Make a Wish (and other organizations) - Wish Trippers UNITE! Volume SIX!

nesser1981

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 10, 2011
I’m glad I found this thread. My coworker’s daughter was granted a Wish trip and they’ve never been to Disney and I’ve been asked for any tips or advice I can offer since I’ve been to WDW several times with my family (not on any Wish trips though). I know they will have a three day park hopper and will be staying at GKTW. I think MAW is handling her daughter’s specific request to meet and dine with Cinderella and they will have character meet and greets at GKTW and don’t have to worry about scheduling fastpasses or lines. I helped her order some matching family shirts and a Cinderella outfit for her daughter. The mom has no interest in the Disboards as she said she felt it was overwhelming. I think she more so wants advice on how to go about touring and what to do or skip since they will have a three day park hopper ticket. Her daughter is an only child so they are able to completely focus on this trip being about what she is primarily interested in. She did ask me about the magic band and I told her it isn’t really necessary since they aren’t staying at a Disney resort and won’t have scheduled fast passes. Are there any specific tips I should give her? I am so excited for this family. This little girl is so awesome and deserving of this.
I replied in your other post too, it's been 6 years since our Wish Trip, https://www.disboards.com/threads/keiras-make-a-wish-trip-february-27-march-4-2012.2889066/#post-44230847 but I doubt that much has changed. You can read through our completed trip report, I tried to be pretty detailed. Characters, she will want to meet some at the parks if she's into princesses. Mickey, Pluto, Goofy and Belle where the only ones we met at GKTW. But, we managed to meet over 40 characters during our trip. We did 4 character meals, and they pretty much ushered us to the front of the line or to a Fast Pass entrance for rides/characters.
 

2Pirates2Princesses

DIS Veteran
Joined
Nov 15, 2010
I replied in your other post too, it's been 6 years since our Wish Trip, https://www.disboards.com/threads/keiras-make-a-wish-trip-february-27-march-4-2012.2889066/#post-44230847 but I doubt that much has changed. You can read through our completed trip report, I tried to be pretty detailed. Characters, she will want to meet some at the parks if she's into princesses. Mickey, Pluto, Goofy and Belle where the only ones we met at GKTW. But, we managed to meet over 40 characters during our trip. We did 4 character meals, and they pretty much ushered us to the front of the line or to a Fast Pass entrance for rides/characters.
Thank you. I am so excited for her family and they are very excited and grateful but I can tell the mom is a little overwhelmed with all there is to do in six days between the Disney park hoppers, Universal tickets, Sea World tickets and GKTW activities. I really want to offer good, supportive advice and suggestions considering the nature of this trip and the family’s circumstances.
 

nesser1981

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 10, 2011
Thank you. I am so excited for her family and they are very excited and grateful but I can tell the mom is a little overwhelmed with all there is to do in six days between the Disney park hoppers, Universal tickets, Sea World tickets and GKTW activities. I really want to offer good, supportive advice and suggestions considering the nature of this trip and the family’s circumstances.
It is a lot and GKTW is fantastic, my kids probably would have been happy if we just stayed there for the entire time. Maybe have her read through our trip report, even if the other boards are too much, it will at least give her an idea of what to expect and any planning she may want to do.

MAW did schedule our meal at CRT, but otherwise it was pretty up to me. They did tell me how much money that we would receive so I could start planning our meals and budgeting. I found that extremely helpful. I think we may have spent $50 OOP for the entire week.
 
