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Mickey's*Chickey
07-14-2006, 08:31 PM
Today while searching the Disney site, I came across Adventures by Disney(ABD). I was wondering, is there any special forums on here about it, or can we start a new thread about it now? If any of you have done and ABD yet, what were your experiences?? Thanks so much guys!! :thumbsup2

Baloo
07-15-2006, 12:07 AM
I had to look that one up,I didn't know what Adventures by Disney was! There is no special forums for it here at the DIS.

In case anyone else doesn't know what ABD is here's a link.It's a Disney travel company to other places and countries with a touch of Disney Magic...sounds cool! :thumbsup2

http://abd.disney.go.com/abd/en_US/index
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LadyTrampScamp&Angel
07-15-2006, 05:26 AM
I just got the very nice brochure from Adventures by Disney. The trips look wonderful but they seem expensive to me. I mean much more expensive than booking things yourself. I used to be a TA and I know there are consumers that want preplanned vacations and have the money, etc but still . . .

We're looking at a Yellowstone trip. It'll be interesting when I get the componenets broken out and priced. I haven't gone over the brochure closely yet but at first glance it looked to me like the Yellowstone/Grand Teton trip was about $11,000 for a family of four for a week! Includes most flights, transportation, food, lodging, some excursions I think - still seems high to me :confused3

misslissa
07-15-2006, 07:37 AM
I also got the lovely, huge, atlas-looking book in the mail regarding adventures from disney... it is super duper expensive.

LuvOrlando
07-15-2006, 07:48 AM
I got that in the mail too. I guess they've been keeping track of my spending in WDW and think I live like that every day :rotfl2: :lmao: :rotfl2:

DisneyKevin
07-15-2006, 09:12 AM
We are taking the Italy trip with Adventures by Disney at the end of September. :banana: :banana:

We have researched every aspect of their itinerary and find that the hotels we will be staying at are 5 star hotels. The guidebooks list them by dollar signs (referring to price). All of our hotels are $$$$$ hotels. (Consider the price of a deluxe Disney resort.)

We spend 3 nights in Rome, 3 nights in Tuscany and 2 nights in Venice.

As first time travelers to Itally, we made lists of the things that we would like to see and this itinerary covers almost all of our list.

We have also read that there can be super long lines at some of the major sights in Italy and that being part of a tour group allows you access to things (like the Sistine Chapel) much faster as you are bypassing the lines.

We did some research on airfare to see if we could get a better deal on our own. We fly from JFK to Rome and and return to JFK from Venice. The airfare through ABD was the best deal out there based on there being different arrival and departure cities.

Keeping in mind that most of our meals (including gratuities) are included, admission to everything on our itinerary, all hotels, ground transportation and flights for about $9400.00, we feel that this is a good deal.

It's comparable to a "top of the line" Disney vacation and less expensive than a Disney Mediterranean cruise.

We can't wait.

Kevin

LadyTrampScamp&Angel
07-15-2006, 10:10 AM
DisneyKevin - would love to hear about your trip when you get back. That's the one destination I would consider (as briefly as I looked at the brochure) taking the tour, since I don't speak Italian or know my way around Italy!

Hope you have a wonderful time!

Just curious, how many kids and adults are in your party?

DisneyKevin
07-15-2006, 10:49 AM
We are so excited about this trip that we can hardly stand it.

There are just two adults on this trip and after breaking down the cost.....we feel like this is a fair price.

And by the way....the "Learn Italian in 7 Days" CD is in the car. Now, instead of listening to the radio....we listen to Italian lessons.

I have learned the most important phrase....."Quanta costa?".....how much is it? :lmao:

I will write a full report when I return, but right now I am waiting for August 12th. That is the 45 day mark and thats when we receive all of our documentation. WOOHOO!!!!!

LadyTrampScamp&Angel
07-15-2006, 11:32 AM
Thanks for the info, I hope you have a wonderful time - I'm sure you will. That's an exciting trip!

Bring back pictures ! :)

Mumph39
07-20-2006, 02:45 PM
We are doing the Italy trip on August 3. We are a family of 5 and are very excited as well. We were lucky enough to do the Wyoming trip last summer. It was awesome. I was hoping that anyone doing the July 6 trip would have posted something by now. I will write up a full report when we get back.

ppiew
08-25-2006, 09:09 AM
We just returned from the London/Paris ABD and it was great! Yes it is pricey - BUT the hotels are definitely excellent/5 star large rooms and with excellent locations! The Chunnel was also first class travel AND they transported our luggage for us to Paris! I would definitely travel with ABD again. The guides went way out of their way to provide us with anything/everything we could want. Meals were very good (not gourmet - but very nice) also wine was included in some of the dinners.

PrincessCindi
08-25-2006, 11:43 AM
I have a brochure as well. They all look great ... I am particularly interested in the Wyoming trip. Here is a great review of the trip that I got in an email from passporter

http://www.passporter.com/articles/wyoming.asp

They have also added several new trips for 2007 if you look on the website ... another Italy trip, 2 trips to Spain, Phillidelphia / Washington DC / Williamsburg , Sedona Arizona / Grand Canyon (that one looks great too!!!), Austria, etc
Heres the link
http://abd.disney.go.com/abd/en_US/index

Mickeyistheman
08-25-2006, 11:47 AM
I think this new Travel thing with Disney sounds great, especially if you are traveling with children and want to experience Europe. Keep in mind that Disney Cruise Lines in the summer tend to be on the expensive side compared to other cruise lines. You are going for the service and experience and I am glad to hear that people like the product. I myself would love to see Italy Disney Style!!

:cool1:

Tazicket
08-25-2006, 06:35 PM
We were planning a trip to DC/Williamsburg/Richmond next year, and now ABD has a Philadelphia/DC/Williamsburg trip setup... I've requested the 2007 brochure to check it out. We got last years brochure and some of the trips look great. We'd love to do Hawaii or Europe sometime down the road (when we can afford it!) They certainly aren't cheap, but they look like you get your money's worth (or close to it, anyway...)

bctripp
08-25-2006, 07:44 PM
I briefly looked at the brochure a few weeks ago, and if i'm not mistaken there's a minimum age for the trips for the kids, except the Hawaii one. I think I read somewhere they were expanding their offerings of trips. It seems way too expensive though.

DisneyGirl
08-25-2006, 08:34 PM
I saw one of these groups walking from the Trevi Fountain when I was in Rome a couple weeks ago. There were about 30-35 people following a cast member (complete with cast member badge just like WDW :-)... They looked pretty tired to me :-)... personally, I wouldn't go on this tour for Europe since you only go to some of the bigger sights, and I really like to see as much as possible, but it looks like it can be a ton of fun for people who have never been to Europe, etc. It really looks like it would make a European vacation fun for kids. I saw so many kids who were tired and bored out of their mind (Rome is full of two of kids favorite things: history and church :-)), but it looks like the adventures by Disney tour really tries to make those fun for everyone!

DisneyKevin
08-25-2006, 09:23 PM
I did a great deal of research before booking our Italy trip. I have never been and didnt want to miss anything.

I was hesitant at first because I had an idea of what sights I wanted to see. I made a list of the things I didnt want to miss and then compared it to the ABD itinerary. They hit everything on my list with others I hadn't even considered.

I researched hotels in Rome and the internet sites I visited recommended making sure that I asked about a private bath and air conditioning / heat. I found that even the hotels that dont offer these things are expensive. ABD uses only 5 star hotels. I researched the hotels we are staying at and found that they are wildly expensive hotels in the best parts of town.

In my research I also found that the lines to get into some of the major attractions can be hours long, just to purchase tickets. Friends just returned from an RCCL Med cruise that included Rome as a port. There was an hour bus ride from the port to the city and then they spent 4 hours waiting to see the Sistine Chapel. Due to their required return time, they had to leave the lin and return to the ship. There entire time in Rome was spent in line and they saw nothing. When traveling with ABD, you are able to enter as part of group with little or no wait. This is another plus in my book

I did the same kind or research for each of the other places our group would visit and was happy to see the same quality throughout the trip.

I considered a DCL Med cruise and found that a verandah stateroom for the 10 night sailing (without airfare, which would be extra) would run about the same price as the ABD trip with air included. I have been on many cruises and while I love the experience, I find that 7 or 8 hours on a Caribbean island is often enough. Im certain that I will feel differently about spending time in Rome, Tuscany and Venice. I'm not sure 9 days will be enough.

