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It’s Time to Save the Galaxy!

It’s Time to Save the Galaxy!

Monday, May 9th, 2022

There are three fandoms that are without a doubt an obsession of mine: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Doctor Who and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  I credit Disney for the latter obsession, simply because I never collected comic books as a child.  No. My complete fixation with everything Marvel began at the movie theatre with a little movie called The Avengers.

Disney acquired Marvel Entertainment back in 2009 for a whopping four billion.  But while they purchased the rights to over 5,000 comic book characters from the Marvel Universe, there were some very well-known characters whose rights were owned by other film studios.  Sony had the rights to Spider-Man, Fox held the rights to both X-Men and the Fantastic Four, and I would need a PhD to understand how it works when it comes to the rights of the representation of these same Marvel characters in theme parks.

So, what could Disney do when some of the biggest hitters aren’t allowed to play in their sandbox?  They did what they have always done best.  Disney marketed.  They opened the very big book of those 5,000 characters and pulled out; Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, Black Panther and many other unknown superheroes from the Marvel universe and turned them all into household names.

13 years later, Marvel is one of the biggest names in film.  And now we have a whole slew of new Comic Book characters who children want to dress up as for Halloween, whose action figures are on every toy shelf at Christmas, and whose identities can be brought to Disney’s world renown theme parks.  Specifically, the big one – in Florida.

Enter…Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.

Last week I was invited to a preview of this brand new attraction coming to EPCOT.  I’m not going to lie; my expectations were set VERY high for it.  Reason being that I’m not at all a fan of the Star Wars franchise, but I am completely blown away with the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  It is the most technologically advanced attraction in existence today. It’s attention to detail, seamlessness of moving from scene to scene, and how believable the battle between the Resistance and First Order felt, makes it by far the most complex and immersive attraction I’ve ever experienced.  Which means I know exactly what Disney is capable of.   So, my expectation bar was set sky high for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.  I’m so happy to share that Disney met my crazy high expectations and then some.

Warning: SPOILERS AHEAD!

Cosmic Rewind replaced Universe of Energy (yawn) in the new World Discovery section of Epcot.  The building that houses Guardians is 140 feet tall and is rumoured to hold four Spaceship Earths inside.  It’s an indoor roller coaster, featuring rotating cars, a backwards launch, and because: Peter Quill (a.k.a. Star-Lord), some pretty awesome music.

Your adventure begins in the Galaxarium, a planetarium-like exhibition that explores the similarities and mysteries of the formation of Earth’s galaxy and Xandar, a planet from the Guardians of the Galaxy films.  Xandarians have come to Earth and are building their new EPCOT pavilion.  The known humour from the Guardians of the Galaxy movies is alive and well here.  Star-Lord expresses excitement about returning to EPCOT and enjoying Horizons and hearing the veggie, veggie, fruit, fruit song.   Which would make sense to Peter, given that he hasn’t been on earth since the 1980s.

Next, Nova Prime welcomes us and explains that we will be transported to a ship to see a demonstration of the cosmic generator, a device that creates shortcuts through space and time.   Once we are transported to the ship – Eson, a celestial being (or ‘that really big man outside our ship’ as Drax describes him) steals the Cosmic Generator, jumps back in time and it’s up to us to follow him to save the galaxy.

Then get ready to board a unique vehicle that Disney Imagineering has dubbed the OmniCoaster.  This ride vehicle can rotate 360 degrees with exact precision.  Don’t let the height restriction of only 42 inches fool you.  I would describe the thrill level of this attraction somewhere between Space Mountain and Expedition Everest.

Speaking of thrill, the ride begins with a show scene before you blast off BACKWARDS on an intergalactic chase through space and time.  The ride vehicles move swiftly and smoothly, but they are relentless.  The thrill factor does not let up – for a full three minutes.   But what makes this experience so unique is not only the ride vehicle, it’s the use of music and banter among the Guardians.

While music on a roller coaster is not a first for Disney (I’m looking at you, Rock n’ Roller Coaster – Starring Aerosmith), the difference here is that the coaster twists and turns in time to the beat, allowing you to dance in your seat should you choose to do so.

There are two types of being in the universe: those who dance, and those who do not.” – Drax the Destroyer

But let’s talk for a second about the music because tunes are very important to Star-Lord.   And even more important to the enjoyment of the overall experience.  The “Awesome Mix” of songs you may hear while racing across the galaxy include:

September – Earth, Wind & Fire
Disco Inferno – The Trammps
Conga – Gloria Estefan
Everybody Wants to Rule the World – Tears for Fears
I Ran – A Flock of Seagulls
One Way or Another – Blondie

I rode a total of six times.  I heard Disco Inferno, I Ran and both Everybody Wants to Rule the World and One Way or Another twice.  The latter song is currently my favourite track, but I’ll have to ride it just a few more times first to ensure I get to hear all six songs before making a final decision on that.

