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CAPTURING THE MAGIC
Celebrate the wonder of the Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney’s magical land where stories, fantasy and enchantment unfold right before your eyes. Leave today behind as the creators of Capturing the Magic take you on a photographic celebration of the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy. With hundreds of breathtaking images of Disneyland Resort as well as an insider’s accounting of the rich historical details, you will feel as if you just stepped into the magic.
As you may have heard, Disney is taking a measured approach to reopen their Theme Parks. In order to do this, they will be managing attendance through their new Disney Park Pass Reservation system. This new Theme Park reservation system will be accessed through the drop down in your My Disney Experience account. This new Theme Park Reservation system will require that all Guests make advance reservations for theme park entry.
In order to make your reservations, you will need a My Disney Experience account, which you may already have. Be sure that your reservation is properly linked to your account. Because there are new terms and conditions regarding Covid-19, you must sign off on, Disney is requiring the guest to choose the parks days, with advise and guidance of your travel agent, of course. This new reservation system will require all guests to make advance reservations for Theme Park entry. You must make a separate park reservation for each date you plan to visit, even with a multi-day ticket.
If you are an existing ticket holder with a Disney Resort hotel reservation, you can access the Disney Parks Pass system beginning on Monday, June 22, at 7 am eastern standard time. Simply log into your My Disney Experience account and check for the date and Theme Park you wish to visit. You will need to do this for each day of your vacation. To enter a theme park, both a reservation and valid admission ticket to the same park on the same date will be required. Keep in mind park hopping will not be allowed until further notice and this portion of your reservation will be refunded if you currently have it. You will, however, have the ability to come and go to the same park during the day. Keep in mind that due to extremely limited capacity, these theme park reservations are subject to availability and are not guaranteed until confirmed*. *Please remember to check the Disney Park Pass system (once available) from time to time as Theme Park reservation availability can change.
We know your next visit will be different. But together, we can find new ways to enjoy magical moments and create memories to last a lifetime. Before you arrive, please check out some things to Know Before You Go and as always, please contact Dreams by Design Travel for the latest information. It is being released just about every day!!!
Walt was certainly a visionary when he brought us “It’s a
Small World” to the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair. His sense of wanderlust and appreciation for
world cultures demonstrated how close we all truly are in spite of oceans and
land masses. As our ability to travel
farther, quicker, and easier evolved, so too, did our interconnectedness, and
our ability to bring back foreign souvenirs from the exciting places we have
visited. However, lately, there seems to
be an unwanted souvenir returning home with world travelers – – the Coronavirus
The Coronavirus has obviously become the biggest concern for
both international and domestic travelers lately. As Travel Professionals, my fellow Travel
Advisors and I have been spending a lot of time in webinars, viewing reports
and official statements regarding this issue on a daily basis. Although information is constantly being
updated, this is what is known at the time of writing this article.
What is the
The Coronavirus is a broad term that encompasses both the
SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory
Syndrome) viruses. The current virus is
a variant of the SARS virus, and has been renamed COVID-19, or SARS-CoV-2. This virus has been around for a while, but as
viruses do, they will mutate and wreak havoc, just like flu viruses. However, the Coronaviruses really focus on
the respiratory system, making those persons with already compromised
respiratory systems more vulnerable to the disease than others. According to Dr. Geoff Tothill, Chief Medical
Officer of the International Medical Group, and the World Health Organization
(WHO), “The most common symptoms are fever, cough, and breathlessness. Most patients have mild disease, with some
20% of patients progressing to severe disease.
Incubation period is 2 – 14 days, and most infectivity occurs when one
The news of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, China, was
reported to the World Health Organization on December 31, 2019. Since then, the virus has been exported via
travelers arriving from affected areas to 56 countries, including the United
How does it spread,
and how to protect/prevent?
Again, according to the World Health Organization, “Cases
are seen in higher numbers in specific geographic areas, usually as a result of
close person to person spread.” This
would also mean travel destinations where tourism is high and congested, thus,
practical measures must be taken. We all
know the drill regarding cold and flu season, and this is no different.
Washing hands well, thoroughly, and often.
Using an alcohol based hand sanitizer that
contains at least 60% alcohol. (Yes, even hand sanitizer has expiration dates,
so check those!)
Avoid proximity to symptomatic people.
Use cough etiquette! Maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes
with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash hands.
Avoid areas where people congregate when
travelling and seek local help if you become unwell.
Carry sanitizing wipes to wipe down trays and
armrests on flights.
If you are concerned about picking something up from public
places, then there is great news – – so is everyone else! During cold and flu season, we all tend to
get a bit lax about our sneezing, coughing, hand washing and general
consideration of others when symptoms arise.
