My daughter (Hunter) and I experienced a weekend Adventures by Disney vacation to New York City. We loved this quick getaway! The trip started on Thursday and ended on Sunday. From booking to heading home, the whole experience was stress free! Here is a quick guide to an Adventures by Disney experience.
Arriving to the Destination
When booking my trip, I included airfare into my package. This way I had some support of Adventures by Disney, if anything went wrong with my flight. The flight was an easy direct flight and all went well on my flight into New York City. As a travel expert, I normally book my own flights, but I do recommend including your flights into your Adventure by Disney (ABD) package.
Once we landed in NYC, we walked down to Baggage Claim to find our town car driver holding a sign with our name on it. I was traveling alone with my 9 year old daughter, so this made me feel safe and again stress free. In addition, our driver was a careful driver! If you have ever taken a taxi in NYC, you know exactly what I am talking about. Our driver was careful maneuvering around the traffic to our hotel.
Adventures by Disney is a luxury tour company. You enjoy exclusive experiences and top rated hotels. Our hotel was near Times Square, just a few minutes walk. It was a quaint hotel. The highlight was the size of the rooms. They were suites, not just typical smaller NYC rooms. We had a mini kitchenette, two bathrooms, a huge living room, and a separate bedroom. For NYC, these suites were HUGE. That is one of the benefits of booking an Adventures by Disney vacation. You stay is more exclusive hotels.
Most of your meals are included with an Adventures by Disney tour. These meals are little hidden gems around the city. On the first day of our NYC tour, we dined in a private area of the old church renovated into a pizzeria called John’s Pizza. This restaurant is always a “must do” on our New York City vacations. The entire meal was planned for us with appetizers ready to go, once we arrived to the restaurant to a selection of pizzas and desserts. We left the restaurant stuffed!
This is just one of our experiences. Several of the restaurants were in private areas, just for our group. Many of the Chefs would come out and give us the history of the restaurants and NYC. It was not just dining, but an experience!
The experiences is why I book and Adventures by Disney! You will enjoy once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that you would not get to see or do on your own or with any other tour company. During our Adventures by Disney, we had so many highlights. Here are just a few of the behind the scenes opportunities we got to experience.
- Behind the Scenes at Good Morning America: This morning was an early day, but AMAZING! We walked from our hotel (as a group) to Good Morning America in Times Square. We walked right into the backstage area to the green room. We had coffee and treats waiting for us! They first took us to the control room. We were right in the middle of the control room for the Good Morning America show. I was so close to the action that I could have pushed one of the buttons. It was incredible to see the behind the scenes of how they run the show. After seeing the control room, they took us to the set. We stood in the back while the hosts and film crew filmed Good Morning America LIVE. In between takes, the hosts came over to say hi and get pictures. My favorite part was waving to all of the fans outside the windows. In the past, I had been one of those fans. Today, I was inside waving back at them.
- Front Row for Jason Derulo: After Good Morning America, we hopped on a tour bus to Central Park to another surprise. It was the GMA Concert Series. They had blocked off a front row area, just for us for the Jason Derulo concert. We literally showed up, were escorted to our area, and then the show started. It was amazing!
- Behind the Scenes at the Prop Room: As a Disney fan, we have our favorite Disney movies turned into Broadway Shows like the Lion King and Mary Poppins. Imagine our surprise, when we show up to the theater to be escorted to the Disney Prop Room. We got to learn about some of the props from the Broadway Shows and even try them on. It was amazing!
- Learn a Song & Dance from Aladdin: This day could not get better, but it did. We were then escorted to a dance studio. We met up with (2) choreographers from Aladdin. They taught us one of the songs and dances from the Aladdin Broadway Show. This was so much fun! Later in the evening, we got to see the Aladdin Broadway Show. It was spectacular to look at everyone in our group singing and mini dancing to the same routine as the actors. That was truly a VIP experience!
As a female travelers with a child traveling alone in New York City, it was such a relief to have (2) NYC local guides (that were Disney Cast Members) there to assist us every step of the way. We literally woke up and arrived on time. The guides would take us everywhere. They would tip the town car driver. They would pay for the meals and tip the servers and singers. Everything was included. I did not have to take out my wallet once. I did not have to worry about any lines or tickets. It was truly a stress free vacation.
For some of the visitors in our group, our guides did a little bit more. There was a family in our group that had a sick child. Our guides helped them with doctors, a pharmacy, arranged transportation once they felt better to join our group, and was there for support. When traveling to a new city, it is incredible to have a local there for guidance along with a concierge to make sure you have the best experience possible. That is exactly what happened to this family during our trip.
It is Disney, so there is always extra magic! The guides are always taking pictures. Of course, you still want to bring your camera, but they will be taking a lot of pictures for you during your vacation. At the end of the vacation, they will email you all of the pictures to download from home.
Disney loves pins! With the Adventures by Disney tours, you get a new pin each night (commemorating your experience that day). You can add all of these pins to your lanyard to wear during your adventure and it is a great souvenir after your vacation.
Lots of swag! Before you even leave for your Adventures by Disney, you will receive goodies. For our trip, we received a nice documents/passport holder and bag. These were fantastic for our Adventures by Disney getaway.
Our Adventures by Disney experience to New York City was a once-in-a-lifetime vacation. We had such a great time and we cannot wait to take another Adventures by Disney vacation with the whole family.
How Can I Afford It?
The Adventures by Disney vacations are a luxury tour with truly exclusive experiences. With that, comes a higher price tag! I suggest starting your Adventures by Disney experience with a weekend trip like San Francisco, Nashville, or New York City. These trips are shorter weekend trips and are much more affordable. There is a reason Adventures by Disney has a huge repeat guest ratio. Once you take one ABD, you will take more. Try a shorter weekend to test it out. It is less expensive and it is a good jumping point for Adventures by Disney.
Another tip is plan early. As soon as Disney releases the Adventures by Disney trips for the next year; go ahead and book your trip. You can pay the deposit and then make small monthly payments until the final payment. It is like a travel layaway plan. To make it even easier, the travel experts at Destinations in Florida have a set layaway program. You can leave a credit card on file. Anytime you want to make a payment, just shoot your agent a text or email to process a payment in the amount of xyz. They will do all of the work for you.