I recently returned from the Adventures by Disney Ireland vacation and came back feeling like I had snatched up a whole bunch of 4-leaf clovers. Fair warning: this is not a trip for everyone. I recommend it only if you love breathtaking scenery, meeting wonderful people and participating in experiences that range from the sublime to the spectacular. If you like the idea of all that, then you might just find yourself getting emotional during this adventure.
First stop was the capital city of Dublin. We packed so much into our time here, from Trinity College and the magnificent Book of Kells to the River Liffey waterfront, beautiful parks and gardens. We also hopped the Temple Bar restaurant and pub scene. We were able to pack so much in because of privately guided tours that are hallmarks of traveling with Adventures by Disney. They ensured we made the most of every minute. It’s a lot like having a countrywide FastPass, where you waltz right past the queues and into top attractions like the world-famous Guinness Storehouse in the St. James’ Gate Brewery.
The Storehouse tour was a hit even with the kids in our group and with adults who didn’t imbibe in ales or beers. Our group was whisked into the Storehouse through a side entrance and straight up to a private lunch. Afterward, a Guinness representative was our host for a look at the history and operation of one of Ireland’s most well-known and beloved brands.
From cosmopolitan Dublin we were off to visit the Rock of Cashel, a towering fortress and one of many “wows” we experienced during the trip. No boring history lesson here. Instead, our local guide made the ancient ruins come alive with stories of battles, pillaging and looting – all the things that made the Medieval age so interesting.
More fun was waiting for us when we arrived in the lovely town of Killarney. (Ireland is filled with lovely towns. They even have an annual “Tidiest Town” competition. Who knew?)
With a free afternoon in Killarney some in the group relaxed and took advantage of our hotel’s great amenities. Others explored the town, while fitness buffs did some serious cycling on paths through the lush green forest and along the lakeshore.
Based on what was literally inside “scoop,” I had a completely different focus: ice cream. I think everyone in our group ultimately made an ice cream stop during our time in Killarney. And there were some heated discussions over this cold treat – namely, what the best flavor was. My pick was the Caramelized Brown Bread, but the Dingle Sea Salt and Dingle Gin – yes, gin – were pretty popular.
After dinner, the day took a turn and got a little scary, but that’s because we ventured out on a nighttime ghost tour. In a macabre, decked out motor coach, we visited all of Killarney’s local “haunts.” I’m happy to report that everyone made it safely back to the hotel where nighttime treats were waiting – cookies and milk for the little ones and warm Irish Coffees for the grownups.
There’s so much more to the Adventures by Disney Ireland experience. Watch the Disney Parks Blog for the rest of my report!