Disney imagineers tested out hundreds of tunes before opting for the final six listed above.  Quentin Tarantino once said that if you use a song in a movie right, the effect is you can never really hear the song again without thinking about that image from the movie.  I can tell you that the exact same rule applies here.  I’ve heard two of the songs above since I’ve returned, and I was not able to think of anything but saving the galaxy when I did.

Given that Peter only has a cassette tape to listen to music on, several other of his favourite tunes play in the exit area to help keep the excitement alive after you’ve just saved the galaxy and became honorary Guardians.

This attraction is going to be a MASSIVE hit for Marvel fans and thrill seekers alike.  Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind opens on May 27 only at EPCOT.

– Christine Fiorelli

Contact Fairytale Dreams & Destinations to help the Guardians save the galaxy (again!)

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


Disney Genie+ | The Good, the Bad & the FANTASTIC!

Tuesday, February 15th, 2022

Disney Genie+ has replaced FastPass+ at the Walt Disney World Resort.  It is a paid service that allows you to spend less time waiting in line at over 40 Walt Disney World Resort attractions.  Along with Disney Genie+ came Individual Lightning Lane, an express pass reservation system for highly demanded attractions (two at each theme park).

Attraction Wait Times on Wednesday, February 9th 2022

Cost for Disney Genie+ is $15.98 USD per person/per day.  And the cost for each Individual Lightning Lane varies but is generally between $7 and $18 USD per person/per attraction.  To confuse things, the Individual Lightning Lane attractions are NOT included in the Disney Genie+ service.

When this service was first announced, I was hesitant.  I mean why do I have to pay for something that was previously complimentary?  But it didn’t take me long to look beyond the cost and realize that this system is a game changer when it comes to a Walt Disney World vacation.

The Good

The Cost – Yes, the cost.  A big challenge with the previous system was that it was complimentary, so everyone was fighting over the same popular attractions.  Which meant if you weren’t staying on-site for four nights or longer, forget securing a FastPass+ for Avatar: Flight of Passage.  Whereas now, because it’s an additional cost, only about 50% of Disney visitors are paying for it.  Making it truly the premium service it was designed to be.  Don’t believe me?  There was a time many moons ago that the ability to park hop (visit multiple theme parks within the same day) was complimentary. Now that Guests must pay for this option, nowhere near the same number of Guests bother to visit Magic Kingdom in the morning and grab a bite to eat in the World Showcase at EPCOT at night.

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (Disney’s Hollywood Studios) – This attraction previously provided a virtual queue to book a return time to experience it.  Yet it is SO crazy popular that this complimentary queue was sold out by 7:02am.  I kid you not.  I spent many days in my youth trying to secure Madonna concert tickets and it wasn’t nearly as difficult.  Can you imagine, spending all your vacation time and money and then not being able to experience this ground-breaking attraction?  Now if you want to guarantee your chance to escape the First Order, you can simply pay a little bit more to do so.  Problem (and Guest Services line up about it) solved.

The Bad

Mornings – Your first Disney Genie+ selection can be made at 7:00am. I don’t like waking up before 7:00am on a workday.  Which means, I don’t like having to on vacation either. And yes, you need to if you wish to secure some of the more sought-after options such as Slinky Dog Dash (Disney’s Hollywood Studios) and Test Track (EPCOT).  I really hope that they change this to just a little bit later.  8:00am would work fine by me, or perhaps even allowing Disney resort Guests the ability to book them any time after midnight. Sigh…I can hope!

My Phone – Disney Genie+ requires you to be on your phone – a LOT.  Not only does this kill your phone battery, but I don’t like that it takes away from spending time with my family.  However, MyDisneyExperience requires you to be on your phone for Mobile Ordering, MagicMobile, Wait Times and more.  So, using it to book your next Disney Genie+ experience isn’t really THAT much more.  But just be sure to bring a back-up battery.  You’ve been warned.

Secondary Individual Lightning Lanes – For the love of Zeus, can we just have ONE attraction per theme park available on Individual Lightning Lane?  Disney did this over Christmas, and I wish it was something they kept all year round.  It would without a doubt simplify…well everything.  And if they were to do this, Space Mountain (Magic Kingdom), Frozen Ever After (EPCOT), Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway (Disney’s Hollywood Studios) and Expedition Everest (Disney’s Animal Kingdom) would all move over to Disney Genie+.

The FANTASTIC!

