Orlando, for many, is a place where dreams come true. Whether you are coming to see Mickey on your first Disney trip or getting ready to jump on the Hogwarts Express to see Harry Potter at Universal, Orlando is a place where magic happens! This is never more true than for families visiting a place called Give Kids The World Village, which is located in Kissimmee, FL. Give Kids The World is a magical vacation spot for children and their families who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. I had the opportunity to tour the village as well as attend a blogger bash and wanted to pass on my experience to you all!
So what is Give Kids The World and what do they do? Give Kids The World Village is a 70-acre, nonprofit “storybook” resort located near Central Florida’s most beloved attractions. Children and their families are treated to week-long, cost-free fantasy vacations which include accommodations in the Village’s whimsical villas, transportation, donated attraction tickets, meals, and much more!
At the Village, these precious children learn that dreams really do come true as they and their families are immersed in joy, hope, and nonstop fun for a few unforgettably happy days—a most welcome escape from the weight of their challenging circumstances. Since 1986, Give Kids The World has hosted more than 122,000 deserving families from all 50 states and more than 73 countries. This extraordinary, life-changing experience is Give Kids The World’s gift and made possible only through the generosity of dedicated corporations and countless individuals.
Facts about Give Kids The World:
- Since 1986, Give Kids The World has served over 122,000 families from all 50 states and more than 73 countries.
Families enjoy a week-long, cost-free vacation which includes accommodations at Give Kids The World Village, meals, donated attraction tickets and more.
- With the help of many generous individuals and corporations, including Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando, Hasbro, Perkins, Boston Market and many more, Give Kids The World is able to serve over 7,000 families each year.
- Each and every day, dedicated volunteers share their time and talents with Give Kids The World.
- Each week more than 1,500 volunteer shifts are filled to help wish families experience their memorable vacation.
- Give Kids The World maintains an administrative rate of just 8.3% – well below the national non-profit
- Give Kids The World has consistently earned Charity Navigator’s four star rating and was named the most fiscally responsible charity by Worth Magazine in 2010 and MainStreet.com in 2012.
- Give Kids The World is always in need of financial and in-kind support as well as new volunteers.
Some of the amazing buildings include:
Castle of Miracles and Enchanted Carousel
The Castle includes Twinkle Hope’s La Ti Da Royal Spa, a mysterious forest to explore, Father Time, a Wishing Well that burps, Rusty the friendly guard and a Great Hall full of magic. The Star Fairly waits for all Wish Children & magically soars into the night placing the Gold Stars on the Castle ceiling. For all children at the Village, your Magic Pillow experience takes place here. Be sure to take a ride on the beautiful carousel just outside. Twinkle Hope’s La Ti Da Royal Spa is open every evening from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Tuesday and Friday mornings from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Gingerbread House Restaurant
Child-sized tables decorated with 27,000 real peppermint candies, over 2,000 dolls from around the world and the thoughtfulness of Angels (volunteers), all make the Gingerbread House more than just a restaurant. (No tipping please, our Angels are giving their time to you and want nothing in return but your smile).
Ice Cream Palace
Julie’s Safari Theatre
Amberville Train Station
Amberville is an interactive train station that includes a room with a model railroad, a waterway with remote-controlled boats, train memorabilia, an interactive video arcade, billiards, wireless internet access and the latest Wii and XBOX 360 games including Rock Band. Be sure to take a ride on JJ’s Express. The train stop is located just outside of Amberville’s back door.
Park of Dreams
The Park of Dreams features an interactive water garden and wheelchair-accessible pool where children of all abilities can experience flowing, jetting and misting water fun. This is home to Serendipity, an 80-foot long ship complete with a ship stage for many of our nightly entertainment shows. Towels are provided.
Give Kids The World sounds great! How can I get involved? How can I help?
There are many ways that you can help! First off, you can join Orlando Fun and Food in becoming an Awareness Angel! An Awareness Angel does nothing more than help spread information on Give Kids The World and what they have going on. If you are huge on social media, have your own blog, or just have friends who will listen, help spread the news about Give Kids The World!
You can also help volunteer during your vacation! Give Kids The World only asks for 4 hours of your time to help make these kids vacations magical! Universal Studios Florida has put together a package to make volunteering even more beneficial! The program is called Volunteer Vacations & the package will give you the following:
- 3 night accommodation at a Universal Orlando partner hotel
- 2 day Park to Park tickets
- 4 hour space to volunteer at Give Kids the World
- Round trip transportation from Universal to Give Kids The World
- Early admission to Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade before the park is open to the public.
The best part of this package is it starts at $335.00 per person and Universal will donate $100.00 of that fee back to Give Kids The World! To learn more about this amazing package click here!
You can also help by making a donation or volunteering your time while you are here in Orlando! I have spent 2 days at the Give Kids The World village and it has changed my life. To be able to see the hope and joy in the faces of these kids is priceless. Make sure you come to Give Kids The World and help by donating your time and money, if possible!
If you want to learn more about Give Kids The World, want to volunteer, or want to donate money please visit www.givekidstheworld.org or call 1-800-995-KIDS.
Have you ever been to Give Kids The World? If so, what did you think? If not, will you be volunteering? Comment below to let us know!