Rez Dreams’ First Trip To Walt Disney World

Posted By Paul G November 9th, 2014 Last Updated on: January 25th, 2017

Rez Dreams, a Native American non-profit dedicated to making the dream of visiting Walt Disney World a reality for underprivileged Native American children, recently hosted their inaugural families in Orlando, Fl. Rez Dreams provides 4 round-trip airline tickets to and from Orlando, Fl., a 4 nights stay at Disney’s All-Stars Resort, 4 tickets to the Magic Kingdom, Epcot Center, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, a Quick Service meal plan and $100 spending cash per group per day at the parks.

From Tuesday,Sept. 29th to Saturday,Oct. 3rd, the Johnson family (Rachel and Katrina) and the Albert family (Andrianna and Eli) partook on the trip of a lifetime. Upon greeting them at the airport, our Executive Director, Rob Jacobs accompanied the families to the Disney All-Star Movies resort via the Disney Magical Express bus and made sure that they were all checked in and made comfortable.


The next morning (Wednesday) at 7:30 am, the families met Rob in the resort’s food court where they ate an awesome breakfast to fuel up for the day ahead at Disney’s “Magic Kingdom”. Katrina, dressed in a princess Tiana dress from “The Princess and the Frog” (provided by Rez Dreams) and Eli, Rachel, and Andrianna, sporting “Rez Dreams” T-shirts, were all smiles when they saw Cinderella’s castle for the first time.

Using the “My Disney Experience” app, Rob guided the families through the Magic Kingdom park with ease as he had already pre-planned each day’s activities. The families met Cinderella, Rapunzel, Aladdin, and Jasmine and they rode Space Mountain, The Haunted Mansion, Peter Pan’s Flight, Pirates of the Caribbean, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Railroad, Aladdin’s Magic Carpet, Dumbo, and It’s a Small World. They also saw numerous shows including The Hall of Presidents, Mickey’s Philharmonic, and The Country Bear Jamboree.  The day culminated with the world famous “Wishes” fireworks extravaganza.

On Thursday, the families repeated the breakfast routine and were off the “Epcot” for a day of exploration, learning, and fun. This was a great time to visit Epcot as the “International Food Festival” had just begun that week. The day began by meeting Alice in Wonderland; then it was off to the attractions. The families were guided to Future World to ride Soarin’, Living with the Land, The Seas with Nemo and friends, Journey into Imagination, and Chevrolet’s Test Track. While in Future world they also saw many shows including Turtle Talk with Crush, The Circle of Life, and Captain EO with Michael Jackson. The morning was made complete with a visit to The Character Spot where the families met Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and Goofy.



In the evening, the families began to explore Epcot’s “World Showcase” and they traveled through Mexico and rode the Grand Fiesta tour with “The Three Caballeros”, visited Norway, rode Maelstrom and viewed the inspiration behind Disney’s “Frozen”. They also took pictures in front of the “Forbidden City” in China, strolled through Germany and Italy, and listened to a concert by the great American rock band “Air Supply” at The American Adventure outdoor theatre. The night ended with the families enjoying the “Illuminations: Reflections of Earth” fireworks display.

Lastly, on Friday, the families ventured over to Disney’s “Hollywood Studios”. As soon as they walked in the park, they met and took pics with Donald Duck; then it was off to races. Rob guided the families over to Echo Lake, where they saw young Jedi being trained by Darth Vader, followed by a ride on Star Tours. The park was filled with Americana themed adventure as the families also rode the Great Movie Ride, Voyage of The Little Mermaid, Aerosmith’s Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. The day was made complete with a variety of great shows as the families viewed Beauty and the Beast, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, (in which Andrianna got picked to play an extra in), A “Frozen” Sing-Along Celebration,( in which the kids knew every word to), and The Magic of Disney Animation. Later that night, the families visited “Downtown Disney”, which is a souvenir hunter’s paradise, to buy t-shirts and other trinkets for their family members back home who couldn’t partake in their magical journey.


The next morning, departure Saturday, Rob made sure that the families were all packed and ready to go to the airport to catch their flights. All of their luggage was checked right at a resort and their boarding passes were pre-printed and left on their doors for ease of travel. The group then rode the “Disney Magical Express” bus to the airport and exchanged hugs and expressions of gratitude for the memories and smiles that were created the last few days.

During the weeks that followed, Rob uploaded over 700 pictures that he took during the journey to the “Rez Dreams” facebook page so the families could download their memories. He also uploaded a 15 minute video of the trip so the families can revisit these happy memories anytime they feel like it. After watching the video, Rachel stated, “My mom, Katrina, and I were crying and laughing at the same time.” Andrianna said in a video post on Facebook that “I can’t thank Rez Dreams enough for what you did for me and my son.” To Rob Jacobs and the board members of Rez Dreams, April Whittemore-Locklear, Darkfeather Ancheta, and Payal Jacobs, the feelings are mutual.

Rez Dreams would like to thank Mr. Paul Gowder, owner of WDWfamilystyle.com and Powwows.com for all of his support and help in promoting their cause. With his help, they were able to generate over 20,000 page likes on Facebook in 1 week and register nearly 200 people for their beadwork giveaway promotion. They would also like to thank the donors for their generosity. Rob Jacobs stated, “The trip’s total price was $6,200 dollars and our donors were instrumental in filling in the funding gaps. Without them, this trip wouldn’t have happened.” He also stated that “it’s Rez Dreams’ goal to take a family or group of 4 to Walt Disney World every 2 to 3 weeks. We’ve already received close to 100 applications from deserving families so the interest is there; we just need the backing to fulfill the desire.”

To get involved or to donate to Rez Dreams’ cause, please visit their website at www.rezdreams.org to learn more.

Some Fun Fact about the trip.

  • The group walked over 32 miles in 3 days according to the Apple “Health” app.
  • The group was on the go from 7:30 am to 10:30 at night
  • There were over 800 pictures taken during the trip

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I was wondering how to sign up or register for this trip ? Thank you. 🙂


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