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Category Archives: Bucket List Travel

Adventures by Disney Reveals New Short Escape Vacations for 2019

BURBANK, Calif. (Sept. 13, 2018) — In 2019, families will have more ways than ever to explore the world with Disney with an expanded line-up of Short Escape vacations with Adventures by Disney, a leader in guided group travel worldwide. In addition to its existing portfolio of more than 50 global vacations, Adventures by Disney will transport travelers to three new international cities on brand-new itineraries in Boston, London and Vancouver, Canada.

Short Escapes are two- to four-night adventures in iconic destinations that can be booked as stand-alone getaways or as add-ons to other vacation plans. Combining visits to must-see attractions with hands-on activities and opportunities to discover hidden gems, these itineraries are founded on enriching, authentic experiences and bolstered by signature Disney storytelling, VIP service and special access. The expert services of two knowledgeable Disney-trained Adventure Guides ensure guests enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime vacation from start to finish.

From hassle-free planning to premier accommodations to private tours and interactive activities, the new Short Escape itineraries offer endless opportunities for families to soak in every moment in these incredible cities.

Best of Boston – Past and Present

Treasured American history and spirited contemporary culture come to life during a diverse line-up of experiences in Boston on the new four-day, three-night Short Escape itinerary.

In 2019, Adventures by Disney will offer a brand-new Short Escape itinerary in Boston, where adventurers will be immersed in the city’s legendary stories of the American Revolution during privately guided tours and interactive experiences. Other family-friendly excursions and activities include rowing along the Charles River, biking the city on a private sightseeing tour, exploring the grounds of Harvard Yard and indulging at a private New England clambake on Thompson Island. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)

Throughout the trip, guests are immersed in the city’s legendary stories. During a privately guided tour along the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile route teeming with historical locales, families follow 18th-century costumed guides back in time as they are regaled with thrilling tales from the American Revolution. A private, after-hours tour of the Old North Church places travelers in the famed footsteps of Paul Revere, while another special after-hours visit to the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum concludes with a private dinner steeped in the city’s storied roots.

Other family-friendly excursions and activities include rowing along the Charles River, biking the city on a private sightseeing tour, exploring the grounds of Harvard Yard and indulging at a private New England clambake on Thompson Island.

The new Boston Short Escape is available on select dates in May through October 2019.

Bucket List Getaway in London

Adventures by Disney guests will revel in the royal treatment with VIP experiences in one of the world’s most iconic cities during the new three-day, two-night Short Escape in London. This bucket list getaway can be booked as a stand-alone vacation or as a pre-cruise add-on to Disney Cruise Line sailings out of nearby Dover, England.

In 2019, Adventures by Disney will offer a brand-new Short Escape itinerary in London, where adventurers will revel in the royal treatment with VIP experiences in one of the world’s most iconic cities. The itinerary includes a private viewing of the royal Crown Jewels at the Tower of London, a high-speed boat ride along the River Thames and a privately guided tour of Westminster Abbey, the revered site of royal coronations and weddings. (Mark Ashman, photographer)

The itinerary is filled with exceptional experiences, including a once-in-a-lifetime, private viewing of the royal Crown Jewels led by the Tower of London’s Jewel House Warden; a private, high-speed thrill ride in a boat along the River Thames; and a privately guided tour of Westminster Abbey, the revered site of royal coronations and weddings. Families will also witness the time-honored tradition of the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace and an unforgettable dinner show.

The new London Short Escape is available on select dates in July, August and September 2019.

City Highlights and Outdoor Recreation in Vancouver

Active adventures and culinary delights await on the new three-day, two-night Short Escape itinerary in Vancouver. This trip can be booked as a stand-alone vacation or as the perfect complement to a Disney Cruise Line Alaska voyage.

