Do you believe in fairies? Are there fairies at the bottom of your garden? Well, if you can’t see them maybe it is because you haven’t downloaded the app – even the fairies have joined the modern world. Last week we visited the Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens at Mount Tomah because we had heard on the grapevine that the Disney Fairies had arrived and we were keen to join the Fairy Trail to find them.
I’m all for activities which encourage children outdoors and anything which engages them with their environment. The Disney Fairies trail does both and it is free! I love that word in school holidays. The program is running at the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, Mount Annan Botanic Gardens, Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne and Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens Mount Tomah.
Once you download the app on your phone you choose which fairy trail you will be doing ie we were doing Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens and a map will show you where to find the fairies in the garden. There are also signs around the gardens to ensure you don’t miss anything. Once you find a fairy you tap the screen and the fairy is animated on your phone.
If you take a screen shot on your phone you can capture your child with the fairy which provides a lovely keepsake of the day. Be warned, the fairies are fast and are prone to steal the limelight (see photo to the right of AJ). Tinkerbell is the worst at this but that is to be expected.
Children are given a free Disney Fairy activity booklet on arrival with information about the trail and some activities to complete. When you have found all the fairies you can return to the visitors centre to receive a free packet of Diggers seeds (one packet per family). The fairies you find then go home with you on your phone and can “fly again” whenever you like.
We have visited the Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens on several occasions and always enjoy the diversity of plants, bird life and the views. It is set on a hill though and therefore is not the easiest location with a wheelchair. It is extremely steep on the return and I recommend you use the vehicle service they offer to people with a disability. They will pick you up from the bottom and drive you to the top. You need to request this at the information desk on your arrival. This vehicle is also used for tours of the garden.
Hubby decided he would push BJ back to the top but has had a bad back ever since.
We had a really fun time following the Disney Trail and it was proving extremely popular at the gardens. The lady at the desk seemed surprised by the number of visitors the fairies had brought to the garden. With so many bad things happening in the world I think parents are keen for their children to experience a bit of magic and Disney has a way of bringing that to life and evolving the current generation. I think it is fantastic that the gardens have embraced it and it looks to have brought a whole new fan base to the botanic gardens.
I believe Australia is the first to experience this app but I am sure it won’t be long before it is available elsewhere in the world.
Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens is a stunning location but just remember if the hills are a problem that the Disney Trail is available at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney too.
before you go
I recommend downloading the app at home prior to leaving to ensure it will work on your phone and avoid disappointment. You can download it here.
The App will work on iOS iPhone 5 and above and iPads. Available on most android devices less than two years old including OS 4.4 and above. It will not work on iPad minis.
For children with a disability who have any vision impairment or vision attention issues I would recommend using an iPad as the picture would be so much larger for them to see. The glare on the screen may be an issue but there are plenty of opportunities in the locations to have the fairies come to life so you should be able to find a suitable position.
The Disney Trail is available at the gardens mentioned above until 28 February.
Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens has disabled parking and stand alone disabled toilet facilities available.
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