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

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by maroo, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. 2RedBirds

    2RedBirds Earning My Ears

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    Been following this thread a little while as DS trip is coming up later this year. Thank you for sharing the details of your experience; I was hoping all were doing well during this time. You have an amazing positive attitude and I am happy to hear you are still able to enjoy the trip. Also, glad to hear all the GKTW families were moved to a safe place. Hoping everyone in Florida remain safe and that Irma calms down.
     
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  2. PrincessTeacher

    PrincessTeacher Earning My Ears

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    Please keep us updated over the next day or so! What can you do with the magic bands?
     
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  4. Amy Ewell

    Amy Ewell HerMakeAWish

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    You link them to your park tickets, credit card, photos, dining reservations and fast passes. You touch the bracelet to the photo kiosks, entry stands etc... and it saves your info. Obviously we don't need the fast pass option but if we ever do Disney again we could. The kids each got their favorite color.
     
  5. PrincessTeacher

    PrincessTeacher Earning My Ears

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    Very cool! Do you get the photo pass as part of the trip?
     
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  6. Amy Ewell

    Amy Ewell HerMakeAWish

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    Yes and I honestly think it's the very best perk! We got every ride photo and character photo for free.
     
  7. Amy Ewell

    Amy Ewell HerMakeAWish

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    IMG_3445.PNG FYI: Give Kids The World just posted this. I really feel like they will open back up quickly as the damage around us is much less than expected.
     
  8. PrincessTeacher

    PrincessTeacher Earning My Ears

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    Oh my goodness! I am coming out of my skin witch worry and anxiety!!!
     
  9. NH-to-FL

    NH-to-FL DIS Veteran

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    I just received an email from Give Kids the World Volunteer Services that GKTW now has electricity and phones, have made significant progress on cleaning up after the storm, and are planning to start welcoming families starting at noon tomorrow, Thursday the 13th.
     
  10. Amy Ewell

    Amy Ewell HerMakeAWish

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    I hope your trip is going fabulously!!! Don't forget to ask for Cirque De Soleil tickets one night - it was so cool!
     
  11. TeamIrby

    TeamIrby Earning My Ears

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    Hi all! Our son, Gabe (almost 5yo, Spastic Quad Cerebral Palsy and multiple related diagnoses) was just approved for a trip to GKTW and we are waiting to get approval for our requested dates (mid-January). Is this thread the best place to ask questions and discuss our plans?

    We are lifelong Disney people, but are less familiar with GKTW and have not visited Universal since the 90s. I've scoured the internet for as much info as possible, but I know we will have some questions over the next few months that will be best answered by those with experience.

    Thank you!
     
  12. LunaoftheRook

    LunaoftheRook Earning My Ears

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    Congratulation, and yes, this is a great place to ask questions! Just three thoughts before you ask anything: One, remember that planning for a wish trip is a lot different than planning for regular Disney trip. You still want to make reservations for restaurants if there is a place you really want to go to, but three meals a day are also served at GKTW. Besides that, no need to plan FastPasses! You get to the front of the line for everything! Two, Universal has changed A LOT since the 90s. It's essentially a totally different park. It's mostly geared towards slightly older kids, but there is still a lot for a five year old to do, plus a lot of fun stuff for parents if you want to child swap. If you aren't into Harry Potter and don't want to do the bigger rides, you can easily do both parks in the same day (and they are right next to each other, so it's super easy to go back and forth). Three, remember that GKTW is it's own little amusement park - you will definitely want to spend a day and at least one party night there. You can go on the rides, go to the pool, play in the arcade, mini-golf, ride horses, etc. I would plan this in the middle of your trip as an "off" day to relax and recharge. Every night is a party or event, so while you may want to try to plan to stay in the parks late for a night show or two, make sure to look at what events will be happening on what days and see which ones you want to attend!
     
  13. Amy Ewell

    Amy Ewell HerMakeAWish

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    I just got back last week. Ask away...
     
  14. NH-to-FL

    NH-to-FL DIS Veteran

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    :welcome: to DisBoards and congratulations on your upcoming Wish trip to GKTW!

    My wife and I volunteer at GKTW. It is a wonderful place. I second what LunaoftheRook said, make sure you investigate all that GKTW has to offer.

    Feel free to ask your questions!
    Wishing Gabe a pixiedust: magical visit!
     