Children are one of the most vulnerable, yet they are perhaps the worst
to keep reminding of these measures!
Sometimes, it takes something like the warnings of this current virus to
keep us mindful of others and diligent in our own personal care. Cold and flu season is not over yet, and it
presents a bigger risk to us than the COVID-19.
Do I cancel my travel
plans because of COVID-19?
Unless you are prevented from traveling to, or from, a
particular area of the world where travel is restricted anyways, the answer
would be, NO. This includes places like
Disney Parks. Yes, all of the Disney
Parks in Asia have been closed for a period of three weeks starting February
28th, but the Disney Parks in the United States and Europe have not. Spokespersons from Universal and Disney in
the U.S. are working closely with the Center for Disease Control to ensure the
safety of guests and employees on a daily basis. As of now, the Parks are running on a normal
schedule. Just use common sense, and the
above preventative methods, especially washing those hands!
Furthermore, if you are looking to cancel your trip in fear
of the COVID-19, you probably won’t be getting that full refund of your travel
money. Speak to your Travel Advisor
regarding your Travel Protection Plans.
Unless you cancel for very specific reasons as specified in your policy,
even a “Cancel for Any Reason” policy will not fully refund you simply because
you fear the virus. Cruise Lines and
other tour operators are implementing the same policy for domestic and
international travel. Cruise lines are
also implementing strict pre-screening procedures to ensure the health and
safety of all passengers and crew members.
Whenever an outbreak such as this occurs, it should always
be taken very seriously. However, we
must understand what it is, and what it is not.
What is most important is that it is going to run its course whether we
like it or not – – as have all the other viruses and diseases that have been
spread throughout the years. COVID-19 is
more difficult to contract than the flu.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, out of all those who have
been infected with COVID-19 globally, approximately 2,463 have died from
it. The flu, however, has claimed more
than 4,800 lives so far this year. The
preventative measures to take in avoiding each virus is the same, especially
WASHING THOSE HANDS!
Any public place of transportation is on alert and taking
great measures to ensure that surfaces are disinfected, air filters are
functioning properly (though there has been no indication that this is
airborne), hand sanitizing stations are plentiful and accessible, and medical
staff is readily available should any person present a symptom. Hospitals are being prepared and the CDC is
issuing directives as to what should be done at home to prepare in the event
someone should fall ill.( CDC Household Preparedness )
Even more so, the CDC is encouraging people to keep in contact with and watch
over, those who may not have someone to notify or care for them in the event
the become ill for any reason. Oddly, we
seem to be at a point where we want to keep our distance, yet it is bringing us
closer together as a community out of concern for our fellow human beings.
People have, and will continue to travel. Business will still be conducted. Cruise ships will still sail. Planes will still fly. Fear can be used to keep us more alert and serve as a reminder of what we should and should not be doing, but it should never stop us from living. We have all learned that lesson over the past century, time and time again. More importantly, Walt, Mickey, Main St. U.S.A, and the vision of that glorious Castle will still be there to greet us, giving us comfort that it is indeed a small world after all, and it is still ours to explore – – just with hand sanitizer. After all, don’t we need the magic now more than EVER?
If you are contemplating on taking that trip, then you
probably fall into one of three categories:
1. The Self-Planner who just loves every
aspect of working through the details; 2.The
Bargain Hunter who feels you can get that “deal,” and beat the odds; and 3.The Overwhelmed who have
anxiety over all of the complexities, that you just don’t even know where to
begin, and need help – – fast! In any of
these cases, here is where you may want to use a Travel Advisor.
Self-Planner. For you overzealous, excited, detail-oriented planners out
there (and I count myself among you!), you may want to take in the full
picture. Self-planning is an entirely
different thing than when you plan for others since you have the tendency to
unduly obsess over every little thing. Prior to becoming a Travel Advisor, I too,
took on the daunting task of planning out every aspect of my family’s trips, as
well as those for friends and other family members. However, I encountered an unforeseen “bump in
the road,” on our last one. You see, I
didn’t expect that when it came time for Dining Reservations, FastPasses ,
flights, and special experiences, that I would be bombarded with sick children,
doctors appointments, and other daily tasks to accomplish on my ever growing,
“To Do List.” In spite of getting
excited over our vacation, I found myself seeing it more as one more thing I
HAD to do, rather than taking pleasure in it.
Towards the end of the planning, I felt more stressed and that I may
have forgotten things during our trip. I
put my own planning on hold while taking care of others, including helping a
friend with their trip. Needless to say,
during that vacation, I had been preoccupied with worry about whether I missed
something or whether I planned out enough exciting and different things so that
my family would be having a memorable time.
