Disney World guest spends 13 hours on Pirates of the Caribbean

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According to their mission, Give Kids The World (GKTW) “exists solely to fulfill the wishes of seriously ill children and their families around the world to experience a memorable, joyful, and free tour of Central Florida attractions and enjoy the magic of Give Kids The World Village for as long as needed.

GKTW partners with over 250 wish-granting organizations around the world to identify and serve children who have been diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses.

The non-profit organization was founded by Florida hotelier Henri Landwirth in 1986, who learned that a young girl with leukemia had died of her illness before her dream of visiting area theme parks of Orlando does not come true.

Credit: Give the Children the World

Landwirth was inspired to start GKTW so that in the future, a child in need would never again run out of time before their only wish in life was granted. After three years of getting families to stay in area hotels for their dream vacations, Landwirth once again tapped into the hospitality and theme park industry to create the GKTW Village.

According to their website, the Village is an “84-acre, non-profit resort featuring 166 villa accommodations, entertainment attractions, whimsical locations, and entertainment specifically designed for children with serious illnesses.” To date, it has served over 160,000 families in 75 different countries.

By engaging corporations such as Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando and many more, along with countless volunteers and other generous individuals, GKTW is able to serve over 8,000 families annually. Individual stories are shared on their YouTube channel so supporters can see the difference their help is making to families in need.

Amos began his journey with GKTW in 2019 after spending ten years working for Walt Disney World Resort in various capacities. This year, he used his birthday to connect his past with his present at a one-day fundraising event that served to “raise awareness of the GKTW mission in new and creative ways,” a passion he he lists in his company’s biography.

On his fundraising page, he wrote that the challenge would be the longest he had ever done as he planned to ride the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction several times from the opening of Magic Kingdom until its closing at 11 p.m. With 100% of proceeds going directly to GKTW, he set himself incentive-linked goals that unlocked additional mini-challenges to inspire donors.

pirates of the caribbean jack sparrow disneyland
Credit: Disney

The total fundraising goal was set at $6,000, or “the cost of a wish,” and the mini-goals were listed as follows:

UNLOCK FUNDRAISING GOALS

$100 – For every $100 raised, I will ride Pirates of the Caribbean

$3,000 – Drink some of that sweet Beverly drink!

$6,000 (cost of one wish) – I will continue my quest to punish my stomach and eat nothing but turkey legs all day

$10,000 – I’ll dress up as a pirate as much as Magic Kingdom will let me for the day

$11,101 – If we beat last year’s fundraising goal, I’ll let someone who donated choose face paint that I’ll wear all day

In 1 p.m., Amos rode the attraction a total of 28 times and raised more than $11,000, posting frequent updates on his Twitter account.

He used his photo editing skills in his first post, updating Magic Kingdom signage with his name and age to honor the occasion.

He updated again, presumably when the $6,000 mark was hit, sharing a photo of himself and a turkey leg.

It’s time to feel bad! give.gktw.org/piratesride

He continued to show off his photo-editing skills with a series of posts featuring Amos participating in various parts of the attraction.

Pirates is currently down so I decided to try my luck at auction!

And finally, his last message contained a heartfelt thank you and a recap of the fundraising results.

Thank you to everyone who supported
@GKTWVillage
today! We were able to raise over $11,000! With a few hours of downtime, I was able to complete 28 trips (and a Small World!)
To donate: http://give.gktw.org/piratesride

With $11,413 raised, this year’s event surpassed last year’s total by several hundred dollars.

For more information on GKTW’s mission and fundraising efforts, or how to get involved, click here.

A pirate life for you
Board a weathered barge for a perilous journey to the 17th century, when rowdy thieves and ruthless rapscallions ransacked the port cities of the Caribbean. Sing along as the pirates serenade you with their anthem “Yo Ho, Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life For Me)”.

Sail past Dead Man’s Cove. Cannon sail between a Caribbean fort and a 12-gun galleon. Here are rowdy buccaneers drunk on the spoils of looting as flames engulf a seaside town.

Be sure to keep a close eye out for Captain Jack Sparrow from The Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Beware, my friends: dead men tell no tales!

Would you be able to ride Pirates of the Caribbean for an entire day in the park? Tell us in the comments!

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