Guest Experience Team – These folks be easily spotted by their blue umbrellas and are located throughout all four theme parks.  The Guest Experience team are in a word; magical. Not only do they always have a smile on their face, no matter how many times I’ve (sadly) seen Guests yell at them, but they can solve any problem you have with the entire Disney Genie+ system to your satisfaction.  And I speak from personal experience when I say in true Disney Cast Member fashion, they can even sprinkle a dose of pixie dust when needed.

No Lines – One of the biggest complaints about a Walt Disney World vacation is having to wait in line.  No argument here!  But let’s face it, a Walt Disney World vacation is not cheap.  So, to pay just a little bit more to not have to wait in line? Sign. Me.Up!  Because I can tell you that when using Disney Genie+ in combination with Individual Lightning Lane access, you won’t have to wait in line…for anything.

I’ve been able to use this brand-new service a few times now and it works.  Most importantly it works with high crowd levels.  I was in Walt Disney World at the end of January and the insane crowds during what is historically one of the two slowest months of the year told me that the pent-up demand to travel post COVID is no joke.  So, you can count out any ‘slow’ times at Walt Disney World for some time to come.  I assure you that Disney Genie+ will help – a LOT – with this challenge.

So now the question is with SO many options to choose from on Disney Genie+, which do you prioritize? Peter Pan’s Flight?  Splash Mountain? Pirates of the Caribbean? And do you really need to purchase the express pass for ALL eight Individual Lightning Lane attractions? Not to worry because your Vacation Specialist at Fairytale Dreams & Destinations is here to help!  Included in your personalized Fairytale Guide, you’ll find both recommended Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane experiences best suited for your traveling party’s needs and wants – saving you even more time from standing in line.

– Christine Fiorelli

The Magic is Calling.

Contact Fairytale Dreams & Destinations to Answer the Call Today!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A Dose of Disney Magic!

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2022

No one:

Absolutely no one:

Not a single soul on this Earth:

Omicron: “I think the human population would like me to visit them for Christmas”

I am pretty sure that no one invited Omicron over for the holidays.  Yet it showed up on our doorsteps like an unwanted extended family member. It’s been six weeks since Christmas and Omicron hasn’t taken a hint yet..making it a very unwanted house guest.  It’s lingering, taking its sweet time, staying well after New Year’s, unable to realize that we want it to go way…forever.

Cinderella Castle

As much as we all want to, we can’t simply wish it away.  Nor are we able to sit it down and try to reason with it.  So, do we wait for it to leave?  Wait with it until it’s sibling, Omicron the Second, shows up and we are stuck entertaining this new unwanted Guest in our homes for weeks on end again?  We could…but that could take weeks, months, or more than likely, years.  So, at some point – when we feel safe enough to do so – it’s time to leave our home and Omicron behind.

Which is exactly what my cousin (who is an RN) decided to do.  After nearly two years of this nonsense, it was time for a little magic for her two girls (ages 8 and 5).  So, the four of us headed on a very last minute trip to Walt Disney World for three wonderful nights. It was cold, or rather, cold by Florida’s standards.  But there was no snow, no lockdowns, no worrying of ‘what next’ and no talk of COVID-19 for a glorious three days.  Which means that it was exactly what the doctor ordered.

To fly into the US, all passengers ages 12+ must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and test negative on a rapid antigen test 24 hours before departure.  Check!  Seeing as we need to have a negative PCR test within 72 hours of our flight back home, the first thing we did after checking into our hotel (Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside) was take our tests from the comfort of our hotel room with Switch Health.  As always, it was a non-evasive, lower nasal swab and to make matters even easier when traveling with little ones, this one is self-administered.

Pluto surprising my niece at the Garden Grill

Now we were ready to have some fun!  We headed to Disney Springs because my 8-year old niece is a Lego obsessed.   We stood in line at Gideons because their cookies are SO worth the wait, shopped at the World of Disney and browsed the Disney’s Days of Christmas store.

On Sunday, we headed to Epcot.  We purchased Individual Lightning Lanes for both Frozen Ever After and Ratatouille.  We took advantage of early morning access to ride Test Track.  We then told the tower we were ready for take-off on Soarin’, explored the big blue sea with Nemo, journeyed into our Imagination, chatted up a storm with a couple of sisters from Arendelle, ate some delicious treats from the Festival of the Arts and dined at the Garden Grill, where the girls were able to see (and take selfies with) Chip, Dale, Mickey and Pluto during their meal.

