S: How does Nico like Disney World?
Me: We haven’t made it there yet. We haven’t left the resort.
Me: Well, the resort has its own water park, miniature golf course, miniature train, model trains, two pools, a life-sized Candyland game/park, around-the-clock pizza delivery, carnival games, castle, carousel, horseback riding, catch & release fishing, around-the-clock ice cream parlor and the Disney characters come to us.
So, why fight traffic?
Give Kids the World is a truly amazing place. Long story short, many years ago, a Make-A-Wish kid was waiting on hotel scheduling before her wish to go to Disney World could be granted. The scheduling did not happen in time, and she never got her wish. The hotelier was devastated and to prevent that from every happening again, he created Give Kids the World.
It is hard to describe. It is pretty much its own self-contained village. Only children with life-threatening illnesses (and their families) can stay. It is enormous, much bigger than I thought. Each family gets its own villa and the house is larger than a lot of homes that we have lived in. Everything, and I mean everything, is catered to the kids and no detail has been overlooked. I will post pictures and explain more with those.
Everyday is a holiday in Give Kids the World. One night Nico went trick-or-treating. GKTW provided costumes and Nico found a red BMX mask and deemed it a Darth Vader’s Brother’s costume. One night was a giant life-sized game of Candyland. Every night was a special party with music, dancing and tons of candy.
Similar to Make-A-Wish Utah, Nico was also given a special star that will hang in the star tower with his name forever. There was a whole presentation in which a fairy arrives and takes Nico’s star from a magic box. Similarly, there is an old tree that comes to life and creates and hides a pillow made of “love, dreams and hopes” for Nico to lay his head on at night to sleep.
Like I said, I could go on and on. The trip was relaxed, and we let Nico take the lead. Sometimes braving the crowds at Disney was what he preferred to do, and that is what we did. Other times it got to be “too much.” And we stayed in our refuge, GKTW and had just as much fun but with way fewer people.
It was a beautiful way for Nico to be reunited with his dad. I was teasing Jeff one night near the end of the trip and Nico said of his dad, “He’s a nice boy, a nice dad. He is my friend! A good Jeff.” Awww, Nico really adores his dad and this week of Nico-focused attention was what we all needed to get our priorities straight. We love that little guy.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget what they go through. Sometimes you want to forget what they go through. You tell yourself that all kids suffer health problems sometimes, and everyone has trials in their life, and it’s not necessarily the defining moment for that person. But then you go to the first aid station at Disney World because you think you might have left your phone in the bathroom, and as soon as Nico saw the red cross on the door, starts to whimper and asked if we were at a hospital. He’s been traumatized and sometimes it shows.
But we were able to come to this special place, a place that understands what has happened to him. And maybe a little piece of the injury left has been just slightly mended? We hope so.
In this case, I will let photos speak for the trip. It was an incredible experience for our son. Again we want to thank Make-A-Wish, Give Kids the World, The Distinguished Young Women for raising the funds to pay for our trip and our Wish Grantors, Terri and Cameron. This entire experience, from start to finish was amazing. Hopefully the pictures (post after this post on warriornico.com) will speak for themselves.