It's been my experience that there is no such thing as a cheap Disney vacation. While a vacation at one of the parks offers ways to economize, this trip seems similarly priced to a luxury 9 day vacation at Walt Disney World. Also, I need to say that I am at a point in my life where this is possible. This has not always been the case.

With the world situation being what it is, I am happy to be seeing part of it with Disney.

Kevin :)

ppiew
08-26-2006, 07:59 AM
Yes, it is expensive BUT the accommodations are first class - no Motel 6 on these trips! Think Westin, Hyatt, Marriott and you realize why the high charges. The many meals that were included were very nice and separate childrens menus were provided. Often wine was included also. The excursions included all entry fees and it also included first class transportation on the Chunnell plus baggage transfer. Breakfasts in hotels in Europe have a very common charge of about $25/person for their buffets and these were included in the price - even room service at the Westin! Transportation to and from airports was included as well as gratuities to everyone except the Adventure Guides.
There was a time that the age limit was 8 yrs. old, but it was lifted on some of the tours this year. After going on the London/Paris tour I think the age limit is very appropriate. I can't for the life of me think of how a toddler or very young child could possibly enjoy the sightseeing. There were lots of bus trips, much walking, hiking hundreds of steps up the Notre Dame bell tower, guided tour of the Louvre. These are hardly excursions for the very young. We had one family on our tour that did have a little girl about 4 or 5. Dad had to carry her most of the time. Lucky thing he was built like a linebacker or he would have never survived!!!
Our group had about 18 'children.' Of these, two were very young (abt 4 & 6), about 8 were between 8-13, and the balance were older - teens and 2 early 20's. Great combination though.
One family had a 12? yr old, several teens and 2 early 20's and mom & dad. At the time I thought how wonderful it was for them to all be together with the expanding age groups. It will probably never happen again in their lifetimes, and for that, it was truly worth it. Myself, I am a grandma, and had my daughter and granddaughter with me. What are the chances for 3 generations to experience such a wonderful time together? All of these pluses and Disney attention justified the price for me.

MelanieC
08-26-2006, 08:22 AM
Someone from work gave me the brochure back in June. I also thought it was a tad expensive, but the tours really do look interesting. There are some fun ones here in the US too.

Disney Parrothead
10-08-2006, 10:29 AM
We are taking the Italy trip with Adventures by Disney at the end of September. :banana: :banana:

We have researched every aspect of their itinerary and find that the hotels we will be staying at are 5 star hotels. The guidebooks list them by dollar signs (referring to price). All of our hotels are $$$$$ hotels. (Consider the price of a deluxe Disney resort.)

We spend 3 nights in Rome, 3 nights in Tuscany and 2 nights in Venice.

As first time travelers to Itally, we made lists of the things that we would like to see and this itinerary covers almost all of our list.

We have also read that there can be super long lines at some of the major sights in Italy and that being part of a tour group allows you access to things (like the Sistine Chapel) much faster as you are bypassing the lines.

We did some research on airfare to see if we could get a better deal on our own. We fly from JFK to Rome and and return to JFK from Venice. The airfare through ABD was the best deal out there based on there being different arrival and departure cities.

Keeping in mind that most of our meals (including gratuities) are included, admission to everything on our itinerary, all hotels, ground transportation and flights for about $9400.00, we feel that this is a good deal.

It's comparable to a "top of the line" Disney vacation and less expensive than a Disney Mediterranean cruise.

We can't wait.

Kevin
Hi DisneyKevin,
Just started doing some research on a possible trip to Italy in spring 2007, and saw your post about your trip. I'm dying to hear all the details, so please post your trip report soon! Many Thanks!
Disney Parrothead

MyGoofy26
10-08-2006, 01:06 PM
I was tempted, but just cannot justify the prices they want. For that much money, I want more than a run through at all the photo ops. It doesn't look like a lot of time to just sit and relax and absorb it all. I could sit in Piazza Navona for days and not be bored! LOL! I don't think they schedule that in to the plan, LOL!

I guess I'm spoiled. I got to spend 3 weeks in Italy twice in the past couple years and it cost me next to nothing. I stayed with my cousin, and only got hotel rooms a couple nights here and there for sidetrips. We had our own personal tour guide since my cousin, her hubby and kids had lived there for a few years and knew their way around (one of their friends works Vatican Security so we got to skip the lines and get in for free - I was even allowed to take pics of the Sistine Chapel with my SLR - no flash of course) And on top of the tourist spots, they took us to places most tourists never see. So I spent probably under $1000 (including airfare) for a few weeks and I can't imagine that what Disney does would top our trips.

Maybe if I had more discretionary income it wouldn't be so painful to think about the cost in comparison to my previous trips, but I'm a recent college grad - I'm next to broke! LOL!

ppiew
10-08-2006, 01:35 PM
I will give one major plug for hotels in Rome via ABD. Two years ago we spent a week in Rome - paid very high prices (think $250+ per nite, breakfast corn flakes & tang each day, no elevator and no airconditioning!and we had ckd out over 200 hotels on the internet b4 booking this one!!) Some are fortunate enough to have friends/relatives to escort them around, but we didn't, so if I were ever to go back, it would certainly be with a group that got decent hotel for the money. Meals in Rome were horrendously expensive too. One cafe charged $18 USD for a bowl of soup, and the Hardrock Cafe wanted $9 USD for a coca cola. I think I would much prefer knowing 'up front' what it was all going to cost and then would have had a better time. Loved Tuscany though, and even if pricey, was certainly worth the visit.

DisneyKevin
10-10-2006, 09:24 AM
Hi All,

Have to say that this trip exceeded my expectations. We got to see and experience things we never thought we'd get to see.

I also have to let you know that, yes, these trips are expensive, but you are getting the extra "Disney" magic. There are things involved in this trip that are not avialble to anyone but Disney.

Our hotel in Rome was the Westin Excelsior. It's in an excellent location and offered every ammenity you could hope for. While having breakfast one morning, we ran into Roy Scheider (of Jaws fame). He was in Rome filming and was staying at our hotel

The first two days of our adventure were very, very strenuous. We did an amazing amount of walking, but during those walks we saw the Trevi fountain, the Borghese Gardens, the Spanish Steps, the Forum, the Colliseum, the Vatican Museum, the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basillica, St Peter's Square and had time to venture out for dinner on our own. It was a very busy two days but worth every step.

After reading several guidebooks and hearing about the reaction to the Pope's statements (not suggesting he was right our wrong, just acknowleding that there was an adverse reaction) safety was a concern. Our Adventure guides made us feel very safe. Each stop on your Adventure includes a 3rd guide. They are refered to as "step on" guides or "city" guides. They are local experts that relay the history and "color" of the places you are visiting. They also added a layer of interest and safety.

At the end of our days in Rome, we left our luggage outside our door and ABD took care of it. We never touched it again until we checked into our hotel in Tuscany. We watched other tourists dragging their luggage through the streets. It felt luxurious to not have to do that.

This was the same throughout our adventure. The guides went above and beyond in order to make everything easy.

Our stay in Tuscany involved day trips to Orvieto, Sienna and Florence. Guide books, maps and literature were made available while traveling on the bus. It made bring your own guidebooks unneccesary. Bottled water was also always available on the bus and was offered as you departed for the days activities.

Our guides proved invaluable while visiting Florence. as one of the highlights of this trip was getting to view Michaelangelo's statue of David. As we arrived at the musuem, we found that the museum workers had decided to strike that morning. We had tickets for entry at 10:30am amd the folks with 9:00am tickets had not yet been allowed to enter. Our itinerary was altered and we toured the city of Florence. Later that afternoon, one of our guides received a phone call that we should rreturn to the museum as the other guide had pulled some strings and gotten other people involved and that the ABD group would be allowed into the museum. As we approached the entrance, there were hundreds , if not thousands, of people trying to gain entrance. The Adventures By Disney group was allowed in, while others remained outside.

We also had a private pasta making class in a castle, a private mask making class where every member got to create their own Venetian Carnivale mask and private 4 hour moonlight dinner cruise through the Venice lagoon on a 16th century pirate galleon. Please trust me that there were a great many questions and looks of envy when we boarded that ship docked along the Grand Canal.