  • LunaoftheRook

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 7, 2017
    I’m glad I found this thread. My coworker’s daughter was granted a Wish trip and they’ve never been to Disney and I’ve been asked for any tips or advice I can offer since I’ve been to WDW several times with my family (not on any Wish trips though). I know they will have a three day park hopper and will be staying at GKTW. I think MAW is handling her daughter’s specific request to meet and dine with Cinderella and they will have character meet and greets at GKTW and don’t have to worry about scheduling fastpasses or lines. I helped her order some matching family shirts and a Cinderella outfit for her daughter. The mom has no interest in the Disboards as she said she felt it was overwhelming. I think she more so wants advice on how to go about touring and what to do or skip since they will have a three day park hopper ticket. Her daughter is an only child so they are able to completely focus on this trip being about what she is primarily interested in. She did ask me about the magic band and I told her it isn’t really necessary since they aren’t staying at a Disney resort and won’t have scheduled fast passes. Are there any specific tips I should give her? I am so excited for this family. This little girl is so awesome and deserving of this.
    Glad you are helping them out! You are right with the fastpass thing, it's not necessary with the Genie pass, which puts Wish families in such a special position - they can literally do whatever they want without much planning. There are a few things to keep in mind though. They should check out the park opening and closing times, since rarely (mostly in the fall/winter for parties) a park will close early. Some characters have specific meeting times, so if you really want to meet one make sure you actually make it during a time they are available. Also take note of the some of the nighttime shows so they can plan if they want to see one of them. GKTW is a bit of a drive away (about 15-20 minutes, not counting the parking lots) so they should plan ahead if they want to go back for a nap or something similar. They should also at least glance at some of the rides and shows and make a rough list of things they want to check out or things to avoid (if they are too intense and/or have height requirements). They also get tickets to Universal and SeaWorld, so they should take a look and see if there is anything at either park they want to check out. The only think the Genie pass doesn't help with is dining reservations. MAW might help with that one Cinderella meal, but they should also take a look and see if there is anything else they really want to check out. Usually, MAW provides some cash/gift cards to be used to some meals in parks and gifts. GKTW serves meals throughout the day, but it would be inconvenient to leave the park and come back to eat and for them to go back out again. Depending on their child's condition, they might enjoy booking something where they can sit down in the air conditioning for some time and be served instead of fighting the crowds at a quick service restaurant. All places are great with allergies and food issues, but the table service restaurants really do it best and have more options.

    Speaking of GKTW, they really should plan some time, if not a day, just to enjoy the village. There is a party or event every night. In the morning they also have special activities like character meets and horseback riding. It really is a magical place and you can easily spend a day there between the activities, rides, pool, splash area, and events.
     

    mkb3

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2017
    So our social worker at the hospital notified us my daughter will be getting her wish! As soon as my daughter found out she said yay Disney World, so no doubt that is what she picks. We aren't done with treatment until summer, so hopefully we get to go first of December. Since she was diagnosed during Christmas it will be nice to make new positive Christmas memories. So my question after reading some of this thread is since we get the Genie pass there are no fast passes or magic bands? The reason I ask this is my daughter isn't tall enough for Space Mountain and dislikes Pirates and Soarin (my two favorite rides). Will my wife and I have to take turns waiting in line for these rides?
     

    nesser1981

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 10, 2011
    So our social worker at the hospital notified us my daughter will be getting her wish! As soon as my daughter found out she said yay Disney World, so no doubt that is what she picks. We aren't done with treatment until summer, so hopefully we get to go first of December. Since she was diagnosed during Christmas it will be nice to make new positive Christmas memories. So my question after reading some of this thread is since we get the Genie pass there are no fast passes or magic bands? The reason I ask this is my daughter isn't tall enough for Space Mountain and dislikes Pirates and Soarin (my two favorite rides). Will my wife and I have to take turns waiting in line for these rides?
    You shouldn't have to, I think you'll be able to just do the rider switch (I've never used a rider switch, but it's suppose to be easy). At Disney, we were just told to use the fast pass entrances. At Universal, they took us around to the back entrance of the rides.
     

    LunaoftheRook

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 7, 2017
    So my question after reading some of this thread is since we get the Genie pass there are no fast passes or magic bands? The reason I ask this is my daughter isn't tall enough for Space Mountain and dislikes Pirates and Soarin (my two favorite rides). Will my wife and I have to take turns waiting in line for these rides?
    I've seen parents/siblings take the Genie pass and go on a ride without the wish child, especially if it's a height/mobility issue. It shouldn't be a problem. You can still go into a fastpass line and use the child swap like normal. Also, don't give up on her going on Pirates and Soarin. Should could have a whole new perspective next year. Show her videos of the ride on YouTube so she can see the "scary" parts, as she may realize there is nothing to be too scared of. On a personal note, I didn't like Soarin much when I was younger, but it was because I hate IMAX (long story - just too bright and loud for me) and the fireworks sequence at the end of the original ride spooked me. Solution? Know when it was coming and close my eyes during that part. Also, if it helps with Space Mountain (another scary ride for young me) tell her it only goes something like 20 miles an hour!
     