Chatting up a storm with Anna and Elsa

We saved the best for last and as such, Monday we headed to the Magic Kingdom.  We purchased Disney Genie+, which allowed us to experience the happiest cruise that ever sailed, sing along during the new Coco segment at Mickey’s PhilharMagic, soar with Peter Pan, meet Elena, Cinderella, Tiana and Rapunzel, swim under the sea with Ariel, help Buzz defeat the evil Emperor Zurg and take a spin on the PeopleMover.  Last, but certainly not least, we purchased an Individual Lightning Lane for Space Mountain, because it’s not a visit to the Magic Kingdom without experiencing this classic coaster.

We grabbed dinner at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, took a circle tour on monorail red before taking in the new nighttime show at the Magic Kingdom, Disney Enchantment.  On our final morning, we took a nice stroll over to Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter to soak up our last chance at vitamin D from the warm Florida sun and devoured some deliciously fresh beignets before heading back to the airport.

Masks are still mandated at all indoor locations unless actively eating or drinking at the Walt Disney World Resort.  But aside from that, things feel far more normal than they are back home in Ontario.  And it was crystal clear how beneficial a little bit of normal is for children of all ages right about now.

It was a whirlwind of a trip, but worth every moment of it for the lasting memories we created.   From dancing on Main Street, to the excitement of bringing home a new plush friend, I was pleasantly reminded how good a little dose of Disney magic is for the soul.

– Christine Fiorelli

The Magic is Calling.

Contact Fairytale Dreams & Destinations to Answer the Call Today!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Why You Should Book Your 2022 Walt Disney World Vacation NOW!

Friday, November 19th, 2021

As well all know, ‘two weeks to flatten the curve’ has turned into 18 months and counting.  We are all COVID tired.  Tired of listening to the news, tired of worrying, tired of keeping up with current rules and regulations just to step outside of our homes.  Granted, nowadays, we can go out to the movies, visit friends, dine at a favourite restaurant and more, but that really isn’t enough.

Disney Enchantment Nighttime Show at the Magic Kingdom

Maybe it’s because some of us are still working from home against our preference, or because we are still monitoring on-line learning or maybe it’s just because we’ve had one zoom call too many.  Whatever the reason, COVID has all caught up with all of us.

So what better way to take a break from this vicious cycle we’ve all been living in than taking a much-needed vacation?  And where else would we vacation to than somewhere to reward our children for being so patient, a place where our entire family can have fun together and where magic exists.  The Walt Disney World Resort is already a bucket list vacation on any given day and a yearly vacation destination for many.  Add this COVID nonsense into the mix and the yearning to visit The Most Magical Place on Earth is stronger than ever before.

Unlike other vacation destinations, most people don’t book a Walt Disney World vacation last minute.  To the contrary, most visitors book it at least six months out.  Which is the right thing to do.  Why?  Because the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida is the most popular vacation destination in North America.  In fact, did you know Walt Disney World in Florida welcomes more tourists in a calendar year than the entire cruise industry combined?  Even with Walt Disney World’s 25+ resorts, it can and DOES sell out.  In fact, at this time, there is very limited availability at all of their 25+ resort hotels for travel through until April, 2022!

Why am I telling you this?  Because if you’re even possibly considering a Walt Disney World Vacation in 2022, to encourage you to lock in a refundable vacation reservation as soon as possible.  There will not be any ‘last minute deals’ anytime soon.  There will however be next to no vacancy for a very long time to come.

Beacons of Magic at Epcot

Which leads me to my next point as to why you should book now. Cancellation policies are the number one reason why at Fairytale Dreams & Destinations, we choose to solely work with The Walt Disney Travel Company.  When booking your vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort with us, only a $200 USD deposit would be due at time of booking.  That deposit is FULLY REFUNDABLE up to 30 days prior to departure.  This small deposit allows you to book your preferred travel time, at the resort of your choice, and it allows us to begin working with your family to reserve your much needed theme park reservations and create your daily itinerary.  So, in short, there is absolutely no risk in booking so far in advance.

The demand to travel post-COVID is REAL and it’s about to get stronger.  The Canadian government has already lifted the ban on international travel.  Vaccines are about to become readily available for children ages 5-11 and there is progress on lifting the molecular test requirement for Canadians to return home.

If you are even thinking of vacationing to The Walt Disney World Resort in 2022, put a deposit down now.  If you wait it out, you risk losing the availability.  After all, isn’t visiting the Most Magical Place on Earth the best medicine to move away from COVID?  And if anyone needs some of that magic right about now, it’s every single one of us.

– Christine Fiorelli

The Magic is Calling.  Contact Fairytale Dreams & Destinations to Answer the Call Today!

