Erin Foster, coauthor of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line, has taken many Adventures by Disney trips and tells us more about this lesser-known component of Disney travel.
Currently Adventures by Disney departures are suspended through Monday, September 30, 2020. For updated information check here.
Almost everyone knows about the Disney theme parks and Disney Cruise Line, but there is also Adventures by Disney, the company’s luxury travel arm that offers guided trips on six continents.
These trips use Disney-trained guides to take relatively small groups of guests to places like Costa Rica, Italy, or South Africa. You’re not interacting with Mickey Mouse in these places, but you are being assisted by folks who are well-versed in Disney’s famous customer service, while you stay in five-star accommodations and visit iconic sites with little to no wait. For example, there might be a three-hour wait to get into the Sistine Chapel for most people, but with AbD you’ll be able to walk right in and have some time there with just your small group.
Four Types of Adventures by Disney Vacations are Available
- Land-based trips: These typically last 7-12 days. They may involve cultural activities (museums, concerts, theater), active exploration (rafting, biking, snorkeling), animal activities (horseback riding, zoos, farms), culinary events (restaurants, cooking lessons, wine tastings), and more. Land-based trips often involve several changes of venue. For example, on the AbD trip to Australia, you’ll visit Palm Cove, Melbourne, and Sydney.
- Short Escapes: These typically last 2-5 days. They involve the same types of activities as above but focus on just one city, such as New York or London.
- River Cruises: River Cruises take place on European waterways on small ships that hold approximately 150 guests. The AbD river cruises include gourmet food onboard, your posh stateroom, and all your tours while on land.
- Adventures Embedded in Disney Cruise Line Ocean Cruises: Rather than selecting individual port excursions from those offered to regular guests, AbD chooses a balance of tours, some of which are unavailable to others, and you enjoy those tours with your own guides that stay with you throughout the sailing.
I’ve been lucky enough to have taken 10 Adventures by Disney trips so far: four land-based trips (Costa Rica, Germany, Wyoming, China, Peru), one short escape (Barcelona), two river cruises (Rhine River and Danube River), and two embedded DCL cruises (Mediterranean and Baltic). My family has also booked the AbD Japan trip for summer 2021!
My favorite trip so far has been the China Adventures by Disney vacation, which included a visit to the Great Wall, a trip to a panda sanctuary, and a tour of Shanghai.
The AbD website is a wonderful resource, listing all the trips, a day-by-day breakdown of everything that happens during the trip, and even the hotels you’ll stay in while touring. These trips are expensive, but if you want a frictionless vacation where every detail is taken care of, you can’t go wrong with Adventures by Disney. The River Cruise and AbD embedded trips are covered in detail in The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line.