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Why Book your Walt Disney World Vacation with Fairytale Dreams & Destinations?

Why Book your Walt Disney World Vacation with Fairytale Dreams & Destinations?

Wednesday, December 13th, 2023

Want to visit Walt Disney World and don’t have a clue where to begin?  Well then, you’ve just to the right place!  Because at Fairytale Dreams & Destinations, we assist by offering the best times of the year to visit, best resorts in each of Disney’s resort categories, remain on top of any promotions you may benefit from and more.  So, do you really need to contact Fairytale Dreams & Destinations if you already know when you’re going and where in Walt Disney World you’d like to stay?   After all, you could just ‘Google’ the rest of the details, couldn’t you?

Growing up, my parents took my sister and I to Walt Disney World on a yearly basis.  Back in those days, my mom would just call Disney, book a hotel, purchase theme park tickets when we arrived…and that was it.  If we wanted to have breakfast with Mickey and Minnie on the Empress Lily, we would just show up hungry that morning and walk in.  If it was all that easy, when planning a similar vacation only a few generations later, do you REALLY need a travel agent – or more specifically an agent who specializes in Disney Destinations?  If you’ve booked vacations on-line in the past, can’t you just book your visit to the Most Magical Place on Earth just the same?

I’ll tell you why, because the past is a place of reference, not a place of residence.  What I mean by that is the ‘good old days’ of not having to plan the details for a Walt Disney World vacation are long gone.

While we’ve been selling Disney Destinations since 2002, things started changing drastically back in 2005, when Walt Disney World introduced ‘Magic Your Way’ vacation packages.  These vacation packages allowed you to add theme park tickets to a hotel stay and introduced something called the Disney Dining Plan.  Which – when purchased in advance – offered a decent savings on food throughout The Walt Disney World Resort.   As a result, for the first time ever, you could no longer simply walk up to a restaurant and wait for a table.  In fact, if you didn’t have reservations booked for character meals and other such popular dining locations, you simply missed out on these experiences.  And these reservations had to be made (wait for it), 180 days in advance.  I don’t know about you, but I have enough trouble figuring out where I’m going to dine this coming Saturday night, never mind six months from now.

Enter the concierge service that is the reason to book your Disney Vacation with Fairytale Dreams & Destinations.  We began helping families plan their daily itinerary by getting to know each traveller, their cuisine preferences and making their dining reservations (there are over 200 restaurants to choose from) based on their tastes, interests and where they will be on that day.  This is important because Walt Disney World is over 122 square kilometres (it stretches from roughly Etobicoke to Scarborough).  And believe me when I say that this is back when planning for a Walt Disney World vacation was easy!

Currently?  Those dining reservations are still required, but there is a lot more to it than that.  There are now events that need reservations (building a lightsabre, having a drink at the edge of the galaxy or princess makeovers are some examples).  Additionally, Disney has introduced methods to skip the lines with their DisneyGenie+ and Individual Lightning Lane service.  But with four theme parks and experiences to delight Guests of all ages, how do you know if you should use Individual Lightning Lane for TRON / Lightcycle Run, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train OR both?  Or which attraction should you book as your first DisneyGenie+ selection and then subsequent selections?  The answers to these questions don’t just rely on the popularity of a particular experience, but which experiences are on which service, the individual attraction’s intensity, what day of the week you are visiting, and more.

And not to scare you – but yes – it is as confusing as it sounds.

Sure, you could spend hours Googling, joining Facebook groups, reading blogs, watching YouTube videos and more, but at the end of the day, what have you learned?  You’ll more than likely feel more overwhelmed than when you started your “research”.  That’s because no two Walt Disney World Vacations are the same and every single family has different needs and wants.  Which means you will without a doubt receive varying opinions.  Let’s be honest, when you tell friends and family that you’re thinking of going to Walt Disney World, it’s like telling them you’re getting married or having a baby in that EVERYONE has an opinion.  And of course they mean well – after all – they just want you to have as good of a time as they did.  But the reality is what worked for them, may not be what works best for YOU.  Are you travelling with young kids? Grandparents?  Young adults?  Thrill seekers?  Foodies?  The answers to these questions (and a LOT more) allow us to tailor your vacation to your specific travelling party.

