View Full Version : Need info on Make-a-Wish Please
01-02-2008, 10:08 AM
Well as I started in another thread Hayden will be turning 2 in about 8 days. Last year I got in contact with Make-a-Wish about helping us get to WDW unfortunately they couldn't help us because he wasn't old enough. I know that they don't grant wishes until the child is at least 2 and a half, but I thought I would contact them after his birthday and see if I could get the ball rolling.
Anyone who has had a chance to take advantage of Make-a-Wish what is involved, where do you stay? I have heard of the resort Give Kids The World, but I don't know if someplace like that would really be beneficial to us I wouldn't want to take a place away from a family that could use all the amenities all we need is a place to put our head down. I have also heard of famlies staying at the Animal Kigdom Lodge.
Any info would be helpful, I am nervous and I don't want them to say no again. Thanks
01-02-2008, 01:03 PM
We also wanted to stay at AK for our wish trip but when they told me about GKTW (and that it would be the place where we stayed) I didn't even ask about AK. From what I understand, GKTW partners with the wish organizations and staying there defrays some of the costs you local MAW would have to pick up (like a week's lodging at AK).
It was a wonderful place to stay. It's almost entirely run by volunteers and they have many activities for the kids.
It can't hurt to ask you local MAW if you could stay at AK but it wasn't a choice for us. We were not disappointed BUT we had very little Disney experience at the time so our expectations were very low (and we were appropriately amazed!).
Good luck and I hope they get the ball rolling for you very soon!
01-03-2008, 12:01 AM
We did the MAW/GKTW combination in 2004. The trip was excellent, and our accommodation were great! The villas were large, had 2 bedrooms, large whirlpool baths with wheelchair accessible showers. Washer and dryer, full kitchen, and living area. Food and ice cream were almost always available. Only drawback we had was that it was approximately a 20-25 minute ride to the parks, may be more now since they were doing all kinds of construction in the area.
I would say do not hesitate to stay at GKTW, as its offerings far out weigh staying at a resort. They have completely chair accessible rides, free pizza and ice cream, pools, and if you have a want or need you call up the front desk and its provided with no charge. If your trip, like ours, is a six night trip with only 3 days in Disney parks, they did have some tickets to other places Universal, Kennedy Space Center, etc.
On our trip we had airport greeters from GKTW, that helped us get situated in the rental van, then gave us directions to the facility. The place was a secure, fun paradise where we forgot our troubles for just a little while.
There are quite a few villas there, I wouldn't worry about taking a more needy family's place. The place was born because of that, a wish that couldn't be granted in time due to place to stay issues. I'm pretty sure they have alternates in place for any of those situations.
Hope that helps
01-03-2008, 03:51 AM
Also, a lot of the volunteers are Disney CM's! It's one of our partners.
I personally have never gone to it yet (conflict with work and school) but I've heard a lot of great things about it.
I'm hoping MAW works out for you guys, I'm not happy at all that they have such a ridiculous age limit for children. 2 1/2...why not just make it 2 and make life easy for so many others?
01-03-2008, 11:18 AM
Thanks for all the info, and of course thanks to you Captain. I will keep you informed on the progress.
01-03-2008, 10:49 PM
I think the idea is that at 2 and a half they are more able to communicate their wishes. For our wish, they had DD give them 3 wishes. Our DD's were "I want to go to Disney World, I want to be a princess, I want to meet Cinderella" They then attempt to make those wishes come true. They have parties and drop by with gifts every so often, so that it doesn't seem so long before you actually go. In our case we actually got delayed several months due to hurricane after hurricane. They tried to get us CRT but it was booked so they gave us Akershus breakfast. Just as good. We got to meet Cindy later at our own private meet and greet. MAW/GKTW will take care of you, just be a little flexible and you will have a magical time.
One thing too, about staying on GKTW, we have a lot of medical equipment that we have to travel with. DD has a feeding tube, which requires a pump, feeding bags and of course liquid food. Its very heavy to carry all that in luggage (were talking 12 cans of Ensure for 6 nights). They were able to have all of it ready for us when we got there, we didn't have to lug it down. They can do that for almost any equipment no matter how specialized. All at no cost to us.
On a side note, security is tight at GKTW and they will not let anyone but volunteers and guests on property. Our Wish Grantors had never seen it in the 10+ years they had been granting wishes. We showed them our video. They were in awe.
01-04-2008, 10:03 AM
we have a lot of medical equipment that we have to travel with. DD has a feeding tube, which requires a pump, feeding bags and of course liquid food.
Us too, so I know what you mean by having to haul it down.
We got to meet Cindy later at our own private meet and greet.
