Adventures by Disney is for people who trust the “Disney” brand, but don’t necessarily want to travel to a theme park to get the experience.
In 2006, Disney launched Adventures by Disney to provide guided, structured tours to some of the most popular destinations in the world. Destinations range from places right here at home (The Grand Canyon, Alaska, California, San Francisco, Wyoming among others) to Europe (London, Paris, Rome) as well as locations in Asia, Africa and Australia. With the sole exception of the California Backstage Magic tour, NONE of these adventures takes you into a Disney theme park.
However, if you’re like me and love the theme parks, but have done them and occasionally think “it would be nice to go somewhere else for once” – it’s worth considering Adventures by Disney.
In a nutshell, Adventures by Disney provides luxury tours to exotic destinations. You’re guided by two ‘Adventure’ guides (normally one Disney cast member and one person from the country your visiting) who handle every detail of your trip. Once you arrive at your destination, your guides take over. That doesn’t mean you end up with a ‘Disney’ sanitized vacation – quite to the contrary – you get to see and experience things most others don’t have access to. That’s where the Disney name opens doors. Virtually every part of the Adventures by Disney experience is ‘private’ in some form or another. You wait on no lines for anything – Disney makes arrangements to provide access to venues either exclusively, or ahead of the general public. For example, during a recent Adventures by Disney vacation to Australia, we were taken to the popular “Hartley’s Crocodile Adventure” park after hours – we had the place to ourselves. After our tour of the park, we were treated to a private dinner. When they took us to the Great Barrier Reef we boarded our boat ahead of the general public, and were provided with our own marine biologist who coordinated our snorkeling event and stayed with our ABD group to answer questions and give us facts about the location throughout the event. On the Adventures by Disney California Backstage Magic tour, we were treated to a private tour of the Jimmy Kimmel Live studio (not available to the general public), we were given a private tour of Walt Disney Imagineering (not available to the public) and even when we were in the theme parks we were back-doored onto attractions and when we had free time, we were given handfuls of fast-passes to ensure we waited on as few lines as possible.
Now, if you’re looking for a discount trip to Europe, this is not the tour for you – we should get that out of the way now. These Adventures by Disney trips are not inexpensive, and it might be easy to look at the price and dismiss it as ‘not worth it’. However, for those of us that have experienced the sticker shock and taken the plunge, we come away feeling that the trip was worth every penny we paid.
The hotels we stay in are first rate, most meals are included in the cost of the tour, along with transportation once you arrive at your destination (transportation to and from the adventure is not included). The cost of admission to the many venues you experience are all included in the Adventures by Disney price as well. For example, once in Australia, our hotel, most of our meals, bus transportation, air transport from Cairns to Uluru and from Uluru to Sydney, and our admission to all venues on the tour were part of the price paid. There are no hidden fees – no nickel and dime-ing so to speak.
Adventures by Disney, or ABD as we like to abbreviate it, offers more than glorious, guided, 5 star vacations to various destinations.
They offer the opportunity to immerse yourself in the charm and history of your destination without any of the planning, worry, schedule conflicts, dining decisions….well, you get the idea.
ABD tells you all of this in their available information. What they don’t tell you, probably because it’s so hard to explain without sounding hokey, is that you will end your amazing journey with a new group of friends and acquaintances.
Traveling with a small group of strangers did not sound all that appealing when we first discussed traveling to Rome, Tuscany and Venice with ABD in 2006. Wanting to visit Italy and knowing that this might be the only chance I’d ever get to see these places, I agreed to go with this option.
We had nine amazing (I keep using that word, but it’s the one that best fits) days in Italy and we fit more into those nine days than I ever thought possible. ABD made sure that we saw and experienced everything we could fit into each day and the truly incredible detail is that they showed us things we would never be able to see on our own. We bypassed lines that were hours-long waiting to see the Vatican. We were allowed entrance to the museum that houses the Michelangelo’s David even though all of the museums in Florence were shut down due to a worker’s strike. ABD made things possible that would have never been possible were we traveling by ourselves.
