Give Kids The World – Castle of Miracles
Where do I begin? I guess I will start by mentioning that we had another rough night of sleep. Chris and Rachel came home from Magic Kingdom after 1am, and couldn’t get into the villa because I had locked the deadbolt, and I guess once you do that; the keys don’t work. When they finally got in (thanks to the staff here at GKTW), I slowly started to wake up after about two hours of broken sleep. Lucas decided that yet again, he wanted to wake up in the middle of the night. I was able to get in half of his medicine at 3:30 in the morning. Tried to bribe him with a twilight walk, but he was more interested in making me watch clips of the video game Epic Mickey, on the iPad via YouTube. He finally fell back asleep after 4, and slept until about 8:30. Which wasn’t too bad.
We decided to spend our morning here at Give Kids the World. When we arrived, Lucas was given a little gold star to take to a special fairy in the Castle of Miracles. This morning seemed like the perfect time to get that done. Then we wanted to rush over to the Gingerbread House that was just across the courtyard, to get some breakfast. We almost missed it because Lucas wanted to ride the carousel seven times. Anyways, inside the Castle of Miracles we found out that Lucas is a Knight. He decorated his star, and wrote his name on it with a little help from his Dad. Then he got to place it in a very special box. Then the Star Fairy came and took it out of the box, and she appeared on a few different screens. She took his star up into her tree. I guess she will place it up into the castle wall, and it will be there forever. We can come back and see it ANYTME. Once you are a “Wish Family”, you are always a Wish Family. We have been given the wonderful opportunity to be a part of this village forever, and ever.
Over the next couple of days, his star will be hung. We will find out the exact location very soon. Can’t wait to go see it. This is very special, and it means a great deal to our family. After Lucas gave his star to the fairy, he got to sit on the throne with his sisters!
Each of our beautiful children received a very special pillow. Lucas was knighted, and he had to help the owl make the soft pillows for the kids. This was so nice. Every little detail that goes into the Make A Wish / Give Kids the World experience has been very heart warming. My husband and I can’t help but shed tears of joy here and there. It’s just so magical, and wonderful for the kids. Especially Lucas. We are so lucky to be in such a wonderful and safe environment. Wish we could move in! Speaking of wishes, Lucas made a couple more! He wished that he could love Rachel, his big sister. So thoughtful that he mentioned her. They have definitely been connecting lately. She was a bit teary too. Then he wished that he could be healthy forever. We all cried. We all wish for the same thing!
After we were all finished with the Castle of Miracles, we finally got to eat a quick breakfast. Roger, a volunteer here came over and helped us while we were eating, when I had just noticed that I forgot Lucas’ sippy cup back at our villa. He hooked him up with a water pronto! Then he told my husband and I that we are very special. He wanted to make us feel good, because he knows that every day is a struggle for us. He reminded us that we are important too. (Then he handed me a hanky, because I started crying) What a wonderful man, and we are just so grateful to all of the volunteers. Rachel took Lucas back to the carousel so Chris and I could finish eating, and get Joanna all packed up to head back to our villa so we could shower, and head on to the next park.
Thanks to Make A Wish, and Give Kids the World; entering, and parking has been an absolute breeze. We show our Genie pass, and we get right through without an issue. Everyone just waves us right through. Notice our super cool T-Shirts? Our wish granters made them for us! Thank you Cassie, and Sandra!! We love you guys so much! We absolutely got the photographers to snap some awesome photos as soon as we got into the park! These shirts are very special, we got so many stares, and comments! We were literally able to park right out front of Hollywood Studios. Like… RIGHT out front.
These photos were both taken in the same spot. One next to the car, and then turning to view how close we are to the park entrance. INCREDIBLE. No paying $20 to park miles away. FREE FRONT AND CENTER PARKING. What lucky ducks we are! This picture shows exactly how close we really were able to park:
Whoops! I forgot to mention that right before we left our villa, we called and had a bunch of Boston Market sandwiches delivered (ALSO FREE) so that we could save money in the parks by bringing an amazing lunch along with us. We are so glad we did that. Especially because we got such a late start to our day. Just before we left, there was a knock at our door. We got a package from Elaine in Canada. Elaine specializes in special needs harnesses. You know, those glorified dog leashes for kids. Yeah, those. I always said I’d never use one on my children. Well, the time has come. Lucas is a dangerous wanderer. For him, the harness meant more freedom to get out of his stroller and walk around. He loved it. We will be using this for a very long time, as it will grow with him. Don’t knock it until you’ve spent a day with a special needs kid who is very assertive. That’s the nice way of putting it. This harness allowed him to wander safely, and enjoy the park as much as he could. He was just so tired and cranky today, but there were many good moments!
When we arrived at the park, it wasn’t terribly busy, so we instantly stopped for a photo op. We have the Disney Photo Pass that we will be sharing after we get home, and have all of the images sent to us. I’ve taken a peek, and they are amazing. Today I tried to get a few of our memories snapped on my cell phone as well. I didn’t take much video at this park. I was way too busy trying to keep Lucas in check. He LOVED the toy story ride. He could have done that like fifty times. The Great Movie ride was a little scary for him until he realized that it’s full of actors who are just pretending. Love how he thinks everything is so real. His imagination is the place to be.