  • alexandbrayden

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 18, 2011
    Hi my daughter Baylee was granted a MAW to DW and we leave in just over a week. We are going Sept 6-12 and are so excited!!! I have found tons of helpful info here and some blogs from MAW families. Hopefully I have everything planned to give my daughter the trip of a lifetime. She just graduated high school and was granted her wish 2 weeks before her 18th birthday. She has a rare congenital heart defect called L-Transposition, WPW, and Epstein's Anomoly but is doing well right now. Headed to MAW tomorrow to pick up our itinerary and tickets. We are adding aquatica and IFLY to our ticket package from GKTW. Has anyone done IFLY? It looks fun. My one question is whether or not we will be able to stay for Mickeys not so scary Halloween party as it is happening the first night we will be there? Anyone have any experience with this?
    I noticed your daughter is older. My son is almost 13, and we're in the process of scheduling his wish. We were going to go to Italy, but his Cardio feels like it would be safer, he has a pacemaker, to stay here in the US. We've watched numerous videos on GKTW, and he said it just wasn't a right fit for him. What did your older daughter think of GKTW?
     

    redberyl

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 25, 2014
    I noticed your daughter is older. My son is almost 13, and we're in the process of scheduling his wish. We were going to go to Italy, but his Cardio feels like it would be safer, he has a pacemaker, to stay here in the US. We've watched numerous videos on GKTW, and he said it just wasn't a right fit for him. What did your older daughter think of GKTW?
    Gktw really is geared toward smaller kids. I have heard of older kids being granted accommdations at other resorts as part of their wish
     

    mkb3

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2017
    Good to know they allow other resorts. My daughter would rather stay on property, but I haven't asked if that's a possibility as I feel guilty as this is a generous organization and I feel like we are being "picky" Either way we are looking forward to it no matter where we stay.
     

    nesser1981

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 10, 2011
    Good to know they allow other resorts. My daughter would rather stay on property, but I haven't asked if that's a possibility as I feel guilty as this is a generous organization and I feel like we are being "picky" Either way we are looking forward to it no matter where we stay.
    You really spend very little time at GkTW, and it’s the fact they have the medical staff and provide you with all of your tickets to the different parks. I wouldn’t let that bother you. Plus, you’ll be staying in a large, 2 bedroom condo, maybe larger depending on your family size.

    They do have different evening activities for teens. We just stopped in on Tuesday when we were there to visit.
     
  • Pridemom

    On our way to the Kingdom
    Joined
    Feb 21, 2016
    I noticed your daughter is older. My son is almost 13, and we're in the process of scheduling his wish. We were going to go to Italy, but his Cardio feels like it would be safer, he has a pacemaker, to stay here in the US. We've watched numerous videos on GKTW, and he said it just wasn't a right fit for him. What did your older daughter think of GKTW?
    I was worried that GKTW would be boring to my older kids, ages 14 to 21, but they loved it. I just asked my now 16 year old and she said she probably loved it more than little kids. My now 20 year old said, “tell them your 18 year old freakin’ loved it.”

    There are planned teen activities each evening. Movies in the theater. An arcade. Pools. And you can get pizza delivered to your villa.
     

    LunaoftheRook

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 7, 2017
    Good to know they allow other resorts. My daughter would rather stay on property, but I haven't asked if that's a possibility as I feel guilty as this is a generous organization and I feel like we are being "picky" Either way we are looking forward to it no matter where we stay.
    I don't remember where I read it, but I believe GKTW guests can get a decent discount at the Disney hotels while they are staying at GKTW. If it's something you child would like, maybe consider spending one night on property? Still, there is a lot of older kids to enjoy. There are Teen Nights every night for an hour for other teens to get together to do an activity (examples, the GKTW website says Sunday and Thursdays activity is archery tag and Tuesday and Saturday is laser tag). It looks like every other night or so there is a movie in theater. When I was volunteering there, the movie of the night was one of the Star Wars, definitely an older kid type movie. The pool is also huge and thus rarely feels too crowded, probably better than most on property pools. Plus, every trip is unique to what you like doing. If you are like me where you love getting to the parks as soon as they open and leave when they close, you will barely see much of the village anyway. If you go to SeaWorld or Universal, which traditionally closes earlier than Disney parks, spend the night exploring Disney Springs or the Boardwalk area, or, if you are able, get a reservation for a nicer dinner at one of the resorts. Also, no one is too old for unlimited ice cream!
     

