when we found out these "students" were performing a musical number with their singing frogs. He loved it so much! Afterwards, they asked him if he wanted to come pet their frogs and take a photo.
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    This is Hogwarts castle and also where you can ride the amazing Harry Potter ride.
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    Owen was too little for this Harry Potter ride, but they let him stroll through and check out the inside of the castle. These photos were just like they are in the movie and they talk and move around. So cool.
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    We pulled a ride swap on this one and then met outside to ride on the Flight of the Hippogriff. It's a "milder" rollercoaster for the 38" and up crowd.
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    Owen loved this coaster so much that he went on it four times in a row!!! He proved to be a small daredevil.

    Kamryn wanted to go check out Ollivanders Wand Shop so we did that next.
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    There was a cool little wizard show with a little wizardry involved. They picked a boy from the crowd and found him the perfect wand. Then they led him through the door with his wand and said "this wand has found you.. now you can enter through the door and purchase it." Priceless.
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    Next up with the Dragon rollercoaster... awe. some. It was a super crazy, hanging roller coaster, that corkscrewed more times than I care to count. Owen was bummed he was too little for this beast of a coaster, so Daddy took him back to the Hippogriff coaster.
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    When Kamryn and I met up with the guys, we found that they had purchased some butterbeer. YUM. A combination of butterscotch and creme soda made a delicious treat!
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    Owen sure loved him some butterbeer.. and we went with the frozen butterbeer.
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    On our way out of Hogsmead, we stopped for a photo with the Hogwarts Express. We will never forget how cool Harry Potter land was. Rumor tells me they are building a HP Land at Universal Hollywood to open in 2015.
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    Next up was Seuss Landing..
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    I loved Seuss Landing.. so cute, colorful and fun!! We started riding the Trolly in the Sky, then rode the Cat in the Hat ride, and headed to the Fishy ride.
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    This ride has a surprise in store... Red Fish, Blue Fish, Up up up. Nobody mentioned that we were about to get soaking wet!!
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    The fish spit out water during the ride and soak you, if you are unlucky, and we were. :) The kids loved it so much we went on it again and again. After this, we were done and ready to head back to GKTW.
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    We let the kids get their jammies on and headed over to the Gingerbread house for dinner. We didn't know it was "Trick or Treat" night in the village. We got the kids pumpkin bags and headed around the Avenue of Angels getting candy and doing crafts. So fun. When we got to the main party area, we found Curious George!! Owen was totally excited!!
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    I have video, that I will update later of Owen dancing with Curious George. They had music blaring, characters dancing and kids having fun! Everytime we turned around, we saw someone new. I had to tell Owen all about Popeye and Olive Oil.
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    We then went for a little ice cream stop on our way back to our villa. Nothing is better than free ice cream all. day. long.
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    This became a nightly tradition. Something we will always remember from our trip.
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    When we came back to our villa to call it a night, we found the following "surprises" on our kitchen table. The Candy Land game is a special GKTW game, there is a fun pizza listening game and a travel Scrabble game.
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    We had such a fun day at IOA. We didn't get to see it all, but we had plans to go back on Friday! We tucked the kids into bed and crashed hard. Tomorrow was going to be a relaxing day exploring the village.
     
  14. wbh1964

    wbh1964 Mouseketeer

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    I am LOVING reading your trip report! We leave in less than a week for Lindsay's MAW trip so we are getting so excited just reading and anticipating what is to come. Looks like you guys had a wonderful time! Can't wait to read more...
     
  15. dianemom2

    dianemom2 DIS Veteran

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    Your first day looked amazing. I love the Owen was able to meet all the super heroes. How great that you were able to meet them privately. The Harry Potter area looks amazing. My DD12 is going there next week and she is super excited. I am going to show her the pictures you posted. GKTW looks amazing too!
     
  16. karebear23

    karebear23 Mouseketeer

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    :wave: Hello! Joining in!
    What a great start to your trip! That is so wonderful he got to meet the superheros!!
    HP looks so cool. We haven't been to US in forever!
    Can't wait to see what's next!
     
  17. sgarrity

    sgarrity Mouseketeer

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    Love the report! IOA will be a top priority for the guys.
     
  18. Moodyzblu

    Moodyzblu DIS Veteran

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    Jayden is here reading your trip report right along side me and is loving it !! He loved the pics of all the Super Heroes and the Harry Potter ones (especially).
    Great start to your trip for sure !! :banana:
     
  19. lorasmom

    lorasmom DIS Veteran

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    The super hero story. Love it!! :goodvibes
     
