Sunday,  February 17, 2019  11:26 pm

A winning team emerges from the AC Race in Kissimmee

A winning team emerges from the AC Race in Kissimmee
Christine Hogg

Christine Hogg is the Associate Digital Editor at PAX Global Media. Prior to joining PAX, she obtained her Honours BA in Journalism from the University of Toronto. Upon graduating, she went on to write for several travel publications while travelling the world. Her longest trip was a three-week stint in Europe, and the shortest was a 16-hour adventure in Iceland. Get in touch:

After three incredible days in Kissimmee, Florida, it only seemed fitting that the last leg of the 2018 Air Canada Race took agents to the happiest place on earth.

Bright and early, agents arrived at Disney's Hollywood Studios for a character breakfast, where everyone got to meet Toy Story Land's finest, Buzz Light Year himself, along with two strapping Green Army Men.

READ MORE: Day 2 #ACRaceKissimmee: a major detour at Universal Orlando won't stop these agents

image00013.jpegFrom left: Mike Kroeker, Jeannie Qubti, PAX's Christine Hogg, Jade Menne and Clifford Fernandez meet the cast of Toy Story Land.

IMG_0600.JPGThe whole gang meets Buzz!

The beginning of the end

Upon arriving at the entrance gates of Disney's Hollywood Studios, teams bolted from the bus and navigated through the park, in search of the first clue, presented by Jennifer Rivard, wholesale sales manager, Disney, who was hiding somewhere in the park wearing signature Mickey Mouse ears.

The first challenge had teams strike their best, most original pose with a Disney character. Team 3 opted to pose with Chewbacca, who was more than happy to cheer the team onto the second part of the challenge!

IMG_8669.JPGTeam 3 finds some Wookiee support from Chewbacca during the first challenge.

Not just fun and games

Teams had a chance to explore the newest attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Toy Story Land, upon receiving the second clue, which involved a few tasty treats.

Teams were asked to find three desserts: a churro, a Mickey Mouse icecream sandwich, and a Mystic Portal Punch, which was hiding in Andy's Lunchbox. Finding the icecream and churro were a breeze--keeping the icecream cold while competing in 45 degree heat was a challenge in itself!


The final challenge (Clue 3) had teams go head to head to create a photo collage of all of the fun things to do at Toy Story Land. From riding the Slinky Dog Dash and the Alien Swirling Saucers, to having your photo taken under the iconic, larger-than-life Woody who guards the entrance to the park and greets guests with a friendly "Howdy, partner!", teams had fun sharing their favourite experiences.

Finally, a winner!

Later that evening, racers arrived at Discovery Cove, which, as Denise Graham, account manager, Vox International, considers one of Kissimmee's best-kept secrets.

After three days of foot golf, tree top trekking, racing through Universal Studios and Disney's Hollywood Studios, a winner emerged.

Congratulations to Team Federico, led by Federico Berardinucci of Air Canada, and his team, Amanda Lindsay, The Travel Store; Jesica Faur, Canada One Travel; Tatiana Rheaume, Egencia and Harriet Palaypayon, Nexion Travel. All team members received round trips aboard Air Canada Rouge to Orlando, a vacation home rental stay, and passes for two to Disney, Universal, and SeaWorld (Aquatica and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay).

As a result of working for Air Canada, it was only fair that Federico's prize went to Kristina Dyk, who just so happened to win an additional prize for having the best social media presence throughout the week--as well as the most unique laugh!

IMG_8351.JPGThe winning team, Team Federico!

Team Jamie, led by Jamie Fox of Air Canada, placed second. Congratulations to Jamie and his teammates, Julia Yashku, YYZ Travel; Hannah Parker, HRG; Tommy Tereshyn, 5–10 Travel, and Karlie Reinberger, Merit Travel.

Tied for third were PAX's Team Christine with her teammates Michael Kroeker, Bonaventure Travel; Clifford Fernandez, BCD; Jeannie Qubti, A.Nash Travel, and Jade Menne, Mokami Travel and Team Simona, led by Air Canada's Simona Cercel and her teammates Angela Macrae, Travel Edge; Vanessa Barone, Sportscorp Travel; Crystal Chapotelle, Paull Travel and McKenzie McMillan, The Travel Group.

Race recap

This year's Air Canada Race saw eight teams embark on a series of challenges, mostly active, but also some that required a bit of creativity, originality, and plain old teamwork.

IMG_8324.JPGTeam 3 came to play hard at the 2018 Air Canada Race.

Day one started with a round of foot golf at Reunion resort, followed by an obstacle course among the trees at Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park. From balancing on hovering skateboards suspended in the air, to letting loose on a zipline, the only thing stopping some teams was the inevitable lightning storm. Many agents expressed the desire to return to the park--fingers crossed!

IMG_8342.JPGTeam 3 gets ready to compete at the Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park.

0dpm-13s8-tvvt-b1.jpgTeam 3's Jeannie conquers the zipline!

0dpm-0z3k-tvc2-v4.jpgTeam 3's Mike, Jade, and Christine wait in line for the next obstacle course.

0dpm-13tc-tvvv-qy.jpgTeam 3's Clifford tackles the Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park!

The second day of the race took everyone to Universal Studios to complete a scavenger hunt composed of 36 questions. All teams finished the challenge, and had a lot of free time to enjoy the attractions at the park.

image00001.jpegTeams head out to Universal Studios.

image00008.jpegLove The Simpson's? All buildings look just like the show! Apu's Kwik-E-Mart was the scene of one of the scavenger hunt clues.

image00006.jpegKrustyland is a favourite at Universal Orlando.

The third and final day took teams to Disney's Hollywood Studios. From meeting Disney characters, to exploring some of the rides, it truly was a day to remember, with a fun-filled evening at Discovery Cove.

No word yet on where the next Air Canada Race will be held!