by Carol Vandiver
Screen Dreams Theatre from the outside
Close up of the stepping stones that are found all around the Village
The entrance sign to Amberville
Bruce, Nemo and Dory swim in the moat around Amberville.
This is the model city and railroad inside of Amberville. You can make the train run, turn on lights, start the ferris wheel spinning, all with the touch of buttons located around the edges of the model train area.
Another view of the model city and railroad inside Amberville.
The new “teen room” in Amberville is complete with a plasma tv and internet access.
This game room inside Amberville is very entertaining!
This is the back side of the room where the “controls” are for the radio-controlled boats.
Here you can see the boats being “Captained” from inside the train station. The boats are outside in the moat.
Throwing away trash has never been so much fun! There are several of these “friendly” trashcans around the village.
If you hold your trash up to the elephant’s nose, it gets SUCKED inside!
The Screen Dreams movie theatre has 120 seats.
The Screen Dreams movie theatre is also where Mickey and Minnie do a Meet and greet and take photos. Each family gets an 8×10 photo to take home with them.
Here’s a peek at the peaceful Butterfly garden.
This is the Caring Center. It is where Angels (volunteers) sign in and out. Families can also borrow books from the library here.
Another view of the Caring Center.
The Ice Cream Palace which serves all sorts of ice cream, along with sandwiches, hot dogs and drinks for a quick lunch during the day.
Bunny Bucks which friends of visiting families can use to ‘purchase’ food items.
Table bases inside the Ice Cream Palace are shaped like ice cream cones!
As you can see, the food was delicious! By the way, these charming ladies are the granddaughters of Carol V. (Haley on the left) and Binne (Alisha on the right).
The fountain in the courtyard
This is the ceiling in the Chapel.
Faith stained glass window in the Chapel.
Love stained glass window in the Chapel.
Another stained glass window in the Chapel.
Hope stained glass window in the Chapel.
Peace stained glass window in the Chapel.
The Castle of Miracles was built in 1994. Just outside the door to the Castle is a beautiful carousel which was brought over from Holland. You can ride on roosters, pigs, lions, unicorns and seahorses. Additionally, kids and adults alike can roll right up onto the back of a turtle or a snail to join in the fun of a good old-fashioned carousel ride. These two animals were uniquely built for special guests in wheelchairs.
The interactive game inside ot the Castle of Miracles was built by engineering students at Carnegie-Mellon. Their professor is the parent of a former wish child who stayed at GKTW.
Look out for the GIANT hiding on the Fe Fi Fo Fun Room ceiling!
The Fe Fi Fo Fun Room contains some great toys, dress up costumes
and an awesome supply of LEGOS!
As they check in at the Village, each Wish Child is given a gold star on which they sign their name. After making a wish, they leave their star in the Castle and at night after everyone is asleep, the bewitching Star Fairy places their star on the ceiling to shine brightly for all to see. Currently, gold stars cover the majority of the Castle sky as a permanent reminder of those Wish Children who have visited before. Families frequently return many years later and are overjoyed to see their Wish Child’s special star still keeping watch over the Village.
There is a bottomless wishing-well inside of the Grand Hall.
The “Magical Mirror” inside of the Grand Hall transforms our little girls into Queens!
The girls place their face in to a “circle” which triggers the transformation.
There is a wall full of drawers and cabinets inside the Castle that can be open, closed and pulled causing lots of funny noises!
This certificate is given to families when they check in – it is redeemed in the Castle for a magic pillow – several list members
have made the pillowcases!
This is the magic pillow machine. As the pillow is “made”, it chugs and churns and feathers fly!
Then, POOF!!! Out comes your special pillow. Haley displays hers.
Alisha too, shares her own personal pillow. (And if you look closely in the background, you’ll see our Beccy’s son Michael!)
Haley, transformed to a KING, inside of the Castle.
Changing her mind, Haley decides to be QUEEN!
This is the Gingerbread House. Meals here are provided by Perkins. In 1989 the house cost $600,000 to build. This was all raised by donations. Staffed by 16 full and part-time Perkins employees, breakfast, lunch and dinner are served.
The table tops are made with 27,000 real peppermint candies.
Visiting families have donated more than 1000 dolls which are displayed around the building’s ceiling. There are dolls dressed in national costumes, a history of Barbie and even some Disney Princess’s. There is also a player piano that plays lots of childhood tunes!
One of the serving lines inside the Gingerbread House.
A Gingerbread Mascot
For the boys there is a room containing a large collection of priceless antique metal trucks and trains.
Here’s a closer view of some of the room’s trucks.
Ol Elmer can be found between Gingerbread House and the pool.
Ol Elmer has a sign which doesn’t tell you that he SNORES!
Special permission was granted GKTW to paint their gas tanks.
By law, these must be white and easily spotted. As you can see, they are now “yellow submarines”, complete with John, Paul, George and Ringo – the Beatles.
Claytonburg Park of Dreams entry-way sign
This is inside pool area. This is where Shamu dances during the Monday
night pool parties – A D.J. also sets up here.
The pool is complete with a ramp and a plastic wheelchair to give access to those in wheelchairs. There was one touching story of a disabled father of one of the wish children who, due to the ramp and chair, was able to swim with his children for the very first time.
This is Shamu’s Happy Harbor. You can fish off of this boat in the fully-stocked lake. It’s just behind the pool.
Mayor Clayton’s (miniature) house is complete with miniature furniture that the kids can sit on.
A miniture baby carriage inside Mayor Clayton’s house.
The “sitting room” inside of Mayor Clayton’s house.
Without something to compare to, this miniture furniture looks lifesize!
Another view of the inside of Mayor Clayton’s house.
Each family stays in a 2 bedroom villa, complete with a living room and full kitchen.
Named after Marc McConnell (an inspirational child who visited GKTW), Marc’s Dino Putt is a 7 hole putt-putt golf course. It was donated by Universal Studios-Orlando. There is plenty of room for wheelchairs on this course. Each hole has a special effects trick in addition to the sound of roaring or yapping dinosaurs whenever the ball makes it in the cup.
You will find 11 of the world’s friendliest dinosaurs here. The designers used cheery colors and smooth skin and features when designing these dinosaurs, to make them fun, not scary, to the children that visit.