We sure didn't know how quickly this trip would end when we started out. On Thursday, we were all excited to start our adventure...most of us were, at least. Keegan has difficulty understanding what is happening right now sometimes, so he really struggles to understand big changes and breaks in his routine. Even if parts of it are enticing, like talk of Mickey Mouse and all his favorite characters. Unfortunately when the rest of the family is excited about it (like mom, who hadn't been to Disney since age 5, or BD, who is like a 5 year old most of the time, or Audrey, who rarely went 10 minutes without pointing to Minnie on her dress), it is hard to keep Keegan from getting overstimulated and melting down. Despite all of that, the kids did very well on the plane and through most of the afternoon.
Waiting for the plane
The Make-A-Wish banner the flight attendants hung for Keegan
The extremely sweet pilots offered Keegan the chance to sit in the cockpit.
He wasn't quite ready for that, but Daddy thought it was cool.
Welcome to Orlando, Keegan!
We stayed at the Give Kids the World Village.
GKTW is kind of like a resort for families of kids who have been granted a wish trip to Orlando from any wish-granting organization. It's quite amazing, almost like a huge Ronald McDonald House. Each family has one side of a little duplex to stay in. There is a cafeteria, a pizza parlor, and an ice cream shoppe. A million ways to entertain the kids too - a carousel, pond to race remote control boats or feed the ducks, an arcade, a movie theater, a really cool pool, and activities every night for the kids. It also has an amazing accessible playground that was unfortunately being renovated.
These trains run around the facility in the evening to help you get to everything.
Speaking of everything you have to get to, each night has a different theme with activities for the whole family. We arrived on Thursday, and every Thursday night is Winter Wonderland night. Santa comes to GKTW every week all year! There is a little Christmas parade, and each kid gets a toy. The kids didn't make it to Santa because the line was so long, but they didn't seem to mind.
Audrey and Pops.
She confiscated the Mickey Mouse doll that was meant for Keegan immediately!
Keegan was a little overwhelmed by the craziness.
Looking at this picture, maybe we should have known he was about to crash.
Keegan and Mamie watching the Christmas parade.
Oma and Audrey enjoying Winter Wonderland.
While I was at orientation getting our park passes, the rest of the family sampled some of the ice cream parlor's offerings. Keegan actually ate some, too! The ice cream parlor is literally open from 7:45am-9pm, so you can indeed have ice cream for breakfast, lunch, or any time.
As you now know, Keegan was admitted to the ER just a few hours after the above photo was taken. That left the grandparents and Aunt Alex to entertain Audrey and pack up all our stuff on Friday. There is so much to do on site that Audrey had a blast, despite never making it to the Magic Kingdom.
The awesome trainscape
Whack-a-mole at the arcade
Pretending to be train conductor
Swimming with BD
Breaking out her dance moves after a good swim
Friday night was the Pirates and Princesses party by the pool. You may not be able to tell from her face, but I'm told Audrey was ALL about the princesses. Evidently every time another girl wanted to come through the princess line, she would step away and then run back for another chance to sit with them!
Every child who visits GKTW gets a special star from the Star Fairy who finds a perfect place on the ceiling of the Castle of Miracles for it. Then they are given a "passport" to bring back another time that helps the staff find the child's star. At check-out, the staff let Gray fill out Keegan's star. Hopefully when we are able to return, we will find that star for Keegan to finish his Wish upon!
**In case you were wondering, Keegan was discharged and is hanging in there at home. Audrey, on the other hand, developed a fever on Monday. My parents took her to the doctor, who diagnosed her with herpangina, a virus that causes throat ulcers. By this evening, she had been free of fever for 24 hours, but she has a rash that has spread from her feet up to her legs and now some on her arms. It's probably just the virus, but we will take her back in tomorrow to be sure. We will likely have to wait to bring her home until the rash clears up. I guess it was a good thing we came home from Orlando when we did, or Audrey would have been the one sick at the Happiest Place on Earth. Unfortunately, we didn't know Audrey had contracted this virus when we allowed her to come visit Keegan on Sunday in the hospital. We would greatly appreciate your prayers for both the kiddos - that Audrey knows her parents love and miss her and wish they could be with her when she's sick and for Keegan's safety.