All those bloggers, vloggers and more can visit the Walt Disney World parks multiple times a year.  In fact, most visit on daily basis.  So, what they recommend, is not necessarily the best option for first timers, someone who only visits once a year or for those who are on a ‘once in a lifetime’ vacation.  Not to mention that these influencers don’t have an invested interest in your vacation.  Which means it doesn’t matter to them if you spent half a day on your vacation going to over Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter to try the beignets and you didn’t feel they were worth the time spent.

Everyone’s vacation time and money is limited.  Which is why at Fairytale Dreams & Destinations, we take great pride in getting to know your family better because it would take you over two months to see and do everything that the Walt Disney World Resort has to offer, but you don’t have two months.  Nobody does.  Making getting to know your family better and zero in on what matters to you and your travelling party, the most important part of our job.  Sure, Dole Whips are awesome, but believe me when I say that it won’t ruin your Walt Disney World vacation if you don’t have the time to try one.

Do we want to meet Anna and Elsa? Pilot the Millennium Falcon? Dine with Mickey? All three?  Yep, we can set that up for you.  Our small, but mighty (like Ant-Man) team are available via email, phone and in person to see to it that all your magical wishes are met.  When booking your Disney Destination vacation with Fairytale Dreams & Destinations, you can rest easy knowing that you are working with the most experienced Disney affinity travel agency & Disney vacation planner in Canada.  Before you could Rise with the Resistance or help the Guardians save the Galaxy, we were making dreams comes true…one fairytale at a time.

– Christine Fiorelli

Contact Fairytale Dreams & Destinations to Plan your Magical Vacation Today!

(905) 857.3611 | 1.855.FDMAGIC
12598 Highway #50 Bolton ON L7E 1T6
www.fairytaledestinations.com


Why Stay at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel?

Thursday, August 3rd, 2023

View from Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort of Cinderella Castle

There are two very distinctive types of vacations you can take to the sunshine state of Florida.  One involves enjoying the sun, sand and taking in the wonderful sights and sounds of the state.  The other is a Walt Disney World vacation.  And if you’re interested in the latter, you really should stay inside the Walt Disney World Resort.

The last time I visited the Disney theme parks (but didn’t stay inside Walt Disney World) was about 25 years ago.  And I vowed then that it would be the last time I would do so.  The beautiful Florida home we had rented was advertised as only ‘10 minutes from the entrance of Walt Disney World’ and don’t get me wrong, it was.  But what the advertisement failed to mention was that the entrance was at one end of the resort complex.  The Walt Disney World Resort is 122 square kilometres (roughly the size of Ottawa), so it takes a good 25 minutes to get to where you’re going once you pass through one of its eight entrances.

And the bigger hurdle is just how long that ‘10 minute’ drive is.  You see, Walt Disney World has put the state of Florida on the map.  Nothing existed in and around it’s home of Lake Buena Vista prior to its existence.  However – over the years – restaurants, mini-golf courses, dollar store style souvenir shops and many other businesses have cashed in on the Disney Guest by building as close to the resort as they possibly could.  To call the area just outside the complex congested is an understatement.  The congestion makes that 10-minute drive slow.  VERY slow.  Clifton Hill in Niagara Falls on Canada Day slow.   As a result, that last time I stayed off-site, my family departed EPCOT at about 9:20pm.  We didn’t get back to our ‘10 minutes from Walt Disney World’ rental home until just after 11:00pm.

Needless to say, proximity to the theme parks is a very big reason that when vacationing to the Walt Disney World Resort, you want to stay with Disney.  But let me take a moment to share with you a few more:

The zero-entry pool at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

* The Disney Dining Plan | The only way to purchase a Disney Dining Plan is if you are staying at a Disney owned and operated resort hotel.  These dining plans not only save you money, but they allow you the convenience of pre-paying for your food.

Early Theme Park Entry | Each and every day, all four Walt Disney World theme parks will open 30-minutes early for resort Guests only.   This allows you with just enough time to get in that one favourite attraction before the park officially opens.  This is also a great perk if you plan to experience new and/or popular attractions as mornings may offer the shortest waiting time.

Transportation | Forget about the hassles of car keys and parking.  When staying in Walt Disney World, there is no need to rent a vehicle.  There are motorcoaches, water launches, monorails and a brand new skyliner transportation system to whisk you everywhere you need to be throughout their 122 square kilometre complex.