In Venice, we stayed at the Westin Europa and Regina. Our hotel window overlooked the Grand Canal. Each morning we had breakfast on the terrace along the canal. One of group priced the breakfast should you just be a customer walking in and the price to eat in this location was 75 euros. Trust me whan I tell you that this was not due to the buffet being any more lavish than most, it was ALL due to LOCATION.

Others have mentioned that there are ways to take this trip in a less exepnsive way and I have to disagree. You might be able to plan a less expensive trip, but it would not be THIS trip.

Boarding a gondola at the Venice train station for a ride down the Grand Canal and being delivered directly to our hotel is an experience that I would not trade for anything. Having our luggage in our room by the time we arrived....well, as the commercial says....priceless.

This is a busy, hectic, active trip. Looking back, I feel like I have memories that will last my lifetime. I also come away with some understanding of a different culture and the desire to know and see more.

I guess the best compliment I can give Adventures By Disney is that we have rebooked another trip for next year. Next October, we are off to London and Paris. I cant imagine doing it any way but the Disney way.

If you have questions about our trip, our would like further information, please feel free to contact me at ABD@wdwinfo.com.

I will be happy to help in any way I can.

Kevin

welovedis
10-10-2006, 09:37 AM
Kevin-
Wow, your trip sounds magical in every sense! Thanks so much for posting your report here and, yes, the fact that you have booked again speaks volumes. When the time is right to take our son abroad we will look closely at ABD literature to see what choices they offer.

I was wondering, do you know what they will do to assist a guest with food allergies? My significant allergy is to eggs and that encompasses a great deal of food items so I am wondering if they could at least help to accomodate that? Did anyone in your group have an issue like that?

ppiew
10-10-2006, 09:58 AM
To Weluvdis: Yes, food allergies were addressed in our ABD trip. We were asked prior to leaving the states to advise them of any food concerns. Also, the guides asked again the first night of the trip
To DisneyKevin: GREAT trip report!!! You are much more fluent than I was! We did the London/Paris trip this August and had many of the same favorable comments that you did. We had previously visited Italy (twice) on our own and our trip was no where NEAR as great as yours appeared to be! I am tempted to go back and do it the 'right' way!! For example, in Venice we took a gondola to the train station and 80 euros later we were there in 10 minutes - BUT we schlepped our own luggage, had a surly driver etc. In every tour we had with ABD, we had the BEST guides, saw the most we could ever see and yes, I WILL take them again! I sure wish they would have a forum for these tours, it would be so much easier to find first hand information.

DisneyKevin
10-10-2006, 10:16 AM
Hi there,

I agree with Ppiew....food allergies were discussed at every turn. We were asked many, many times if there was anything that we needed or if there any special accommodations that needed to be met
.

We had an 9 amd 11 year old on our trip and the ABD guides had a special way of making sure that they were involved and excited at each and every location.

At one point in our adventure, "Marco Polo" met us in one of the Campos (squares) and explained that he was just a bit older than they were when he first accompanied his father on a trip to the far East. You could see that these kids were mesmerized.

Their aid was enlisted at every turn "to hel make sure things ran smoothly". There Mom spoke at the end our trip and thanked us all for all of the extra eyes that made sure that her kids were safe and secure and involved in every aspect of their vacation.

Kevin

welovedis
10-10-2006, 11:09 AM
Thanks to you both for the info! I also agree that if you priced out the segments on your own for the same hotels it would be very close or more than what ABD is charging. Plus you get the priceless aspect of getting into the tourist sights more easily that if you tried on your own.

Now I just gotta sell my DH on this!

wdwlovers5
10-10-2006, 11:17 AM
great trip report and you sure did build beautiful memories.

I was in Italy about 25 years ago with Perillo Tours and it was great and we covered most of what you covered with the exceptio of the "special Disney" excursions. But I was disappointed that we did not have too much time to ourself. That is the one reason why I don't prefer tour groups although I agree basically they are the best way to go when you are going to foreign countries.

I was wondering when you visited the Vatican were you allowed to visit Pope John Pau's gravesite? I really want to return to Rome for that specific reason but of course while there would take in some more sites.

Thanks again and glad to hear you had a great time. Oh, one more thing, did you take any photos (stupid question of the day!!!!!!!!!) could you post some.

Mary Margaret

nuke
10-10-2006, 11:25 AM
Kevin your trip brings back memories of my trip to FLorence and Rome last year. We stayed across the street from teh Westin at the Regina Baglioni but we spent a good 4 hours one night in the W bar at the Westin. :lol

I loved the walking tours through Rome and Florence. We had local guides and it sound very much like what you experienced with ABD. I'm glad to hear they do a good job. I actually got some 2007 ABD brochures in the mail yesterday and haven't had a chance to look at them yet.

TheRustyScupper
10-10-2006, 12:40 PM
1) We did the Yellowstone trip during the trial run.
2) I know others who taloked about Italy and England during trial runs.
3) The consensus opinions are
. . . the trips are well designed
. . . travelers are taken care of nicely
. . . it is very expensive
. . . other tour brokers do as good a job, and for much less
. . . comparisons were Perillo, Globus, Trafalgar
4) With this said, it is not a condemnation of ABD.
5) Simply a comparison.


NOTE: The comparisons were made by people who are seasoned travelers. The comparisons were also made against the upscale tours offered, and not just the typical bus-tour. As far a easy entry into popular attractions, most well known tour operators have the same ability as ABD.

ppiew
10-10-2006, 01:41 PM
for DisneyKevin
here is a copy of my trip report (don't know if you have read it or not) from our London/Paris trip this summer. Posted on other boards - but who knows where is the best spot! If you have seen it, sorry about the duplicate post.

We took the ABD London & Paris last month -grandma (me), daughter age 41, granddaughter age 9 . Here is the 'lowdown.' First of all, a backpack was sent to us prior to departure. We took it with us and used it a LOT. Don't sweat the wardrobe. Everyone dressed in jeans or khakis every day and backpacked a windbreaker type jacket. Two evenings were sort of dressy, but suits for men were not ever required. I did see a few sport coats but that is all. Comfortable shoes are a 'must' as there is a LOT of walking.


Hotel VERY nice (especially by European standards - LARGE room). I would say comparable to a Marriott, Hilton or Hyatt in the US. Room had a 'Welcome" tote from ABD with a water bottle, deck of cards, bandanas, wrist bands (don't know what for as no one ever wore them), journal and pen for kids, umbrellas (used every day! ) There was an ATM and Underground access within a block of the hotel.
Evening reception had chips, pretzels, champagne, wine, and sodas. Guides gave an overview and passed out the lanyards and first of seven daily pins to all.
Dinner was multiple hors d'oeuvres size portions of a multitude of British dishes - pork pies, fish 'n chips, trifle, shepherds pie etc. A duo of singers performed and it was a lot of fun.

DAY 2
Buffet breakfast at hotel each day. Had a lot of stuff. Fresh fruit, yogurt, American dry cereals, scrambled eggs, sausage and cheese, bagels, muffins, etc. For touring, we used a 50 year old antique red double decker bus! Really neat. Had a British Blue Badge professional guide for all sites within London. Visited Westminster (very crowded). Walked past Buckingham Palace but didn't see changing of guard as it was raining and they didn't do it. Went for late lunch/tea at Savoy hotel. It was so so. Kids not too enthralled although there was plenty they could eat, ie. ham and cheese sandwiches, scones,salad, dessert, etc.
At Westminster the kids had their own tour guide. Saw the same things we did but projected in a kid friendly manner.
Night was a really highlight! Saw Mary Poppins (with GREAT seats!!) and were able to walk on the stage and talk to the stage manager afterwards. Everyone loved it!
Before seeing Mary Poppins there was a bag with a CD in it featuring the stage cast! Nice touch! Mickey shaped cookies were in our room at night. Also they gave the kids an alarm clock the first night and a one-eyed monocle to have on the London Eye. Have to admit though, the first day the journal was used and then put away! Too much other stuff going on!

DAY 3
Went to the London Eye. Didn't think I would attempt it because I do not like heights, but it was really great and moved very slowly. Kids got a simple plastic backpack that worked really well. Had a great view of London in every direction. We then took a short cruise on the Thames to Tower of London. Tower/crown jewels was pretty much on our own without a professional guide but it was very easy and waits were minimal. Saw the Crown Jewels, Beefeater Guards, execution locations, etc.