    mkb3

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2017
    Thanks for the info. My daughter is actually 6 and I believe she will actually enjoy GKTW once there. We will for sure look into the hotel and maybe do that one of the non Disney days.
     

    nesser1981

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 10, 2011
    Thanks for the info. My daughter is actually 6 and I believe she will actually enjoy GKTW once there. We will for sure look into the hotel and maybe do that one of the non Disney days.
    My daughter was 6 and absolutely loved GKTW when we were on her wish trip. If you're planning on visiting non-disney parks, you'll like that it's more centrally located too.
     

    alexandbrayden

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 18, 2011
    I was worried that GKTW would be boring to my older kids, ages 14 to 21, but they loved it. I just asked my now 16 year old and she said she probably loved it more than little kids. My now 20 year old said, “tell them your 18 year old freakin’ loved it.”

    There are planned teen activities each evening. Movies in the theater. An arcade. Pools. And you can get pizza delivered to your villa.

    Thanks for the info. We've read a lot of comments from other families. I told my son that maybe one day we'd go back to Disney and stay on property, but we'd never again get to experience GKTW. He agreed so that's where we're staying. We're extending our trip for 3 more days, and I think we're going to try and stay at Universal and do the Halloween Horror Nights and Blue Man Group.
     

    Nsaudra

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 7, 2018
    We bought a magibands for the kids i think it was well worth it we have great video/ from a few rides that it took and added to our account. That we couldnt get without. We added there tickets and they liked using it when hopping. They are cheap enough.
     

    Nsaudra

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 7, 2018
    My son was 17 when we went to gtktw, he had a blast they have a teen night and there is plenty to do. Video games all you can eat ice cream.... at the halloween party they gave him toys model star wars, light sabers for him and his dad. They went horseback riding we still did the largest candyland game... its amazing seeing the kid come out. Truly a magic place. He missed a lot of that fooling around middle school stuff being sick. He still uses his wish pillow and hes 21 now
     

    Nsaudra

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 7, 2018
    We are taking our kids to universal studios in a few weeks, during our wish trip our son was not feeling well and we didnt get to really enjoy the studios like we planned... now going back brain tumor free. He still gets very tired easily it looks like i cant count on the guest assistance pass. I do have a doctors note that says he cant stand in quoue lines that we got for six flags. Last time they didnt always look at our pass just his button and we all wore our wish shirts any ideas on how to get a pass
     

    wendow

    We create happiness.
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2012
    I really don't know if this is the right place to post so please direct me otherwise if this is inappropriate. I just applied for a wish trip for my dd17. I applied a year ago but never heard back so a gal here on the DIS encouraged me to apply again. I did and got a call the next morning. I was shocked to say the least. I did tell my dd that I applied on her behalf but I've also told her she is unlikely to receive a wish trip.

    She has chronic lyme disease. She's been sick for almost 3 years (though there were signs even before that). She's a high school senior this year but has been unable to take the college entrance tests, attend prom, get a job, had to drop a lot of her activities (piano since fingers don't work anymore and dance since her body hurts too bad) since she has been sick for so long (most of her high school years). Unable to do the things normal teens do. She has good days and bad days but never a great day and has not responded well to any treatments. I don't think Lyme is typically considered a 'life-threatening' diagnosis, though some do die from it, but most who cannot beat it are just doomed to a life of chronic pain and debilitation. I had been told that kid's with chronic illnesses were also eligible for wish trips but in reading more, it seems the diagnosis has to be 'life threatening'. Does anyone know how it works with chronic illnesses? It doesn't help that Lyme is not covered by insurance so we incur tons of medical bills. But when Make a Wish called, they wanted specialist names and numbers that they could talk to about my dd. Well, specialist don't treat this cause there is no insurance money in it for them. We have a naturopathic doc who does all the treatment and an MD who knows what is going on but she isn't in charge of treatment, and in all honesty, doesn't know much about lyme. She just tries to help where she can.

    So, was it silly to apply? My dd could really use a morale booster. It's been a hard almost three years for her.
     

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