The Coney Island-style boardwalk at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn

Onsite Location | The ability to take a mid-day break to go for a swim, nap or just to re-charge your batteries is much more realistic when staying so close to the theme parks.

Character Calls | Various Disney characters are happy to provide your little (or little-at-heart) ones with a wake-up call in the morning.   The best part is that the call can be scheduled easily from the phone inside your Walt Disney World Resort room.

60 Plus Ten | Disney allows all Guest to make advanced dining reservations 60 days prior to their arrival (hence ‘60’).   However, Walt Disney World Resort Guests can book for their arrival date plus the next ten days of their trip (hence ‘+10’).

This is quite an advantage if dining is a priority, especially during the busier times, so you’ll want to make sure you book your Walt Disney World Resort Hotel before the dining reservation window opens for your vacation.  Those extra 10 days make the ever-so-popular dining reservations such as character meals much easier to reserve.

Safety | Safety has always been and always will be the number one priority for Guests of any Disney Destination.  So, in the unlikely event that a member of your family breaks a leg, or any similar emergency type situation, the help offered to you will be second to none.  Take comfort in the fact that there is nowhere safer to vacation to.

View of the Savanna at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney Bubble | This is a very difficult perk to explain.  And that’s because it is truly something you need to experience first-hand to appreciate its worth.  It feels very fairytale like to wake up in Walt Disney World.  There is an undeniable excitement in being surrounded by the magic 24/7.  And something so enchanting about the overall immersive experience.

The Disney theme parks truly are an extension of their movies.  And Disney resorts are an extension of their theme parks.   Which is precisely why there is such a delightful comfort and warm familiarity in staying at a Disney owned and operated resort hotel.

– Christine Fiorelli

Contact Fairytale Dreams & Destinations to learn more about the benefits of being a Disney Resort Guest.

(905) 857.3611 | 1.855.FDMAGIC
12598 Highway #50 Bolton ON L7E 1T6

www.fairytaledestinations.com

* The Disney Dining Plans can only be added to vacation packages beginning on or after January 9th 2024 


Sailing on a Disney Cruise Line Vacation Without Children

Monday, May 15th, 2023

Getting ready to set sail!

Before my husband and I set sail on our first Disney Cruise Line vacation together, the first response people would say to us was, “You’re going on a Disney cruise without children? Why would you do that to yourself?”. To be honest – I get it! When you hear ‘Disney’ your first thought is not ‘adult’ vacation. However, this was one of our favourite vacations to date, so much so that we’ve already planned to set sail again for our 5th wedding anniversary this summer.

So let’s break down some of the reasons we love sailing on a Disney Cruise Line vacation without kids!

“And I look at you and I’m home” – Dory, Finding Nemo

Arriving in Cabo, Mexico

Those of you who have been on a Walt Disney Travel Company vacation (including but not limited to the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disneyland Resort in Southern California, Adventures by Disney, or Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii) will most likely agree that the Disney Cast Members provide some of the highest level of care and attention to ensure a magical vacation. I can assure you that when you’re at sea, it’s no different. When you check-in, a Cast Member will say “Welcome Home”, and that is exactly how I felt!

In the Fall of 2022, we sailed on a 4-night cruise from San Diego, California, roundtrip to Baja Mexico (Cabo San Lucas) aboard the Disney Wonder. The Disney Wonder is one of the original vessels of the Disney Cruise Line fleet. While the ship is small compared to the others in the fleet, one of the best parts is that you start to recognize the Crew Members pretty quickly! But you especially forge connections with your Stateroom Hosts whose task is to ensure your stateroom is comfortable and clean everyday (they visit twice a day!) and your Dining Team helps keep your thirst quenched and stomachs full! Rotational Dining is a great feature on the Disney Ship, it means your Dining Team (Head Server, Assistant Server, and Server) will follow your party every night to your rotational restaurant. They learn your name, get to know if you like your water with lemon and ice, or if you hate tomatoes!

Ariel statue in the atrium of the Disney Wonder

Our next cruise will be in the Mediterranean, somewhere neither of us have ever been. I’m a little nervous to travel so far from home but I can feel my anxiety levels decrease knowing I will find respite and relief when I step back onboard the ship each night. Travelling can make many folks feel uneasy, especially after being at home for so many years. Personally, I find it comforting to know I will still feel at home while I’m an ocean away!

