A Different Disney
Delegating decisions about details is a great luxury. A trusted concierge, a capable chauffeur, a masseuse who knows your body or an art consultant who knows your taste can clear mind space for weightier matters while unearthing unexpected pleasures.
If you’re traveling with children, the concept of outsourcing decisions is even more appealing. The trick, of course, is finding someone who can guide both children and adults to sights and attractions all will enjoy—which is where Adventures by Disney excels. From Walt’s time to the present, the Disney brand has always been about finely honed experiences, from the steam-cleaned immaculate theme park to the laser-focused storytelling of a Pixar film. Disney asks you to trust it with your family’s leisure time, and in return, the entertainment and travel company offers rigorously curated experiences that can help bring a family together.
Adventures by Disney provides luxury, guided group family vacations that include high-end accommodations, a carefully curated list of attractions, and added-value special experiences. Let’s say you planned a trip to Ireland, a trip I recently took with Adventures by Disney. You might be able to take your kids to a concert of traditional Irish music, but would there only be a tiny group of kids present, and would the musicians show your children how each instrument works and let them try to play? The difference is crucial. Any parent knows that a kid asked to sit through a concert of “adult” music is likely to be miserable. But a child who gets to meet the musicians and handle their instruments is both learning and enjoying.
Disney coined the term “imagineers” to denote its unique blend of imagination and engineering. While the expression more obviously applies to theme parks than it does to travel, a similar blend of art and science goes into Adventure by Disney journeys. Some of the experiences one encounters are so special and surprising that as much as someone might want to convey the magic of the Dromoland Castle in Clare, it simply isn’t fair to reveal the secret—let’s just say that it’s a greeting few will ever experience, but if you do, you’ll never forget it. Dromoland Castle itself forms a big part of the Ireland experience (my wife, two sons and I stayed there for three nights on the trip), along with the chance to explore falconry with an experienced guide that will call the hawk to your child’s gauntlet, another great discovery of the Disney adventure.
A week’s guided vacation with adults and children is a challenge to compose. It’s kind of like a dance mixtape: You need to appeal to different moods, abilities, interests and energy levels. Like a good DJ, the Adventures by Disney folks blend the serious (a trip to the Jeanie Johnston, a famine ship moored along the River Liffey in Dublin) with the fluffy (a “haunted” tour of lakeside ruins in Killarney National Park). Not every member of the group will enjoy every activity—that’s inevitable on any trip—but the batting average is extraordinarily high. And on a trip designed to fascinate and engage parents and children both as individuals and families, that’s an enduring accomplishment.
Adventures by Disney offers curated experiences across the U.S. and on all of the continents except Antarctica. For more information, contact Disney’s Vacationistas at 800.543.0865 or visit adventuresbydisney.com.
Evan Cornog is dean at the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication at Hofstra University and author, most recently, of The Power and the Story: How the Crafted Presidential Narrative Has Determined Presidential Success from George Washington to George W. Bush.