  20. Owensheart

    Owensheart Mouseketeer

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    After a long day of travel, followed by another long day at Universal, we decided to stay at the village and enjoy it! We slept in, so long that we almost missed breakfast at the Gingerbread house. It was another fantastic morning and the weather was great!
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    After breakfast, the kids wanted to take a ride on the carousel. The kids could ride anytime day or night and they rode over and over again.
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    As we were exploring the GKTW village, I took some pictures. This is the entrance to the pool and splash pad area. The pools are all zero entry and everything at the village is wheelchair accessible.
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    This is the splash pad and giant pirate ship... I want this in my backyard someday!
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    I snapped another picture of our little villa and our van.
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    After our many carousel rides, we decided to explore the Castle of Miracles.
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    This is the Gingerbread House where we ate all our yummy meals. The carousel is under the red mushroom on the right and we were at almost to the entrance to the castle.
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    Inside we found so much magic. Here we are on the thrones.
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    Owen really wanted to make his star. They give each make a wish child a gold star to write their name on.
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    Sis had to help with the writing of the name.
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    This is the finished star!
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    Owen was told to put his star in the box and the fairy would come and get it. The fairy showed up on the screen in front of him and told him how special his star is. She took it out of the box and said she would hang it in the star tower that evening.
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    Owen loved this cool mirror that transformed him into a king.
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    Both kids got to make a pillow at the Magic Pillow Tree. They had to knock to wake up the owl.
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    Then they were told to look in the tree trunk to find their pillows.
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    Kamryn got a froggy pillow and Owen a firetruck.
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    Look at all the stars on the ceiling! Each star represents a Make A Wish child that has stayed at the village. The entire ceiling is covered, so they recently built the Star Tower to hold all the future wish kids' stars. Owen's is hung in the tower. I'll post more on that later.
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    As we were leaving the Castle of Miracles, we noticed that the La-Ti-Da Royal Spa was open so we went to check it out.
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    Kamryn got her nails painted blue with sparkles.
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    Owen wanted airbrush tattoos..
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    While the kids were being pampered, I saw this little troll peeking down from the ceiling.
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    Owen loved his frog and pirate tattoos. Kamryn also got a fairy airbrushed on her foot, but I didn't get a picture.
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    It was starting to warm up outside, so we stopped by the Ice Cream parlor for sodas and water.
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  21. Owensheart

    Owensheart Mouseketeer

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    Our next stop was the Amberville Train Station.
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    The kids loved this elephant garbage can. His trunk sucks in any paper you give it.. so the kids gave up their cups and straws.
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    Owen loved these little free rides around the village. I never let him ride them at home due to germs, but decided to throw caution out the window. He loved it!!
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    Inside the train station was the coolest model train set ever!! There are buttons all around the train set that control every little part of the set up. Owen spent at least 30 minutes playing with the train set.
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    We went around the corner to explore the fun carnival games. It didn't hold his attention long before he wanted to go back to the model train set.
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    We went outside to find Kam and Daddy. There is a giant train ride that goes all around Amberville station and the kids get to drive it!!
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    They had a great time ringing the bell and honking the horn.
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    After our ride on the train, we asked the volunteer (more of the Ohio State girls) about fishing. They had fishing poles and kits that you could check out. Carson loves fishing so he picked out some gear and we headed over to the fishing pier.
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    Daddy was the only one touching the worms.. yuck.
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    Owen and I lasted about 5 minutes before we were bored, so we decided to head back to the villa and order lunch from Katie's Kitchen. On our way back, Owen wanted to check out the water temperature at the splash pad. He got "fopping wet!"
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    We found another surprise on our kitchen table before ordering delicious sandwiches and salads for delivery. Katie's Kitchen is basically Boston Market and they will deliver your order to your villa anytime for lunch or dinner. Daddy and Kamryn got back from fishing just in time to eat lunch with us.
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    Then a delivery came knocking at our door.. more Mickey Mail!!
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    Disname, Effervescent, sent us Merry Grinchmas outfits!!! LOVE THEM!! They were going to be perfect for our breakfast with the Grinch on Friday.
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    After an hour or so of relaxing, Owen wanted to check out the playground. Daddy took the kids to the Candyland party at the park on our first night, but I was at orientation at the time. Owen was so excited to show me around. He loved this swing so much, but it was getting too warm for comfort.
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    It was perfect weather to check out the pool and splash pad!! They have a cool wave picture area.. so fun!
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    We spent a couple hours splashing, playing and getting wet. It was seriously so much fun!!
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    Owen's lips got so purple... he kept unplugging his oxygen so he could run around without his tank. A breeze came through and it got chilly quick. We ran over to the heated pool to splash around a bit before heading back to the villa.
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    That evening was a poolside cookout and Luau. We got changed and went back for a night of fun. Hotdogs, burgers, hula hoops and limbo turned out to be a fantastic night!
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    I forgot to mention that they had cotton candy and sno cones as well.
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    Owen loved the limbo and had fun with his "pretty girls" again!!
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    Kamryn was the best at the limbo.. she won.. if they were keeping count.
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    The last game of the evening was the water balloon toss. Owen and Kamryn were up against many other kiddos and once again, they rocked it!!
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    We turned in early and watched some Disney channel before bed. We don't have cable at home, so the kids were so excited to watch Disney and Nick Jr while snuggled into bed each night. Lights out came early because we had a long day at Magic Kingdom coming up!
     

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