Disney offers rooms, park tickets to families displaced by fire

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Dozens of families displaced by a massive fire at a Kissimmee hotel have a temporary new place to call home – Disney.

Congressman-elect Darren Soto says Walt Disney world has agreed to provide hotel accommodations and theme park passes to the families as they work to recover.

The families were moved late Saturday afternoon from their shelter at Kissimmee Middle School. And the news brought excitement and smiles to the children and families hit hard by this tragedy.

Many people lost all of their possessions, including presents for kids, but Christmas Eve brought them a special delivery of holiday joy.

The massive fire at the Unno Boutique Hotel happened Friday. Many had been staying there for months, but were forced into a temporary shelter.

 “We wanted to make this Christmas the best. We saved, we bought them everything they wanted, everything they asked for, and all gone two days before Christmas,” fire victim Joseph Craig said.

Craig said seeing Santa and getting to pick out toys made the situation a little easier for his three young kids.

“The youngest one said, ‘I told you he's real, he's coming!’ And my son just smiled; turned around with a big smile,” Craig said.

The holiday surprise is just one part of how the community has been helping. Food clothes and other things the victims need have been pouring in since Friday.

“It has been overwhelming. Done a couple of these, it's always amazing to see the community, but Kissimmee seems to have a heart and it really stepping up to the plate with donations,” Steve Thompson with the Red Cross said.

The Red Cross says representatives are coming Monday to talk with displaced residents about housing. Craig hopes the fire means a fresh start for his family - a chance to move out of the hotel and into their own home.

“It’s easing it a little bit. I have something to tell the kids… We’re not gonna be down and out. The year's gonna get better,” he said.

The county is accepting donations for the families. The drop off location is the Osceola Council on Aging in Kissimmee.