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The annual Kidd's Kids Trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida is coming up Thursday, November 17th thru Monday, November 21st. This is a very special trip for kids that have a life-altering or life-threatening condition for them, their parents, and siblings and it is 100% paid for by the generosity of KiddNation.

This year there are two East Texas children that will be boarding a special Southwest Airlines plane next Thursday from a private hangar at Love Field Airport in Dallas that will take off and fly them to the 'Happiest Place On Earth', thanks to your support. Zane Smythia, 8 years old, and Leilani Rivera, 9 years old, will be hopping aboard the plane along with 25 other families from around the nation to have the time of their lives at Walt Disney World with the cast of The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show. Let's meet these special children from East Texas.

Before going on the trip, the Kidd's Kids foundation conducts a lot of interviews and questions to get to know these families better along with any special needs that they may have while on the trip. Although it is a vacation, some of the kids going on the trip still require some kind of medical supervision, and while on the trip there is a team of doctors that volunteer their time and accompany these special kids and tend to their needs.

Let's get to know 8 year old Zane Smythia:

The following is from a questionnaire from Kidd's Kids and is being reproduced under the permission of Kidd's Kids.

For each member of your party (particularly each child), please list their favorite animated Disney character or characters. Are there any special reasons why?

Zane and his daddy are huge Marvel fans, so Zane loves Captain America and Spider-Man. He is always pretending to be a superhero and cannot wait to meet a real one someday. As for Disney characters, he is partial to Mickey, I mean, who doesn't love Mickey!?

Which Walt Disney World attractions are members of your party most looking forward to riding?

Zane is super excited to "ride everything", especially the Guardians of the Galaxy ride and "roller coasters".
Mom (Twyla) is excited to explore Epcot and see the castle at Magic Kingdom.
Dad (Nick) is ready to explore the Guardians of the Galaxy ride, Tron and the Avatar Ride at Animal Kingdom.

Which Walt Disney World Stage shows are members of your party most looking forward to seeing?

Festival of the Lion King, and night firework shows

Do you, your Kidd’s Kid or any other members of your party have a favorite member of the Kidd Kraddick Morning Show team? If so, why?

Zane likes J-Si and Big Al.
Twyla loves Kellie and Big Al. She thinks Big Al is funny and entertaining and she just relates perfectly to Kellie with almost everything she says and does, especially with Love Letters to Kellie.
Nick loves J-Si because he relates so well to him with gaming, especially Fortnite, they are both just like big kids!!

What do you think the most exciting part of Kidd’s Kids Trip is going to be and why?

We feel like the most exciting part of this trip is the connections that we will make during the trip. We are so excited to meet all of the radio personalities that we listen to every day!! Also, to be able to talk to and relate to parents and see children who are also like Zane will be fun overall. We are excited for him to see other kids in wheelchairs and know he isn't the only kid who has a disability.

What are your Kidd’s Kid’s special interests (for example: science, art, theatre, music)? Does he/she have any special goals?

Zane loves music. We have lots of dance parties at our house, he especially loves "rocking out" and "jamming" with his air guitar and drums in the car.
Zane also enjoys science, it's his favorite subject in school and he likes experimenting and being hands-on.

As a parent, what are some of the things that you are looking forward to seeing your child do while on the Kidd’s Kids trip, and why?

As a parent, we cannot wait to see his EXCITEMENT and pure ELATION, whether it be on a ride, eating an awesome treat, or just seeing the shows! This is what we are looking most forward to for our child as well as all of the others. The simple thing of inclusion will be incredible. Zane just wants to be included in all things and be "normal". This trip will provide a joy that is priceless and unimaginable for him. The smile on our son's face when he is treated like he is the most special kid in the world and not just a kid in a wheelchair....simply the best thing ever.


Are there any attractions/shows that you (as a parent) want to make sure you see?

Mom (Twyla) is excited to explore Epcot and see the castle at Magic Kingdom.
Dad (Nick) is ready to explore the Guardians of the Galaxy ride, Tron and the Avatar Ride at Animal Kingdom.

What is the most incredible thing about your Kidd’s Kid? Is there a story behind it?

The most incredible thing about Zane is his smile, social skills, and positivity. His smile is always the first thing we see as a parent. It's also the first thing others see as well; he is just such a positive kid all the time. Zane never meets a stranger, he is constantly waving, smiling, and talking to other kids and adults as well. He's so personable and polite. We couldn't be more proud of him because nothing stops him.

How has your Kidd’s Kid surprised you? Is there something he or she has done to strengthen them through a tough time?

Zane is always positive, even in adversity. He is always looking at the positive side of things even when we as parents are nervous or scared to death about situations.

Tell us about the moment your family found out you were selected to go on the trip. What was your first thought?

Well, to be honest, it was a very stressful and long work week for all of us. We were winding down with summer and Zane was getting ready to have surgery in a few days. We had been checking the mail every day in hopes we would receive a letter by the August 5th deadline. (we knew the deadline because of the application/emails we had received) We drove home, ran to check the mail, and such heartbreak set in because we did not see a letter. As a parent, there was disappointment for my son, but also joy in knowing other kids were in for a special treat. It was a hot and humid Friday, but we had finally made it through another week, the weekend was here. When we got to the front door, I looked down at a FedEx envelope that was laying on the welcome mat....it was then I knew that we had some good news coming our way. I quickly opened the envelope and read EVERY SINGLE WORD! I was in tears and speechless, but still trying to hide this excitement from Zane until Nick got home from work so that I could tell them at the same time. They were so excited when they received the news in the form of a cookie cake labeled "Disney World!!".


Is there someone outside your family who makes a difference with your family? (i.e. teacher, nurse, doctor, etc.)

Zane has such a support system. (family, friends, teachers and ALL the healthcare staff) It would be impossible to name just one person. When they say it takes a village to raise kids, it couldn't be more true and we have a fantastic team!

Is there a song or phrase that helps your Kidd’s Kid through tough times?

When Zane is having a rough time, we just throw on some music and jam out. We also like to stay positive and we use a phrase from a recent movie, "Don't have a good day, have a GREAT day!"

We are so proud and thankful that Zane along with his mom and dad, Twyla and Nick, are going to be a part of this special trip that is going to make many lifelong memories for them. Also a huge thank you to KiddNation for making this trip possible. Zane and the rest of the 2022 Kidd's Kids will be leaving Thursday, November 17th, and enjoying the Disney parks through Sunday and will be back home Monday with many stories to tell his classmates.

You can follow the adventures of the Kidd's Kids trip across all social media platforms - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok.

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