The Pros and Cons of an Adventures by Disney Trip

When you think of a Disney vacation, images of theme parks, costumed characters and cruise ships likely come to mind. But recently, Adventures by Disney announced its first-ever trip to Iceland, departing in 2018. Where does Iceland fit into the mix? Launched in 2005, Disney’s Adventures by Disney is the company’s guided, group travel arm. With trips to over 30 vacation destinations in 25-plus countries on six continents, Adventures by Disney offers a premium, family-focused vacation experience.

So is Adventures by Disney right for your vacation? Here are the benefits – and the drawbacks of an Adventure by Disney itinerary.

The Upsides

You Can Enjoy One-of-a-Kind Experiences

Adventures by Disney’s offerings include weekend getaways, land-based trips, river cruises and upgrades to a Disney Cruise Line vacation. The itineraries typically include iconic bucket-list experiences such as trips to classic European capitals, an African safari, expeditions to the Great Wall of China, hikes to Machu Picchu, exploring highlights in America’s national parks and more. Of course, Disney did not invent the guided group travel model. Many other companies, including Austin Adventures, Tauck Bridges and Thomson Family Adventures, also lead trips to many of these same destinations.

So what makes Adventures by Disney different? “Experiences that only Disney could provide, such as a private, after-hours visit to the Sistine Chapel, participating in an alms offering ceremony with monks in Laos, learning the art of Peruvian weaving from master artisans and more,” says Ken Potrock, senior vice president of Adventures by Disney,

You’ll Gain Added Perks and VIP Treatment With an Adventure Guide

The Adventure Guides are a top Adventures by Disney differentiator. Adventures by Disney has a rigorous selection process to handpick guides from the thousands of Disney cast members who apply. The Adventure Guides are part concierge, part photographer and part

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Plan ahead to make the magic happen at Disney World

Stamina, patience, perseverance and a determination to succeed. Preparation and attention to detail are key. Anything from six months to a year.

ut the hard yards in and the rewards will be great. It’s all about stealing a march, giving yourself an edge.

Apps will need to be downloaded, research conducted, early reservations made and daily itineraries finalised well in advance.

On this trip, spontaneity is eroded before you step foot on the plane.

Yet it works.

The magic of Disney World, Orlando, Florida is only intensified by a well co-ordinated and pre-planned trip.

Purchasing Disney tickets — currently there is a deal to buy a 14-day pass for the price of a seven-day pass — will no longer guarantee entry to the parks. Blame Covid. Instead, at your earliest convenience you must reserve a place each day at either Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom or Hollywood Studios. Failure to do so or leaving it last minute is likely to end in disappointment.

Of course, there is the option of the Park Hopper ticket, which allows you to move to a different theme park during the day after 2pm. As the holiday goes on, it’s a great alternative to have at your disposal.

Then you have an added extra of Genie Plus, a type of fast pass service which when I was there allowed you to book a time slot for rides every two hours, starting from 7am if staying in a Disney resort. With the expected large queues and where waiting times can be two hours, it’s a small price to pay to jump the line. As is a Lightning Lane pass, but only one attraction can be purchased from the app each day such as The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Magic Kingdom.

Your smartphone will be crucial

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A Silver Dollar City employee has died following incident at the park

Officials at the popular Silver Dollar City in Missouri have confirmed an employee has passed away at the park near Branson, Missouri after an incident.

On Wednesday, Silver Dollar City confirmed that one of their employees had died whilst working at the park after obtaining an injury. On Thursday, they made the following statement to silver-dollar-city-employee-injured-during-incident-wednesday/”KY3:

‘It is with great sorrow that we share the loss of a Silver Dollar City employee following an incident that occurred while working late yesterday afternoon. He was a dedicated and passionate member of our Silver Dollar City family, having worked in maintenance and construction since 2017.’

‘Our prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time. Out of respect for their privacy, we are unable to provide any further information.’

The park was able to confirm that no guests were injured in the incident, but is yet to release any more details of the incident. According to Kansas City Star, it is understood that the employee worked in the park’s maintenance and construction department for about five years. An inquiry is being carried out by the Occupational Health and Safety Association.

It was also confirmed on Thursday that the park would be open as usual, despite the investigation.

Press release from Silver Dollar City

Other theme park fatalities in the US

Unfortunately, the incident at Silver Dollar City means that three people have lost their lives at American theme parks in the last year alone.

Tyre Sampson, only 14 years old, lost his life after falling from the Orlando Freefall. Necessary requirement checks were not carried out and the weight exceeded the limit massively. Since the tragic incident, the family have filed a negligence lawsuit against the park. Countless protests have also happened

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From Gardens to Rollercoasters: A Brief History of Amusement Parks

From Gardens to Rollercoasters: A Brief History of Amusement Parks

Throughout history, humans have always craved a sense of thrill and an affinity for different forms of entertainment and attraction at all different scales and sizes. Theme parks have continuously evolved, as society redefines what it means to be entertained, and have transformed from evening strolls into physics-defying twists and turns on state-of-the-art rollercoasters.

Long before what we know them to be today, the theme park concept emerged in Europe during the Renaissance era. Taking on the form of themed festivals usually timed around religious holidays and seasonal harvests, crowds gathered in public squares to share food, marvel at foreign objects, participate in games such as javelin throwing and archery, and of course, watch knights joust. Towards the 18th century, pleasure gardens replaced these historic fairs as a way to entertain the middle class. These gardens featured heavily designed parks where guests could walk around, listen to live music, watch dancers and acrobats perform, and finish the evening with extravagant firework shows. They quickly evolved into socialite events where people would show off their fanciest clothes and where artists and architects would exhibit their newest work. These pleasure gardens jumped across the pond and caught on in New York City, which soon added small rides to these events, including the first carousel in North America.

From Gardens to Rollercoasters: A Brief History of Amusement Parks - Image 3 of 6
White City Theme Park. Image © Michael Perna CC-BY-ND 2.0

Eventually, the pleasure garden concept declined in popularity and the rise of the types of theme parks that closely align with what we are familiar with today began to spring up across the United States. Many of the American trolley car systems that operated during the late 1800s

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Disney World Has Another Sneaky Price Increase

Disney World annual-pass holders and hotel guests used to get free MagicBands. Simply for joining the annual-pass program or booking one night or more at one of the company’s on-property hotels while also buying tickets to one of its four Florida theme parks, you got a free watch-like bracelet that served as your admission ticket, room key, and a few other things.

This neat perk kept park visitors from having to keep track of a physical credit-card-like ticket or to regularly pull their phones out. 

In January 2021 Disney discontinued the free Magic Band program. And it moved many of the MagicBand features to its mobile app.

That may seem like progress as it requires park and hotel guests to keep track of one less thing, but Disney has never addressed the challenge of keeping your phone charged during a long day at Disney World. 

The four parks have few places where charging a phone is easy or even possible. Guests run down their batteries by taking photos, checking social media, and doing all the other things they use their phones for.

In 2021 the company did not eliminate MagicBands; it simply stopped giving them away for free.

“Disney Resort hotel guests will still be able to purchase new MagicBands at a discounted price, and Disney says they will continue releasing new MagicBand colors and designs. These will continue to be sold at retail locations as well as online,” Disney Food Blog reported in 2021.

Now, Disney has a new version of its MagicBands, and as you might imagine nobody will be getting one free.

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Disney Is Selling MagicBand+

Disney has tried a variety of different ways to create app-based experiences to make its theme parks more interactive. These have not been overly

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