Show us a child that doesn’t dream of one day meeting Sophia the First at Disneyland, or the pre-teen that wishes to wander the corridors of Hogwarts and perhaps even try on the sorting hat for size with Harry Potter! Though, as adults, our dreams evolve, there’s something forever-magical about these places, and many more. Visiting your dream vacation destination is definitely a reality now and you can easily get lost in the fun and wonder that our list of destinations has to offer.
Santa in Finland
Finland is pure magic during winter and extremely beautiful. You will be forgiven if you assume that reindeers might just take off in flight and that Father Christmas does indeed live in a log cabin! Lapland, in particular, is known as a dream destination with its secluded forest areas, where you can enjoy a reindeer-pulled sleigh ride between evergreen trees. Visitors can rent a fully heated cottage (perfect for outdoor temperatures of -35 degrees Celsius!) and even have the option of enjoying a proper Finnish sauna experience – dipping into an icy cold pool and then quickly returning to the warmth of the sauna. It is said to be wonderfully rejuvenating and healthy for the skin! Visiting over the festive season will almost guarantee you a run-in with Santa himself so make sure to have your gift list at hand.
|R1,800+ per night
Enter the world of unforgettable experiences with princesses and all of your favourite Disney characters. The best part about a visit to this dream vacation destination is just soaking up the atmosphere and whether you’re a child or adult, it is something that can’t be explained. You may not have thought that you would ever want to try eating a doughnut in the shape of Mickey Mouse, but once there, reality changes and suddenly you do! You can look forward to meeting your favourite princesses strolling down the road, the original Disney characters such as Mickey, Minnie and Goofy and these days, you who knows, you may even be detained by a Star Wars stormtrooper too!
|Orlando (US), Japan, France, and Shanghai in China
Universal Studios is the perfect dream destination as it allows you to enter your favourite movie scene and be part of the action. For the young and young at heart, be intrigued and sing along with Sesame Street and the world of Madagascar or Puss in Boots. There are also thrilling rides such as the Transformer 3D ride or the adrenaline-induced Battlestar Galactica rollercoaster ride. You can also visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter here and explore all of the magical arts – make sure to have your wands ready! Two theme parks within the grounds are filled with adventure and your favourite characters can be found. There are a number of locations around the world that you can enjoy, including Florida, Hollywood and Singapore.
|8 Sentosa Gateway, Singapore
Master builders of the world unite and plan your trip to this amazing dream vacation destination. There are interactive play areas for all, from the youngest with the Duplo (lego for babies/young toddlers) to older kids with racing Lego cars and meeting interactive robots. Of course, there are rollercoasters that will have everyone laughing and holding onto their seats. You can enjoy the fun in locations around the world, including Denmark, USA, Germany, Dubai, Japan, Malaysia, England and a few in the USA, including New York, Sandiego and Orlando. There are also Legoland water parks for fun days in the sun that is great for the whole family with different attractions for everyone.
|Winter Haven, Florida, USA
Nothing says magical quite like seeing all the animals of the world under one very big roof! Singapore Zoo features 11 zones and is large – 26 hectares large. It also has more than 2,500 animals! There is an abundance of things to see and do in this dream destination that is perfectly situated in a rainforest, housing tropical and sub-Saharan animals comfortably. Visit the Australian exhibit and leet koala and kangaroo, see the African exhibit and feed a giraffe or rush over to the Antarctic and see a polar bear up close.
|80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore
Space Centre, Houston
‘I want to be an astronaut when I grow up!’
Is there anything more exciting than the thought of outer space and travelling far beyond the moon and beyond? Many young girls and boys have a dream of doing just that and flying in a massive spaceship to discover and be amazed by space. The Space Centre in Houston is one of the best and most exhilarating places to visit if space travel gets you excited. Spend your time here trying on space suits, touching space rocks in all shapes and sizes and even go on a simulated spacewalk with the help of virtual reality.
Meet all the animals of the jungle and go on a safari. There are so many destinations in Africa that qualify as a dream vacation destination. See lions, zebras, hippos, buffalos and so many more wild animals in their natural environments. Enjoying an African safari certainly counts as a thrill as so much excitement awaits you on this journey into the unknown. Whether it be a game drive to spot some hyena in South Africa or a 14-day wilderness experience in Tanzania that includes it all, you’re bound to have a great time.
|Adults: Range between R2,000 and R18,000 per person for a package
|Across the southern African, including South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Tanzania
Have you visited your dream vacation destination or is it still on your bucket list of things to do? Let us know in the comments below if it lived up to your expectations and was as wonderful as you imagined!
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Disclaimer: All prices were correct at the time of writing and are liable to change at any time. Travelstart will not be held accountable for this.