There are some amazing family tour operators that plan over-the-top vacations, but one of our favorites is Adventures by Disney (AbD).
Put aside everything you think you know about the company, because their tours do not revolve around the famous mouse. What they do focus on is family fun with minimal effort, as in, you let them do all the work while you enjoy a magical vacation.
If you have never been on an Adventures by Disney tour, we are here to answer your questions and convince you this is the trip you’ve been looking for. Let’s get started.
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What is Adventures by Disney?
Adventures by Disney is the private tour company operated by Disney. They create guided small group trips to both domestic and international destinations. Their selection of tours includes short escapes, river cruises, land-based excursions, and expedition sailings.
When did Adventures by Disney start?
Adventures by Disney launched in 2005, and at the time they only had two itineraries – Wyoming and Hawaii (before Aulani was open).
Today they offer 48 different adventures, covering exotic locales like Japan and Egypt, and domestic spots like Alaska and the Grand Canyon. New for 2024 are Morocco, Colombia, and an Adriatic Expedition that sails from Venice to Croatia and Montenegro.
How much do Adventures by Disney cost?
Let’s be honest, these tours are not inexpensive, but then again, most higher-end luxury group travel isn’t. The least expensive adventure is around $2499 per person (based on double occupancy) and the most expensive is $114,995 per person (for their around the world adventure on a private jet). The average price for an Adventures by Disney trip is $6999 per person.
However, there’s a lot that’s included in your travel package. Travelers can expect high-end accommodations, fabulous guides, admission to attractions, transportation for the entire trip, VIP treatment, and private tours, sometimes to places no one else goes.
With more than 90% of your meals included as well as tips for the drivers, bellman, housekeeping and more, it’s rare to spend much money unless you share my shopping addiction. AbD takes care of every detail from luggage transfer to food allergies and more.
Does Adventures by Disney include airfare?
With Adventures by Disney, airfare to the destination is not included. It is one of the only things you will have to pay for separately. If there are internal flights on the tour, their cost will always be included. Transfers are also included to and from the airport at the destination.
Is food included in Adventures by Disney?
Mosts meals are included on your tour, however there may be days when you are out exploring or off the ship and need to cover your own food. On our Costa Rica itinerary every meal was covered.
How many guests are on a typical Adventures by Disney tour?
Land adventures have a maximum of 44 people. Everyone participates in the same activities, with the exception of the days when they offer junior adventure activities.
On our Costa Rica trip with Adventures by Disney, people could opt out of the river rafting or zip lining and choose to spend time in town or go for a walk on a hanging bridge. Alternate activities are offered on some days, but not all.
River Cruises are run in partnership with AmaWaterways. These ships can have up to 160 people on board. Expedition cruises are operated in conjunction with Ponant. Each day there are a variety of activities to choose from, so even if your family wants time apart, that’s an option.
What I’m saying is that these are smaller tour groups. You are not going to love everyone, but odds are you will find a few people you enjoy. Our kids were excited to have other kids their ages traveling with us. When they didn’t want to hang out with us or their siblings they could spend time with other kids in the group.
What are the benefits of Adventures by Disney?
Where to begin. For us, one of the biggest benefits of an Adventures by Disney vacation is not having to worry about all of the little things. This is a huge time saver, especially for the trip planner in your family.
They take care of scheduling transportation, meals, activities, and attractions. All you have to do is show up.
Another plus is there’s always an Adventure Guide whenever you need them. Every tour has two highly trained Disney Guides (up to six guides on the cruises). They are your concierge for the trip from the organizational details to your photographers.
Guides can help with everything from basic necessities (like where to get medicine nearby) to entertaining junior adventures on the bus when traveling for the day. By the end of your trip they will feel like family (it’s true, we are still in contact with our guides years later)!
What is the best age for an Adventures by Disney trip?
Disney recommends that children be at least 5 years of age for most of their land adventures and river cruises. However, I would say it really depends on the destination.
For Costa Rica, we had a 7 year old on the trip and there was a lot of bus travel and complaints about this. He was also afraid to do some of the activities like zip lining and river rafting (I don’t blame him!), so you really have to know your child. Some kids will be ready for an adventure at 5, but I think 8 years and older is really the sweet spot.
If you are not booking early and have some flexibility with your date, your travel agent can also tell you what age children are already booked on the dates you are considering. This often helps with built in new friends.
What is the most popular Adventures by Disney itinerary?
It may come as no surprise that one of the most popular destinations is Italy. AbD has four different Italy trips on offer, but its Rome, Florence and Venice tour ties with the England/France one, followed by Costa Rica.
The most popular AbD itinerary domestically is Southern California (Backstage at Disneyland and Disney Studios), followed by Arizona/Utah.
Special Tips for Booking an Adventures by Disney Vacation
- Book early – The earlier you book your trip, the more money you can save. Adventures by Disney are priced on a tier system based on how many travelers are already booked on that specific date.
- Travel in shoulder season – Check the rates for your trip at different times of the year. Less demand often means deals for you.
- Research airfare – If you have flexibility, find flights first before booking your AbD tour. This way you can find the cheapest airfare and look for an adventure that matches that time frame.
- Don’t be locked into a destination – Some destinations are simply cheaper than others. If you have flexibility, you can save some money by choosing to travel somewhere that doesn’t cost as much.
- Plan a return trip – AbD also has a bounce back offer. If you book your next adventure within 45 days of your return, you will receive a discount on your next adventure.
Are Adventures by Disney worth it?
100% yes. This is an adventure of a lifetime and it’s so nice to just show up and enjoy a destination. There is minimal Disney influence, but it has all of the attention to detail you’ve come to expect from a Disney product.
Don’t expect character meet and greets or souvenir shopping, but you will occasionally find some Disney movies on the bus and little touches here and there. It is truly a joy to take an Adventures by Disney vacation because you will not have to lift a finger.
How to book Adventures by Disney vacations?
As you can see, there are a lot of questions that go into planning the perfect Adventures by Disney vacation. We recommend using Sandy Nussbaum-Giercyk, Earmarked Agency Owner and a Disney Master/Travel Concierge. She has traveled on 13 Adventures by Disney trips and she can help you navigate every last detail.
When working with Sandy, you will pay the identical rate as booking with Disney, and have a single point of contact. As a bonus, Sandy will pay your guide gratuities, one of the only things not included with your tour. Please reach out to Sandy@ezdisez.com or 877-EZDIS-EZ (393-4739) and tell her I sent you. She has a special gift for people I send her way!