I think it’s important to mention that I don’t think this park is the best one for little kids who are impatient. I think this one is geared more towards the parents, and teenagers. With that said, there are plenty of shows, and character meet and greets that make it totally worth it! We just can’t sit for a a show with him. Lucas just needs to keep moving. I would have loved to take Joanna to go see The Little Mermaid show. We just have to keep reminding ourselves why we are here. If he’s not having fun, then we need to stop and figure out what we can do to make it a blast for him. The meet and greets definitely made this park a very memorable trip. He also got an awesome Mickey zip up hoodie, and a blanket. Seriously considering shipping back some stuff home via priority mail, just to make our lives easier. Thoughts? Tell me what you think.
We got to cut right in front of the lines to meet Chewbacca, and Darth Vader. Sometimes we had to wait a few moments. I could NOT imagine waiting anymore with a kid like Lucas. He almost loses his mind when he has to be patient. Watching my husband get to stand with Chewy & Vader, and watch them interact with Lucas was very special. I will never forget these moments. Chris was almost in tears. The five year old inside of him could not believe he was standing next to Darth Vader. I don’t have Vader pictures on my phone. He was very demanding and kept using his hand gestures (no talking) to tell us where he wanted us to stand. Lucas was so in awe. It felt like we were in Star Wars. We would have never EVER waited in an hour long line to meet them. Let me tell you, waiting three minutes was hard enough. The Genie pass from Make A Wish & Give Kids the World is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. Preferential treatment, and even the characters spend extra time with us. They also hug and kiss him! Here are just a few we captured from my cell phone:
We aren’t sure why, but Lucas likes to grab the nose of each character. Such a goober! He also pulled Doc McStuffin’s hair. She was a good sport though. In the past, my husband and I never truly understood the “Stroller Hell” that people have to deal with while they are visiting theme parks. When we first met, if you told us we would be parents of three kids, and part of the stroller insanity. We would have laughed at you. Now we understand. We are so grateful for these strollers down here. Without them, we would not be able to do as much as we have been able to. Lucas was able to meet so many more characters. I can’t wait to share the photos with all of you. If I place them all here… My blog post will never end. With that said, here are a few more from our day.
That expression on my husbands face is PRICELESS. He’s glowing like a pregnant woman. He didn’t get to do all of the Star Wars things he wanted to do in the park. However, meeting Chewy & Vader made up for it, ten fold. Look at that face! Love it. After our day was over, we decided to stop in the Gift Shop and grab the kids a few goodies right before we left. Lucas got a zip up hoodie that makes him look like he is Mickey Mouse, a Mickey blanket, a toy story ball, a mini buzz lightyear, and Rachel scored an awesome Storm Troopers hoodie that Chris wanted too, but they just didn’t have his size. So we will be on the hunt for more sweatshirts. Maybe Universal Studios will have something we both cannot live without. As I mentioned before, we are big on comfort. Hoodies ROCK!
The nights have been SO cold here. Almost like it was at home last month. Thankfully our Village had some warm hats and scarves that someone made, and donated to all of us to use here at GKTW! Coming back here from a long and stressful day instantly makes us feel right at home. They even say, “Welcome Home” when we drive through the gate. Every single time! We got home around 7pm. We knew that Lucas was due for his night time medicine, and his shot. His medication routine has been very difficult here, and I think it’s just because we are in a new place. We really needed him to sleep, and we just couldn’t get him to take his meds. He was having major meltdowns. So I picked up the phone, and ordered 3 pizza’s, and some soft drinks. All free, and delivered right to our door. I had to sit Lucas down and force his shot into him. He cried, and screamed for 10-15 minutes and refused to take his oral meds. I knew I couldn’t give up. He didn’t sleep well for the last two nights… Something had to be done. My husband called the front desk and explained our situation. They are not medically trained, but they are empathetic, compassionate, and so helpful. A very nice woman came to our villa with a “surprise from Mickey Mouse”, and she was playful, and held it behind her back. Lucas took his medicine quickly, and was so happy to receive a mini-Mickey, and some Mickey gloves! PERFECT!
He decided that he didn’t want to eat. He just wanted to go ride the carousel. So I just took him because he was such a good boy. Dad stayed behind, and said he’d catch up with us. Rachel took care of baby Joey, and got her to sleep. We offered for Rachel to go play laser tag but she wasn’t into it. Thanks Rach, you rock! Baby Joey needs you, loves you, and so do we! After a two rounds on the carousel, we caught up with Dad for another round. Then we went over to the Amberville Arcade, and played some games. Then Chris, and Lucas rode another cool ride out back, and even the Amberville train right before they shut it down (AFTER 9:30, Just For Lucas) What a special boy we have here!
He was SO tired. He was having fun, but I think he was also falling asleep! We got into the nice warm van, because the shuttles were just too cold to go on that late here. Drove into our driveway, walked inside of our amazing villa, got him into bed… He prefers the sleeper sofa to our amazing King size bed here. Which stinks for me, but again… This is all for him. Thankfully he slept ALL NIGHT LONG. That would not have been possible without the help, and magic of Give Kids the World. Can we live here? Please?