Justifying ABD

Discussion in 'Adventures By Disney' started by jnsma, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. glassslipper2004

    glassslipper2004 DIS Veteran

    Aug 16, 2004
    We have done this trip and loved it. I think you can get away with a lot less for extras on this one. At the Grand Canyon, we did a helicopter ride in our free time - very expensive- but many people just hiked a little bit on their own, and in retrospect I would have preferred that. We also did a horseback ride in the last area, but easily could have done some exploring on our own there too. The meals on your own are not very costly - there are many options, and you can do something low key (for me, it was different than being in Italy, for example, where I didn't want to "waste" an opportunity to eat at a real Italian restaurant).

    It's a great trip, and Disney does a fantastic job with making it wonderful. The mornings on the canyon rim watching the sun come up don't cost anything extra, and they are priceless!
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  3. TheTexasKid

    TheTexasKid Mouseketeer

    Oct 8, 2000
    Is it worth it? Ye-es!

    But maybe I should give you my bonafides, before I tell you why. I have been on several tours with Adventures by Disney or ABD. I have also been on several tours with other (4) tour companies. And this is what ABD gives you that some of the others do not.

    1. Companions
    a. Bonding.
    Which should be no surprise, as you are thrown together for a week or more with people who share the same interests that you do.
    b. Personable.
    There are no ugly people on an ABD tour. That is personality wise. Cosmetically? That is another subject.

    2. Exclusive
    a. Pins
    If you collect pins, that are pins exclusive to that particular group tour each day.
    b. Gifts
    The exclusive thank-you gifts you get for traveling with ABD.

    3. Guides
    a. Tour.
    2 to a group, if the group is large enough. Most do not know how important that is. For when a problem arises, one can take care of the problem, while the other takes care of the grest of the group.
    b. Local.
    The best. We actually have had local guides tell us that they vie to lead an ABD group. See what I said about personable companions.

    4. Hotels.
    a. Better than some tour companies.

    5.. Itineratries
    a. Exclusive to ABD. The only tour company that takes you behind the scenes at Disneyland. The only tour company that takes you around the sites in Scotland that inspired "Brave."

    6. Meals.
    a. Better.
    Better restaurants than some tour groups.
    b. More.
    c. Most.
    d. Snacks.
    The snack basket. Some nights I pratically existed on snacks from the snack basket in the time between supper and breakfast.

    7. Weather
    Really. They have no control over the weather, but the weather always seems better when you travel with ABD. Only 33% of the people traveling the highway can see Mount McKinley from the highway. We were part of that 33%. When we went out onto the Alaskan waters on a boat to see Alaskan sealife, the boat's crew said that day was the best day they had all summer.

    a. DCL
    It is the only tour company associated with Disney Cruise Lines.
    b. Films
    No "Harry Potter." We saw "Wall-E" and "White Fang" on the tour bus.
    c. Your rep.
    If you want to develop a rep, then this tour company is still small enough that you run into both the same tour guides and tour companions on different tours.

    So, ye-es! It can be worth it, but . . .
    a. You have to decide what is important to you.
    b. Whether you want to travel with a group that has or has no children (adults only.)
    c. What do you want to spend. Maybe not a better time, but you can have an equally good time with a less expensive tour group.

    The best of luck whatever you decidee.
  4. CinderellaMouse

    CinderellaMouse Earning My Ears

    Jan 30, 2012
    This. :thumbsup2 I have never traveled with ABD (I'm just not much of a group travel person; I love being independent and getting around on my own and changing plans at the last minute if I want to). However, I get the impression from these forums that ABD is the best company out there. Like a lot of what Disney does, they're just superior to other companies.

    That said, the fact that they're the best is reflected in their price, and there are lots of other good companies out there who are much more affordable, especially if you're paying for a large family. I've traveled with ACIS, and I have friends and relatives who have used Globus, Imagine, and Grand Circle. Everyone came back from these trips absolutely raving about the tour company and saying what a wonderful vacation they'd had. They had lots of the same perks ABD offers - no messing with your luggage, no figuring out your own transportation, skipping the lines at tourist attractions, etc.

    So while I don't doubt that ABD does give you your money's worth or that people who take those tours have exceptional experiences, it's still possible to have a very awesome vacation with a less expensive company. :)

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