DAY 4
Cruise down Regents Canal in kind of a shabby canal boat, but it was interesting and fun. Donuts/croissants/coffee were served on board and then we went to Camden Market and shopped in and out of all of the funky shops. Then to Waterloo Station and the Eurostar. And this is THE BEST FOR ME!!! They took ALL our luggage from the hotel - brought it to Paris - and it appeared in our rooms within an hour of arrival!!!!
Whoopee!!!!

DAY 5
Paris. Great tour of Notre Dame. The adventurous climbed the bell tower - me I sat in a sidewalk cafe and had cappuccino. Lots of time to wander around the gardens, etc. After ND came my least favorite part of the trip. We went to Montmartre and to Sacre Coeur. Very crowded! Think parade time at the MK on Easter Sunday! We went for lunch and it took 2 hours! Could NOT hurry the waiter AT ALL. Kids ordered French Onion Soup (Appetizer) and some adults orders normal 'adult' entrees. Asked to have the appetizers and entrees delivered to table together and were told 'NO' in no uncertain terms!! It was funny! Food was good though. Wine tasting wasn't much. Only working vineyard in Paris and it is sort of a tourist attraction thing. Artist who drew caricatures of the kids though was really great. Each child got to keep theirs. Lucked out and saw a parade to the church with Priests and parishioners carrying a statue of the Virgin Mary. Sacre Coeur was jammed with people. We took a cog tram to the top as it is VERY steep. We did walk down though. Any deficiencies during the afternoon were made up with our night dinner at the Eiffel Tower - a big WOW on this one! Those who wanted to could climb to the top (not me!) but my daughter and granddaughter did it! It is enormous! Dinner was quite good too.

DAY 6
Louvre day was much much better than I anticipated. For me the Mona Lisa was a let down, but the buildings themselves were awesome! I was totally impressed with I.M. Pei's pyramid both above and below ground. Kids went together with their own guide and filled out a book as 'Art Detectives.' They loved it!! In the PM we had free time. Lunch was at Tuileries Gardens. Some then went on a Seine Cruise and ABD reimbursed them for taxi fare and for tickets as the cruise was not on the agenda anymore. Some others stayed at the Louvre or went shopping. Rest of day was free time.

DAY 7
Versailles complete with tour. Each of us had head phones for the tour. Kids got to 'solve' their Art Detectives question from the Louvre on the previous day. Tour didn't include the Petit Trianon but oh well can't have everything. Rains held off so biking was able to be done. Those who went had a great time. Lots of trails etc. Very nice lunch right on the grounds of Versailles near the gardens and fountain. Night dinner was at a French cafe and we had the entire building! Musician playing and everything! Small bags with 'goodies' were given to all attending. The guides showed a video of all the photos they had taken of everyone during the week - really nice! They said they were mailing one to each of us after the tour.

DAY 8
Here was a surprise for us - as we were going to Disneyland Paris for 2 days they actually had a van to take us (and another couple) directly from the hotel to the resort! Super! Didn't have to haul baggage unto a train or anything! Very nice surprise!

Prices also included all tips except gratuities to the guides, of which there were two. Porters, all baggage handling, meals, entrance fees to attractions, transportation to and from, etc. included tipping.

The guides were very good and had a huge responsibility. Roads (especially in London) have very heavy traffic and it would be easy for someone to get into an accident. We Americans tend to 'follow the crowd' and not pay close attention to changing lights etc. Often the entire group could not cross together so it was important to keep looking out for yourselves as well as the tour group.

The hotels were much better than I expected - London was better than Paris, but both were beautiful, spacious, and quite large by European standards. First Class on the Chunnel is the only way to go! Loved it! None of the meals were Michelin star calibre but all were very good. Guides were extremely attentive to everyone at all times.

Yes, this was an expensive trip _BUT everything was First Class and would do it that way again in a heart beat. There is one group loved it so much their entire 40 people are going on another one together next year!! Guess that is a testament to a quality product.

MyGoofy26
10-10-2006, 01:55 PM
I was wondering when you visited the Vatican were you allowed to visit Pope John Pau's gravesite? I really want to return to Rome for that specific reason but of course while there would take in some more sites.

I need to go find my pics - you may be interested in them. We were in Rome when the Pope passed away and were in St. Peters Square that night. I'm not Catholic, but it was definitely a memorable experience.

DisneyKevin
10-10-2006, 03:07 PM
We were given ample time within St. Peter's Basillaca and you were free to wander. I believe that Pope John Paul's grave site was one of the many that you were able to view and pay your respects..

Two couples on our Adventure had toured with other tour groups (Cosmos, Trafalgar) and found that while they offered some similarities, that they did not compare favorably to the Disney tour. There are special "hand crafted" (Disney's word) experiences that other groups have not been able to offer.

In Siena, our group was allowed into a local museum that is only open to the folks involved. It would be very difficult for me to explain this, as it took our local guide quite a while, but it all has to do with the 17 seperate neighborhoods (Contradas) that are involved in the twice yearly Palio race in the Piazza. I have to tell you...had I been told about this prior to getting there, I wouldn't have been all that interested, but it turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip. Disney is the only tour group that has been able to manage getting into one of these neighborhood museums. I understand that this is not something any other tour group can recreate.

This type of thing happened several times during our trip. As Ppiew has said in her trip report, their group was able to see the West End prodution of Mary Poppins. This is available to anyone that can afford a ticket. The opportunity to walk the sets and meet the production crew is something only Disney can offer. While this might not be something that appeals to you, it's an exclusive that other tours can recreate.

Again, I am fresh off the trip of a lifetime, so I am very excited, but I am a true believer in traveling with Disney. Their theme parks are the best, their cruise ships make each guest a fan for life and I think they have now begun to conquer the tour market.

Just as DCL fans wear their early cruises as a badge of honor (I was on one of the first 7 night sailings) I believe years from now. those that take these first ABD tours will look back and say "I was there when.....".

Kevin

disneytraveler
10-10-2006, 03:36 PM
We are taking the Italy trip with Adventures by Disney at the end of September. :banana: :banana:

We have researched every aspect of their itinerary and find that the hotels we will be staying at are 5 star hotels. The guidebooks list them by dollar signs (referring to price). All of our hotels are $$$$$ hotels. (Consider the price of a deluxe Disney resort.)

We spend 3 nights in Rome, 3 nights in Tuscany and 2 nights in Venice.

As first time travelers to Itally, we made lists of the things that we would like to see and this itinerary covers almost all of our list.

We have also read that there can be super long lines at some of the major sights in Italy and that being part of a tour group allows you access to things (like the Sistine Chapel) much faster as you are bypassing the lines.

We did some research on airfare to see if we could get a better deal on our own. We fly from JFK to Rome and and return to JFK from Venice. The airfare through ABD was the best deal out there based on there being different arrival and departure cities.

Keeping in mind that most of our meals (including gratuities) are included, admission to everything on our itinerary, all hotels, ground transportation and flights for about $9400.00, we feel that this is a good deal.

It's comparable to a "top of the line" Disney vacation and less expensive than a Disney Mediterranean cruise.

We can't wait.

Kevin


Oh cool i reserved a trip for Italy for sept 30th to by Adventures by Disney for next year! :) Maybe i should see what they for Boston airfares then!

disneytraveler
10-10-2006, 03:58 PM
Hi All,

Have to say that this trip exceeded my expectations. We got to see and experience things we never thought we'd get to see.

I also have to let you know that, yes, these trips are expensive, but you are getting the extra "Disney" magic. There are things involved in this trip that are not avialble to anyone but Disney.

Our hotel in Rome was the Westin Excelsior. It's in an excellent location and offered every ammenity you could hope for. While having breakfast one morning, we ran into Roy Scheider (of Jaws fame). He was in Rome filming and was staying at our hotel

The first two days of our adventure were very, very strenuous. We did an amazing amount of walking, but during those walks we saw the Trevi fountain, the Borghese Gardens, the Spanish Steps, the Forum, the Colliseum, the Vatican Museum, the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basillica, St Peter's Square and had time to venture out for dinner on our own. It was a very busy two days but worth every step.

