Give Kids the World Celebrates “Extreme Village Makeover” – Behind the Scenes as Ty Pennington, Disney Characters Reveal New Memory Makers Building On “Good Morning America”

Hi everyone!

Last week I posted an article about how Give Kids the World was undergoing an Extreme Village Makeover, focusing on the nearly 100 villas that were being renovated in a 2 week period. While that was going on, the Walt Disney Company was overhauling the old administration building, creating a new Memory Makers building that will serve both guests and volunteers. Good Morning America was there for the big reveal, with Ty Pennington and Disney characters adding to the excitement!

For those who have never heard of Give Kids the World, the organization provides a welcome respite for families of children with life-threatening illnesses. The Village works with wish granting organizations, but isn’t one in itself. I’ve met a lot of wonderful families by volunteering for the organization!

Good Morning America host Josh Elliot was warming up the crowd when we arrived, at about 6:45 a.m.

Ty Pennington was still more than 2 hours away from the big bus reveal!

Dawn was breaking over the Enchanted Carousel.

The moon was still up over the Gingerbread House, where Give Kids the World guests eat up to three meals per day (contractors have been dining there for the last two weeks).

Families were invited to participate in the event.

Ice cream was handed out to everyone in honor of “Ice Cream for Breakfast”.

Give Kids the World says about the fundraising campaign, “Ice Cream For Breakfast is a grass-roots awareness and fundraising campaign inspired by one of the more unique traditions of our thousands of visiting wish families. At Give Kids The World, families are treated to complimentary, all-you-can-eat ice cream in the Village’s Ice Cream Palace from morning until night- even for breakfast!”

Ty Pennington was kind enough to greet guests – including me – during a break in taping.

Souvenir plastic “construction helmets” were handed out.

Chef Emeril Lagasse joined Ty Pennington for several segments on the show. They both enjoyed meeting some of the children who have called Give Kids the World home for a week.

It takes a lot of volunteers to run Give Kids the World every day. I first became aware of Give Kids the World when I was a Cast Member in 2000. Disney encourages volunteering through Disney Voluntears, and many Voluntears showed up for the taping!

Disney’s Magical Express waiting to move for the big reveal!

Jeff took a moment to see Mickey Mouse.

Signs were held up for the cameras, promoting Give Kids the World Village.

Mickey came back with Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Goofy and Donald. Each was carrying a paint brush, though all of the work had already been completed!

We have a behind-the-scenes video of yesterday!

Ty Pennington led a conga line of sorts for the characters to follow.

Give Kids the World President Pam Landwirth talks with Josh Elliot.

Minnie walked up to Pam Landwirth and gave her a hug.

One of the last shots for Good Morning America was everyone waving to the camera.

Mickey waves goodbye as the characters finish for the morning.

I didn’t see this cake until it was partially devoured – it looked beautiful! I also can’t believe I ate both cake and ice cream by 9:00am. 🙂

About a half hour later, the Memory Makers building was open for everyone to see.

Walt Disney World Ambassadors Richard Tamayo and Tye Arnold pose for a photo in front of the Memory Makers building. It was really great to hear how much they love their job!

Give Kids the World employees stand in front of the mural inside the Memory Makers building. The mural includes photos of Give Kids the World families and volunteers.

A star passes over Cinderella Castle.

A shadow of a family is part of the mural, and a Mickey Mouse plush dangles from the hand of a young child.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is also featured:

Disney references are found around the Memory Makers Building.

I look forward to utilizing this area during downtime from volunteering.

Letters from families that have visited Give Kids the World are placed on the walls.

There is now a shop that guests and volunteers can visit to purchase shirts and other souvenirs called Memory Market.

A giant Mayor Clayton plush sits in one corner.

There is a lot of great merchandise to buy!

Some materials were in the Walt Disney World warehouse, like this carpet from Disney’s All Star Music Resort. It now gives a Disney flair to the Memory Market!

Fiber optics create a sparkle in the Memory Makers Building.

It is wonderful to see Give Kids the World receive the “Extreme Makeover” treatment! Families and volunteers will be enjoying this new building for many years to come.

Volunteering is rewarding at Give Kids the World! 1200 shifts are filled each week. For more information about volunteering, visit the Give Kids the World website.