The Central Florida Children’s Home was donated a three-day vacation to the happiest place on Earth by Nona Church! I was graciously welcomed into the children’s home by the house parents, RJ and Jordan Fontana, to meet a few of the children who wanted to share what they experienced during the exciting trip to Disney from May 27-29! After a quick tour of the home, I sat down with four of the nine kids who went to Disney – Cadence, Haven, Matthew, and Joshua – so they could tell me all about their unforgettable three-day vacation.
When I asked how they spent their days at Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, and Magic Kingdom, they were ready to tell me about the rides they went on – specifically the thrilling Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster that stars Aerosmith. Tower of Terror was another favorite, as well as the new Slinky Dog Dash in Toy Story Land. They also noted how house mom Jordan got picked out for the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!
At Magic Kingdom, the kids got to experience the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor, where thanks to their matching shirts, they got picked out in the audience and had a song made about them (which Matthew excellently sang for me). At night, they enjoyed the Happily Ever After fireworks and projection show. Thanks to Extra Magic Hours, another rollercoaster highlight was riding the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at night, Cadence tells me. During the trip, the kids got to meet some of their favorite characters, like Stitch, Gaston, the Evil Stepmother, Cinderella, and Prince Charming. Haven says she was even in tears when meeting Prince Charming – so cute!
When I asked them about Animal Kingdom, the kids relate a story to me about house dad RJ, who was so busy capturing the moment for the kids on Avatar Flight of Passage, when the floor disappeared in front of him, making the kids erupt in laughter. Their days were full of funny stories like this one, whether it was “bus-surfing,” going on a goose-chase to retrieve lost hats, posing five minutes for a picture with an overzealous cast member, or hearing the people behind them experience fireworks for the first time. It was clear to see from these stories that the kids had created such great memories during this vacation, making for quite a memorable start of the summer. The kids are definitely excited to eventually go back and experience all things Disney again one day.
The Central Florida Children’s Home thanked Nona Church for sponsoring this trip, as well as Graffiti Junktion, where a tip jar was set out to use for any extras at Disney. They also showed thanks to those who donated gift cards during Christmas. This trip included a stay at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, where the kids told me they stayed in The Lion King family suites that were decorated with beautiful details like pawprints and the iconic sunset from the movie. They also got to hop around to each of the three different pools at the Art of Animation Resort. The trip also included a dining deal, so everyone could enjoy restaurants like ‘Ohana, Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, and the Grand Floridian Café. House dad RJ says that his goal with the Central Florida Children’s Home is to create these family memories, and he constantly shows his thanks for the donations that allow them to go on trips like these and participate in different activities in the Central Florida area.
I want to thank the kids and house parents for having me, and I can’t wait to see the memories they create the rest of this year!
For more information about the Central Florida Children’s Home, visit: centralfloridachildrenshome.com