After reading several guidebooks and hearing about the reaction to the Pope's statements (not suggesting he was right our wrong, just acknowleding that there was an adverse reaction) safety was a concern. Our Adventure guides made us feel very safe. Each stop on your Adventure includes a 3rd guide. They are refered to as "step on" guides or "city" guides. They are local experts that relay the history and "color" of the places you are visiting. They also added a layer of interest and safety.

At the end of our days in Rome, we left our luggage outside our door and ABD took care of it. We never touched it again until we checked into our hotel in Tuscany. We watched other tourists dragging their luggage through the streets. It felt luxurious to not have to do that.

This was the same throughout our adventure. The guides went above and beyond in order to make everything easy.

Our stay in Tuscany involved day trips to Orvieto, Sienna and Florence. Guide books, maps and literature were made available while traveling on the bus. It made bring your own guidebooks unneccesary. Bottled water was also always available on the bus and was offered as you departed for the days activities.

Our guides proved invaluable while visiting Florence. as one of the highlights of this trip was getting to view Michaelangelo's statue of David. As we arrived at the musuem, we found that the museum workers had decided to strike that morning. We had tickets for entry at 10:30am amd the folks with 9:00am tickets had not yet been allowed to enter. Our itinerary was altered and we toured the city of Florence. Later that afternoon, one of our guides received a phone call that we should rreturn to the museum as the other guide had pulled some strings and gotten other people involved and that the ABD group would be allowed into the museum. As we approached the entrance, there were hundreds , if not thousands, of people trying to gain entrance. The Adventures By Disney group was allowed in, while others remained outside.

We also had a private pasta making class in a castle, a private mask making class where every member got to create their own Venetian Carnivale mask and private 4 hour moonlight dinner cruise through the Venice lagoon on a 16th century pirate galleon. Please trust me that there were a great many questions and looks of envy when we boarded that ship docked along the Grand Canal.

In Venice, we stayed at the Westin Europa and Regina. Our hotel window overlooked the Grand Canal. Each morning we had breakfast on the terrace along the canal. One of group priced the breakfast should you just be a customer walking in and the price to eat in this location was 75 euros. Trust me whan I tell you that this was not due to the buffet being any more lavish than most, it was ALL due to LOCATION.

Others have mentioned that there are ways to take this trip in a less exepnsive way and I have to disagree. You might be able to plan a less expensive trip, but it would not be THIS trip.

Boarding a gondola at the Venice train station for a ride down the Grand Canal and being delivered directly to our hotel is an experience that I would not trade for anything. Having our luggage in our room by the time we arrived....well, as the commercial says....priceless.

This is a busy, hectic, active trip. Looking back, I feel like I have memories that will last my lifetime. I also come away with some understanding of a different culture and the desire to know and see more.

I guess the best compliment I can give Adventures By Disney is that we have rebooked another trip for next year. Next October, we are off to London and Paris. I cant imagine doing it any way but the Disney way.

If you have questions about our trip, our would like further information, please feel free to contact me at ABD@wdwinfo.com.

I will be happy to help in any way I can.

Kevin

Wow, Kevin this is the tour i am reserving. I wonder if the pasta and mask making class is still for everyone. According to the new brochure, they are listed for junior adventurers now.

MouseHouse4
10-11-2006, 09:20 PM
Kevin-This tour sounds wonderful, but our DD (8) uses a wheelchair. What are your thoughts on the accessibility of the places you visited in Italy? Is a wheelchair on a trip like this even feasible? By the way, she is small enough and light enough that one of us is able to carry her and the other one carry her wheelchair up a flight of stairs, etc.

MyGoofy26
10-11-2006, 09:28 PM
Not Kevin, but hope you don't mind me jumping in.

Italy isn't nearly as handicapped accessable as we are here. Most of the buildings are hundreds (some thousands) of years old, and many haven't overhauled enough for wheelchairs. It isn't impossible, and there are hotels with elevators - just make absolutely sure before you book a hotel that it is accessable. Our hotel had an elevator, but there were steps down to get to our room, and another step once inside the room. Major tourist spots have adapted - such as the Vatican Museums. There are alternate routes to get to certain areas that they will direct you through, but even with a stroller for my cousin's little girl it seemed a little difficult so we'd end up with one person in front and back lifting and carrying it up and down steps. So if she's small and light, it may be easier to carry her like you said than being rerouted through hallways. The Colosseum would be pretty easy, there is an elevator to take you from level to level and each level is flat so that wouldn't be a problem. But remember there are a LOT of cobblestone roads, so make sure she doesn't mind being bounced around.

And keep in mind that Italians LOVE kids. Kids can get away with anything there, LOL! The little ones inherit lots of "nonnas" while they are there, so I wouldn't be surprised if you had lots of help offered to you to help maneuver her around.

MouseHouse4
10-11-2006, 09:42 PM
Thanks so much for the quick reply! We figured it probably wouldn't be easy, but we were hoping that it wouldn't be impossible. Going to Italy is something we would love to do in a couple years, and we would feel a lot more comfortable going with a Disney tour. At the rate DD is growing (or not growing!), we anticipate being able to lift and carry her for quite some time yet. LOL!

ppiew
10-12-2006, 07:10 AM
I would call the ABD people and ask them. I am sure you would get the information you need.

mog
10-12-2006, 07:42 AM
We are doing the Italy trip on August 3. We are a family of 5 and are very excited as well. We were lucky enough to do the Wyoming trip last summer. It was awesome. I was hoping that anyone doing the July 6 trip would have posted something by now. I will write up a full report when we get back.


I would love to hear about your experience. How old are your kids? We also have 3 kids and I was very excited to get the brochure on the ABD. Then I noticed that they have basically no options for more than a family of 4. When I called to talk to them about booking, they said we would have to pay for 2 rooms of 2 adults and add the 3rd child to one of the rooms. They also said there really isn't any option of connecting rooms, etc. So since I consider my kids too young to stay in a hotel room by themselves which may or may not even be near my room, I gave up on this company.
How did you book for your family of 5? I love the idea of using a Disney company for other travel opportunities, but it just didn't seem possible with 3 kids.
Thanks!

welovedis
10-12-2006, 07:44 AM
It is great to hear so many positive trip reports about ABD. Makes me wish I could afford to book something now!

perdidobay
10-12-2006, 07:50 AM
Pricing these Adventures by Disney Trips, I've decided to stick with tours like CIE where the price is less than half (same exact itinerary) with excellent service and 5 star hotels, also all inclusive. But if you want Disney, your only choice is ABD.

welovedis
10-12-2006, 07:59 AM
Pricing these Adventures by Disney Trips, I've decided to stick with tours like CIE where the price is less than half (same exact itinerary) with excellent service and 5 star hotels, also all inclusive. But if you want Disney, your only choice is ABD.

We've taken a CIE tour and had a less than stellar experience. I got very ill in London and needed to go to the hospital, they wouldn't even help my DH with directions or a cab, anything. Once they found out I was ill, they did nothing at all to help us. The hotel concierge and other tour guests were more helpful that our guides!

After we returned (I ended up in semergency surgery and we flew home a couple of weeks later) I sent a letter stating what had occurred and they did apologize & offered to let us tour again for free. I honestly turned it down because we felt the guides were so ignorant to what was going on and really couldn't have cared less about my situation. I would never tour with them again.

I also go to many travel nights and hear about other's experiences and there isn't really one tour company that I've good things about. Some people have 1 good experience and try it again, only to have a really bad one. Our local tourism council is sponsoring another tour night and they do have ABD on their schedule so I'm going to look forward to hearing more trip reports.

perdidobay
10-12-2006, 08:03 AM
We've taken a CIE tour and had a less than stellar experience. I got very ill in London and needed to go to the hospital, they wouldn't even help my DH with directions or a cab, anything. Once they found out I was ill, they did nothing at all to help us. The hotel concierge and other tour guests were more helpful that our guides!

After we returned (I ended up in semergency surgery and we flew home a couple of weeks later) I sent a letter stating what had occurred and they did apologize & offered to let us tour again for free. I honestly turned it down because we felt the guides were so ignorant to what was going on and really couldn't have cared less about my situation. I would never tour with them again.

I also go to many travel nights and hear about other's experiences and there isn't really one tour company that I've good things about. Some people have 1 good experience and try it again, only to have a really bad one. Our local tourism council is sponsoring another tour night and they do have ABD on their schedule so I'm going to look forward to hearing more trip reports.

