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Old 04-26-2010, 10:34 AM   #1
billwendy
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"Is this Disney World?" Daniel's MAW trip report!

Thanks to everyone who has followed our Journey - it all started with a diagnosis of Medullablastoma in 11/08 followed by surgery, radiation, chemo and LOTs of OT, PT and Speech therapy. My loving Dis'ers have travelled with me all the way to our wonderful MAW trip including being granted a Big Give!!! My nephew is now 12 years old, and knew he wanted to go to Disney, and they invited us to come along and help keep track of all the siblings which are 2,8,10 and 15 plus their mom and dad.

Day 1 - they arrive!!!!! We had driven down and were able to go to the airport to greet them as they arrived. We saw the MAW greeter standing there and went over to say Hi and she let Bill hold their greeting sign!!!


The excitement was just stirring inside and we chatted with the greeters who volunteer to do this every week. She told us there are greeters at the airport 24/7 including holidays. They helped us transition through the airport, had luggage carts and took us to car rentals and gave us directions to GKTW!




A piece of Dan's wheelchair did get lost - so make sure you take off everything removeable from your chair and bring it on with you! We are still waiting for southwest to coordinate to fix it, but they promised they would.

They were granted a 15 passenger van for their group of 7 people, and Avis also provided a car seat for the toddler.


We finally started out on the road and it started to POUR! but, we were very excited and found GKTW quite easily with the directions and map they had given!


Up Next - a look at GKTW Village!!! and "Is this Disney World?"
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Last edited by billwendy; 05-03-2010 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 04-26-2010, 10:45 AM   #2
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Woo hoo! I am so looking forward to reading this TR.

So happy hear everyone arrived safely.
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Old 04-26-2010, 11:09 AM   #3
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I feel honored that you are going to do a trip report!! Whoo hoo! Can't wait to read it!!

I have LOVED LOVED LOVED all the pictures!!
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Old 04-26-2010, 04:52 PM   #4
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Great start! Can't wait to read more!
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Old 04-26-2010, 06:30 PM   #5
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I forgot to mention that they had forgotten to pack Steve's(8yo) medications so he was a bit antsy - lol - I think he could jump a mile high!!


John tried, but couldnt match his brothers leap


Dan was getting tired of both of them!! lol - lets just say brotherly "love" abounded on this trip!!!



We drove up to the Main building for check in, and while the parents did the checking in, I took the kids outside where they had a covered porch and some of those mechanical rides. They had a GREAT time - including 12 year old Dan - getting on and off of the little rides. When John(10yo) was waiting for a turn he turns to me and says "I love this place - so is this Disney World?" I had to laugh thinking to myself - you have no idea what you are in store for this week little guy!!!!!! Excitement was just welling up inside of me at what a Magical experience this was going to be for all of us!!




Dan acting Goofy!!! Im being a good aunt and saving these for either prom night or his wedding day!!!! lol


They got checked in after about an hour or so of waiting - here there were plumbing problems in the villa they were staying in - thank goodness they got fixed!!! Dan got a stuffed Mickey and the other kids got a little Shamu! Then a lady took the boys (to Samantha's dismay) in a golf cart and we followed in our cars to their villa - home away from home for the week!



The villa was really nice. It had a front porch with 2 rocking chairs. A kitchen with cabinets ( which Steve had to check all of them out), a fridge (with a few drinks stocked inside), a dishwasher (soap provided). 1 bedroom with a king sized bed with a TV, 1 bedroom with 2 single beds and a rollaway and a HUGE adapted bathroom with a roll in shower and a big jaquzzi tub (which all the kids eventually tried out - no pictures of that lol). There was another full regular bathroom and a living room with a TV and a DVD player. They also let us know that they had a DVD library that they could borrow from during the trip if they wanted. The house was very clean and neat. Such a nice place for a family to stay! On the kitchen table was a gift bag with some goodies, stuffed animials, a Spiderman Game, a book bout GKTW, crayons, coloring books and more waiting for them. The kids got gifts each day - sometimes DVD's or Tshirts or other fun goodies - they were spoiled!!!


THey went to lunch at the Gingerbread house and Bill and I ran to Cracker Barrel for lunch. We were a bit disappointed when we were told we were only able to eat at GKTW one time ( they would not allow us to purchase additional meals). So we decided to save our meal for Christmas!!!

