The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted travel plans throughout California and across the world, resulting in countless postponed weddings, canceled family reunions, and delayed special occasions.
If you missed out on a major celebration last year, take heart: Visit California will be making some of these delayed dreams come true through its “Dreaming On in California” program. To enter, simply share your tale of woe online. Chosen participants will receive once-in-a-lifetime experiences featuring jaw-dropping destinations, bold-name celebrities, and VIP access.
To submit your story, visit VisitCalifornia.com/DreamingOn before midnight May 24 to take a short survey, including what major milestone, celebration, or other life event you postponed or lost in 2020. Tell us why it was important to you, and with whom you planned to share those special moments. Submitters are encouraged to upload photos and share their social handles or links to videos that tell their story.
And that’s it. Selected recipients will be notified by June 1 and must be able to be in California the week of June 21. Complimentary hotel stays are included but airfare is not.
Pretty cool, right?
Showcase experiences include an unforgettable meal prepared by acclaimed celebrity chef Curtis Stone; behind-the-scenes access at a San Diego Padres baseball game; a magical Disneyland Resort vacation; a luxury road trip with stops at Marriott International properties across the state; and a series of fairytale weddings at the luxurious Carneros Resort and Spa, and much more.
“We are thrilled to collaborate with such iconic partners and the highest caliber of talent to commemorate the safe reopening of California and host these once-in-a-lifetime experiences,” said Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California. “California has always been a place of endless possibility, and the state’s unmatched scenery will provide the perfect backdrop for these long-overdue celebrations.”
Here is more detail on each of the Dreaming On in California experiences:
The week kicks off on June 21 with award-winning chef, author, and television personality Curtis Stone preparing a sunset dinner of signature dishes for 10-15 couples who missed an anniversary or other special milestone. The Australian chef is known for embracing the seasonality of California ingredients in his menus. Stone’s TV credits include “Take Home Chef,” “Top Chef Masters,” “Top Chef Junior,” “Field Trip with Curtis Stone,” and the forthcoming “Crime Scene Kitchen” on FOX. In addition to helming his own restaurants—the Michelin-starred and Gwen Butcher Shop & Restaurant–Stone is a New York Times bestselling author and has become the best-reviewed and top-selling culinary brand for his line of products on the Home Shopping Network.
“This past year has taken its toll on many of us, and the hospitality industry was no stranger to brutal setbacks," Stone said. "So many people have come to California to reinvent themselves and as the state reopens, I’m excited to welcome loyal and new guests to the restaurants, help them to create beautiful memories to bounce back and move forward.”
The “Magic is Here” at Disneyland Resort, where three families of four will receive an ultimate theme park experience in Anaheim. The celebration package, ideal for making dreams come true, includes a two-night stay at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, three-day Park Hopper tickets to Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park, a one-day Disneyland Resort VIP Tour, a welcome basket, and a $100 Disney dining card. While celebrating at the Disneyland Resort, winners may experience a land of Super Heroes at the all-new Avengers Campus in Disney California Adventure Park or experience great adventures at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge in Disneyland Park, along with other memory-making lands and attractions throughout both parks, as well as unique shopping and dining in the Downtown Disney District.
On June 23, two families will receive a special night out at a San Diego Padres game to reunite and make up for lost time together. As the Padres battle in-state rivals the Los Angeles Dodgers, the families will be treated to amazing seats and a private, exclusive pre-game behind-the-scenes tour of Petco Park. This experience will also include suite accommodations at Omni San Diego Hotel, the only hotel in the U.S. connected to a major league stadium.
Customized luxury road trips will be set up for two groups who will receive everything they need to hit the Road Trip Republic in style, from luxe rental cars to exclusive experiences. Luxury accommodations will be set up along the way by Marriott International and each road trip will cover a different region of the state. A Southern California trip will include stays at JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE, the new JW Marriott, Anaheim Resort, and THE US GRANT, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Diego. A Northern California trip will include stays at Monterey Marriott, JW Marriott San Francisco, and San Francisco Marriott Fisherman’s Wharf.
The week will culminate on June 25 with 10 individual micro-weddings (up to 20 guests each) or milestone vow renewals over the course of 10 hours at Napa Valley’s magnificent Carneros Resort and Spa, which will also mark the debut of the resort’s newest wedding venue, Hilltop Lawn. Nestled atop 28 acres, the new space overlooks the region’s iconic vineyards and rolling hills, making for a truly stunning backdrop to say “I do.” Additionally, each couple will enjoy a two-night stay at a local resort so they can enjoy a true dream destination wedding experience and soak in Napa Valley’s approachable luxury.
To sign up, head over to the Dreaming On in California portal, which is open now until 11:59 PDT May 24.