I'm sorry you had such a bad experience... DH and I have done CIE twice in Ireland and had such great times with our fellow travelers and the CIE staff that we all cried on the last night...we didn't want it to end...but maybe that's the difference between the British and the Irish j/k :goodvibes

ppiew
10-12-2006, 08:42 AM
For comparison with our ABD London/Paris trip, the closest I could find with similar itinerary etc. was a Tauck tour and the price was VERY comparable. However, they didn't take our luggage from London to Paris and they lacked the touches only Disney can provide. I loved the separate but equal tours for children and adults plus it gave a brief respite with the separation. The kids tours were very similar but geared to their interests, ie. the 'Art Detectives' at the Louvre and Versailles, biking thru Versailles, artist drawn caricatures of each child, food likes and dislikes for children. The hotels were very nice but I certainly had no quarrel with the ones we stayed in! The one thing I did NOT like about the Tauck itinerary was that it had a full day of touring the day of arrival in London! After being up all night on the plane and the time difference, I sure didn't want to tour immediately after the plane landed!!

I try to select tours based on destination and sites to see first, then look for accommodations of the type I would like, and then I look at the price. If any tour can satisfy those needs - go for it! We selected ABD not only for the Disney name, but also because we were 3 generations of people - grandmother, daughter, granddaughter and I felt this particular tour addressed ALL of our wants. There was also a comfort level being with a DISNEY sponsored tour.

Jynohn
10-12-2006, 09:42 AM
Thank you, everyone who has posted their reviews. My family and I are very interested in taking an ABD tour and info has been hard to come by. Does anyone have an idea when Disney will release their 2008 itineraries? We already have a summer trip planned for next year, but it sounds like we'll need to start saving already if we want to go in 2008!

Also, I have been unable to find pricing on ABD's website. Any idea where I can find this?

Thanks again!

DisneyKevin
10-12-2006, 09:53 AM
Hi all,

I frequently travel with a wheelchair bound adult and this tour is NOT handicapped accessible for adults, I am sorry to say. I have not traveled with a person small enough to lift however.

The Rome portion of the trip is very fast paced with an abundance of stairs, cobble stone streets, uneven pavement, streets with no sidewalks, narrow streets with barely enough room for a person and a car etc. Our hotel had four steps up to the lobby and three steps up to the elevator.

The Tuscany portion of the trip involves multiple bus rides on a non-accessible bus with several stops at places with conditions similar (or more difficult) to that of Rome.

I hate to discourage anyone, but the conditions are very difficult and Venice has small bridges over the canals every couple of blocks. While a few of the major bridges have a lift, I never saw anyone use them and they are the exception rather than the rule.

This is the ABD discalimer about guests needing assistance:

"Please note that this vacation includes activities that present certain challenges to Guests with special needs. It is strongly recommended that persons requiring assistance be accompanied by a companion who is capable of and totally responsible for providing assistance. Neither Adventures by Disney nor its suppliers may physically lift or assist Guests onto transportation vehicles."

We were told by our ABD guides that if at any time we would like to return to our hotel, a taxi would be arranged and paid for by ABD. We were also offered during our free time in Rome, the option of visiting the catacombs and again, this would be on ABD's dime.

We were told of a guest on a previous trip that needed a vist to the hospital and one of the adventure guides accompanied the guest and stayed with them until another Disney representative was able to take over. It was only then that the ABD guide returned to the trip.

We felt very safe with ABD. They did a phenomenal job of making this as easy as possible.

Kevin

DisneyKevin
10-12-2006, 10:05 AM
Disney has just released the 2007 itineraries and prices

2005 offered a very limited number of destinations and most familes were invited to participate.

2006 ofered 6 destinations.

2007 offers 12 destinations and many more departure dates. There were some major changes made to some of the itineraries

I would not expect 2008 dates until late summer 2007 and I would expect to see more "tweaking" from Adventures By Disney.

The best definition I have heard about ABD's current itineraries is to consider them "limited edition" trips.

Hope this helps.

Kevin

DisneyKevin
10-12-2006, 10:07 AM
If you are interested in pricing for the 2007 itineraries, you can contact me at ABD@wdwinfo.com.

I'll be happy to help.

Kevin

ppiew
10-12-2006, 03:31 PM
To Jynohn

re: pricing/dates/tours

go to adventuresbydisney.com website; click on area/tour you are interested in, and on the lower left is a menu with dates/prices for the tours.

Have fun!

welovedis
10-13-2006, 06:07 AM
.but maybe that's the difference between the British and the Irish j/k :goodvibes
:rotfl2: :rotfl2:
You may be right! :teeth:

ppiew
10-13-2006, 06:57 AM
I have noticed that some of the 2007 tours have (what I consider) 'downgraded' parts of the tour. On the London/Paris for example, dinner at the Eiffel Tower is changed to lunch, hotel changed from Westin to Hilton; the Regents Canal cruise and stop at Camden locks is no longer on the website as an attraction, no Seine cruise in Paris, and it doesn't look like there is a caricaturist to draw pix on the kids. Doubtful that there is a group excursion to Montmarte/Sacre Coeur either. Whoops! waaaay over on the left side of the ABD page still lists the Regents Canal and caricaturist features! Great! Still loved the trip!

Jynohn
10-13-2006, 07:47 AM
To Jynohn

re: pricing/dates/tours

go to adventuresbydisney.com website; click on area/tour you are interested in, and on the lower left is a menu with dates/prices for the tours.

Have fun!

Thanks for the info. Going to check it out now! :teeth:

DisneyKevin
10-13-2006, 07:48 AM
I agree that some of the details have changed. They have changed the Viva Italia trip a bit as well.

I believe that we will see some "tweaking" going on, just as Disney did with Disney Cruise Line during the first few years.

Finding what works, what doesn't and what some other alternatives might be will be an ongoing process.


Kevin

Golf4food
10-13-2006, 09:17 AM
Anyone have photos they took while on an ABD trip?

I would love to take the ABD trip through Prauge and Vienna, etc. Anyone tried it?

And once again - Moderators: Can we get a freaking ABD dedicated forum already? We have one for everything else on Earth...

DisneyKevin
10-13-2006, 09:28 AM
Morning....

There are several galleries of our trip to Italy and you can find them all here:

http://www.wdwinfo.com/pictures.htm

The first Imperial Cities ABD begins May 15.2007. No one had taken this Adventure as of yet.

I am working on getting an Adventures By Disney dedicated forum up and running. Please be patient. It's in the works.

Kevin

ppiew
10-13-2006, 10:59 AM
I took a lot of pix but don't know how to load them, BUT if you PM me I will give you the info for seeing the pictures of our tour on the internet.

I agree about the forum bit! I sent messages to 2 or 3 moderators asking for this months ago and never even got a response!

The Austrian trip is one we are actually looking at for next summer! Now that granddaughter has had a taste of Europe, she doesn't want to go anywhere else! (Maybe I made a mistake taking her the first time!!)

disneytraveler
10-13-2006, 03:19 PM
I agree that some of the details have changed. They have changed the Viva Italia trip a bit as well.

I believe that we will see some "tweaking" going on, just as Disney did with Disney Cruise Line during the first few years.

Finding what works, what doesn't and what some other alternatives might be will be an ongoing process.


Kevin


Kevin,
I hope the Viva Italia is not changed to much. Looks like some activities might be just for younger people ie mask making and pasta making on the new
brochure. Not to sure as it marked especially fun for jr adventures .Hope its not just for children ,i would have fun in making a mask to. But your pictures
capture alot of the excitement! :banana: And the rest of the tour description
is grand!

erikthewise
10-13-2006, 05:19 PM
If you are looking at a brochure, be sure to go to the website as the offerings have changed a lot for 2007. More options in Europe, but NO HAWAII. I feel responsible ;) :rotfl: as I considered the Hawaii offering for our family of four, and decided to do it ourselves for a variety of reasons including cost and length of stay. Apparently the Hawaii offering didn't sell well.

disneytraveler
10-13-2006, 05:44 PM
The website i see has been revised since i last saw it. The viva italia trip
looks good . Mask making and pasta making are family and jr activities which
many people can enjoy including myself , a solo traveler. The gondola ride and
the hotels with their descriptions are great.

disneyjunkie
10-13-2006, 06:07 PM
I received the ABD brochure in the mail today. The DVD that's included is short but awsome.

