Since 1986, it has been the mission of Give Kids The World Village to create “The Happiness That Inspires Hope.” There are so many wonderful moments and milestones to reflect on as we enter 2020. Check out 10 things that defined the last decade at Give Kids The World:
Park of Dreams
In 2010 we opened Park of Dreams which featured a new zero-depth entry pool, a splash pad and offered wheelchairs that can be taken into the water so going for a swim is accessible for every family and guest. Here you can also find our pirate ship, Serendipity, and Noah’s Nook, a place for families to grab a snack while they enjoy their day in the sun.
Additions to the Castle of Miracles
In 2011 we celebrated the opening of the new Star Tower inside the Castle of Miracles and in 2018, we opened the new Star Observatory to hold the stars of wish kids for decades to come! Every wish child who visits the Village receives a star to personalize and give to Stellar the Star Fairy, who then places it in the castle. Thousands of stars fill the Star Tower and castle where they are kept safe by Stellar and families can visit during a welcome back visit.
Extreme Village Makeover
From January 12 to January 25 of 2014, Give Kids The World teamed up with Wyndham Vacation Ownership to makeover 100 villas. This two-week project came just before the 25th anniversary of the Village and has created an updated “home” for wish families to stay in for years to come. To learn more about this incredible project watch the recap video here.
Two of our favorite attractions courtesy of Zamperla joined us this last decade including Lori’s Magical Flight in 2015 followed by Kelly’s Sunny Swing in 2018. Both of these attractions are wheelchair-accessible and can accommodate all guests who wish to ride.
Opening this 53,000 square-foot, two-story building in 2015 created lots of exciting change for the Village. Inside this whimsical building is Cafe Clayton, home of Village dining options Nancy’s Kitchen, Katie’s Kitchen and Mama Merry’s Pizzeria. The Hoppening Place is located in Towne Hall as well and is a spot to enjoy our nightly parties, meet characters and have fun.
When we added Banyan Park in 2016 we gained 24 new villas for families to experience their wish trip at Give Kids The World. Aside from the guest accommodations, this three-story addition brought a basketball court and a mural that displays some of the iconic venues you can find at the Village.
Twinkle Hope’s Rockin’ Spa
The original La Ti Da spa was located inside the Castle of Miracles, but Twinkle Hope’s Rockin’ Spa debuted in 2017 and has been a family-favorite ever since. The Spa is open daily and home to magical makeovers you will never forget! From colorful hairstyles, manicures and makeup to face painting and airbrush temporary tattoos, each visit is unique. Inside the spa you will also find the G.I. Joe Gym, where adult guests (ages 18 and up) can use a variety of workout equipment available daily.
Celebration of Life for founder Henri Landwirth
On Monday, April 16, 2018 the beloved founder of Give Kids The World, Henri Landwirth, passed away. The legacy of Henri will live on in the hearts of all who love the Village.
Welcomed 170,000 Families
In June of 2019 we hit a huge milestone: 170,000 families have experienced the magic of the Village! In 2020, and beyond, we are looking forward to creating the Happiness that Inspires Hope for more wish families from all over the world.
Henri’s Starlite Scoops
The construction of new ice cream parlor, Henri’s Starlite Scoops, began in 2019. The out-of-this-world venue serves as a tribute to our founder, Henri Landwirth. At Give Kids The World ice cream is a big deal and we’re so excited to start serving families here in 2020. In the meantime, a pop-up Henri’s Starlite Scoops landed in our Gingerbread House ensuring ice cream for families all day long.
While the list of memorable moments over the past decade could greatly surpass 10, we know that the Village will only continue to grow and create more opportunities to bring hope and happiness to the families we serve. As 2020 begins, we wish you a Happy New Year and look forward to the excitement that the new decade will bring to Give Kids The World Village.