Lesson: IF I had used a Travel Advisor, I wouldn’t
have had to worry about making deadlines.
I would have had a steady lead time of reminders from my TA, given
her/him my preferences, and had them do all this for me. I could have also given my TA all my ideas
for what I envisioned our family vacation to be like, and allowed them to come
up with suggestions, pricing, etc. They
would have worked within the reality of my budget and time. I could have saved myself a lot of stress,
and simply have gone on vacation to really enjoy it!
Bargain Hunter. For you bargain
hunters – – the reality is that we are all looking to save money on a trip. I’ve
been there, I’ve done it, and the key to this is recognizing what is, and is
not, a real bargain. Time is money, and money
is time and convenience. If you think
that not using a TA saves you money by not paying them a commission because you
booked direct, then stop there.
Lesson: If a
Travel Advisor can see what you are looking at and book it, you have already
paid for their services but are not getting them. Nor are you getting their commission as a
savings – – suppliers don’t work that way.
A Travel Advisor is not a sales person, but is more likened to a
Financial Advisor. We use years of
experience, training, research and cultivated relationships with suppliers to
offer the maximum return on your vacation investment. We also know what pitfalls to avoid, monitor
for offers that can save you money, and continue to be on call for you while
you travel. So many times I have been
asked about a hotel or resort that someone has found, only to dig deeper to
find that there are so many other costs associated with the initial
“deal.” So many times, we have found
that deal to not be a deal at all, and moreover, a time consuming, and costly
venture just to get to the destination.
More times than I care to count, I have also discovered some major
issues that were conveniently omitted about the hotel, resort or room someone
wanted to book at that “great rate.” Example:
the pool may be closed, construction is going on and you’ll never sleep,
the rooms haven’t been updated since the 1970’s, or it’s located 30 min. away
but actually 45min. because you are going during spring break. Furthermore, Travel Advisors are not
resources for free information, as they only get paid by a supplier if you book
Overwhelmed. For those of you not
knowing what to do first or how to go about it . . . breathe! In most cases, a Travel Advisor isn’t going
to cost you anything, but will instead save you stress, money and time. We do this as our job, as our passion, and
are committed to helping each and every family have a wonderful vacation full
of memories. You may feel that this
statement is a bit self-serving, but it comes from a lot of experience on both
sides of the planning process.
Lesson: Some people like to be really “hands on” in
the planning process, while others like to have it done for them. Either is possible when using a Travel
Advisor! The important thing to keep in
mind is that a good Travel Advisor will be there when you need them to help,
guide, or even complete some of those daunting tasks.
Like with anything, if you want a truly great experience, then talk to someone with that experience. Using a Travel Advisor is not uncommon! In fact, people are using Travel Advisors more so now than ever before with the convenience of the internet. The abundance of data, supposed deals, and advertising put in front of the average human being is a lot to digest! However, what it all comes down to is knowing fact from fiction, and building a relationship with a real person who will guide you. After all, it’s YOUR vacation and you want to make it as great as you’ve always dreamed about!
Does your driver’s license have a star at the top? If not, then you will want to keep reading. Beginning
October 1, 2020, all travelers, 18 and up, will need to have a REAL ID
compliant driver’s license* or other form of acceptable identification such as
a passport to fly in the U.S. What does this mean for you?
It seems like we’ve been hearing about REAL ID forever and maybe we’ve all gotten used to thinking it’s never really happening. Well, it’s happening! October 1st, 2020 will be the official start of the REAL ID program. Even if you don’t plan on taking a trip anytime soon, it’s probably best to go ahead and get the new REAL ID compliant ID just in case. For anyone who travels, or is planning to travel by plane, you definitely want to apply for your REAL ID sooner rather than later. There will probably be some backlog of last-minute applicants this fall! Truth be told, I may be one of them!
To get a REAL ID driver’s license, you simply need to go to your
state motor vehicle agency. Typically, you need to show proof of your social
security number, date of birth, and U.S. citizenship, along with two different
documents verifying your state of residency. But save yourself some time and check
with your local agency before showing up to make sure you bring the proper
documents with you. Women who have been married and changed their last name, may
need to show their marriage certificate as well.
Unsure if you have a REAL ID compliant license? Look for the
star in the upper portion of the card*. Generally, it is a gold or black star,
a star cutout in a gold or black circle or a star cutout in a gold grizzly bear.
Just because your state is “REAL ID compliant” does not mean your driver’s
license is. So, make sure!
