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Fairytale Dreams and Destinations
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Letting Myself “WOAH”

Letting Myself “WOAH”

Thursday, October 14th, 2021

Globus & Mundi Travel Agency at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley

I recently returned for the first time since pre COVID from a wonderful three night stay at Universal Orlando Resort.  The main purpose of my visit was to experience two new attractions that opened while the US/Canadian border was closed, The Bourne Stuntacular located in Universal Studios and VelociCoasterfound inside Islands of Adventure.

If you’ve never visited before, the first thing that you need to know about the Universal Orlando Resort is that it is NOT the same as the resort complex down the street.  And that is a FANTASTIC thing.  I mean why would you want to spend your vacation time and money on a similar experience?  Universal is many things, but above all else, it’s an absolute must do for Harry Potter fans and/or thrill seekers.  I happen to fall into the latter category.

The Ukrainian Ironbelly perched on top of Gringotts Bank

Not that I dislike Harry Potter, but I never cared for the franchise.  I did read all seven books and saw the corresponding movies.  Ok, that’s not entirely true.  I read six and a half books.  I was so bored when I reached the tent scene in the Deathly Hallows, that I stopped reading and asked my husband to tell me how it ends.  So – unlike most – my enjoyment for Harry Potter didn’t come from reading the books or watching the movies.  It came in 2012 during my very first visit to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter when I felt as though the pages of the books came to life before me.  And now, it’s safe to say that experiencing it has turned me into a fan of the Harry Potter franchise.

Theming at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is like nothing you’ve ever come across before.  You can stroll the streets of London and enter Diagon Alley, where you will find some of the wizarding world’s most famous establishments.  Beneath the fire breathing Ukrainian Ironbelly dragon, you can join Harry, Ron and Hermione as they hunt for a horcrux and face off against he who must not be named.  You can dine at the Leaky Cauldron, pick up a magical gag at Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, shop for school robes and so much more.

Hogwarts Castle at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade

After you have all your school supplies, you can travel through platform 9¾ and take the Hogwarts Express over to Hogsmeade.  This snow-capped wizarding village is filled with enchanted wand shops and more.  At the top of the village, you’ll find Hogwarts Castle, where thanks to a spell from Hermione, you’ll take flight and soar above the castle.  You can also go well beyond the school grounds to join Hagrid and venture into the Forbidden Forest.  And when you’re ready for a drink, I highly recommend the frozen butterbeer, as I simply can’t get enough of this butterscotch and marshmallow deliciousness.

While several muggles will spend a lot of time exploring both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, there is much to experience at the Universal theme parks beyond the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  So after my second butterbeer and too many chocolate frogs, I was ready to check out my first of two new experiences: The Bourne Stuntacular.

This show replaced the “SUPER” Terminator 2: 3D, a show I thoroughly enjoyed sitting through every time I visited Universal Studios.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, Terminator 2: 3D was a live show, where performers interacted with a 3D film.  The effects of this show were excellent for its time.  But The Bourne Stuntacular has taken those same effects, picked them up and ran away with them.

The Bourne Stuntacular Poster at Universal Studios

If you’ve never seen the Bourne movies, go ahead and watch them all right now.  Go on, I’ll wait.  But all you really need to know to enjoy Stuntacular is that Jason Bourne is on the run, he’s dangerous and he’s the good guy.

In The Bourne Stuntacular, you’ll observe fistfights, helicopters, high-speed car chases and more, all thanks to a 130 ft wide, 28 ft tall screen that blends in seamlessly with mobile set pieces.  And in a similar fashion to its predecessor, the action transitions between live performance to the screen and back again.  As much as I enjoyed Terminator 2: 3D, The Bourne Stuntacular is by far the best stunt show I’ve ever seen and is the textbook example on how to make a great attraction even better.

Jurassic Park area of Islands of Adventure

I purposely saved riding VelociCoaster for last.  Because not only am I a thrill seeker, but one of my all-time favourite movie franchises is Jurassic Park.  As such, I’ve always loved the theming and details found in this area of Islands of Adventure.  So, I was over the moon when I heard that Universal built a roller coaster in the middle of the Raptor paddock!