Thanks to everyone who has posted a trip report. It really helps to get an idea of what ABD has to offer. :thumbsup2

I just have a few quick questions.

How does the booking/payments work? How much is the deposit? When is final payment due?

I noticed that airfare isn't included, but I believe you HAVE book ABD's airfares. :confused3 Can someone explain this?

Mods can we please get an ABD subboard? :cheer2: :Pinkbounc

DisneyKevin
10-13-2006, 07:26 PM
Hi DisneyJunkie,

You can contact me at ABD@wdwindo.com amd I will be happy to share all of the info I have.

The deposit is $300 per person and you have a 10 day window after making your deposit in which to cancel for a full refund. After 10 days, your deposit is non-refundable. You full payment must be made 90 prior to departure. As usual, there are sever penalties for changes or cancelations after the 90 day mark.

You are NOT required to use ABD's airfare. I did use ABD on our recent adventure and will be checking into booking on own for our next one. There was nothing wrong with the airfare ABD booked for me, but I would have liked to tighten up the scheduling a bit.

The huge difference being that if there is a problem with airfare they booked, they are responsible. If there is a problem with airfare you booked, you are responsible.

Let me know if there is any way I can help.

Kevin

DisneyKevin
10-13-2006, 07:28 PM
If you are interested in hearing about ouur trip, you can listen to the DIS podcast.

You can find it here:

http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-podcast/#hm-podcast

puggymom
10-14-2006, 04:16 PM
I have been looking for a trip to do with my 9 yo niece for next August, that WYoming trip looks awesome, just requested the brochure.

ppiew
10-14-2006, 10:37 PM
Good for you PUGGYMOM - I took my 9 yr old granddaughter (along with 42 yr old daughter) on an ABD trip and it was worth every penny!!! How many tours can you think of that address a 67 yr old, a 42 yr old, and a 9 yr old- together???? Now THAT'S multiple generations!!!!

Believe me, I would recommend ANY of the ABD tours. The accommodations and service were great coupled with the sightseeing/guides etc. All in all a great experience for all!

If they ever reduced the quality of the accommodations or the level of service, I would NOT look further, but as long as those remain equal, I will definitely consider ABD again in the future.

DisneyKevin
10-15-2006, 11:08 AM
Hi all,

I have to say that the ABD guides did an exceptional job of making sure that the kids in our group were involved and enjoying themselves. They were included in everyway and at their level.

They had a special dinner with the guides one evening while the adults were on their own. They cooked dinner together and watched a Disney movie.

They had a special gelato tasting. They had a mystery to solve with prizes at the end. They were always involved in "helping" the guides.

The parents also were thrilled to have all of the extra adult "eyes" keeping track of their kids.

It did not take long to become one big touring "family".

As I said earlier....the best compliment I can give is that we have already signed up for next year.

If I can help with your trip or answer questions, please feel free to contact me at ABD@wdwinfo.com.

Kevin

welovedis
10-15-2006, 11:56 AM
Wondering for those who have gone:
1.what was the tour group size, about how many families/couples/singles--was it pretty evenly split so that no "one" group felt left out? We've been on other tours where there were mostly couples of singles traveling in groups, just wondering what the mix was?

2. How did the kids on the group do with the other kids? No one trying to get to be the guides fave or anything? We haven't experienced this but have heard other families talk about this issue (not on ABD tours) and they didn't care for it. Obviously it would depend on the families/kids involved but just curious if you saw how the guides interacted with the kids?

DisneyKevin
10-15-2006, 12:16 PM
There were 20 people in our group

one family of four (Two adults, two kids 11 and 9)

One mother and daughter

One woman, her boyfriend, her mother and father

4 couples

2 single friends traveling together

2 tour guides

As there were only two kids on our tour, they received a great deal of attention, but being a former kindergarten teacher, I can assure you that two adults can and do make sure that each child is acknowledged and encouraged to participate.

The feedback I have received is that there is a dynamic that happens when there are older and younger kids traveling together. Friends went on an Adventure recently and told us that the older kids "mentored" the younger kids and made sure that they had a "buddy" to hang out with. I also understand that the younger kids began looking up to the older kids and wanted to participate in everything the older kids got to do. Tne parents were thrilled as there kids were completely involved..

I was very surprised at how quickly we became one big traveling party instead of individual small groups. When we had free time, we always explored or dined with other folks from our group. It was like having friends in foreign places. It was suprisingly one of the highlights of our Adventure.

Kevin
ABD@wdwinfo.com

disneytraveler
10-15-2006, 01:10 PM
:goodvibes Thanks Kevin ,
Thats good to see. I travel solo alot of the times, well all the time and the traveling party aspect makes me feel more comfortable. I have gone on tours
with other companies solo and usually dine alone or find some one to dine with.

DisneyKevin
10-15-2006, 01:16 PM
Hi DisneyTraveler,

You would have felt part of our big traveling group and you only would have eaten alone if you chose to eat alone.

Of our eight days in Italy, all breakfasts, 5 lunches and 5 dinners were included and we ate as a group.

Even the meals we were responsible for included other Adventurers.

I cant wait for the nexty one. We are off on the London / Paris tour.

The Imperial Cities tour intrigues me too.

Kevin

disneytraveler
10-15-2006, 01:44 PM
Thanks again Kevin :goodvibes

The Imperial Cities looks interesting to me to. But never been to Italy yet so
its off to Italy for me. :cool1:

DisneyKevin
10-15-2006, 02:17 PM
If I can help in any way, let me know.

Kevin
ABD@wdwinfo.com

ppiew
10-15-2006, 08:48 PM
We had about 38 or 39 on our ABD tour. There were about 15 children from age 5 to 22. All got along just fine. The older ones took about two days to adjust, the rest went with the flow immediately. Never saw or knew of anyone adult or child who did the brown nose bit to the guides. It was a great diverse group and we loved it.

lynninpa
10-15-2006, 10:07 PM
Could someone please post a link to order the Adventures By Disney brochure and DVD? The link on disney.com does not seem to be working for me no matter how many times I try! Thanks!

DisneyKevin
10-15-2006, 10:18 PM
Hi Lynninpa,

If you contact me at ABD@wdwindo.com, I can provide more information.

Kevin

ppiew
10-18-2006, 04:48 PM
The link is www.adventuresbydisney.com

lynninpa
10-18-2006, 05:44 PM
The link is www.adventuresbydisney.com (http://www.adventuresbydisney.com)

Thank you, ppiew!

teentoddlermom
10-19-2006, 09:17 AM
I'm so intrigued by this new service, but unfortunately my first impression is that it is really expensive!!!! Ouch.
ETA, I think the 2 western US tours are expensive, however I bet that I would spend a very similar amount of money planning and touring these sites without ABD. The fact is that these destinations are just expensive to visit!

DisneyKevin
10-19-2006, 09:31 AM
These are first class / 5 star tours.

Just a few items...

Our hotel in Rome would have cost us 550 euros per night if we booked on our own

Our hotel in Venice would have cost 630 euros.

The breakfast buffet at the Venice hotel would have cost 75 euros per person had you walked in off the street due to being able to eat on a terrace directly on the Grand Canal.

We watched people associated with other tour companies dragging their suitcases through Rome and Venice. we never had to touch our luggage. Disney took care of EVERYTHING.

We took the Eurostar train from Florence to Venice and had first class tickets.

Just thought you might enjoy these figures.

Kevin

MJGirl
10-19-2006, 11:10 AM
Good point Kevin ... I'm booked on the London Paris tour next June/July and I initially thought they were expensive as well, however, this will be a once in a lifetime trip for me and my daughter, that I thought I should do it right! I hope in the future they offer a Grecian Trip. I would go in a heartbeat.

Aside! Kevin, if you don't mind me asking, what should I budget for tips for the guides? Does disney send a suggested amount, or is it to your own discretion. Thanks in advance!

LadyLion
10-19-2006, 11:35 AM
Hi Kevin,

Just curious ... one of our Hawaii ABD guides was named Tina. She was finishing up working with the Hawaii tour, and had just been reassigned to an Italy itinerary. Was she one of your guides?

She was terrific and when we left Hawaii we told her, "see you in Italy". We'd love to book an Italy ABD, and thought it would be ironic if Tina were still one of the guides when we get there!

