Giving away $400 dollars

Earlier this week, I decided to do something a bit strange.  I wrote my 4,000th tweet (@365DaysOfDisney), and decided to donate some money to a good cause: Give Kids The World®.  I decided that I would give $1 for every retweet I got, up to $400.  Am I rich?  Absolutely not.  Am I crazy?  Maybe.  Is the money going to a great cause?  Definitely!

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What is Give Kids The World?  It is a “non-profit “storybook” resort… where children with life-threatening illnesses and their families are treated to week long, cost-free fantasy vacations.” (www.gktw.org)  Started by hotelier Henri Landwirth, it is located about 15 minutes from Walt Disney World.  Every need of its visitors is taken care of, complimentary, during their week long vacations.  There are activities at the village itself (including non-branded themed Boston Market and Perkins restaurants), and guests can go to a number of theme parks in the area around it (Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World, to name a few).  In their 20+ years serving families, over 127,000 have been able to spend a week at the Village.  Just this year, they remodeled a number of their accommodations, knowing that if it’s anything like record breaking 2012 (7,300 families!), they’ll be busy.

The Gingerbread House (yes, it's a Perkins)

The Gingerbread House (yes, it’s a Perkins)

There is so much that could be written about Give Kids The World, but instead, I encourage you to check out their webpage.  If you feel the desire to donate to them, you are more than welcome to! Just $25 can allow  family to use the Ice Cream Palace bar for their entire visit.

All you can eat ice cream for a week

All you can eat ice cream for a week

(photos are from the GKTW website)

The Give Kids The World blog

You can read a post from the family of Jaylie Nielson, in which they discuss in much more detail the Give Kids The World Village.

The Disney College Program – part one

Last week, a friend was able to take some time out of her busy schedule and answer a few questions I posed for her about the Disney College Program!  This is part one, because I’ll have more questions for her in the future as she spends more time at Walt Disney World.  At the time she wrote the answers, she’d been in Orlando for just over one month.
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Did you grow up loving Disney (movies, parks, etc)?

I remember watching Cinderella, The Lion King, and The Little Mermaid when I was little but I wasn’t necessarily a “Disney child.” Although I did visit the parks and watch films, I didn’t become a true Disney nerd until I was 16 years old.

When did you first hear about the program?

I first heard about the program when I was 16 years old; I was just googling how to work for Disney!

How was the application process?

Intense, stressful, and amazing! The best experience!

How do you pay for it?

It doesn’t cost anything to be here because you work enough to pay for housing-it’s so great!

How long have you been in Orlando?

I arrived on February 3rd!

What is housing like?
Housing is great! I love my apartment-it’s a really big and home-like space. The complexes are beautiful and are very picturesque.
Do you know how many others there are in the program?
I’m not sure exactly but I know it’s in the thousands!
What is your role at Disney?
Main entrance operations.
Are you taking any classes/courses do you take while you’re there?
I’m not taking anything.
What’s been your favorite part so far?
My fellow cast members! They make me so happy.
How much free time do you have, and what do you like to do during that time?
I have free time but not terribly much and when I do have time I go to the parks and take in every detail.
Favorite park, favorite ride, favorite attraction?
Magic Kingdom, Splash Mountain, Carousel Of Progress
For more information on the program, check out the Disney College Program website.
Be sure to follow Princess Laura, on twitter: @JourneyToDisney or on YouTube: JourneyToDisneyWorld