In 2019, Adventures by Disney will offer a brand-new Short Escape itinerary in Vancouver, Canada, where adventurers will discover unparalleled views of the city’s lush natural surroundings during exciting outdoor activities like ziplining and gondola rides at Grouse Mountain, a privately guided tour at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, and a morning bike ride through Stanley Park. (Diana Zalucky, photographer)

Exciting outdoor activities offer unparalleled vantage points of the city’s lush natural surroundings. At Grouse Mountain, adventurers soar over treetops on a thrilling ziplining excursion after a scenic gondola ride to the mountain peak. A privately guided tour at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park offers breathtaking views from 110 feet above the forest floor, while a morning bike ride through Stanley Park provides a leisurely look at one of North America’s largest parks.

On the first night, Junior Adventurers embark on a special scavenger hunt expedition with their Adventure Guides, while adults unwind with beer and wine flights at a local tasting room. During a “foodie” walking tour of Granville Island’s famous Public Market the next day, travelers will get a taste of the city’s thriving culinary scene as they sample local cheeses, charcuterie, freshly baked breads, indulgent desserts and more.

The trip also features early access to Grouse Mountain’s resident grizzly bear habitat, where guests can observe bears up-close and enjoy a special breakfast with amazing views, plus photo-worthy encounters with lively lumberjacks, birds of prey and towering totem poles.

The new Vancouver Short Escape is available on select dates in May through September 2019.

More Big Adventures on Short Escapes

Returning in 2019 are Adventures by Disney’s popular Short Escapes to New York City, San Francisco, Southern California, Wyoming, Barcelona and Rome. Highlights of these spectacular itineraries include exclusive visits to Good Morning America in New York City; private, after-hours tours of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel in Rome; and behind-the-scenes access at Disneyland Resort in California.

Like all Adventures by Disney vacations, Short Escape packages include all accommodations, tickets and admissions, transportation within the destination, luggage handling, snacks and most meals, and the services of two dedicated Adventure Guides.

Bookings for new 2019 Short Escape vacations open to the public on Sept. 20, 2018. To learn more about Adventures by Disney or to book a vacation, contact us today! 866-972-6244

That’s Why You Hire a Guide

Leslie and I just returned from a week in Wyoming snowmobiling north of Yellowstone. Now this was not a typical vacation for us. No fastpasses, ADR’s, no cruise safety drills or even a Palo brunch. And it’s cold, no…it’s very cold!

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We’ve lived most of our lives in Florida, we’re not snow people, this was our third trip out to Wyoming, but two years ago, our first trip out, was our first snow trip, ever! But we enjoy it so much we wanted to visit again, it’s become an annual event for us. Leslie calls it her “happy place” But one thing we have learned in all of our years of travel is that if you’re going to try something different, something new, you’re going to need a guide. Now in some cases a guide book will do, There is something to be said for wandering through a city and discovering things on your own. I will say however, one of the things I enjoy most about Adventures by Disney is the way the guides make a destination come to life, so guides are important, and some things you just can’t get from a book or on your own.

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Some activities require a bit more knowledge and understanding. I have some “bucket list” places in the world I want to scuba dive. When I finally make it to Palau or Truk Lagoon, I’ll be sure to have a guide, I don’t want to miss a thing. Wouldn’t it be a shame to do all that planning, travel half way around the world only to find out later that you missed that one thing that Truk is famous for?

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We’ve fallen in love with snowmobiling, the activity and the area where we do it. We’ve had the same guide all three trips, and we’ll request him again next year. He’s perfect for us. He’s enough of a hot dog that he challenges me to play around in the snow, while he’s also patient with Leslie’s timidness and stops often to let her take photos and enjoy the landscape. At the same time, he challenges us both to try new things and improve our skills year each year.

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A guide is an important thing. They’re with you for the whole trip. They make sure you “don’t miss a thing”, landmarks, wildlife and just having fun in the snow! They keep you on the trail and make sure you don’t get lost, and make sure you’re back in time for lunch or dinner! They dig you out of the snow when you get stuck, I did that a lot! And, they help you reach the top of the mountain.

