Last week I was invited to a presentation for Adventures by Disney. I'd never heard of it and was interested to learn what it was all about, especially since we'd recently gone to Disney World.
Adventures by Disney started back in 2005 with 2 itineraries offered. For 2009, they'll offer 23 destinations on 6 continents, including Italy & Switzerland; Boston, Newport & New York; central Italy; Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands; Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, and San Francisco; Glacier National Park & Banff National Park; South Africa; and Alaska. Adventures by Disney gives families a way to not only see the world, but they "bring these locations to life" for your family. For each trip, 2 experienced Disney guides will accompany your group. Your group will meet up with local experts in each city you visit as well.
I had the chance to meet 2 of the tour guides at the event last week. Let me just tell you, I wanted to bring them home to entertain my kids while I work! You could just tell that the guides are great with children and would do a terrific job of occupying them on these adventures.
Not only will you enjoy 4 star+ accomodations on your Adventures by Disney vacation, but you won't have to worry about booking a thing. All transportation between cities you visit is taken care of. Excursions and sightseeing is arranged. Disney has done all the leg work and found the best family-friendly sites and activities in each location. They've already scouted out the best places to eat and shop and stay so you don't have to. They've also added downtime into each itinerary so your family can explore, get spa treatments, shop, swim, or go out to eat on your own as well.
Now I've never actually gone an Adventures by Disney vacation so I'm not speaking from experience, but given Disney's attention to detail, I imagine all bases are covered and you wouldn't have to worry about a thing during your vacation. I have a feeling the trip would be "magical".
With that said, these trips aren't for everyone. First, you have to be 4 years old to participate so my family couldn't even go on an Adventures by Disney vacation for one more year (when Brooklyn turns 4). Also, these are not affordable for the average family, in my opinion. If you're the type of family who loves to travel and you take big vacations often, then check this out. I think it would be a great way to see the world. Especially in countries where you don't speak the language, I think it would be terrific to have everything planned out and guides to help you every step of the way.
However, if you're an average family, like us, who goes camping and has to save up for 10 years to be able to go to Florida for a week, then you'll have a heart attack when you see the prices of these vacations. For example, their 8 night Viva Italy trip which tours Rome, Tuscany and Venice, would cost a family of 4 about $13,000 (early booking price) and that price doesn't include airfare to and from Italy. And you'll be on your own for 3 lunches and 4 dinners as well. So I guess you have to decide if the pricetag is worth the experience and memories for you and your family. You can check it out HERE.