North America

Into the National Parks

written by | Posted on July 1st, 2011

Guests on this itinerary experience the parks from a variety of perspectives—during dawn and dusk sightseeing, from a river raft, along scenic hiking trails, and on two flightseeing excursions that reveal the region’s unique topography. Another plus to this itinerary is that guests stay in the only in-park lodging when visiting three of the parks including the Lodge at Bryce Canyon (National Park), Zion Lodge (Zion National Park), and the Grand Canyon Lodge—North Rim (only property on the north rim of the canyon). Starting rates are from $4,390 pp dbl plus air.

family fun The national parks provide an excellent natural playground for families, and Adventures By Disney (ABD) prides itself on being able to “take our guests on an immersive experience that they could not easily do on their own” as part of its four itineraries that include a national park, says Craig Hodges, director of Adventures by Disney operations. “Some of the reasons tours are so popular is we’ve planned out an itinerary of the best things to see and do. Essentially we’ve made all of the advance arrangements and made the parks easier to experience.”

ABD tours incorporate the culture of the destinations they are visiting through “…private entertainment, experiences of storytelling, music and dance,” says Hodges. Examples include a Native American dance performance as part of Grand Canyon National Park visits and a private storytelling session with a Native American Blackfoot Indian who tells stories about the creation of the mountains and the streams while in Glacier National Park.

Physical activity is a big part of most of ABD itineraries and one that really gets the whole group moving is the 7-day Wyoming Family Adventure, which visits Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks. Families go horseback riding with local cowboys, white-water rafting down the Snake River and hiking to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point and around the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone among tour activities. Accommodations include the dude ranch Brooks Lake Lodge and Old Faithful Snow Lodge near its namesake geyser. Rates start at $3,129 for adults and $2,829 for children, land only.

“Our tours are tailor-made with families in mind,” says Hodges. “It’s our mission to take our guests into authentic immersive experiences to experience the emotion, grandeur and culture of the regions we visit.”