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

 

 

 


Yes, it is Safe to Vacation to Walt Disney World

Monday, November 8th, 2021

The Magic is Calling You to the World’s Most Magical Celebration

Due to my line of work, I’ve been fortunate enough to return to the Walt Disney World Resort three times since the summer.  More specifically, three times since the Canadian air border opened back up following its 17-month closure due to COVID.  I first returned in late August.  At the time, the state of Florida was at its peak with COVID cases, experiencing over 25,000 new cases a day.  That number has been on the decline ever since, averaging under 1,500 cases a day at the time I write this.  In fact, based on daily averages, the Sunshine State now has the lowest number of COVID cases among the 50 United States of America.

I can attest firsthand (three times now) that it IS safe to travel to Florida.  Don’t believe me?  Just ask the Canadian government, who back on October 21st, quietly lifted the advisory against non-essential international travel for the first time since March 2020.  As of today, when visiting the United States of America, you can exercise normal security precautions.  Which means that the overall safety and security situation is similar to Canada.   Even better is that with the travel advisory no longer in place, it is once again possible to purchase travel insurance.

So, what exactly is it like to travel to Walt Disney World today?  I think it’s important to know the answer to that question because I have a sneaking suspicion that COVID will be with us in some capacity for many years to come.  And I don’t about you, but I don’t plan on letting it stop me from enjoying my magical vacations any longer.

As restrictions for international travel continue to be lifted, we expect the requirements I’m about to discuss to change in the coming weeks and months.  However, the following are the rules as they stand right now.

A Negative Antigen Test is Required to Enter the United States

In case you live under a rock, in order to board a plane into the United States from Canada, all Guests age 12+ must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.  And speaking as an AstraZeneca/Pfizer mixed recipient, I can assure you that ANY combination of Heath Canada approved vaccines is acceptable.  Additionally, all passengers ages two and older need to submit a negative COVID-19 antigen test no more than 72 hours prior to their scheduled flight time.  The key word here is ‘scheduled’.  Which means if you have your negative test in hand and your airline delays your flight, your test is still valid to board your flight.  Select Walmart and Shoppers Drug Mart’s offer this Antigen test.  The cost ranges from $20 – $40 per person and you’ll have your results in about 15 minutes.  I like to schedule this test along with my ‘day before travel’ preparations, so I get it taken care of right before my mani-pedi.

On the day of departure – unless you are actively eating or drinking – be prepared to wear a mask from the moment you get to the Toronto airport, during your entire flight and while at the Orlando International Airport.  Yes, the day of your flight involves a lot of mask wearing.  My advice is to opt for one of the blue disposable ones.  As adorable as your homemade or purchased cloth masks are, the disposable ones are far more breathable for such a long day.  Side tip, I always use these masks when visiting the hair salon on my two+ hour visit for my colour, cut, and blow dry!

The Disney company follows all CDC guidelines.  Therefore, masks are currently required at indoor locations at the Walt Disney World Resort.  This includes restrooms and indoor queues.  Given the fact that you will be taking your mask on and off regularly, I HIGHLY recommend opting for shorts with pockets for easy access.  Another good option (especially for children) is using a mask strap to easily carry it around your neck.

The All New Harmonious Nighttime Show at Epcot

I went to Vaughan Mills last month and there were more people in the halls here than there were while standing in ANY indoor queue at a Disney theme Park.  However, roughly 20% of the people at Vaughan Mills were not wearing their masks properly or simply not at all.  I’ve said it before and it bears repeating, there is no such thing as mask exemptions at the Walt Disney World Resort.  If you can’t wear a mask, Disney’s response is ‘now is not the time for you to visit our theme parks’.  So, you won’t see masks hanging under anyone’s nose on the monorail, nor will you see anyone arguing about having to put a mask on like I witness all too often here at home.

Before you know it, a good time was had by all and it’s time to come back home.  To do so, all travellers ages five years and older must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of their scheduled flight time to return to Canada.  You must also upload your proof of vaccination and negative test in the ArriveCAN app.

Fast Test Now Offers Same Day PCR Test Results

I can’t stress enough that this process sounds SO much more difficult than it is.  There are a few ways to obtain the test and costs associated with it range from $0 to $149 USD per person.  Rest assured that your Vacation Specialist will advise you on how to go about obtaining this test at or near the Walt Disney World Resort.  Collectively, our team has undergone this task about a dozen times now, so we are very familiar with the procedure and are here to walk you through the process when the time comes for your family to prepare for it.   Most importantly, all the places we have sourced out (and used ourselves) will only perform the non-invasive/lower nasal swabs for this test.  Because naturally we all want to avoid having a Q-tip shoved up our nostril to our brain whenever possible.