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The top of the mountain you say? Yes I do say. Our guide, Brian, decides we’re ready to climb to the top of Austin’s Peak. The highest mountain around Brooks Lake other than the Pinnacles which you have a great view of from the Lodge at Brooks Lake. Austin’s Peak is 10,500 feet above sea level. There are three climb steps you have to make to get to the top. Our first trip we couldn’t even make it past the first climb. Partly because of the sleds we were riding, (this year we graduated to bigger machines) partly because of the conditions, and partly our experience level. What a difference a year makes, better equipment, the correct climate to climb, and more experience.

(There’s a lesson there)

So after Brian convinced Leslie that we were going to the top, we all began our climb. We made it up the first chute, a very narrow pass to get to the first peak. There were already several other riders there contemplating the ascent up the second peak. None were going, they were just staring at the mountain.  After a bit more reassuring, we started up the second climb, it was steep, and you just hang on and give the sled all its got and work to the top.

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Cool, second climb over, one more to go. We began that one, and the snow was so deep and there was a left slant that draws you down the mountain rather than up. I gave it my best, but near the top the sled started veering left with the slope and I couldn’t get it pointed back up. Rather than stall or roll, I turned back down to the bottom of the last hill. When I got down there the valley was to narrow for me to turn around, I had no where to go. Did I mention what an awesome guide Brian was? He came down the last hill, told me we were going to the top and together we made the climb, and yes we all made it to the top!

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It was the most incredible and exhilarating thing I’ve ever done, I’ve never been challenged like that before. We stood on the top looking all around and feeling that awesome feeling of solitude and awe at what we were seeing. As we started back down the other group was beginning their climb now that they had seen us do it. (so many lessons here, right) We rode back down to the bottom, going down can be as thrilling as going up! And at the bottom of the peak, had high fives all around and stories to last a life time.

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Now, if Leslie and I had been doing this on our own and came up to that mountain, if I had said “let’s climb that”, she would have said I was crazy and headed back for an early dinner! But because we had Brian, and he encouraged us and showed us the way, she was willing to give it a try and it became a lifelong vacation memory. As we stood on top of that mountain last week, that’s the thought that ran through my head, “that’s why you have a guide” We experienced more each year than we did the year before, because of our guide Brian.

Here’s a photo of Leslie and I on Austin’s Peak. Brian enjoyed taking us up the first mountain so much, he took us up Lava Mountain the next day. Now, that’s why you hire a guide!

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World’s Top Ten Most Extraordinary Hotels

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They’re not always the most popular or conventional hotels. And that’s exactly what Lonely Planet is going for with its inaugural picks for the world’s best accommodations.

The travel publisher’s panel of experts chose their top 10 in each of three categories: “most extraordinary places to stay,”for its list of top hotels. Some are unique, out-of-the-way spots while others are more well-known.

Picks run the gamut from trendy hostels to luxury eco-lodges. Check out Lonely Planet’s recommendations in the “extraordinary” category above and see whether you agree.

“This collection is one-of-a-kind, carefully curated by the most well-traveled people on Earth,” said Tom Hall, LonelyPlanet.com editorial director, in a press statement. “Our authors provide their honest opinion and never take freebies in exchange for positive coverage, so you can trust our reviews.”

Most extraordinary hotels around the world

1. Mihir Garh, Rajasthan, India

1. Mihir Garh, Rajasthan, India

2. Planet Baobab, Gweta, Botswana

2. Planet Baobab, Gweta, Botswana

3. Prendiparte B&B, Bologna, Italy

3. Prendiparte B&B, Bologna, Italy

4. Qasr Al Sarab, UAE

4. Qasr Al Sarab, UAE

5. Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge, TAS, Australia

5. Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge, TAS, Australia

6. Free Spirit Spheres, British Columbia, Canada

6. Free Spirit Spheres, British Columbia, Canada

7. Taskonak Hotel, Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey

7. Taskonak Hotel, Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey

8. Thonga Beach Lodge, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa

8. Thonga Beach Lodge, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa

9. Saugerties Lighthouse, New York, USA

9. Saugerties Lighthouse, New York, USA

10. The Gibbon Experience Treehouse, Bokeo Reserve, Laos

10. The Gibbon Experience Treehouse, Bokeo Reserve, Laos

What would you add to this list?


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