Now....what to do in the rain???? Well, it was warm soooooooo - we surprised the kids and all went swimming!! We hopped on the wonderful bus that goes around the village so you dont have to drive your car and went to the new pool with the pirate ship!!! It was AMAZING! The pool itself has fountains shooting into it. And then there is a water play area with all kinds of shooting fountains! There were also lockers there, plenty of tables and chairs and towels too - although the kids insisted they needed their new Disney beach towels from the Big Give!! You will notice that we are just about the only ones there because of the rain lol - but we didnt care!! Swimming gave Dan such a sense of freedom as he could move around without worrying about his balance or anything. He totally wore himself out and was in his PJ's (after a bath in the jaquzzi tub) and resting by 7:45 when Billy and Hoss went to the orientation meeting (which took over an hour by the way!!!)




Next - Day 2 - Animal Kingdom and The Heavens open up!!!!
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Old 04-26-2010, 06:34 PM   #6
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I'm enjoying this read! Can't wait for more!
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Old 04-26-2010, 06:41 PM   #7
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Sounds like a good start, were you staying at the villa, or were you staying else where?
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Old 04-26-2010, 06:45 PM   #8
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YAY! Danny & I are subscribing
The kids looked soooo excited!
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Old 04-26-2010, 07:17 PM   #9
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Bill and I were staying at the POP. We felt we would be pressuring them if we stayed real close. This way they could get up and going when they could and they would give us a call as they were leaving the villa. It worked out really well.

Beyond excitement is what we all were!!!! Tell Danny the snacks were consumed on the plane ride!!!! We left Disney at 12:30pm and were back home in Philly at 4:30 am - Billy drove all the way through!!! I fell asleep around midnight! We rented a CD book each way and it helped pass the time and keep us going!
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Old 04-26-2010, 07:26 PM   #10
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Your TR is awesome so far Wendy! Can't wait to read more! I hope you all didn't get too wet!
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Old 04-27-2010, 06:36 AM   #11
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John asking if the resort was Disney World was just too cute. Like you said Wendy....was he in for a surprise!!!


The pic of all of you outside their villa is really nice. I love how their last name is on the sign for their villa. That must have been so welcoming!
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Old 04-27-2010, 08:19 AM   #12
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I am loving your trip report! I took notes so I wouldn't forget what I wanted to comment on:

Bill would make a great greeter!

Was it the other foot rest that was missing from Danielís chair? That seems like it would make it uncomfortable.

Wow, they get a van, how cool!

LOL! Love the picture of Steve on top of the red pillar thing.

Itís so sweet that even the bigger kids enjoyed the little rides at GKTW! The pictures are so funny!

Wow! They got gifts every day? That is so neat! The house looks so nice, too.

What an awesome pool. I love that you went swimming in the rain- just perfect!
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Old 04-27-2010, 09:37 AM   #13
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I almost missed the update some how!

Wow! Those kids can jump pretty high!!! I could see the brotherly love getting a little overbearing sometimes!

I wish the GKTW had it set up so you could just pay for the meals. That way you could have enjoyed a few more together if you wanted to. Probably a good choice to wait for Christmas! I LOVE Christmas food!

That pool does look awesome!! I want to jump in! Swimming in the rain is the best!

The group picture is again wonderful!! You guys take great pictures!

I love the "is this disney world" comment! I hope John actually LOVED Disney World as much as GKTW.

I love how the little gifts they leave always seem to suit the families well. And I love Pablo the Penguin sticking out! I am sure it is since Dallas just loves penguins!!
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:05 PM   #14
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Love the Is this Disney World comment! Too cute! Good for you swimming in the rain - you were going to get wet in the pool anyway! What a long drive - I live in PA (near Harrisburg) and I think I would go stir crazy in the car for that long - LOL! Though when we were kids my parents drove us to FL for our first and only WDW trip and I survived.

I can't wait to hear about your first park day! I hope it didn't rain your whole trip!
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Old 04-27-2010, 05:43 PM   #15
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Yah! I'm so glad I found this! It was fantastic meeting you, though I'm sorry we didn't have a chance to chat longer. I hope that Daniel perked up a bit and felt better for the rest of his trip. Can't wait to follow along!

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