My personal favourite option for this test is from Switch Health.  These tests are purchased before leaving home.  You bring the test with you, then with a mobile device and internet connection (and from the comfort of your Walt Disney World Resort hotel room), you perform the test in front of a technician and will have your test results in about 30 minutes!  The only challenge is that because this option is so popular, it often sells out.

I personally like to take the test as close to that 72-hour mark as possible.  Not because it’s difficult, but because I don’t want to associate the test with my vacation being over.  I want to have MORE fun after the fact!  This way, I can enjoy my last few days in the theme parks before having to think about coming back home.

The last thing to be aware of is that unvaccinated children must avoid group settings for two weeks following their visit to the United States.  Once Health Canada approves the vaccine for children ages 5-11 and little ones can be protected, this rule will of course be lifted.

So, as a quick re-cap, the current steps that must be taken are:

  • Guests ages 12+ must be vaccinated against COVID-19
  • Guests ages two and older must provide a negative antigen test to fly into the United States
  • Guests ages two and older must wear masks at all indoor locations during travel and while at the Walt Disney World Resort
  • Guests ages five and older must provide a negative COVID test and upload results to ArriveCan to fly home
  • Unvaccinated children must avoid group settings for 14 days

The big question is if taking these few extra steps are worth it to answer the call of the magic?  You bet your bottom dollar that they are!  After all, you can’t visit the edge of the galaxy over zoom.

– Christine Fiorelli

The Magic is Calling.  Contact Fairytale Dreams & Destinations to Answer the Call Today!

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


The World’s Most Magical Celebration

Tuesday, October 5th, 2021

Last week I was invited to a media preview of the World’s Most Magical Celebration – the 50th Anniversary of the Walt Disney World Resort.  I questioned how Disney was going to find new and innovative ways to celebrate such a milestone.  But I was quickly reminded that nobody creates magic quite like Disney can and they have pulled out all the stops for this celebration to prove it.

When the Walt Disney World Resort opened its doors back on October 1st, 1971, it consisted of one theme park, two resort hotels and a campground.  Today, the 147 square kilometre complex includes four theme parks, two water parks, over 25 resort hotels and much, much more.  Yes, the resort has grown – a LOT – over the past 50 years.

Remy's Ratatouille Adventure

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure

The idea of Disney World began one Sunday afternoon, when a father was bored watching his daughters on a carousel.  That boredom led to a vision of somewhere in the world where adults and children could play together.  Fifty years later, this common enjoyment remains the focus of Walt Disney World, as majority of its attractions and shows are still experienced and enjoyed by Guests of all ages.

One of the main additions for the 50th anniversary is the brand-new Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure inside the France pavilion at Epcot.  Once onboard, you’ll feel as though you’ve been shrunk to the size of Chef Remy as you scurry though Gusteau’s restaurant on one wild ride.  This attraction for all-ages is a welcomed addition to the park, as it fits in perfectly with both The Sea with Nemo and Friends and Frozen Ever After.

Fab 50 Statue of Figment

The centrepiece of the magical celebration is Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom.  The castle underwent a lengthy refurbishment and is now dressed up in a new colour scheme and fancy décor.  For those of you who remember the 25thanniversary Castle cake, I promise you Disney did not repeat that beautiful disaster.

Scattered across all four parks are the Disney Fab 50 statues, which represent the stories that have moved us to dream bigger, follow our passions and believe in the power of magic.  I quite enjoyed trying to find all 50, but I only found 24.  I look forward to discovering the remaining 26 on my next visit.

Disney Enchantment

The most exceptional features of the celebration all take place after the sun goes down.  Since 1971, fireworks have offered Guests an exclamation point at the end of an enchanting day at Magic Kingdom.  From the days of Fantasy in the Sky to the recent Happily Ever After, over and over, each new nighttime spectacular has raised the bar.  And the all-new Disney Enchantment nighttime show at Magic Kingdom is no exception to this golden rule.  Narrated by Angela Bassett, Disney Enchantment blends fireworks, Disney music and immersive projection effects from Cinderella Castle, all the way down Main Street U.S.A.

Barges for Harmonious During the Day

Over at Epcot, Harmonious has debuted for the 50th and it is the largest nighttime spectacular ever created for a Disney theme park.  I’m not going to lie, this show scared me.  Mostly because I worried that the giant barges that are required for it are quite the eye sore in the middle of the World Showcase lagoon.  But I’m happy to report that these new daytime barges are well worth this amazing evening show.  Harmonious celebrates the music of Disney and its ability to unite us all, bridging cultures and generations to unlock the magic of possibility.

On top of these two nighttime spectaculars, all four theme park icons transform into ‘Beacons of Magic’.  Cinderella Castle creates a dazzling glow that sparkles with pixie dust.  Lights shine across the reflective panels on Spaceship Earth.  The Hollywood Tower Hotel returns to its former glory by evoking the glimmer of the golden age and fireflies gather to call forth the magic of nature on the Tree of Life.  These Beacons of Magic are stunning!  So much so, that I question why it took Disney 50 years to make this happen.

Beacons of Magic | Epcot

During the celebration, Disney is full of magical touches.  Throughout the resort, you’ll discover many royal blue and gold 50th anniversary decorations, EARidescent connects all corners of the resort, monorails feature glowing nighttime lights that match each train’s specific colour and SO much more.

In pure Disney fashion, the 50th anniversary celebration is for all ages to experience.  The magic is calling and there has never been a more opportune time to answer that call.  But not to worry if you don’t feel comfortable traveling to the Walt Disney World Resort just yet, as the World’s Most Magical Celebration will be ongoing for the next 18 months.

– Christine Fiorelli

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

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Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, Opening Spring 2022 at Walt Disney World Resort

Friday, July 30th, 2021

Disney Imagineers Talk Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser

Opening spring 2022 at The Walt Disney World Resort, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will be a two-night, immersive adventure in a galaxy far, far away that goes beyond anything Disney has created before.

But what does that mean, exactly?

To answer that question – and many more – Disney gathered some of the Disney Imagineers developing this groundbreaking project and let the cameras roll as they talked about Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. In this wide-ranging discussion, you’ll learn more about how Guests can be the hero of their own Star Wars story, about their planet-side excursion to Batuu and how this new experience complements and enhances a visit to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and so much more.

It is a must watch for anyone – from the biggest Star Wars fan to those curious about what in the galaxy Walt Disney Imagineering is up to, and everyone in between.

Everyone needs a fairytale.  Contact Fairytale Dreams & Destinations™ Inc. to be among the first to step onboard the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser!

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

Story adapted from the Disney Travel Agents website


Harmonious Debuts October 1 at EPCOT

Wednesday, July 28th, 2021

‘Harmonious’ Will Tell a Story of Global Connection as Part of ‘The World’s Most Magical Celebration’

We’re just a little more than two months from the next major milestone in the transformation of EPCOT, the debut of “Harmonious,” the new nighttime spectacular that is one of the largest ever created for a Disney park and unlike anything that’s been seen before.

“Harmonious” illuminates our shared humanity, bringing to life the vision of EPCOT through a celebration of our world and its promise. Over the years, cultures from around the world have provided inspiration for Disney films and music. In “Harmonious,” a global community of musical artists has come together and reinterpreted those familiar stories and songs in their own voice, honoring their respective cultures. Collectively, they contribute to a unique experience that could only happen at EPCOT, a place where the impossible becomes possible through the power of human imagination and the magic of Disney.

The show moves through three distinct chapters, inviting us to gather on the shores of World Showcase Lagoon, celebrate the countries and cultures of the world, and ultimately unite to create a bright tomorrow. “Harmonious” begins with a sunrise, and as the world awakens around us, we set out on a journey that takes us across the globe. It’s a dazzling and diverse feast for the eyes and ears, from the South Pacific home of “Moana” and a Middle-Eastern interpretation of “Aladdin” to “The Jungle Book” in India, China’s legend of “Mulan,” the European nations that inspired “Brave” and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” and so much more.

Here’s a first look at how this stunning spectacle is coming together, as teams from Disney Live Entertainment and Walt Disney Imagineering continue working to get “Harmonious” ready for opening night.

“Harmonious” will make its grand debut on October 1 as part of the launch of “The World’s Most Magical Celebration,” marking the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort.

Everyone needs a fairytale.  Contact Fairytale Dreams & Destinations™ Inc. to be a part of The Walt Disney World Resort’s 50th Anniversary Celebration today!

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

Story adapted from the Disney Travel Agents website


Two New Nighttime Spectaculars Will Debut October 1st at Walt Disney World!

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2021

Beginning October 1st 2021, “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” honors the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort, and we have some great new details to share with you about this incredible 18-month event.

A new nighttime spectacular, “Disney Enchantment,” will help kick off the 50th anniversary festivities when it debuts October 1 at Magic Kingdom Park. Created to launch with “The World’s Most Magical Celebration,” this evening extravaganza will take Guests on a journey filled with adventure, wonder and empowerment. Inspiring everyone to believe in magic, “Disney Enchantment” will feature music, enhanced lighting, stunning fireworks and, for the first time, immersive projection effects that extend from Cinderella Castle down Main Street, U.S.A.

