Adventures By Disney. You may have heard the name, perhaps many times. But like me, you might wonder just who are they or what service do they provide or why would I want to travel with them? Reading brochures and reviews of others, or watching videos about ABD only brought more questions. Thus the only solution seemed to be book a vacation with them and gain the experience, so the search began as to where to go and when.
Being retired from our careers for over a year now, we are still adjusting to life on a ‘fixed’ income, so pricing for leisure travel has to remain within our budget. My “retire to” job as a Travel Planner specializing in all things Disney and a few other family destinations, allows me to build a vacation slush fund, if you will. My husband Roger and I determined our first – yes, I am already planning on another – ABD trip should be within North America and we were pleased to see quite a few options – including special ‘long weekend’ adventures to places such as Nashville, New York, and San Francisco. Other longer destinations shown were Alaska, Arizona and Utah, Wyoming, Montana and Alberta, Canada. Then we saw Southern California! Wait, what? This could be doable as 6 days & 5 nights … perfect for us.
A brief description was: “Prepare for SoCal VIP treatment while on backstage tours of The Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Imagineering, The Jim Henson Company and much more!” Checking the drop-down for dates I see an *Adult Only tour for mid-October, then click for more information.
“Get ready for your close up as you experience the sights of Old Hollywood on this Southern California vacation that includes a rare behind-the-magic private tour of the Walt Disney Studios. You’ll also find yourself in the middle of the magic as you head to the Happiest Place on Earth for some fun-filled days and nights at the Disneyland® Resort.”
“Woo Hoo, we’re going to Disneyland!” But cooler (read more fruggle) heads prevailed. Roger: “Why don’t we check on pricing first?” “Oh, bother, what does it matter – it’s DISNEYLAND – and their 60th Anniversary – we HAVE to go!” I argue. But since there is that silly budget … okay, it is a bit higher than I hoped, but why I wondered. Hmm, trip highlights:
~Private Hollywood Tour: walking tour through Hollywood to see some of the most iconic sites in Tinseltown, including TCL Chinese Theatre, El Capitan Theatre, and Hollywood Walk of Fame.
~Visit Jim Henson Company: exclusive VIP visit to the Jim Henson Company Studios, built on the original site of Charlie Chaplin’s movie studio.
~Exclusive Access at Walt Disney Imagineering: special glimpse of how Walt Disney Imagineers – architects, designers, engineers and technicians – create the magic at Disney theme parks and resorts.
~Walt Disney’s Disneyland Apartment: See Disneyland® Park from the perspective of the man that started it all! Enjoy an exclusive visit to Walt’s apartment located on the second floor of the Disneyland Fire Dept. building.
~Behind the Scenes at Disneyland Resort: 2-day VIP experience at Disneyland® Park and Disney California Adventure® Park with special Disney’s FASTPASS® service and reserved parade seating.
All of this included in the package, plus nearly everything else is paid – 4-5 star accommodations, most meals, all gratuities (drivers, bellmen, housekeeping, meals, etc.) and you get a driver to pick you up and return you to the airport! Considering we don’t generally budget those things into our trip, the pricing ended up to be very reasonable. Book it we did!
Part 1 … Getting ready for our first Adventures by Disney vacation