Today was what it was all about. For those of you that happen to come across this page first: Rebekah is a little girl fighting (and winning) a battle with cancer. She was granted a wish come true from Make-A-Wish foundation and chose to fly all the way across the country from Oregon to Ohio to meet Dora the Explorer and spend a few days at Paramount King's Island Amusement Park in Cincinnati, Ohio. Today was the day that months and months (really years) of planning and the help from literally hundreds of volunteers and donors made possible. And a wonderful day it was. We owe so many thanks to Make-A-Wish for setting this up and to King's Island for hosting us.
We got to the park just after noon and were scheduled to see a Dora (and friends) Sing-A-Long show at 2:00pm. It took a while to get through processing passes to get us in and we headed straight towards the Nickelodeon section of the park. Other than "go to the Dora Sing-a-Long" we really didn't have any information on what we were supposed to do and that was a bit frustrating. We rode a few rides as we had some time and made our way to the outdoor theatre. When we got to the roped off area at the entrance for the theatre the young lady at the entrance knew exactly who we were and what we were there for. She took us in early and had a special seating spot all ready for Rebekah:
As you can see there were balloons and reserved spots. From the moment we sat down, Rebekah started calling out "Dora come, Dora come...," sometimes quite loudly. We had our work cut out for us to make her understand that we had to watch the whole show before we got to "meet" Dora. She kept saying "I in Dora's House, I in Dora's House." The show was a live version of at least a compilation of shows that Rebekah and Sarah know pretty well. They knew the dances and songs and were standing up in front of the stage dancing and singing along. Rebekah was so happy.
After the show we had to sit quietly (HA!) while the crowd cleared out. This was Rebekah's time. After the theatre was empty Rebekah again started calling "Dora come, Dora come!" And out she did. Out of one of the side entrances came Dora, Boots and a few of the other characters. First came Boots:
and that was great, but I don't have to tell you who she was really waiting for:
After some introductions (which really didn't need done as Rebekah and Sarah already knew who Dora was and Dora already seemed to know Rebekah), Rebekah was told that Dora had a special treat for Rebekah in her backpack. Rebekah was able to get into Dora's backpack all by herself and get out a special book signed by Dora and all of the staff personally just for Rebekah. While Rebekah was there, she left her "business card" with all of her information on it(maybe Rebekah and Dora will "do lunch" sometime):
Rebekah then took charge and directed all of the characters back to the stage. They belonged up there, not in the audience, and most of all Rebekah wanted to go up there with them. After a bit of confusion Rebekah, Sarah and all of the characters were up on stage singing, dancing, hugging, kissing and having a blast. I don't have to tell you that this was probably the best day of Rebekah's life:Rebekah and Sarah, Dora And Boots All Dancing Together On StageRebekah Giving Sponge Bob Square Pants A KissDora Showing Rebekah And Sarah Where Her Signature Was On Rebekah's New Book
When it was time for Dora and the crew to have to get ready for the next show they had to leave and goodbyes and kisses were everywhere. It was at this point that we thought we were supposed to meet with the park representatives and learn about what other special treatment/plans they had set up for us for the next 2 days. Unfortunately no one at the show knew anything about that and they directed us to the 10 minute walk back to guest relations. Once at guest relations no one there knew anything about Make-A-Wish, our attendance or who to talk to and try as hard as they could, they could not find someone to talk to. Finally they sent us back out in the park to try back later. After about another hour and half, the girls were getting beyond tired and breaking down, not willing to walk anymore and obviously not getting the "full" enjoyment of the park. We went back to guest relations and they had some names of someone to talk to but nothing more - they really REALLY tried and were very nice but just couldn't get a hold of anyone who knew what was supposed to be happening. Hopefully tomorrow morning they will have some info for us. Then as we were leaving we went to pick up daddy's pocket knife which they chose to keep for us "for safe keeping" as we entered. That turned out to be a bit of an issue as it was apparently lost, which was not that bad except we had some issues with people who didn't seem to care. Finally (40? minutes later), Ed, the head of security came over and very much took care of things. They still couldn't find it but he took responsibility for the issue and was willing to work to do something about it!
Hopefully tomorrow some of the bugs will be worked out and the girls can enjoy the spectacular park even more. At dinner Rebekah said she wanted to go back to see Dora again tomorrow. We explained that we will go see her but she will be very busy and won't get a chance to talk with her like today. Maybe the girls will be a bit more rested and we can spend some more time enjoying everything! Short a couple of very small glitches, it was the picture perfect day. THANK YOU TO MAKE-A-WISH, KING'S ISLAND, and ALL of you for your continued thoughts, prayers and encouragement. If you get a chance, please take a chance to donate to Make-A-Wish for all the great things they do and/or please take a moment to also thank King's Island (firstname.lastname@example.org) for their help in making a little girl's dreams come true.