Joining “Disney Enchantment” on October 1 will be “Harmonious” at EPCOT, one of the largest nighttime spectaculars ever created for a Disney park. This new show will bring the globe together at World Showcase Lagoon in a celebration of Disney music that inspires people worldwide. It’s a grand, powerful tribute to the stories and songs that unite us, embracing new technical magic that incorporates pyrotechnics, choreographed moving fountains, lighting and media in new ways. “Harmonious” will invite Guests to travel the globe through new interpretations of classic Disney songs as you’ve never heard them before, reimagined in more than a dozen languages by a diverse group of 240 artists from around the world.

There’s also new daytime entertainment stirring at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. Check out this artist rendering of “Disney KiteTails,” which will come alive several times daily at the Discovery River Amphitheater beginning October 1. Performers will fly windcatchers and kites of all shapes and sizes, while out on the water elaborate three-dimensional kites – some stretching to 30 feet long – will depict Disney animal friends, including Simba, Zazu, Baloo and King Louie. These colorful creations will dance through the sky to the beat of favorite Disney songs in an uplifting, vibrant experience for the whole family.

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse will be the hosts for “The World’s Most Magical Celebration,” and they’ll be decked out in sparkling new EARidescent fashions for the 50th anniversary. As you can see in the photo, their best pals want to get in on the shimmer, too, as Donald Duck and Daisy Duck, Goofy and Pluto, and Chip ‘n’ Dale will be sporting their own custom-made EARidescent looks beginning October. 1. Guests will get a chance to see them when they travel through Magic Kingdom Park several times daily in the new “Mickey’s Celebration Cavalcade.”

These eight friends will also be featured in special golden character sculptures debuting October 1 at Magic Kingdom; in this artist rendering, you can see Mickey and Minnie shining in the sunlight near Cinderella Castle. There will be 50 characters total in this series of sculptures that will be displayed across all four theme parks.

“The World’s Most Magical Celebration” will also see the grand opening of Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure at EPCOT, icons at each of the four parks transforming into Beacons of Magic at night, EARidescent décor all across the resort, plus much more.

Everyone needs a fairytale.  Contact Fairytale Dreams & Destinations™ Inc. to be a part of The Walt Disney World Resort’s 50th Anniversary Celebration today!

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

Story adapted from the Disney Travel Agents website


Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Launches in 2022 at Walt Disney World Resort

Wednesday, May 5th, 2021

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida will take you to a galaxy far, far away for an all-immersive, two-night vacation experience that goes beyond anything Disney has ever created before. What exactly does “all-immersive” mean? Well, in honour of Revenge of the 5th, here’s a little hint …

Yes, that’s a new type of lightsaber Rey is holding in her hand, created by Walt Disney Imagineering Research and Development. Those who experience Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will be the first to see it in action – along with so much more – starting in 2022 when this amazing new two-night adventure debuts. When you watch that lightsaber activate right before your eyes it will be just one of the countless ways that, from the moment you arrive to the moment you depart, you’ll be plunged into a Star Wars story where your decisions and actions – or even the casual conversations you may have – determine how your personal journey unfolds.

Your adventure begins at the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser terminal at Walt Disney World, where you will gather with fellow passengers before departing for their intergalactic destination. You will soon enter a special Launch Pod and leave your world behind as you make a hyperspace jump to a galaxy far, far away.

Watch through viewports as you approach the massive and magnificent Halcyon starcruiser, which will be your home for the next two nights.  When the Launch Pod’s airlock slides open, you’ll take your first step into a galaxy far, far away as Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser comes to life all around you. During your stay aboard this glamorous ship, you may interact with an eclectic group of characters both familiar and new, possibly including the starcruiser’s strong and charismatic captain, a plucky ship’s mechanic and a galactic superstar who can captivate an entire room with the crook of one jewel-encrusted purple Twi’lek finger.

This singing sensation will be a featured performer during one of the exquisite dining experiences inside the Crown of Corellia Dining Room, which you can see in this artist concept rendering (pictured, right). The enticing supper club’s name is an homage to Corellia, the planet known galaxy-wide for its shipyards that gave us not only the Halcyon starcruiser, but also the Millennium Falcon. The dining room is a bright and welcoming hall that will offer breakfast and lunch to passengers before transitioning each evening into a lavish multi-course menu of both otherworldly and familiar origins.

As the journey continues, you will have the opportunity to train in the ancient ways of the lightsaber, learn more about the inner workings of the Halcyon starcruiser and even jump on a transport to the planet Batuu to further your adventure inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. This isn’t storytelling – it’s storyliving, where you will see, feel and live Star Wars in a whole new way.

Contact Fairytale Dreams & Destinations™ Inc. when you’re ready to use the Force!

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

  • Story adapted from the official Disney Parks Blog

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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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