My daughter, McKinley is getting a wish granted by Make A Wish. She is 2 1/2 and an AML warrior. We have four children.....I feel like M.A.W. wants us to stay at GKTW, but I'm afraid it will be too hard getting back and forth and coordinating rides, etc. Any input from anyone who has stayed at GKTW or in the park? It is always a challenge getting four kids anywhere, I am just trying to figure out what will work best. I don't want the kids to miss out on the "Disney Experience" as we won't be able to afford to do this again, at least not anytime soon.
Thanks in advance,
My son Tyler had his MAW trip a little over a year ago. I has hesitant at first about GKTW but.....
It was the most AMAZING place! There is so much for the kids to do, it's a vacation all in itself! The kids are treated like royalty. Every day when we returned to our villa, there were presents for the kids waiting. They celebrate Christmas one day a week and the kids pick out a present and meet Santa. There are Disney characters that come and meet the kids (and they get to spend a good amount of time with them). There were a few days we had a hard time getting the kids to want to go to Disney because they could have played all day at GKTW. There's no describing how wonderful it is. And we're a big Disney family...I would rather stay at GKTW any day instead of Disney! The parks are not too far away either and it's an easy drive. Anyone can stay at a Disney Resort...you have to be invited to stay at GKTW. I can't say enough wonderful things about this place!
I was worried about GKTW too. I had never heard of them and was kind of bummed when MAW said that is usually where their kids stay. I wanted the "whole" Disney experience, thinking that would include staying on site. I also worried about driving to all the parks and not getting lost... Wow, was I wrong! GKTW was amazing!!!!! I can't even describe it well enough to do it justice. My kids actually ask about when we can go back there, and not Disney!!!! Have fun!
I know you have to experience it to appreciate it, but GKTW is a once in a lifetime experience! Like someone said earlier, ANYONE can stay at a resort, but very few families are special enough to stay at GKTW. "Ice Cream for Breakfast!" is their motto! You will feel like you are staying in one of the top rated resorts (and we have done both); they have Disney as well as Nickelodeon characters come to visit, and of course Santa with presents! Lots of perks to stay there. You leave with free passes to Six Flags, Water Parks, and other places all over the U.S. to be used over the next year. The kids get a gift each day, left in your house while you are gone, and of course Mayor and Mrs. Clayton come to tuck them in at a night you request. You may know all this, but that is just a FEW of the fun things happening there... and your kids would love to spend a day there, you will find it hard to leave. You will never be able to stay there again, so make the most of it! Hope you have the greatest experience ever!!!
We just came from GKTW in October and my kids (aged 13-5) all LOVED it!! They talk about going to back to stay there all the time. Plenty of space, laundry, pool, food, parties, gifts every day, friendly helpful people. And its honestly not hard to find the other parks. Everything is about half an hour to about 45 min drive....not horrible. And not hard to find.
I have stayed at Disney Resorts before, and while they are fun, I am SOOOOO SOOOOO SOOOO glad the my kiddos got to experience GKTW over the resorts hands down. There is just no equivalent. You won't regret it. I promise.
From what I am reading.....I am saying go with GKTW. We just went on my son's wish over the Christmas holidays and stayed at a Disney resort and there was absolutely NO special treatment. Our trip was amazing, don't get me wrong, but my son did not get any special treatment for being a "wish kid." I would have loved him to experiences what I have read about GKTW.
GKTW. No question. How old are your children? You may not want to go to the parks! Honestly, GKTW is such a uniquely special place that you will never be able to stay at again. They have a small carousel, mini-golf, a mini-train to ride, arcade games, ice cream parlor, amazing pool and water play area -- I could go on and on and on. But this doesn't really get to the heart of why it is so special. It's so special because of the volunteers there, who are there to make your entire family's stay as magical as possible. Characters visit in the mornings so that you don't have to worry about the hassle of seeing them in WDW (although you still can), and your children will feel truly special. Please budget time just to spend there with your children -- you will not regret it!
We are returning to WDW this April (Elke's MAW trip was in April of 2010, but was marred by finding out upon our arrival that my FIL was dying, and Elke had a broken leg and was on morphine, so it was less than ideal, but we still loved GKTW). My older children (now 14 and 12) have asked to give up some park time so that we can visit GKTW one day, they have such fond memories of it. Which is good, because I was planning on our going anyways
Thank you for asking this question. Just joined this group. And we wre in the process of our daughter, daisy, having her wish granted. We were torn also but it sounds as if she would miss out if we didn't stay at GKTW. Ou daught, daisy is 4 yes old and is in her 11 month of treatment for ALL. I wish I had found this sooner!
Jeanmarie -Mamma to Daisy, ALL (in treatment)
We just had a call today from Make-A-Wish and this sounds good to Josef. He is 7 and his little brother is 4. GKTW sounds like an amazing place. The volunteer is coming in a few weeks to our house. We are in California and Florida is a long way away I wonder if we can stay extra days (not at GKTW) but at a hotel if we are going to pay those costs ourself. How long are wish trips typically does anyone know? We will not be going for awhile still but just nice thinking about fun stuff.
Wish trips are 7 days. We are in Cali too so we requested a red eye flight there....I'm so glad we did! We were thinking of adding extra days or adding on a Disney Cruise but our funds didn't allow. We did talk to the coordinator about it though and as long as we paid the difference it was fine with them. Ty was 6 during his GKTW trip and his brother was 18 months. The resort was perfect for both of them (and perfect for us parents too!). Have fun planning your trip! I can't wait to go to Florida again so we can visit GKTW.
I wanted to chime in, and let you know that we stayed extra days in Florida with our Make a Wish trip. When our trip officially ended, we had our own transportation to my parents house and stayed another week. We had set it up ahead of time with Make a Wish, so the return flight was a week later than when our official trip ended. You are just responsible for your own transportation to and from the airport for your return flight. Good Luck. We had a great trip.
Thanks everyone for putting my fears to rest! We met with our wish team and decided to stay at Give Kids The World. We got the official phone call yesterday....McKinley's wish is granted!! Disney in March....it will be so good to escape winter in Boston for a week!
Our kids are Emerson (10), Quinn (almost 8), Presley (5), and McKinley (2) (It's hard to tell from the names, but we have three daughters and Quinn is our son) They are all so excited....can't wait!