Taking a lesson from John Hammond, Universal “spared no expense” when building VelociCoaster.  The story for this ride takes place right before the first Jurassic World movie.  Once here, you have entered Jurassic World Resort and are about to race through the velociraptor paddock with “trained” raptors racing alongside you.  The indoor (yay, air conditioning!) queue will keep you entertained, and fans will very much enjoy the nod to Dr. Ian Malcolm and other clever Easter eggs from the original 1993 Jurassic Park movie.

As for the coaster itself?  Hold on to your butts.  No matter how much you mentally prepare yourself, you won’t be ready for the launch.  And after the fact, you will be too busy screaming from your first of four inversions to think about it again.  The ride pauses briefly in the paddock area before launching you even faster, this time at 70 miles per hour in only 2.4 seconds, pushing you 155 feet into the air and then immediately dropping into an 80-degree vertical drop.

Indoor Queue at VelociCoaster

You might think at this point, the coaster is going to slow down and return to its loading station.  But you would be wrong because you can’t race with raptors without experiencing a 360-degree barrel roll just inches above water!  And if you enjoy zero gravity – the sensation of floating in your seat – you’ll feel it about a dozen times throughout VelociCoaster.

Did I mention that all this takes place while strapped in only with a lap bar?  I’m not going to lie; I didn’t even notice the raptors because I was too busy fearing for my life.  The VelociCoaster is relentless and extremely intense, but the design of the vehicle and tracks make for an unbelievably smooth experience.

If you have visited the Orlando area and have not yet made your way over to Universal Orlando Resort, you truly don’t know what you’re missing.  Here, you can play, scream and laugh all at the same time.  So, live in the moment, embark on your epic adventure and let yourself “WOAH”!

– Christine Fiorelli

Everyone Needs a Fairytale.  Contact Fairytale Dreams & Destinations to Take Back the Magic Today!

(905) 857.3611 | 1.855.FDMAGIC
10 McEwan Drive West Unit 3 Bolton ON L7E 1H1
www.fairytaledestinations.com

 

 


2022 Rates for the Universal Orlando Resort are Here!

Monday, May 10th, 2021

Did you know? Planning for a vacation can bring benefits like lower stress, better health and improved work performance. And after the challenges this past year of working from home, becoming teachers, keeping our children indoors and more, casting a spell of excitement might just be exactly what the doctor ordered.

When booking your Universal vacation with Fairytale Dreams & Destinations, you can rest easy knowing that you are working with the most experienced agency in Canada. 19 years ago, we etched out a space in the Canadian travel industry for agencies that specialized in Theme Park destinations. Before you could rise with Optimus Prime, Escape from Gringotts, or go on a high speed chase with a pack of raptors, we were making dreams comes true…one fairytale at a time.

Together we can take back the opportunity to make memories to last a lifetime. Your escape from reality is waiting. When it’s time for you, we’ll be ready.

Contact the team at Fairytale Dreams & Destinations to Take Back the Magic today!
(905) 857.3611 | 1.855.FDMAGIC | info@fairytaledestinations.com
10 McEwan Drive West Unit 3 Bolton ON L7E 1H1
www.fairytaledestinations.com


Why Stay at an Onsite Universal Resort Hotel?

Tuesday, March 16th, 2021

When it comes to vacation time, there is something to be said about convenience.  Let’s face it, our vacations always go by way too fast, and so we all want to make the most of the time that we do have for them.  Therefore, when it comes to the Universal Orlando Resort in Florida, there is great value in opting to stay as close as you can get to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  After all, no spell a muggle can conjure up is going to make your vacation longer than it is.

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

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

ExpressPass | Guest staying at * Premier hotels get to skip the regular lines at most popular attractions in Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, including attractions inside The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Early Entry | Each and every day, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opens one hour early for all Universal Resort Hotel Guests.   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.

Waterway to the theme parks

Waterway to Theme Parks

Transportation | Forget about the hassles of car keys and parking.  When staying in Universal, there is no need to rent a vehicle.  There are motorcoaches, water launches and your own two feet to take you everywhere you need to be.

Onsite Location | Oh-so-close to the parks!  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.

Pool Hopping | Pool-hopping privileges to use other Universal hotel’s recreational facilities (excluding Endless Summer Resort).

Package Delivery | There is no need to carry souvenirs or similar purchases with you.  Enjoy Universal’s complimentary parcel delivery service to your Universal hotel.

Priority Seating | Guest staying at *Premier hotels receive priority seating at select restaurants throughout both theme parks and enjoy first available seating for your party size at select Universal CityWalk Restaurants.

Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort

Character Calls | Optimus Prime asking you to “rise with me now” can help start off your day with a smile.  From the phone inside your hotel room, you can schedule a wake-up call from various Universal Orlando characters.

Charging Privileges | Talk about convenience.  No need to carry cash or credit cards, when you can take advantage of Universal’s resort-wide charging privileges with your room key.

All of the Universal Orlando Resort hotels are beautiful properties, with incredible theming, dining, recreation and pools.  And most importantly, they offer a wide range of room types from budget-friendly options to minion bedrooms all the way up to luxurious suites.

Minion room at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

– Christine Fiorelli

Contact Fairytale Dreams & Destinations Inc. to learn more about the perks of being a Universal Orlando Resort Guest.

(905) 857.3611 | 1.855.FDMAGIC
10 McEwan Drive West Unit 3 Bolton ON L7E 1H1
www.fairytaledestinations.com

* Universal’s three Premier hotels are Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Hard Rock Hotel & Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

 

 


MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack: Defending the Galaxy for More Than 20 Years

Thursday, January 28th, 2021

MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack is located inside Universal Studios at the Universal Orlando Resort.  And after 20 years, it’s no wonder this ride has endured and remains one of the fan-favorites at the parks.  After all, who doesn’t love the idea of joining a secret agency that defends Earth and the universe from alien scum?  And with new MIB movies released over the years, the viral sensation of storming Area 51, and the recent confirmation of unidentified objects, it only continues to remain relevant.

The first Men in Black film hit theaters in July 1997 with wild success.  It had the perfect formula; an incredible cast, great comedic and action-packed writing, and a storyline that hooked into the age-old question of does intelligent alien-life exist?   It was just begging to be made into a theme park ride, and who better to make that a reality than a destination that touted the tagline “Ride the Movies”?  When the ride opened in April 2000, it did so to a wave of fanfare.  It was the most ambitious for animatronics at Universal Orlando.

Once you board the ride and your training begins, you’re told that your help is needed with an alien invasion that has hit New York. It’s your job to zap those alien bugs and save planet Earth. The more aliens you defeat and the more points you get, the closer you are to earning your very own MIB suit.  This interactive element hooks into the competitive nature in all of us and provides a huge repeatability factor largely because Guests wish to beat their own previous score.  But no matter what you do, don’t push that red button!

So, here’s to many more years of competitive banter, zapping bugs, saving the universe on a daily basis, and forever earning the last suit you’ll ever wear.  The good guys dress in black, remember that.

Contact Fairytale Dreams & Destinations™ Inc. when you’re ready to become a galaxy defender!

(905) 857.3611 | 1.855.FDMAGIC
10 McEwan Drive West Unit 3 Bolton ON L7E 1H1
www.fairytaledestinations.com

* Story adapted from the Discover Universal Blog


Life, Uh, Finds a Way

Thursday, November 26th, 2020

Hold onto your butts and get ready for a new species of roller coaster!

Speeding through the jungle, rising high above the terrain, it’s the Jurassic World VelociCoaster.  Board your vehicle for a high-speed dash through the park’s raptor paddock.  Feel the rush of the hunt as you race alongside these nimble predators, twisting and soaring above the land and water.

This all new roller coaster will feature a series of intense maneuvers including two pulse-pounding launches, one reaching 70 mph in 2.4 seconds. You will be airborne as you reach 155 feet before falling into a thrilling drop. The attraction will also feature a 360-degree barrel roll above the Islands of Adventure lagoon.

Feel the rush of the hunt as you race alongside a pack of raptors through jungle-like terrain. The Jurassic World VelociCoaster is coming Summer 2021 only at the Universal Orlando Resort.

It’s time to take back the magic.  Contact Fairytale Dreams & Destinations™ Inc. when you’re ready to open paddock 9!

(905) 857.3611 | 1.855.FDMAGIC
10 McEwan Drive West Unit 3 Bolton ON L7E 1H1
www.fairytaledestinations.com

Story adapted from the Discover Universal Blog


Experience Magic At Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

Wednesday, December 12th, 2018

Do you have any witches or wizards in the family? Or maybe there is a Muggle in your life that you are ready to introduce to The Wizarding World? Keep reading to learn more about the magic that awaits you at Universal Orlando Resort!

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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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