Getting back to our group of “strangers”…..they were not strangers after the first few minutes of our Welcome Dinner. We all had something in common. We all loved Disney and even though we weren’t visiting a Disney park, the quality, service and comfort level were all familiar to any Disney guest.
This common denominator led to further discussions and “getting to know you” kinds of things and before long, we were standing in front of the Trevi Fountain or the Pantheon or visiting the Coliseum in Rome. Now, while you may be able to find many folks who have visited these same places, you will be hard pressed to find anyone, other than your fellow Adventurers, who have the shared memory of that exact visit. No one else will remember the details of what made you laugh till you hurt or filled you with emotion.
It’s been several years since that Italy Adventure and I remain in contact with several of the folks that traveled with us. Bonds were formed over shared experiences and the idea that you were visiting a strange place, but it was all okay because you had friends watching your back (and you watched theirs).
I’ve taken several other ABD trips since then and the same thing happens every time. You spend several days traveling and sharing experiences and you come away with more than photos and memories. You come away with new friends.
I’ve shared this with many of the folks I’ve booked on their own Adventures and none were more skeptical than my co-worker Kathy. She was sure that I was “over- selling” her on this aspect of the Adventure and would “see for herself.” As you can imagine, Kathy came back from her Adventure and told me that everything I had told her was true. She has even made plans with some of her fellow Adventurers to meet at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World as a reunion.
ABD tells you about all of the wondrous things you will see and do. They share the information that you will be staying in luxurious, 5-star accommodations. Most of the details are out there for folks to check out.
The one thing they don’t tell you is that you will come back from your Adventure knowing a group of folks that have shared memories and experiences and that you will remember them and your Adventure for the rest of your life.
If you have any questions about or need any assistance with an Adventures By Disney trip, please let me know.
I can be reached at [email protected].
Adventures by Disney(ABD) presents an extraordinary way to experience Disney Cruise Line! Guests can enhance their sailing with the extra magic of an Adventures by Disney vacation! Combining ABD's personal service and expertise in guided travel across the world with the enchantment of a Disney cruise, you will have a selection of unique onboard activities and premium shore experiences designed to immerse you and your family in the history and sights of your destination.
Barcelona Pre-Cruise Stay
EUROPE | Barcelona | 4 Days / 3 Nights
BARCELONA PRE-CRUISE STAY FAMILY VACATION HIGHLIGHTS
Copenhagen Pre-Cruise Stay
EUROPE | Copenhagen | 4 Days / 3 Nights
COPENHAGEN PRE-CRUISE STAY FAMILY VACATION HIGHLIGHTS
New York City Pre-Cruise Stay
NEW YORK CITY | North America | 4 Days /3 Nights
NEW YORK CITY PRE-CRUISE STAY FAMILY VACATION HIGHLIGHTS
DISNEYLAND AND SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PRE-CRUISE STAY FAMILY VACATION HIGHLIGHTS
You can now enhance your 2020 River Cruise with these new Short Escapes from Adventures by Disney! Click on each one for dates and itineraries.Paris Short Escape
SHORT ESCAPE VACATION HIGHLIGHTS
SHORT ESCAPE VACATION HIGHLIGHTS
SHORT ESCAPE VACATION HIGHLIGHTS
Enhance your next Disney Cruise Line cruise with Adventures by Disney. You'll discover the best of every port with special guided experiences from Adventures by Disney. Hosted by Adventure Guides, our vacation packages offer VIP experiences and opportunities that only Disney can deliver to immerse your family in the culture and history of the places you visit. Best of all your entire experience will be completely carefree.
Choose from 6 captivating Adventures by Disney cruise itineraries to the Mediterranean or Northern Europe—and experience the best each destination has to offer.
Adventures By Disney Itineraries include: