King Arthur Carrousel

Moms Panel Monday: Meet Elisabeth Lackey, Our Newest Adventures by Disney Mom

posted on April 2nd, 2012 by Laura Spencer, Social Media Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

Let the adventure begin! Where to, you might ask? Well, I’m hoping somewhere with excellent shoe-shopping options… How about a camel ride excursion in Giza for an up-close view of the Great Pyramids, or a dip in the warm waters of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef?

If you’re wondering what this has to do with Disney, just ask our new Adventures by Disney Walt Disney World Moms Panelist, Elisabeth Lackey. She’s a wife, preschool teacher and mom of four who loves to travel the world Disney-style.


She, along with her family, has traveled to China, South Africa and Costa Rica with Adventures by Disney and can’t wait to plan her next getaway. I got the chance to pick Elisabeth’s brain a little and get her expert advice on what to do before embarking on my next journey.

Q: Let me in on the secret—what makes Adventures by Disney vacations so special?

A: While I love helping people plan their Disney vacations, the great thing about Adventures by Disney is that you don’t have to do any extra planning! There is a set price, an Adventure Guide with you at all times, and everything from the hotels to your meals are included so there are little to no out-of-pocket expenses.

Q: Are these trips designed for the whole family?

A: All of the itineraries are family-oriented, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go as a couple on your honeymoon or on a girls trip without the kiddos! It’s really designed to make all ages happy and it’s also very educational. For example, our kids still talk about the different animals they learned about when we visited South Africa.

Q: You mentioned the Adventure Guides, can you tell me more about what they do?

A: There are so many special experiences that you simply would not get if you tried to plan a vacation on your own and the Adventure Guides are a huge part of that. The Adventure Guides are in-country guides who are extremely knowledgeable and provide you with so many extra facts and cultural activities throughout your trip—you’ll never want to come home!

Q: What’s a tip for families who are thinking about taking a trip with Adventures by Disney?

A: If you’re considering an overseas trip, it’s a big difference from a vacation to Disney Parks but provides the same exceptional service and attention to detail that Disney is famous for. One thing I love about Adventures by Disney trips is meeting other families traveling in your group. You bond with them just as much as you do with your Adventure Guides, and it’s nice to share these incredible experiences as a group.

Q: What are some of your favorite memories from the trips you’ve taken?

A: There are so many! Seeing the iconic Chinese landmarks and visiting Hong Kong Disneyland is definitely at the top of my list, but really it is the warmth of the people you meet and the chance to broaden your world that stay with me.

Do you have a question for Elisabeth? Visit

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Adventures by Disney Heads to Southeast Asia

posted on March 26th, 2012 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager

Attention fans of Adventures by Disney! An all-new 2013 destination was just announced earlier today – it’s a tour through Southeast Asia, with stops in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

This 12-day, 11-night tour will give adventurers the chance to experience exotic culture in cities like Saigon, Hanoi, Hoi An, Luang Prabang, Siem Reap and Angkor Wat. In Cambodia, adults will have time to take in the unique architecture of the Temples of Angkor Wat while Junior Adventurers live the history of the ancient structure on a tuk tuk vehicle treasure hunt. In Vietnam, guests can expect to enjoy market shopping followed by an authentic Vietnamese cooking lesson.

Take a sneak peek at the other fun adventures guests can expect in this new tour in this video:

Additional details and dates for the new Southeast Asia itinerary and other 2013 offerings will be available on the Adventures by Disney website in late spring. In the meantime, guests are encouraged to contact the reservations center at 1-877-728-7282 with any questions.

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Limited-Time Offer On the Adventures by Disney Eastern Costa Rica Tour

posted on March 10th, 2012 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager

Taking a zip line tour above a rainforest canopy. Going for a dip in the hot springs. Enjoying the thrill of nature while white-water rafting. It all sounds like the ultimate vacation to me!

For a limited time, families of four who book this trip – the Adventures by Disney Eastern Costa Rica itinerary – can save $1,000 when they select tours departing June 30, July 7, July 21, Aug. 11, and Dec. 22 and 29, 2012.

Take a look at what else you can expect to find here in this video clip.

This offer must be booked by March 15, 2012. For more information, visit

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Aulani Excursions Showcase Hawai‘i With a Touch of Disney Magic

posted on January 31st, 2012 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations

Although it’s tempting never to leave the Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, grounds and adjoining beach, the resort offers an appealing lineup of off-property excursions to illuminate the wonders of Hawai‘i for all ages and tastes. Many of the excursions have been specially designed by Adventures by Disney and feature knowledgeable Adventure Guides weaving stories and magic into the experience.

I haven’t had a chance to experience all the excursions on offer – it’s a lineup that includes Hawaiian cooking lessons, hiking to Waimea Falls, horseback riding at Kualoa Ranch … and I’ve heard especially good things about the Hawaiian Fire Surf School conducted by Honolulu City Firefighters.

I did get a chance to go on a catamaran excursion with some visiting travel writers the last time I was at Aulani, and it was great! We spotted a couple of pods of dolphins (or maybe it was just one playful bunch, trying to fake us out) and, after getting a terrific distant view of Aulani from its ocean side, we went snorkeling a bit further up the coast. The waters off the coast of Oahu offer a sensationally colorful array of fish and other sea life and, while we were snorkeling close to the surface, members of the crew dove deeper and brought up sea urchins, sea cucumbers and an unusually chunky starfish for us to look at.

Catamaran Captain Doug also told us that his craft is rated as dolphin-and-whale friendly, consciously keeping a safe distance from these fun and fascinating creatures while still giving us the opportunity to view them. It’s the kind of thing that helps make a Disney Aulani excursion special.

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Adventures by Disney Moments Around the World

posted on December 29th, 2011 by Josh D'Amaro, Vice President, Adventures By Disney

As 2011 comes to a close, I wanted to take a moment to share with all of you some of the special moments our Adventures by Disney Adventure Guides have shared with me from their trips around the world this year:

Laura Farrell in Costa Rica with Adventures by Disney

One of my favorite memories of 2011 was on a Costa Rica trip during sea turtle nesting season. There was a little girl who tried very hard to stay awake on the night walk because she wanted to see a nesting turtle so badly, but ended up falling asleep (it was very late for a 7 year old) and missing the sighting. The next morning, a couple was walking along the beach and saw a turtle laying her eggs (very rare to see in the day). They ran all the way back to the hotel to get the girl and she was able to see the turtle just before it went back into the ocean. I love this memory because it is a perfect example of the kind of magical moments that happen on Adventures by Disney trips.
- Laura Farrell

Christian Cruz Takes the Backstage Magic Tour with Adventures By Disney

Visiting Walt’s Apartment is one of the highlights of our Backstage Magic tour, especially to a mother-daughter tandem who came all the way from Belgium. Our docent gave us a heartfelt story about Walt Disney’s little abode which deeply touched that mother’s heart. Seeing her sincere tears of gratitude to Walt Disney is one of my favorite memories of 2011. It was not only a magical moment for her, but also for me in knowing that I am working with a team that connects guests from around the world to a man and his creation, one I truly believe in. And in knowing that I am an Adventure Guide not just to exclusive backstage access but also access to memories people will keep for a lifetime.
– Christian Cruz

Visit Australia with Adventures By Disney

During the welcome dinner on a tour to Australia a guest shared with the group that he had chosen to come Down Under to see a platypus. He loved platypuses. Yes, really! While in elementary school he even dressed up as a platypus for Halloween. Our visit to Sydney’s Taronga Zoo, therefore, required seeing one of these creatures. We had to visit the platypus house twice (they are quite shy) before one finally made an appearance. Only a few times in my life have I ever seen anybody as truly happy as this gentleman was upon seeing his beloved animal. He was even wearing a platypus t-shirt for the occasion. It was a wonderful moment the whole group got to share, one I will never forget!
- Kira Butler

I hope you have had a wonderful year and if you have any special vacation memories on a recent trip, leave a comment and share them with us. Happy New Year from all of us at Adventures by Disney!

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Adventures by Disney Brings You Wonders of the World

posted on December 27th, 2011 by Josh D'Amaro, Vice President, Adventures By Disney

The most striking and impressive natural wonders and man-made structures have been cataloged into various lists of the “Wonders of the World” since ancient times. I plan to see as many wonders of the world as I can, and it certainly helps to be a part of the Adventures by Disney team in meeting this goal.

Josh D’Amaro Travels with Adventures By Disney to Egypt

I recently returned from Egypt where I had the chance to see the Great Pyramid of Giza and ride a camel by the Temple of the Sphinx. Did you know the Great Pyramid consists of an estimated 2.3 million limestone blocks? That really put carrying my luggage into perspective. The incredible work it must have been for the Egyptians to pull this off and the precise, advanced engineering blew me away, similarly to that of Stonehenge in England, another mysterious ancient site where Adventures by Disney guests uncover the mysteries and legends of the past.

Adventures By Disney Visits Stonehenge in England

In Italy, our Bella Italia adventure stops at another wonder – the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Two of our other Italian itineraries, allow Adventurers explore the Coliseum – one of the greatest feats of engineering during the Roman Empire. (And our Junior Adventurers get to reenact fun gladiatorial contests!).

Standing upon another wonder, the Great Wall of China, is an unforgettable and indescribable moment for any traveler. It just keeps going and as I stood there, able to see for miles and miles, I wondered whether there was anyone up in space looking down and seeing the same wall that I was standing on.

Another amazing site we visit is Peru and the ancient city of Machu Picchu. It’s the “Lost City of the Incas,” and boasts 360 degrees of majestic views. The site is truly something to marvel at.

But right in our own backyard we have the spectacular Grand Canyon to marvel at! Standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon my jaw literally dropped (luckily not a mile down). On our Southwest Splendors experience, our guests get to see it from above and whitewater raft right through it on the Colorado River, where nearly 2 billion years of geological history are revealed.

Which of these wonders have you seen? Leave a comment below to share your travel stories.

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Go Behind the Scenes with Lights…Camera…Magic! – A New Adventures by Disney Experience in Southern California

posted on December 5th, 2011 by Josh D'Amaro, Vice President, Adventures By Disney

Today is Walt Disney’s birthday, making it the perfect opportunity for me to share this exciting news with you: beginning December 20, you can experience a new day-long adventure that will immerse you in the magic of Disney and the history of Hollywood in unique and unforgettable ways. Lights…Camera…Magic! is a guided group experience that opens the door for you to see where Disney magic is made and walk inside The Walt Disney Studios – the very location that was built from the profits of the animated feature, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

All around you, the story of The Walt Disney Company comes to life as you tour the historic Studio Lot, explore the fascinating Disney Archives, shop at the Studio Store and enjoy lunch at the Studio Commissary—experiences you will not get anywhere else. Disney-trained Adventure Guides not only give you exclusive access to The Walt Disney Studios, but also take you to star-studded locales and iconic locations in Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Malibu.

The Walt Disney Studios

Lights…Camera…Magic! is the perfect addition to a Disneyland Resort vacation, or a great day trip for natives who have not seen this side of their hometown. What I love about the experience is that access to everything is so easy and comfortable! As with all of our Adventures by Disney trips, you’ll be treated with VIP attention from two Disney-trained Adventure Guides and enjoy exciting surprises and “magical moments” throughout the day. And the Adventure Guides do not miss a beat – they made sure I saw all the sights and told stories of historic Hollywood while pointing out the places of legends, places I have been watching on screen for years! We went behind the scenes for a private visit to the famed Kodak Theater and had time to explore fun and fascinating Hollywood Boulevard – I even saw several “stars!” We cruised the legendary Sunset Strip to Beverly Hills and strolled down world-famous Rodeo Drive. The finale was amazing – a breathtaking sunset in Malibu at celebrity favorite, Gladstones Restaurant!

So happy birthday to Walt Disney! Come celebrate by joining Adventures by Disney on Lights…Camera…Magic! and experience Tinseltown in a fashion only Disney can offer.

Interested in seeing more of Southern California with Adventures by Disney? Check out Backstage Magic, a six-day tour of Hollywood, The Walt Disney Studios and the Disneyland Resort.

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Adventures by Disney Invites You to Our New Virtual Event!

posted on November 22nd, 2011 by Josh D'Amaro, Vice President, Adventures By Disney

Adventures by Disney Invites You to Our New Virtual Event!

As some of you may know, I just got back from Adventures by Disney’s first trip to Egypt; it was amazing. Our group had so much fun! I learned about some of the most incredible things I have ever seen.

Today, I invite you to attend a special Adventures by Disney virtual event to learn more about my trip as well as some of our other exotic destinations.

Join us as we explore some of our most unique and exciting destinations. From China to South Africa and Australia, with the wild island Tasmania, to Egypt, this virtual event will take you whizzing around the globe – through beautiful landscapes and distinctive cultures, past fascinating animals and into time-honored histories. You will hear from some of our guests as they visit new places and you’ll see some of the exciting experiences that Adventures by Disney vacations are best known for. This special event ends Dec. 2, 2011, so click here and watch it today. Enjoy and see which one of these destinations will be your next family vacation.

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Experience China’s Living Wonders With Adventures by Disney

posted on November 16th, 2011 by Maureen Miller, Manager, Global Marketing Strategy and Planning

Experience China’s Living Wonders With Adventures by Disney

One of my favorite Adventures by Disney stops in China is the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. That’s where you’ll find nearly 100 acres of protected land filled with the world’s most beautiful pandas.

Disney Parks Blog Author Maureen Miller Experiences China’s Living Wonders With Adventures by Disney

I fell in love with the fascinating (and incredibly unique) pandas of China as they romped, roamed, rested and played in their natural habitat. Our group of adventurers watched as the pandas began their day with each other. We were so close to them, I could hear the crunching of bamboo. It was also wonderful to explore a state of the art facility and see some of the cutest Panda babies that have ever graced the planet.

Adventures by Disney groups are treated to privately guided tours in China and have access to a biologist who can teach them about the pandas of the region. My experience getting to know these living wonders of China was unforgettable.

So, what would you most like to see during a trip to China?

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Adventures by Disney Introduces Tasmanian Devils…and Ghosts

posted on October 31st, 2011 by Bruce Austin, Trip Operations Manager for Adventures by Disney

I went to Tasmania for the first time earlier this year with the idea of grafting a whole new element to Adventures by Disney’s remarkable Australia trip. The itinerary was already comprised of wonderful activities and sights such as the world’s oldest tropical rainforest, the Great Barrier Reef, the Outback at Uluru, and vibrant, cosmopolitan Sydney with its stunning harbor. With such a grand itinerary already established, why add Tasmania?

Adventures by Disney Introduces Tasmanian Devils…and Ghosts

Well, the first intriguing thing we heard about the island state was of its reputation as one of the last wildernesses left unspoiled. The Tasmanian Tourism Bureau touts the island as having one of the most pristine environments on the planet because of its remote location − off the southern coast of Australia, surrounded by oceans for thousands of miles. “Freshest air you’ll ever breathe anywhere on the planet, mate” the locals like to say, proudly filling their lungs as they do so. About 38% of the island is protected in wildlife reserves, national parks and World Heritage sites. You’ll hear mention of the great indigenous forests that still cover many parts of the island, the indomitable cliffs that plunge into the sea, the zany wildlife – Tasmanian Devils anyone? – the wonderful seafood, organic produce, well-marbled beef, handcrafted cheeses and boutique wineries that make your mouth water at the very mention.

The Island’s early settlers were convicts and their guards, unfortunate souls sent away from the British Isles to the Empire’s most remote colony. Those who survived the perilous sea journey faced a hard life in penal colonies in a spectacular setting, the earliest of which was called Port Arthur. Port Arthur’s setting is outwardly idyllic, set on a small scenic bay with rolling, forested hillsides cascading off in various directions. On Discovery Down Under, Guests get to explore the grounds and museum of this historic former prison by day but, as the sun disappears, the 19th century ruins of Port Arthur can seem an entirely different place; the air fills with mystery, of silence and what once was. After sunset is when the “ghost walking” begins. It was on my first Ghost Tour, in search of spirits, that I really got a feel for Port Arthur. Wandering through the deserted structures led by the flicking glow of lantern light, intrigue and stories of long ago, the past crept up and those “long gone” felt close. Restless. Are those who were detained still imprisoned? Is it myth or truth? How far away is long ago? Are there ghosts?

Adventures by Disney Introduces Tasmanian Devils…and Ghosts


Happy Halloween!

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