Who Enjoys a Disney Vacation?
A huge part of my travel business has always been booking vacations to one of the Disney destinations. You’ll no doubt notice that I didn’t say “booking vacations to Walt Disney World”. While Walt Disney World is clearly the most popular Disney destination, it is not the only one. There is, of course, the park that started it all: Disneyland in California. And most people are familiar with Disney Cruise Line. But did you know that Disney has a wonderful resort in Hawai’i? Or did you know that Disney has a luxury tour company, Adventures by Disney, which conducts land tours to over 25 countries on 6 continents as well as European River Cruises? Even those who don’t love theme parks do appreciate Disney’s well-deserved reputation for customer service and immersive experiences. So the answer to “who enjoys a Disney vacation” is….just about everyone!
Walt Disney World
Let’s talk first about Walt Disney World (“WDW”). WDW is made up of 4 theme parks, 2 water parks and over 25 resorts. The 4 parks offer a variety of experiences – from Cinderella to Star Wars. And believe me when I say there is a resort to fit your vacation dreams and your budget.
Contrary to popular belief, WDW is not just for families with young children. While I certainly plan trips for many young families, I book just as many adult-only trips and multi-generational (grandparents, parents and children). Many adults enjoy going for the Food and Wine Festival in the Fall or the Flower and Garden Show in the Spring. I take an annual adult-only trip with long time friends – we all look forward to it for months!
WDW is a great destination for multi-generational vacations. What grandparent wouldn’t delight in seeing their grandkids’ eyes light up as they experience the magic of Disney? Staying at an onsite resort and free Disney transportation make it easy to return to the room for those members of your group that don’t want to stay in the park from open to close.
Right now, WDW is capping its crowds at 35% of the normal capacity which allows for social distancing. Masks requirements are strictly enforced. There are sanitizer stations everywhere. I have been to WDW twice in the last 6 months, and I am so very impressed with their safety protocols.
If WDW still seems a little overwhelming for your vacation, a Disney Cruise is a great alternative. The sailings offer plenty of Disney magic in a less “intense” setting than the theme parks. There are still character meet-n-greets, deck parties, Disney movies by the pool and much more Disney magic. A cruise will involve much less walking than a theme park vacation, and your cabin is always nearby if you need a break in the action.
Many Disney cruises include a stop at Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island in the Bahamas. It’s a tropical paradise with sandy beaches, palm trees, family activities and even an adult–only beach area. It’s almost like having three vacations in one: Disney, a cruise, and a beach trip! There are also some great adult-only restaurants and bars on the ship if you are on an adult-only trip or need a break from the kids and grandkids. I enjoy the Broadway quality Disney stage shows and family games. But I also enjoy the piano bars and the mixology classes. There really is something for everyone!
In addition to Caribbean itineraries, Disney Cruise Line also offers sailings to the Mediterranean and Alaska. I find the Mediterranean cruises to be very popular with my clients looking for an adult-only trips. However, if you are traveling with teens these cruises are a great way to introduce them to several European countries. The Alaska itinerary has been popular for multi-generational vacations as well.
Adventures by Disney
Adventures by Disney offers land tours in America, Europe, Asia, South America and more! They visit over 30 countries on 6 continents. These are guided small group tours, and it’s a wonderful stress-free way to travel. Adventures by Disney picks you up at the airport and from there on handles everything! You get VIP access to attractions, museums, national parks, etc. You have guides with unique perspectives on each destination you visit. I’ve made several of these trips, and I’m a believer! Bike rides in the Gardens of Versailles in Paris, private tours of the Vatican in Rome, beer tastings in Germany…I just can’t say enough good things!
Adventures by Disney also offers European River Cruises on the Danube, Rhine and Seine. These ships hold around 120 people so they are a much more intimate setting than large ocean liners. Everyone enjoys these cruises because you can see multiple cities without having to unpack, pack again and change hotels. Your room travels right along with you! You can see the local countryside from the comfort of your cabin as you travel, exit the ship to explore local cities and then return to the comfort of your cabin at night.
The Danube River trip is particularly popular in the fall for Oktoberfest or Christmas markets theme. I am taking this trip myself this fall, and I couldn’t be more excited! We start our trip in Budapest, travel through Austria and Slovakia, and finally end in Germany.
The Seine River cruise has also been popular because it begins in Paris and visits Normandy. The Normandy experience tops many of my clients’ list of “must sees”, and they all rave about the local guide who is the founder of a Normandy museum. It’s just the sort of unique experience that results in rave reviews from all who take the trip.
Finally, Adventures by Disney has just added expedition cruises to Antarctica and the Galapagos Islands. These are on my bucket list!
Disney’s Aulani Resort and Spa
Located in Ko Olina on the island of Oahu, Hawai’i, Aulani Resort is truly a paradise! It’s wonderful for families with several pools, tons of activities and even a kids’ camp called Aunty’s Beach House. There is beach kayaking, snorkeling, golf, separate spas for teens and adults and so much more!
When I travel, I want to make sure I can trust the resort, tour company and travel experiences that I’m paying for. I want that same thing for my clients. I know that Disney has earned its reputation for service, story-telling and security – that’s why I’m a fan of Disney travel!