How Cool!! I bet you Daughter was in heaven.
When you finally got down there how long were you there for and how many people went with you?
Thank you so much everyone for sharing with me. I understand that these stories can be both the happiest memories and the saddest. If I am prodding to much pleas just say so.
01-04-2008, 02:26 PM
When you finally got down there how long were you there for and how many people went with you?
I think the standard at GKTW is six nights. We were told it was for immediate family only by our MAW. We had thought about bringing our son's best friend but they said only occasionally do they allow even extended family members to join the trip. I do remember many families there with grandparents so it is done.
I have to say that our MAW is pretty strict because they try to reach as many families as they can. So, the limits they impose are only because they want to grant as many wishes as they can.
Also, I have heard that they wait until 2.5 to grant wishes because the child is supposed to make the wish themselves. However, since that is not always possible (non-verbal, non-communicative children) I think this is a rule that gets bent (actually I know it does). I know children who have gone on wish trips to DIsney and it was the family's decision since there was no possibility of the child expressing a wish themselves.
01-04-2008, 03:05 PM
I do remember many families there with grandparents so it is done.
We are hoping to include Hayden's grandparents as well, but we will see.
I have heard that they wait until 2.5 to grant wishes because the child is supposed to make the wish themselves. However, since that is not always possible (non-verbal, non-communicative children) I think this is a rule that gets bent (actually I know it does).
That is the situation with Hayden. He is not able to talk so it will be our choice for him, and when I talked to our MAW last year they said that is what they would do, but they couldn't get the board to bypass the age limit or they would loose their charter, so hear we are a year later (and I thank GOD everyday for everyday)
01-04-2008, 06:01 PM
We also had 6 days, we were only allowed DW, me and DD (immidate household). We had hoped to bring grandpa but it wasn't allowed.
Something to think about.... if MAW is unable to go ahead and "grant" the wish, have you considered contacting GKTW itself? They work through so many different entities I'm sure they could find one that may be a little more flexible considering your situation. From what I learned of them while we were there, they may even do the trip themselves, depending on the sense of urgency for the child and provided things haven't changed for them in the last 3 years.
Our MAW trip was probably the best time of our lives. DD was 4, had spent a good 4 months total in the hospital, and at one point was in PICU with a collapsed lung and not expected to make it a week. Fast forward a few months and a lot of prayers, she fully recovered, had an operation where her feeding tube was put in, started gaining weight and all through it still was the happiest child anyone ever met. We took our trip and forgot all the year behind us and it actually gave us hope for the future. There will come a day when we will lose DD. She's already beat all the estimates the doctors had given us. We will always be happy to talk about that MAW trip. Those are the things you just never forget.
01-04-2008, 08:11 PM
My son also has a g-tube and everything that goes along with it. When we went to WDW last year, we had the medical supply company we work with here ship everything Jack would need for the trip to the Poly. They shipped everything for free and it was waiting for us when we got there. We had to bring some stuff back, but at least we didn't have to deal with the formula.
Your supplier may do this too-it's worth checking into...
We do this everytime we go on vacation in the USA. It makes traveling a lot easier!
Good luck with MAW!
01-05-2008, 12:15 AM
I really want to volunteer at GKTW. But so far I have too busy with work. However, this summer I am going to make sure I make time.
01-07-2008, 10:12 AM
if MAW is unable to go ahead and "grant" the wish, have you considered contacting GKTW itself?
I talked to them last year directly and they told me that they only worked through the agencies that they did not do them on their own.
There will come a day when we will lose DD. She's already beat all the estimates the doctors had given us. We will always be happy to talk about that MAW trip. Those are the things you just never forget.
Thank you so much for sharing this with me and the rest of us. It is very comforting to know we aren't the only ones going through this.
medical supply company we work with here ship everything Jack would need for the trip
I never thought of doing that. We just shoved real hard and crammed everything into the car, but that would make things so much easier.
Thanks again everyone. This has been very informative. I am going to talk to MAW hopefully on Friday. (Hayden's birthday is Thursday) I will let you know what happens from there.
01-09-2008, 06:36 AM
Hello - We did a wish but not to Disney but I did want to say that the rules do depend on your MAW branch. Our MAW branch only permits those living in the immediate house to attend the wish. So, if you lived in our area and grandparents lived in the home they would be permitted to go. As an aside, we were permitted to take a "helper" with us. It did require special permission and paperwork filled out by the MAW volunteers (and couldn't be a family member). Our helper ended up assisting us with our other child when we did alot of individual stuff with our son. It was really nice. So I think it just depend on the local MAW. Michelle
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