DisneyKevin
10-19-2006, 12:25 PM
All tips were included with our Adventure except the gratuity for our Adventure guides. Disney suggests between $50 and $65 per person per guide.

This is just a suggestion, but I have to say that the guides made everything very, easy and I felt they certainly deserved that level of appreciation.

I believe there are a number of guides for each adventure and that the rotate out to have some time off. They would literally work back to back to back trips and these are busy, high energy adventures.

If I can help you book your adventure, please let me know. You can reach me at ABD@wdwinfo.com.

Kevin

Magix
10-20-2006, 02:13 PM
Wondering for those who have gone:
1.what was the tour group size, about how many families/couples/singles--was it pretty evenly split so that no "one" group felt left out? We've been on other tours where there were mostly couples of singles traveling in groups, just wondering what the mix was?

2. How did the kids on the group do with the other kids? No one trying to get to be the guides fave or anything? We haven't experienced this but have heard other families talk about this issue (not on ABD tours) and they didn't care for it. Obviously it would depend on the families/kids involved but just curious if you saw how the guides interacted with the kids?

I traveled as a single on the London/Paris trip this May. By the end of the tour, two different people had told me that when they saw me the first evening they thought "I want to be friends with her, she's so brave coming here all alone!" I never once felt out of place or separate from the group at all. Literally, the first night, everyone gelled and turned into one big family group. We all looked out for each other and got along wonderfully. On free nights, many of us went out for a meal together and had a great time! During a free afternoon in Paris, I went off on the Metro and hit the maritime museum on my own, then met up with two girls from the trip at the Arc du Triomphe (did I spell that right?) and we walked the Champs Elysee together. I always felt included and no one ever split off on their own, as though they didn't want to be with the rest of us. Whether you're a family, a couple or a single, you'll feel secure and included on these trips! :thumbsup2

MJGirl
10-20-2006, 06:16 PM
Hey Magix... Do you think I would have time to do a half day at DLP on one of the free afternoons .. or am I dreaming? I was also wondering if anyone went to Moulon Rouge for a show?

ppiew
10-20-2006, 08:46 PM
My lovely 42 yr old daughter actually made ressies (thru the concierge at the hotel) for Moulin Rouge but me (age 67 grandma) did NOT think that was appropriate for a 9 year old (generation gap) so I cancelled the darn thing!
DLP on Pm would be a stretch. The train ride is about 40 min. plus time in the park. I guess it is doable, but how enjoyable? I don't know - up to you.

Magix
10-23-2006, 12:41 PM
MJGirl - I'd recommend adding a couple days to your trip to do DLRP. There was one person on our trip who wanted to try what you're talking about, but realized it couldn't be done. A 1/2 day is not enough to get there and do anything. I added 2 days onto the trip, headed to DLRP on Friday morning (along with 5 other people from the tour) and flew home Sunday morning. So, I had enough time to cover both parks. Lots of fun! I recommend doing it - it's worth the extra expense.

ppiew
10-23-2006, 02:49 PM
Hey MJGirl - FYI on my first trip to Paris several years ago, I was staying in Paris and wanted to go to DLP, so I took the train out there at about 11AM and stayed until 10PM!!! Yes, I saw the park, but I was POOPED!!!
Magix is right - extend your stay - at least then you will enjoy it! Oh - also, I liked the park so much I checked out of my Paris hotel the next morning and went to DLP for the night!!!!

MJGirl
10-23-2006, 06:47 PM
Thanks for the advice. I'm seriously considering doing two nights after the cruise. It depends on the type of post cruise trip Disney offers. I could do it on my own if I need to! Which hotel do you recommend! I'ld love to stay at the New York one, but I think my budget is more the Sequoia Lodge or Newport Bay Lodge... Any suggestions. Do the value resorts have air conditioning??

Magix
10-23-2006, 07:02 PM
I thought Newport Bay looked like the best choice. Sequoia Lodge looked nice, but not quite as nice as NB. I stayed at the Santa Fe (hey, it was cheap), which did not have air conditioning, but it was cool anyway, so the ceiling fan did the trick nicely.

MJGirl
10-23-2006, 07:24 PM
I thought Newport Bay looked like the best choice. Sequoia Lodge looked nice, but not quite as nice as NB. I stayed at the Santa Fe (hey, it was cheap), which did not have air conditioning, but it was cool anyway, so the ceiling fan did the trick nicely.

I looked into the Santa Fe, but thought that as I will be going July 18 - 20, air conditioning would be a must. Am I wrong? I heard the last few summers have been quite hot in Paris at that time of year?

Magix
10-24-2006, 01:11 PM
I'd play it safe and go with a place that has air conditioning. I was there in late May and it rained every evening. Besides, the Santa Fe was pretty bare-bones. It served the purpose for me, but next time I'd go for something nicer (like Newport Bay). I do seem to recall hearing of some hot summers in Paris, so you'd be wise to plan for that. If you end up not needing the A/C, at least you'll still have a nicer room.

allforpooh
10-26-2006, 02:17 PM
If anyone has done the Wyoming trip I would love first hand info. I am thinking of August 2007, but it might end up sometime in the summer 2008 since I already have 2 trips planned for 07. The ranch trip would only be myself and DD's 13 and 21, since DH does not want to ride horses.

Thanks,
Denise

BrettAZ
05-24-2010, 04:39 PM
I have friends that have gotten their hands onj the itineraries that disAdvent take people...they folow the same, stay in the sam hotel,e tc...and for way less than half the dis priced...DisMagic is one thing, but a rip is a rip they say....

safetymom
05-24-2010, 05:02 PM
Adventures by Disney has access to certain tours that the average person can't book on their own.

WeLoveABD
05-24-2010, 06:07 PM
We tried that--following the itinerary ABD put together, for a trip in the US. We even came across the ABD bus and I talked to the guides. It was in fact cheaper, no question about it. But I was the driver on this family road trip, and it was exhausting--and a lot of work to book hotels, figure out where to eat, locate things...

I say, if you want to do it on your own, more power to you! But frankly I really like leaving all of the details (and there are many, many details) to the guides and just relax. (When I saw the bus with the ABD sign--and then the guides doing all of the detailing--and the guests all in the pool, and talking about their day and looking forward to the evening events...I was ready to join them then and there!)

Bobo912
05-24-2010, 06:26 PM
I have friends that have gotten their hands onj the itineraries that disAdvent take people...they folow the same, stay in the sam hotel,e tc...and for way less than half the dis priced...DisMagic is one thing, but a rip is a rip they say....

Definitely wouldn't be the same experience. Besides the VIP access to some attractions and activities, you just can't reproduce on your own the stress-free experience that ABD give you. The itineraries and hotels are listed on the ABD website, so there's no trick to getting your hands on them, if you want to try it on your own.

Tozzie
05-24-2010, 08:05 PM
I have friends that have gotten their hands onj the itineraries that disAdvent take people...they folow the same, stay in the sam hotel,e tc...and for way less than half the dis priced...DisMagic is one thing, but a rip is a rip they say....

Anyone can get "their hands on" the itineraries they are posted on the ABD website but you can't do the same trip, you can do a trip seeing the same sights but you will have to stand in line a very long line at the Vatican as well as many other tourist attractions. You won't be able to totally relax and enjoy yourself as you have to take care of all the details, with ABD you just have to know the time and place and show up. It does cost a lot but it isn't a rip, you are given the costs up front, and weather or not you choose to pay for the stress free convience is up to you.


I do have to wonder why you chose to search for a thread that is 4 years old.

aspen37
05-24-2010, 11:17 PM
I have friends that have gotten their hands onj the itineraries that disAdvent take people...they folow the same, stay in the sam hotel,e tc...and for way less than half the dis priced...DisMagic is one thing, but a rip is a rip they say....

I just did Backstage Magic trip and try and do that on your own. The only thing you could do is book your hotels and eat at some of the places, not all of them either. I think you could get into the El Capitan and watch a movie. The rest is off limits to the public.

tchrrx
05-25-2010, 09:27 AM
I do have to wonder why you chose to search for a thread that is 4 years old.

:thumbsup2

Diskidatheart
05-25-2010, 10:29 AM
I wouldn't pay too much attention to BrettAz. He has some other posts on the Disboard and doesn't have much to offer. He is just apparently trying to stir up some trouble and probably won't ever be back to the board again.