If you’re travelling internationally, you can still use your passport as identification but any time you are flying domestically, it will need to be REAL ID compliant as of October 1. Want to be a rebel or just don’t have time to get to the DMV? There is a list of acceptable alternative forms of identification listed here. https://www.dhs.gov/secure-drivers-license-documentation
The bottom line is, if you plan on traveling on or after
October 1, 2020, you will want to check your driver’s license for that star and
make sure if you don’t have one you get down to your state motor vehicle agency
and apply for your REAL ID as soon as possible. Missing a vacation because you
forgot to update your identification is going to be hard to explain to the
*Note: Michigan, Vermont, Minnesota, and New York states
issue REAL ID and state-issued enhanced driver’s licenses, both of which are
acceptable. State-issued enhanced driver’s licenses do not have a star on the
top of the card.
Washington state issues enhanced driver’s licenses only.
These documents will be accepted at the airport security checkpoint when the
REAL ID enforcement goes into effect.
I think we can all find many things to be thankful about – – people, pets, the roof over our heads, the food on our table, and our general good fortune. If we want to think in terms of Disney, we can always be thankful for the many things that Walt Disney gave to us over these many years that have led to our entertainment, amusement, and memories. Some of us Disney nerds may even go as far as feeling grateful for the many lessons that Walt Disney had taught us through his imaginative, yet pragmatic approach to life, family, and work. But this article isn’t about us being grateful for Walt Disney. It is about how he, himself, lived with gratitude.
Be grateful for the hardships and failures of your youth, and the lessons they taught you. Walt once said about childhood, “I think it’s important to have a good hard failure when you’re young. I learned a lot out of that. Because it makes you kind of aware of what can happen to you.” Considering all of the hardships and failures Walt experienced before he became successful, it is exactly because of those failures that he learned how to do better. Many people would be worn down by failures, but Walt taught us to be thankful for them, for it is with learning from our mistakes that we create success. We just learn to simply not do THAT again!
Be like a child, and be thankful for the little things. One of the biggest things we remember about Walt Disney was his ability to see the world through a child’s eyes. In many ways, Walt was a big kid himself, and it is perhaps this childlike approach to life that always kept him curious and looking forward to creating bigger and better things. Walt once commented, “Why do we have to grow up? I know more adults who have the children’s approach to life . . . They are not afraid to be delighted with simple pleasures, and they have a degree of contentment with what life has brought – – sometimes it isn’t much either.” Walt’s notion to find contentment and gratitude in the small things is perhaps one of the most important lessons we can learn from him. I think many of us can agree that some days, we just don’t want to “adult” anymore. Sometimes getting lost in a good book or taking a nap with your pet cuddled up next to you is the greatest joy. Suddenly, you realize just how much you truly appreciate not having to look at your phone.
Be humble and thankful for those that work for and with you, and appreciate who you work for. When asked of his Company, Walt said, “Whatever we accomplish is due to the combined effort . . . in my organization, there is respect for every individual, and we all have a keen respect for the public.” Walt realized that although he had big ideas, he could never have built or created what he did without the help of others. To him, success was found in a multitude of ideas coming together, and no idea was a “bad one,” – – it just needed to be reworked or looked at in a different way. Walt valued the individual, but also realized that individuals must work together in order to create something much greater than themselves, and for the greater good.
Be proactive in showing gratitude for others. Don’t just say it! In all of my years of studying Walter Elias Disney, I have rarely ever come across a pointed example of Walt actually saying, “Thank you,” to someone. This hardly means that he was ungrateful. In fact, he never really believed in “thanking” a person since it was more important to show his gratitude through praise. He was a motivator – – a positive energy that served as a catalyst to propel other’s upward and onward. To Walt, showing appreciation was key, and he did so by giving others his trust and confidence which was far greater than a mere, “Thank you.” Walt stated, “Giving appreciation – – showing it – – is fully as important as getting it in our everyday relations.” Many of those who worked for Walt, learned quickly to never expect him to say, “thank you.” Their greatest reward came in the form of him praising their work to another colleague. One might find this odd, but the results became astoundingly clear in the resulting talent that Walt cultivated, encouraged, and helped nurture into the Legends that they became. Those Legends went on to ensure Walt’s legacy would live on well beyond his lifetime.
I can think of many things that I am “thankful” for. However, I think the most important part of
discovering our gratitude is to humble ourselves, and think in terms of a
simpler time. This was a common practice
for Walt, and it helped him to see clearer, to think bigger, love more, and
overcome some of the biggest obstacles imaginable. To actually show gratitude by lifting others
up, is how to truly live with a thankful heart.
Who knows what legacies we will leave behind, but at least those we
leave behind will know how much they were appreciated. Thanks again, Walt, for your example!
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