The excitement of his wish experience began for William
, a happy and outgoing 5-year-old, with the limo ride to the airport. That alone was a thrill for the little boy who, along with his grandparents and aunt and uncle, was setting out on an adventure. Little did he know how much fun lay ahead!
William is diagnosed with a chronic congenital heart condition. What better way to celebrate his recovery from recent surgery AND his 5th birthday than to meet his favorite characters, the Minions, from the movie Despicable Me while visiting the famous Florida theme parks?
Little, yellow and bespectacled, the Minions keep William giggling. “He thinks the Minions are so much fun, really cute and he laughs constantly while watching the movie and playing the computer game,” explains William’s grandmother. The curious boy wanted to see if they were “really real” and to find out “what they were like in person.” He got to do just that when he finally met his favorite little creatures at the Despicable Me attraction at Universal Studios®.
Meeting the Minions was a thrill but that wasn’t the end of Williams’s adventures. He also took an exciting ride on the Harry Potter™ train, the Hogwarts™ Express, and even received a magic wand that lit up!
During their week-long stay, the family visited most of the Florida theme parks and created wonderful memories at each of them. It seems that William discovered a love of roller coasters on the trip. “I feel like I can do anything!” he announces proudly.
Staying at the Give Kids the World® Resort was a pleasure in itself. The resort threw a birthday party for William, complete with cake and balloons with his name on them. Visiting the resort’s ice cream parlor is a favorite memory, as are visits from the Disney characters, riding the merry-go-round, and splashing around in the huge swimming pool. William was even tucked in to bed one night by Mayor Clayton, a large bunny who is the “Manager” of Give Kids the World.
“The experience was just over the top every day. It was unbelievable, like we were in a different world or a fantasy,” recalls William’s grandmother. “No daily cares, worries, or focusing on William’s health issues. This trip was a great shared family experience. All of us are still feeling upbeat!”
Wish-granting volunteers: Cathy J. Goebel & Loyd Stephen
Wish story writer: Jerri Powers