Adventures by Disney - Is it worth the price

Discussion in 'Adventures By Disney' started by Wilver, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. redrosesix

    redrosesix DIS Veteran

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    thx for this thread -- we're seriously considering ABD for our first trip to Europe (and a few other places). I have a friend who has traveled extensively around the world, and he recommends doing a tour the first time you go anywhere -- the next time you go you can do a tour or just go back and do your favourites.

    But we need one that would have other kids, so I think ABD is the way to go for us.
     
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  3. SingingMom

    SingingMom DIS Veteran

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    I love to read. LOLOLOL

    ABD should use you in their next promo! ;-)

    Sent from my iPad using DISBoards
     
  4. familygoboston

    familygoboston Mouseketeer

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    We have friends that did an ABD in Italy and loved it! Their own kids were 8- 18 and they all loved it! I had referred them, so I was on tenterhooks...would
    they like it?:guilty: They had done Taulk to Wyoming before and liked it, but said its ABD from now on! I've never done one in Europe, but given I am the kind of person who looks at crowds and goes " ugh!" I can see myself doing one in Italy to avoid all the lines!
     
  5. sandhya

    sandhya Earning My Ears

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    If you are looking for a luxurious vacation ABD is the way to go:
    1.Express lane service at super busy places like Vatican.
    2.Highly informed local guides.
    3. Excellent food, well chosen breaks and minimal walking from Point A to B
    4.Don't have to touch your luggage from Day 1 till the End.
    5. Top of the line hotels and they are all centrally located.
    6. If you are travelling with kids ABD is NO BRAINER.
    7. Itenaries which are well planned and executed.
    8. Finally, the GUIDES, they really pamper you. They are a fund of knowledge and help you with anything you want. As one of the members of our tour said" this is like taking vacation with your MOM and DAD".
     
  6. EllinK

    EllinK Mouseketeer

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    We've also picked other tour companies when for the same price we got more of what we were looking for out of another trip. For instance for Africa, we wanted to maximize our game drives and safari time. It's not that we didn't want anything cultural, but that with a relatively short amount of time, we wanted to spend more time on safari and less doing wine and food, sightseeing and cultural stuff. We ended up paying a little more to tour with an outfitter where we toured privately with just our family group and we spent 10 full days in safari camps, although at one of the camps we spent 2 days doing cultural and sightseeing activities as well as game drives. This was more than ABDs 3 or 4 nights on Safari. To me it would have been "not worth it" to spend that much money and time traveling for so little safari.[/QUOTE]

    i would love to hear what company you used for Africa!
     
  7. familygoboston

    familygoboston Mouseketeer

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    i would love to hear what company you used for Africa![/QUOTE]

    All of the camps we stayed in are through Wilderness Safaris-they were not cheaper than doing an ABD, but we were able to completely customize our travel group (we traveled with just our party of 7) our destinations, (we chose the camps in Zambia and Botswana with assistance from our TA) and they transferred us from place to place with assistance the whole way (though not with a single guide throughout the trip like ABD).

    In order to book these camps you must book through a travel agent, and I highly, highly recommend going with an Africa specialist. This is a major trip, and I tried asking for info and advice from a generalist and got a brochure :rolleyes2 I even contacted one of the top Africa specialists (who literally "wrote the book") and they didn't listen to my needs- (I was traveling with 3 young teen girls and a brother in law born in Rhodesia whose father had been in the British foriegn service and had bad dealings with Mugabe and we pointedly did not want to travel to Zimbabwea) and yet we got 3 itineraries with camps in Zimbabwea in them. So finding the right agent is critical for Africa, and the "best" isn't right for you if they don't listen!!

    For us, we had tremendous luck with Travel Beyond in Minnesota, they have a specialty in Africa, most of their agents have been many times, and they can advise about where and help to plan a trip within your budget and create a seamless trip. For our trip, we wanted permanent tented camps (like hotels in the bush) theses are usually $1000 per night, per person!:worried: But we were travelling with 3 kids, and no way we could do that! So TB talked to us and found that there was a special going on if we could travel before July 1, we could save 50%!! That made it do-able (still expensive, but in our budget) So we booked and crossed our fingers that we would have no snow days here in NE and wouldnt have to have the kids miss final exams (luckily, we didnt!)

    We were literally met at the plane and had a guide meet us at every step of the trip. The only thing we did alone was fly in the sky, once we landed there was a guide. If you want to get a "feel" for the kind of advice, start lurking in the Trip Advisor Africa boards, you will see that the owner "SafariCraig" weighs in on a lot of discussions and is very very helpful.

    But only you will know who is right to plan your trip!! Also, for some folks the level of anxiety about Africa (malaria prevention, the age of their kids, putting all the pieces together) ABD may be the very best choice. Their trip sounds great to me, but for us we simply had a higher priority and (ability to sustain energy and attention for) long game drives in more remote settings.

    Good luck, I hope you get to go...it's a pretty amazing adventure! :thumbsup2
     
  8. nunzia

    nunzia You can't top pigs with pigs, but you CAN top Toys

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    I agree with everything familygoboston said in the essay;. For us, on our first ABD, the biggest point was that most of the events flat our cannot be done on your own.We did Backstage Magic and the tours at the Studios, Jim Henson Studios, Imagineering, Walt's barn, Walt's Apartment etc. are difficult to impossible to accomplish on your own. It was wonderful from start to finish. We are now booked on the DVC New York trip..we had planned on going on our own in April then cancelled for a variety of reasons. The ABD trip is only three days but they sound like a great three days. Again..access to places only Disney can pull off..rehearsal space of Newsies for one. The thing about ABD is that the surprises are many and unexpected. Just looking at an itinerary is not the sum of your vacation. Since I'm the planner in the family it is really nice to just show up and be treated like a VIP :)
     
  9. SingingMom

    SingingMom DIS Veteran

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    EXACTLY!!!! I am the planner too and it was WONDERFUL to have things planned and be pampered! :-)

    Sent from my iPad using DISBoards
     
  10. huntergreen10

    huntergreen10 Earning My Ears

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    So, other than the excellent service that Disney provides, I won't feel any other Disney elements on an ABD trip? Even though I am in a foreign country, I would still like to feel that Mickey is with me from time to time.
     
  11. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel Moderator

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    Each day of an ABD has a theme, and you will get a special Disney pin that matches each day's theme (only available on that particular ABD). That and the "Adventures by Disney" sign you follow (and the Guides' name tags) are really the only physical Disney touches.

    Oh, and on occasion (like on long bus rides) they may show Disney movies...

    Sayhello
     
  12. SingingMom

    SingingMom DIS Veteran

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    I would add that there is some sort of Disney magic, in the sense that most guests are Disney fans. We found that it brings a common thread to some conversations and activities.

    "SingingMom" ....Sent from my iPad using DISBoards
     
  13. paddles

    paddles Mouseketeer

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    ABD does a good job not making the trip too "Disney", but does make it extremely family friendly.

    I was a complete skeptic before I took the first trip to Italy last year. I've traveled around the world, and have been to Europe dozens of times (including living in Paris for 1 1/2 years)...so I consider myself a well seasoned traveler. However, after having kids, I wanted to make sure they would enjoy the trips as much as my husband and I, and let's face it, once there are kids involved, the days/meal times need to be more structured.

    Disney does a fantastic job with all of that, ensuring both the adults and kids are having fun. And the thing my kids like the most is that there are other kids for them to hang out with. So its a win/win for all :thumbsup2
     
  14. fabulousfive

    fabulousfive DIS Veteran

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    Awesome thread!
     
  15. BrennaM

    BrennaM Mouseketeer

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    I hear a lot about the kids' experience on the trips and I think it sounds amazing. I have two teenage girls 17 and 15 by the time we do our trip to Ireland. Do they get any special stuff to do at all? They of course don't want to hang out necessarily with the little ones, although knowing my two they will probably end up becoming attached to them.

    I know they want to go on all the tours that we will do, but it would be neat if there was something special that they got to do.
     
  16. SingingMom

    SingingMom DIS Veteran

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    Not necessarily getting to "do" something special, but they will be "treated" VERY special! :-) our daughter was almost 19 on her first AbD and almost 20 on her second, and she felt like a princess each trip!

    "SingingMom" ....Sent from my iPad using DISBoards
     
  17. lovetotravel

    lovetotravel Mouseketeer

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    You might be interested in their teen trips:

    http://www.adventuresbydisney.com/vacations-for-teenagers/
     
  18. familygoboston

    familygoboston Mouseketeer

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    We have done 2 ABDs with tween/teen girls. Ours were 15 and very nearly 18 when we traveled to Ecuador. I felt the guides really worked hard to make the older teens feel like either the "big sisters/brothers" of the larger kids group if they wanted to be "in" with the kids, and yet welcome to join in with the adults if they felt that was better for them. For instance , my girls had fun at karoke and movie night with the kids, but joined the adults for lectures and educational,activities rather than attend stuff geared for the younger kids.

    I think I've mentioned before that the ABD guides are quite gifted at balancing all ages!
     
  19. MNTravels

    MNTravels 8th DCL and counting

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    Has anyone done South Africa ?
     
  20. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel Moderator

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    If you go back through this thread, there are comments from familygoboston who did Africa with another vendor.

    Also, if you check the Trip Report thread at the top of this Forum, there are 4 Trip Reports for ABD's South Africa trip.

    http://www.disboards.com/search.php?searchid=41266184

    Sayhello
     
  21. steph

    steph Earning My Ears

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    I have also been wondering about the cost versus other options. We have never been to Europe and are very much wanting to visit Germany, we are a lesbian couple and wonder how that situation is with other families? We were considering the adult only trip, neither of us have kids nor do we really enjoy spending a lot of time around them (sorry if that sounds bad to people but I don't enjoy undisciplined children).

    Thanks for any input
     

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