SUNDAY 13th Sept
Everyones ready to board the Minibus, for the journey to Gatwick and the start of the Florida '15 adventure.
8 very excited boys from The Park School in Woking... check!
Monday 14th September
Had breakfast at the Softel before heading over to the North terminal and our flight to Orlando USA! The flight left on time and all the children were brilliant on the flight over.
Arrived at the houses by 6pm US time, with no hitches at the airport.
After the head teacher Paul Walsh had allocated the children their rooms, all 8 students were in the pool having fun! Paul then went to get Pizza and some shopping and the committee did likewise! Its now 10pm in the evening- or 3am UK time! All off to bed, before a new day begins at Discovery Cove!
Tuesday 15th September
A wonderful day at Discovery Cove- where we were looked after by Todd. Our Thanks go to Tricia Wong of Discovery Cove, who liased with us to get the tickets. After a delicious breakfast at Discovery Cove, our group swam with Thelma and Capricon, the dolphins. Followed by a trip along the lazy River! An action packed day! After returning to the house for a quick swim, we all headed off to T-Rex, a new restaurant at Disney. A big Thank You goes to Jimmy Carrol & his team, for looking after us all so well! Fantastic food and excellent service - a great place for the children to end their day!
Wednesday 15th September
A memorable day for all the children at Universal Studios & Diagon Alley. They were given the VIP treatment around the parks, by our guides Brian & Mallory. The day was packed with rollers coasters and scarey rides, which thrilled all the riders. We were treated to a wonderful lunch at The Leaky Couldron and the children tried some Butter Beer. On leaving the park each child was given a fantastic goody bag- A big "Thank you" goes to Universal, for making this such an excellent day and ensuring the childrens trip to Florida is a once in a lifetime dream!
Tomorrow we are off to Seaworld!
Thursday 16th September
A day packed with adventures at Seaworld! The children watched a show in the Dolphin Arena, travelled to the Arctic Circle in a helicopter and rode The Manta and The Kraken rollercoasters! We all got soaked on Atlantis and had an amazing ride in a hovercraft, to see the brilliant penguins! That evening we headed off to the Buca Di Beppo italian restaurant for an amazing feast. The evening was topped off by a night ride on the new Orlando Eye- Thank you to The Merlin Magic Wand Charity, for so kindly giving us the tickets. Our 8 Special Needs students, thoroughly enjoyed their view of Orlando!
Friday 17th September
Our second day at Universal, visiting The Islands of Adventure and Hogwarts! An Amazing day for all the children. They were given the full VIP treatment- with Mallory and Brian our guides, showing us some very special behind the scenes areas, not normally viewed. A delicious lunch at the Three Broom Sticks was followed by epic roller coaster rides. The children loved all the wet rides at Universal and as the sun shone, this ensured some very happy faces! I think the photos will say it all! A personal Meet & Greet with characters from the X- Men, Spiderman and Captain America, gave a special thrill for all of our group! We finished the day with a trip into Hogwarts Castle and a ride with Harry Potter and his friends. The children then headed back to the house for a swim in the pool and dinner served by Paul, Heidi & Isobel. We are so grateful to Denise and Ray from Universal, for helping us give the children a visit, with memories that will last a lifetime!
Saturday 18th Sept
After a morning visiting Madam Tussauds and The Sealife Centre in Orlando, the children all headed out to Disneys Magic Kingdom! We took the paddle steamer across the lake, before crossing Town Square and heading down Main Street with the Magic Castle in our sights! Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, driving the Speedway cars and Buzz Lightyear, were just a few of the amazing rides of the day! Dinner at Tonys set us up, for watching the Magical Electric Parade and the Grand Finale Fireworks that exploded above the Castle! The children headed back to the house tired, but having experienced a truly magical day!
Sunday 20th Sept
After breakfast at the house, everyone headed off to Legoland. We were given the full VIP treatment by our guides Tyler, Melinda and the VIP manager Kylie. The children went on all the rides before lunch and were treated to a delicious lunch, in one of the parks restaurants. After lunch we enjoyed three more roller coasters, before heading across for an afternoon at the water park, where the children and adults alike, enjoyed the wave machine, slides and lazy river. How wonderful to see the children smiling and having fun!! The last of our parks on this trip and a day to remember for all the children.
In the evening we hosted a dinnner for our sponsors to say a very big "Thank You" for supporting and helping CWSNF on our 11th annual trip to Florida.
Monday 21st Sept
This morning we headed off to Boggy Creek for an amazing Airboat Ride! All the children loved seeing the Gators, Giant Blue Herons and American Bald Eagles on the vast lake. Our Airboat Captain Wayne, gave the children a huge thrill as he sped across the lake, with the wind tugging at their hair! After the ride there was the chance to hold an Alligator and have a photo. A few brave children took up the challenge as you will see below!
On our final evening we all had a fantastic night out at Planet Hollywood, where were we were treated to a delicious meal! The children were given the best table in the house and visited the DJ to pick their favourite songs. An "awesome" finish to our "Trip of a Lifetime!" We are so grateful to Mark at Planet Hollywood for his support of our charity over many years!
Tuesday 22nd September
Our final morning in Orlando, before we head off to Orlando Airport. Last minute packing to be done and houses to be cleaned- All hands on deck!!! Everything packed into the minibus and our 4X4 and were ready for some lunch and Prize Giving!
We all headed out to a local restaurant for our last lunch together before home. Every children was given a certificate for the special things they have achieved during our trip. Each one of them has made such progress this week and it has been a pleasure for the CWSNF team, consisting of Gordon, Pauline Tom & Gavin to share this week of new experiences with them! They have enjoyed every second of each & every day they have been away!
A special note of thanks must also go to Paul, Isabele & Heidi from The Park School, who have worked so hard, to ensure all the boys had a wonderful trip!
As we head off to the Airport, we are so grateful for all the help we receive from our friends and supporters in Orlando- Our special children had a magical trip , one they will treasure for many years!
Thank you Mary at British Airways for all your assistance and help sorting the tickets! To David and his team from Elite Vacation Homes, Thank you for our wonderful houses! Tricia at Discovery Cove- A great day was had by all in the water!
Denise, Ray and all the team at Universal, we simply couldn't do it without you! Denise you are like our Guardian Angel!! Lisa at Sea World- Thank You so much! Victoria at Disney World, thanks for arranging Dinner at Tony's, the children loved it!
Ade, Phil & Kathryn, Kylie, Tyler & Melinda at Legoland- What a park - well worth a visit! - The children loved the all Water slides and Water Park! And to all the team at the Orlando Eye, Sea Life and Tussauds, many thanks.
Jimmy and his team at T- Rex Restaurant, Christophe at Bucca Di Beppo and Mark and his team at Planet Hollywood - Thank you for such fantastic food and we had such fun with you all!
Our children have felt very special for the whole trip and we feel "Thank You" is simply not enough!
Without all your support, we couldn't give our special children these opportunities. A heartfelt thanks comes from us all!
The children have had enjoyed a week full of fun and laughter, life changing experiences have been had and memories set, that will last them forever.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!