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Old 05-08-2012, 07:54 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2007
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Can anyone offer review of ABD Australia?

We want to take our first ABD trip, and Australia is at the top of our list but I am having a very hard time finding any reviews of the trip!

Is there anyone who can give me some feedback? We will be travelling with a 10 year old boy and us two parents.

Thanks for your help!!

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Old 05-09-2012, 03:20 PM   #2
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Pete posted several blog postings about his ABD Australia trip. Here's the link to the first entry...

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Old 05-09-2012, 03:31 PM   #3
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Thank you for the link! I actually have read his review and it was VERY helpful. My original post should have said I can't find MANY reviews...not any reviews

Other than his, I have only been able to find 1 other review done in 2009 or 2010...I can't remember now.

Thank you for taking the time to share that link!!

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Old 05-15-2012, 03:15 PM   #4
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Join Date: May 2012
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Our trip to OZ

We went in 2009, so ABD may no longer do the things we did.

First I must say that it was worth the cost! If I could pick up and move, Sydney would be the place I would go in a heartbeat!

Here's a spoiler alert, before we left, we received a box from Disney and found backpacks for each one of us! We were really surprised! Sorry, if I ruined it for you! Anyway here is a somewhat detailed itinerary of our trip...

Our flights took about 23 hours total to get to Cairns, our first stop in Oz. Not bad, but we all had some serious jet lag for about three days. I'm glad we decided to book 3 nights before the actual Disney trip began. We stayed at The Sea Temple Resort in Palm Cove and it was beautiful! We got upgraded to a family suite, which was a nice treat! The next day we went to Cairns Zoo. I really enjoyed this. We got to feed the kangaroos and hold a koala. There are only a couple of places in Australia you are allowed to handle a koala and this was one. What luck! They are not as soft and cuddly as one would think though. Their fur feels like wool and they are kind of smelly. We got to see some of the other native animals like wombats, dingoes and cassawaries (they're like emu's). The next day we took a scenic train ride to Kuranda village where did a little souvenir shopping. We then rode the skyrail cable car down through the rainforest. It was beautiful riding above the tree canopy!

The first day of the Disney trip we had a welcome dinner at the resort and met our guides Amber an Aussie and Christy an American and all the other families. There were a total of 30 of us, 12 kids and 18 adults. We were all from the US. Kids ages ranged from 7 to 15 and the oldest adult was 65 (my father-in-law). So, niced sized group. 40 is the max. We played a get-to-know you game and (here's another spoiler alert) were given a Disney trading pin w/lanyard. We got a pin every day of the trip!

The 2nd day of the tour we went to Mossman Gorge in the National Daintree Rainforest and hiked a bit. We then went to Silky Oaks Lodge and had lunch by the river banks and some of us (not me) got in the freezing water! We then went to Hartley's Crocodile Adventure for a private tour and dinner. This was fantastic! We rode on a boat and watched the guide feed the croc's. It was a little scary riding in the water next to croc's. I'm not a fan. They let us hold a snake and baby croc too. What was really nice was the BBQ dinner they prepared for us that was set up right beside the croc's! The food was great and we got to try kangaroo and crocodile. Kangaroo kind of tastes like veal and croc tastes like chicken.

The 3rd day we spent at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park. The aboriginies painted our faces, taught us how to throw spears and boomerangs and we even got to paint our own boomerangs! Alot of fun!

Our 4th day and last one in Cairns was spent at the Great Barrier Reef. I was most looking forward to this day, but it ended up being the worst day of the entire trip. The winds were at 25-30 knotts and it was cold out. We had to wear these blue stinger (jellyfish) suits which were hilarious! We looked like the blue man group! It wouldn't of been too bad if we could of worn wet suits. We also had our own marine biologist with us who was very cool. There was a ton of gorgeous coral, but not a ton of fish. It was hard see snorkeling because the winds were mixing everything up. Kind of murky looking. I guess I just imagined it to be like in the carribean or Hawaii.