“To all who come to this happy place: Welcome.” – Walt Disney

The big thing I hear folks complain about is that Disney is too… Disney! Especially if we are not traveling with kids! Let me remind you, one of the best features about the Disney brand is the evolution, development, and acquisition of new franchises. So, yes, you will see lots of the iconic Mickey Mouse symbols on the ship, whether it’s in the design of a chandelier or a carpet, or literally the Mouse himself strutting through the atrium, but depending on the sailing itinerary you might just spot your favourite Marvel superhero or Pixar pal! Our sailing was a special “Halloween on the High Seas” themed itinerary – so we saw characters like Jack Skeleton and Sally meeting Guests, occasionally hearing songs like ‘Monster Mash’ in the hallways and screenings of Hocus Pocus 2!

Tiana and the Crawfish Crooners at Tiana’s Place

Although much of the storytelling on board is Disney or Disney-adjacent, the attention to detail and commitment to the story is truly immersive. For instance, on the Disney Wonder you are transported to New Orleans when you dine at Tiana’s Place! As a fan of Princess and the Frog, I loved seeing Tiana greet guests around the restaurant but as a jazz fan, my husband enjoyed listening to the talented musicians in the Crawfish Crooners serenade the crowd with jazz and Disney-classics. So, even if you aren’t a big fan of any particular Disney brand, the commitment to the theming will still be something to marvel at, kids big and small.

“Hakuna Matata” – Timon and Pumba, The Lion King

Finding a relaxing spot to read

To some, a Disney vacation is synonymous with children running around screaming and long line ups. We did not find either of these stowed away on a Disney Cruise ship! Especially since we spent a majority of our time in the adult-only sections. For parents, they can enjoy these areas as their toddlers and little ones play in the Oceaneers Club or Lab, or as tweens and teens hang out in Vibe and Edge.

Pappardelle con Aragosta dish from Palo’s

For a Disney Cruise Line vacation there’s ‘me’ time (age-appropriate areas / activities) and ‘we’ time (fun for the whole family). Some of the ‘we’ time activities did not appeal to us, so when the whole family was enjoying lively deck parties we were lounging in the Rainforest Room* at the Senses Spa or on ‘Pirates Night’ during the fireworks, we opted for an intimate dining experience at Palo’s*. I highly recommend taking advantage of adult-only areas during off-hours to make the experience even better!

Escape into the Rainforest Room at Senses Spa

If you’re considering a cruise and you are looking for high quality service, immersive entertainment, and maximum relaxation, I highly recommend adding a Disney Cruise Line vacation to the top of your list!

 

 

 

 

 

– Miranda Burton

Ready to set sail? Contact Fairytale Dreams & Destinations to sail like a pirate!

(905) 857.3611 | 1.855.FDMAGIC

12598 Highway #50 Bolton ON L7E 1T6

www.fairytaledestinations.com

*Additional charges, but worth every single penny!

 


Enter the Grid…

Thursday, March 16th, 2023

I admit it, a week ago I didn’t even know what the heck ‘the Grid’ was.  I saw it all over Disney’s marketing for their brand-new TRON Lightcycle / Run attraction at the Magic Kingdom, but I had no clue of its meaning.

So, when invited to attend the media event for TRON, I decided to do a little homework the night prior and watched the 1982 film of the same name.  It was as every little bit ‘80s as you would expect it to be.  Featuring a very young Jeff Bridges with his ever flowing, great hair, a lot of Sci-Fi with a little bit of War Games thrown in.

The basis of the film is that Jeff Bridges’ character (Flynn) is a computer programmer and video game developer who is transported inside the world of a mainframe computer (otherwise known as the Grid).  Flynn interacts with various programs and video games in his attempt to escape.  It has without a doubt, some of the cheesiest graphics I’ve ever seen in a movie.  It really is amazing how far special effects in cinema have come since then.

I quickly learned where the concept of TRON Lightcycle / Run originated.  It’s a video game Flynn developed that he also plays inside the Grid in an escape for his life.  Lightcycles are futuristic style motorcycles, players ride without crashing into one another, the outer walls or the light trails left behind by the vehicle itself.

