We got back Saturday from our Make-a-Wish trip to Disney World. We had a blast. Now we're exhausted and recuperating. LOL!!

We left our house Sunday, June 7th at 7:30am (central). We were picked up and taken to the airport, which is about an hour away. Our flight left at 10:30. We arrived in Orlando just before 2pm (eastern). There was a greeter from Give Kids the World Village (GKTW) there at the security exit to help us get our bags and then to our rental van. We were soon on our way to the village. Once there, we checked in, and Kris went to the orientation to receive our park tickets. We received 3 day park-hopper passes to Disney World, 2 day park-hoppers to Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure, and 1 day tickets to Sea World. We decided to do Sea World that afternoon.

Sam really enjoyed getting to feed and touch the dolphins. He also enjoyed the Shamu show.

We got back to the village pretty late, but mean old mommy made everyone take a bath that night. We were all covered in sun screen and sweat. Everyone finally got to bed and to sleep. It was going to be an early morning on Monday.

Magic Kingdom was on the agenda for Monday. We also got to meet Micky & Minnie at the village that morning before breakfast.

After breakfast we headed out for our first day at Disney World. It was a good, but long, day. We did everything at least once. The button we got from the village was great for getting us on rides quickly. We were able toe experience so much more that we would have otherwise. It also helped us to get to see the characters quickly.

I also made sure everyone got their ears...

Tuesday we were up early again for breakfast and then off to Epcot.

I think this was one of Sam's favorite parks. Mainly because of the test track ride. We all also enjoyed it because of the VIP lounges the GKTW button got us into. It was nice to be able to take a little break in the A/C and have a cold coke or water. The HP lounge was especially cool because we were able to send a video email home to our families. We also were able to see a few more character while there.

And we couldn't go without a Micky Mouse ice cream...

Our day was cut a little short by some torrential rains, but we were still able to visit the character area before leaving.

Wednesday we hit Universal Islands of Adventure. All the kids really enjoyed this park...especially Popeye & Bluto's Bilge Rat Barges. That one positively drenched us. We even went back to ride it a second time after our late lunch/early dinner. Sam got a real kick out of meeting Spiderman.

He also liked Captain America.

He wasn't quite so thrilled with Thing 1 and Thing 2.

Our late lunch/early dinner at the NASCAR restaurant was a big hit, too. Sam's a huge Jeff Gordon fan.

On Thursday we had a short day at Universal Studios. The kids all liked Shrek. We did most of the rides/shows there except the Mummy and Terminator. Both would have scared them to death. LOL!! Figured we could do without those nightmares.

We got back to the village early that day because we'd heard Santa was coming. But first we had to hit the ice cream parlor.

Friday started with ice cream for breakfast for the boys. They got a real kick out of that.

Then we headed out to Animal Kingdom. They all loved the safari ride and seeing the animals. And, of course, the water ride. Sam just loves to get wet. He thought that was just too funny. We also ran into a few characters while there.

One last picture before we left.

Then we headed off to Disney Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM). I couldn't believe it, but both boys wanted to ride Tower of Terror. I think they were a little scared of it once it was over (Jake more than Sam), but we didn't have any tears. I call that a success. The new Toy Story ride was a big success. We only rode it twice, but I think we all could have done that one all day. Here's Sam in his 3-day glasses while waiting to ride.

We also got to meet Darth Vader. The boys are huge Star Wars fans. They got the biggest kick out of this.

But the next group we ran into took the cake for Sam. I thought he was going to burst. The Power Rangers were his top choice of who he wanted to meet while there. I was so glad he got that chance.

Saturday was our day to go home. Our flight didn't leave until 5:55, so we were able to take our time. We slept a little late that morning, then went for our final breakfast at the Gingerbread House. The food there was always delicious. All the volunteers took great care of us...carrying our trays, bringing us anything we needed, and cleaning up our sticky, syrupy messes. We then went to see Sam's star in the Castle of Miracles. His is the third one in on this picture.

Here's part of the ceiling covered with Stars. Sam's is on the bottom row of the banner. This room choked me up every time we went in. All those stars for all the wishes of our kids.

It was finally time to leave. I think we were all a little sad. We did stop for one last ice cream before leaving. I can't say enough good things about our stay at the village. We were so well taken care of. The kids all had a blast. I truly hope we get to go back for a visit some time. It's such a special place. Make-a-Wish did a wonderful job with organizing our trip. We didn't have a single hiccup. Nothing but good times and great memories.

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Comment by Marla Swope on July 3, 2008 at 11:58pm
Thanks for sharing your MAW trip with all of us! Baylor sat on my lap, grinned from ear to ear, clapped his hands and got so excited when we viewed each picture. We are going on his MAW trip in Oct., and I know from his reaction to your blog, it's going to be magical! Tiring, but magical :) I'm so glad your family had so much fun!! Your kids are adorable! It's been fun to watch your kids grow up in pictures the last couple of years :)
Comment by Connor's Mom - Deanna on June 21, 2008 at 11:05am
Wow! It looks like everybody had a blast. Once y'all get settled, we should get our families together. We live on the NW part of town in Champions Forest.
Comment by Kristi Powell on June 17, 2008 at 6:37pm
Welcome back!! OH MY WORD...I am exhausted just reading about your week!!!! It looks like your kids had a great time, I am glad that you all got to do this and everything went well!!

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