Our 5th day we flew 2 1/2 hrs to the center of Oz to Ayers Rock Resort. There is nothing around except this resort area, airport and the rocks. The dirt is red and it does get all over your shoes. Another guide joined us while in Ayers Rock and he took us on a brief visit to the aboriginal cultural center there. For dinner we had a star-gazing Aussie BBQ near Uluru. This was awesome. We got to see the Southern Cross and other constellations that we wouldn't normally see in the northern skies. Great food!

Day 6 we hiked (really a walk) the Walpa Gorge in Kata Tjuta (Olgas). Beautiful! Then we walked around the base of Uluru (the huge rock) while Dave, the other guide told us stories or ancient beliefs of the aboriginies about the rock formations. We went shopping at the resort area the rest of the day.

On our last day in Ayers Rock we did a sunrise camel ride. This was not part of the Disney trip, but most of us did it. The ride was really cool! The camelleer led us and talked with us the whole time and took pictures of all of us. He gave us hot cocoa and beer bread afterwards. Great experience. We then flew 3 hrs to Sydney. We had dinner at the Summit Restaurant. It rotates very slowly and the food and atmosphere was a little upscale. It was nice though.

On the 8th day we went to Toronga Zoo and had breakfast. We then went on a guided tour through the zoo. Great zoo. I've been told that it looks much like San Diego Zoo, very beautiful. Next, we took a jet boat ride around the harbor where they showed where all the rich famous people live. Seriously jealous! We had pizza by the harbour and went on a bike ride through the Rocks Distict (old cobblestone neighborhood) near the harbor. That was fun, but there were two decent hills and I had to walk one of them. It's been a very long time since I rode. My hubby had a tandem bike with my 7 yr old on the back. When that was over we decided to go back to the Rocks and shop the markets. It's like a big flea market with cool stuff.

The 9th day was on our own and we did the Sydney Harbor Bridge Climb. Again not part of Disney. This was the very best part of the trip for me. We had some instruction and suited up. We were tethered to the side rails at all times with a line and beaners. We climbed with the guide and stopped a few times to catch our breath and to enjoy the view. Spectacular! My sister-in-law is afraid of heights, but she did it anyway and loved it! They took pictures of us since we weren't allowed to bring anything up with us and then we bought some of course! For dinner we were back with the group and went to a sheep ranch. We met real Aussie cowboys with strange southern Aussie accents if you can imagine that? They showed us how to shear sheep and some of us got the chance to do that. Then we had dinner and some country dancing. To our surprise the Disney Guides had a nice treat for us (spoiler alert) we gathered around a large screen and they played a movie for us of our adventure! It was a movie with music and still pictures that they take of you during the trip. Well, we all wanted a copy of it, and they said we would all get a special Disney package in the mail when we got home. Sure enough, we got it! What a great treasure!

Day 10, our last. We got to do some quick souviner shopping before we were transported to the airport. It was very sad to leave Oz and our Disney family. The kids all bonded so well and we exchanged email addy's, phone numbers etc... We still keep in touch and I relive the trip through one of the Disney Guides on Facebook.

A few comments on the trip as a whole. I was not impressed with the food selections for the kids. Kids are picky and just want simple kid foods, not fancy salads and foods that you have to wonder what is in it. I wished Disney would of told us what to wear in Ayers Rock. No light colored clothes and no shoes that you don't want coming back red. Also the climates are so different in all three places we went, we had to stuff winter and summer clothes in one suitcase! This was difficult to do. They should of allowed another piece of luggage. The guides were fantastic! When we had to ride the coach bus everywhere they played crazy Aussie music with hand motions and gave us snacks all the time! They made it enjoyable. They were also great with the kids. Couldn't of asked for anything more from them. Disney knows how to treat their guests! We all knew that though, that's why we chose Disney to tour Australia.

Overall, great, fantastic, beautiful trip of a lifetime and I will go back!
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