During its recent hiatus, Give Kids The World Village revamped its popular ice cream parlor, and it has reopened as Henri’s Starlite Scoops.
With the help of some of Walt Disney World Imagineers, in collaboration with Universal Creative and with support from community partners and individual donors, this sweet retreat was designed with accessibility in mind, and given a space-theme makeover.
Custom-built 28-inch tall ice cream chests in lieu of the traditional 34-inch cases make it possible for all children, including those in wheelchairs, to pick out their favorite flavors.
The shop also features lower countertops, an accessible ice cream toppings bar and an open floorplan to enable those in wheelchairs easy navigation within the venue and enjoy its immersive theming.
Walls inside the rotunda feature false windows that offer a glimpse into space, as if guests are dining inside a 30-foot flying saucer, which sits atop the building. Historic photos and NASA memorabilia – including a space suit, moon rover, and a Give Kids The World flag which John Glenn took with him on a Space Shuttle Mission – complete the out-of-this-world venue, which pays tribute to the life and legacy of Give Kids The World founder Henri Landwirth.
For 35 years, the 89-acre, whimsical nonprofit resort has delivered happiness and hope to critically ill children and their families through week-long, cost-free wish vacations. It is one of my favorite charities to support, and rated Four Stars by Charity Navigator, with 90 cents of every dollar going to its mission. Learn more at GKTW.org.
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