We were blessed with a rush wish by Make A Wish, Alaska & Washington and it was everything we could ever imagine. Our Make a Wish trip began with donation of matching family T-shirts from Ohana Creations and of course some Disney planning! It felt so good to be planning a Disney trip, it is one of my favorite things to do and it felt so normal and effortless unlike researching the monster that was in my son’s head or the repercussions my daughter would have to deal with being a super sibling the rest of her life.
We wanted to make this special for her too, so the morning we left, before we went to church, we put one of Emmaleigh’s magic bands in her snow boots! She went to put them on, found it, stated how cute it was and that someone left her a Disney surprise. Eventually she guessed we were going to Disney and was ecstatic that it was going to be that night!
Make a wish did everything. They began with a send off party at the Arctic Oasis indoor playground. It was Star Wars themed and complete with the 501st legion in attendance! LJ and all his friends got to hang out with so many Star War characters! He had so much fun and again it was so nice to think about something else!
The kids got adorable draw string bags with gifts and items needed for the trip! Including a huge mickey mouse and homemade pillows! We were given our Make a Wish packet which included itinerary, flight information, rental car information, and even a credit card for souvenirs or whatever else we might need. There were even vouchers for parking at the airport! I felt like every aspect of the trip had been accounted for and it was a huge weight off of our shoulders.
We left the party and had a super late flight to Orlando. We arrived at the airport and as soon as we walked through security we were greeted by Darth Vader, a Snow Trooper, Kylo Ren, and a wonderful lady who was a Jedi! They walked with us from security to our gate and hung out with us until we boarded our plane. This was around midnight, it was magical. LJ colored with Darth Vader. I’m pretty star wars illiterate (I actually haven’t seen any of the movies) but even I know that is pretty neat! When it was time to board the plane Alaska Airlines played “Imperial March” and made an announcement about LJ’s ship arriving for his Wish Trip! We made it on to the plane and found presents for our kids in their seats! Alaska Airlines went above and beyond making the flight so special!
We finally arrived in Orlando around 2pm and were welcomed by a Give Kids the World greeter and a sign that said “Welcome Joshua Barnes.” The sweet woman walked our family from the exit all the way to our rental car. The Orlando airport is a hot mess, and we weren’t such airport pros yet, so this was a very welcomed touch! They provided a Toyota Sienna for the week, we finally got to try out a swagger wagon! lol! We were back in Florida headed to Give Kids the World to enjoy a week as a family! I remember seeing green and the sun hurting my eyes so bad! It felt so good to need sunglasses again!
We pulled up to our adorable little condo at the magical place called Give Kids the World! It was two bedroom, two baths, full kitchen, super spacious, and full accessible for anyone and everyone! Not long after we arrived did we start pulling out the surprises for our kids! The first was that the Berrios family were in Orlando and coming over to see us!! Oh I remember those embraces and Em’s little happy hands!
We hung out at the resort, ate dinner, and rode the carousel! That night was also “Halloween” at GKTW complete with trick-or-treating and fun little games at stations. It was very trunk or treat style and so perfect. Not to mention everyone who walked in got a Superman cape and seeing all those capes just warmed my heart! We ended our first night with free unlimited ice cream at the ice cream parlor where again, they had thought of everything…my kids enjoyed gluten free cones. Such a treat!