TRON is located inside the Magic Kingdom and its futuristic theming fits in flawlessly to Tomorrowland.  The internet tells me that this experience is an exact replica of the attraction of the same name in Shanghai, Disneyland.   I’ve never been, so I will take Google’s word for it.  The attraction canopy lit up a nighttime makes it by FAR the best exterior addition to a Walt Disney World Theme Park since Toy Story Land.  I loved standing there just watching the Lightcycles zoom by overhead.

Test Lightcycle Vehicle

The look of the Lightcycle vehicles themselves are VERY cool.  Sleek black with blue lights, making this attraction a must do at nighttime.  As a Walt Disney World theme park first, complimentary lockers are offered before boarding your Lightcycle for storage of your personal belongings.  However – what I absolutely loved is that your Lightcycle offers a small compartment to store your mobile device in –  so plenty of opportunity to get those selfies for the ‘gram!

TRON boasts being ‘one of the fastest’ roller coasters at any Disney Theme Park.  Which leads me to one of my favourite coasters in the Orlando area due to its sheer speed; VelociCoaster over at Universal Studios.  While TRON doesn’t compete in this department (60 mph vs VelociCoaster’s 70 mph), what it has over VelociCoaster is the sensation.  On TRON, you’re not sitting in a traditional style coaster car, but rather you’re straddling the ride vehicle, leaning forward. Due to the difference in the coaster car, TRON feels much faster than it actually is.  If you’ve ever experienced either/or, the Lightcycles felt like a mix between the ride vehicles for Avatar – Flight of Passage and the motorbike on Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure.

Chariot Style Ride Vehicles

Those of us who were born before the original TRON movie debuted, may have some difficulty lifting your leg and/or bending your knees comfortably to get into the Lightcycle.  But the great news is that once you’re in, it is far more comfortable than it looks.  However, if you have a challenge getting in (there is a test Lightcycle outside), you can still experience TRON.  The attraction offers a handful ‘chariot’ seats that you can ask a Cast Member to ride in instead.  Thrill seekers on the other hand will want to ask for the front row!

It’s soooooo smooth.  So smooth in fact, that if you suffer from head or back aches from Rock n’ Roller Coaster or any other similar attraction, I highly recommend giving this game changer a shot.  It’s fast, exhilarating and a must do for thrill seekers.  It’s difficult to compare it to any other attraction, but the coaster track is a much, MUCH faster Slinky Dog Dash with a LOT more thrill.

My only complaint is that it is short.  Too short, actually.  I wouldn’t be too happy if I waited in a 2-hour line up for that less than 60 second ride.  But even so, the ride is a do not miss experience.  So personally, I will opt to pay for an * Individual Lightning Lane on this attraction for as long as Disney offers one for it.

With Avatar – Flight of Passage (Disney’s Animal Kingdom), Star Wars – Rise of the Resistance (Disney’s Hollywood Studios) and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (EPCOT) opening over recent years, TRON is truly the much needed/thrill seeking addition that the Magic Kingdom so desperately needed.

Interestedly, TRON is situated right beside the fan favourite classic attraction, Space Mountain.  Seeing these two attractions side by side, I couldn’t help by recall visiting the Magic Kingdom as a child in the early 1980’s, when Space Mountain was the ‘newest and fastest roller coaster’ in all of Walt Disney World. And not unlike the computer graphics of the ‘80s TRON – boy oh boy – have Walt Disney World imagineers come a VERY long way since then!

– Christine Fiorelli

Ready to Join Team Blue?  Contact Fairytale Dreams & Destinations to enter the Grid, Today!

(905) 857.3611 | 1.855.FDMAGIC

12598 Highway #50 Bolton ON L7E 1T6

www.fairytaledestinations.com

* When TRON opens to the public on April 4th, 2023, there will be no stand-by queue.  You must either successfully book a spot in the virtual queue and/or purchase an Individual Lightning Lane to experience it.  


Fairytale Dreams & Destinations
Fairytale Dreams & Destinations™ Inc. exclusively sells the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disneyland Resort in California, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort in South Carolina, Disney's Vero Beach Resort in Florida, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii and the Universal, Orlando Resort.

Fairytale Dreams and Destinations™ Inc. is an Ontario Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO) authorized travel agency. TICO is an organization mandated by the Ontario Government to administer the Travel Industry Act, 2002 and an industry financed travel compensation fund. TICO Registration # 50010111
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Fairytale Dreams & Destinations™ Inc.

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Telephone: (905) 857-3611
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