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The Force is Strong with Elliot

Some children come to the Village to meet a princess, while others dream of taking pictures with Mickey. But, for a 9-year-old wish child named Elliot, the ultimate dream was to battle the Dark Side and defeat one of the most feared villains of all time – Darth Vader.

Hailing from a galaxy far, far away – Williamsport, Pennsylvania – Elliot and his family are big Star Wars fans. So, when Elliot’s wish brought him to Central Florida, we reached out to our loyal friends at the 501st Legion, a Star Wars costume club and charity.

On the Friday morning of his stay, Elliot woke up to a special delivery from the Village – a lightsaber had been brought to his family’s villa! Lightsaber in hand, Elliot and his family set out for the Hoppening Place only to be met by Lord Vader and two of his loyal Stormtroopers.

The duel was on.

Elliot, who honed his lightsaber skills battling his brother and best friend Waylon, quickly earned Vader’s respect. Vader then taught Elliot his signature moves, posed for pictures with the family, and even rode the Enchanted Carousel with them!

Elliot beamed as the carousel turned and Darth Vader stood next to him.

Vader and the Stormtroopers are longtime friends of the Village. The 501st Legion regularly visits Give Kids The World for children’s special requests and on Halloween.

When he wasn’t hanging out with Lord Vader, Elliot and his family enjoyed swimming in the GKTW pools, riding the carousel and simply exploring the Village. His trip to Give Kids The World was made possible by our terrific partners at Make-A-Wish Greater Pennsylvania and Southern West Virginia.

“We’ve had so much fun at the parks, but it’s so quiet and relaxing at the Village,” said Elliot’s mother, Dawn. “And the staff, the volunteers – they make the kids feel recognized.”

If you’d like to share any Village stories, we would love to hear them. Email your story ideas to


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