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  15. Amy Ewell

    Amy Ewell HerMakeAWish

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    My top tips for Make A Wish Disney World:

    1. Because of the genie pass, Sea World quick que, and universal studios front of the line escorts you can finish a whole park in half a day. We did Disney World and Epcot one day, animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios one day, Sea World and Cirque de Soleil one day, both universal studios in one day and the last day we went to all 4 Disneyworld parks and rode our favorite rides. I really would have liked to have slowed the pace a bit and watch a parade or two but my kids are older and had little interest.
    2. There is only one set of Cirque De Soleil tickets available from Give Kids The World available each day. If you want to go, and it's amazing, ask for them before you go. Gktw should email you a few days before you go so ask them then.
    3. It's sooooooo hot in Florida! We road rides like little mermaid 2-3 times in a row to cool down. Most definitely buy some small handheld misting fans for each person in your family and take them with you. They saved us from getting heat stroke!
    4. There is a Walmart with a huge discounted Disney souvenir section less than 1 mile from GKTW. Buy shirts, hats or whatever else you need there - not at Disneyland!
    5. All the quick service Disney restaurants offer free water in red paper cups. Get water often! Use it to fill up your misters.
    6. For any show, whether Disney or Sea World etc... ask if there is a special section for Make A Wish. We sat bottom front row at Sea World (and got plenty wet) and our daughter was chosen for the Indiana Jones show in Hollywood studios (we also sat down front). You do have to be 18 for Indian Jones.
    7. Take your own glow sticks or glow ears purchased online at night. Super cheap and then spend your money on cold park treats!
    8. Don't forget to bring your own dollar store ponchos. It rains quite often in orlando. We also brought sandals to change into when it was raining :)
    9. Use the Memory Makers/Photopass. We have over 300 professional pictures documenting our trip for free!
    10. Slow down. While you can do a lot, there is a lot more you can do that you can't do! Take a breath, relax, go to the Gktw Christmas party, get your hair done at the spa and make sure to get your star on the FIRST day if possible. That way you can see its placement before you leave. Oh, and the food in the village is soooooo good!
    11. If you have the extra cash you can get an amazing dolphin experience at Sea World for $15 per person. You get to pet a dolphin and make it do tricks. You get one free photo from Sea World and we picked this one. If you want someone in your party to take pictures have them get on the overlook platform across the way as you aren't allowed to take your own photos in the dolphin petting area. The overlook area is where the professionals take the photos and you can stand right next to them!
    12. Definitely bring an extra suitcase to bring home all the fun gifts which GKTW will give you. Don't pay to check this extra bag on the way to Florida by tucking an empty suitcase inside a larger suitcase which will be checked. We had our kids pack all their things in their school packpacks. You should pack light as you can wash clothes at GKTW. They provide detergent but no dryer sheets. Weird - but I brought my own.
    13. Some frozen smoothies at Disney come with souvenir Mickey straws as a bonus! The strawberry smoothies are divine.
    14. Have the photographers take a couple pictures on your phone too so you can text them to your family, friends and wish granters along the way.
    15. Food portion sizes are large! Many adult meals would feed two adults and a kids meal can easily feed an adult. The kids meal nugget/fries etc... can feed two kids.

    Have fun!
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
  16. TeamIrby

    TeamIrby Earning My Ears

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    Thanks, everyone! Having been to WDW many times, we absolutely are specifically looking to spend a good deal of our time at GKTW.

    The only question I have so far is about Universal. At WDW, we know they will tag our Adaptive stroller as our child's wheelchair device. Does anyone know if Universal does the same? We are hoping to only take on wheeled device, and the stroller is our preference for a bunch of reasons.

    Thank you, all!
     
  17. LunaoftheRook

    LunaoftheRook Earning My Ears

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    I'm a former Universal attractions attendant, and unless anything changed in the last few years you can definitely tag and adaptive stroller. Ask for a "stroller as wheelchair" tag at guest services/relations and you can bring it in any line and on any ride where tradition wheelchairs are allowed on (you will need to transfer to a ride seat on some attractions, just like Disney).
     
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  18. redberyl

    redberyl Mouseketeer

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    Yes, we've gone twice and both times they treated her adaptive stroller as a wheelchair
     
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  19. TeamIrby

    TeamIrby Earning My Ears

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    Great info, Luna and Redberyl! I appreciate your help!
     
  20. AFishWish

    AFishWish Earning My Ears

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    We are headed on my son's wish trip on December 22nd. I have been going back and forth about getting a magic band. I was told by a Disney representative online that I would not be able to hook my credit card to it because I am not staying at a Disney property. Is this false information? Would it be beneficial to get the magic bands? Or at least one that has the photo pass and my credit card, if that can be done? Soany questions, so little time!!!
     
  21. AFishWish

    AFishWish Earning My Ears

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    Also, has anyone done the Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party during a Make-A-Wish? I have heard conflicting reports about character photo lines: some people say, Make-A-Wish kids go to the front-others say no Make-A-Wish kids wait in the character meet and greet lines. Either way I am fine, just want to prepare the kids for lines.
     

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