Recommend’s editor-in-chief, Paloma Villaverde de Rico, interviewed Kim Goldstein, manager/travel consultant specializing in Disney Destinations, with Journeys Inc., for the Adventures by Disney’s Scotland story that appears in the September Family Travel issue.
Paloma Villaverde de Rico (PVR): How does Adventures by Disney’s tour offerings differentiate it from other tour operators offering family vacations? What makes it stand apart?
KG: Adventures by Disney (ABD) offers a product that appeals to many different ages and interests by creating hassle-free itineraries for families. The guided family tours have the perfect balance of scheduled time vs. free time.
The two adventure guides allow for the children (or the young at heart) to do alternative activities, while the adults are getting a more in-depth overview of the sites. The children are still receiving information regarding the sites, but in a more condensed version. There is one guide from the US and one from the local country, which allows them to assist the guests with many different needs. It’s like having your own personal concierge!!
Adventures by Disney strives to create “magical moments” and truly anticipates the needs of the guests in advance, such as purchasing postcards and stamps to be mailed directly from the Vatican, having coins for the Trevi Fountain, and having private gondola rides into Venice, while your luggage is being transported by someone else.
Adventures by Disney not only takes guests to the big sites with VIP access, but also focuses on immersing them into the local culture by providing opportunities to create special family memories. Adventures by Disney carefully selects hotels with prominent locations, so that guests are able to maximize their time in each destination.
PVR: Who is the target clientele for the Scotland (Brave-inspired) trip?
KG: The target clientele for the Scotland itinerary is a family with a pre-teen girl who wants to follow in the steps of Merida from Brave; although, I believe this tour will interest those of all ages!
PVR: Why do you book Adventures by Disney?
KG: Many of my clients are seeking high-end guided family tours that will accommodate many different interests and ages. They want a tour that is efficient, safe, informative and fun for everyone. Adventures by Disney has created a top-notch product that exceeds the expectations of guests, while creating priceless family memories.
Adventures by Disney is a leader in the tour industry because of their ability to create a product that will entertain and enrich families of all ages. Their products are perfect for those looking to do multi-generational travel to the top destinations of the world. When guests travel with ABD, they will have a tour that is seamless, enriching and exciting. Most importantly, with the special touches that only Disney can offer!
Adventures by Disney offers hassle-free guided tours with active family experiences. Many families with children don’t want to walk around and just look at the sites, they want to become part of the culture by partaking in local activities. ABD includes activities such as riding bikes at Versailles, baking pizzas in Naples and white-water rafting in Costa Rica.
PVR: What do your clients say when they come back from an Adventures by Disney trip? What makes it stand out for them?
KG: Guests who come back say that Adventures by Disney focuses on attention to detail, anticipating the needs of the guests and creating memories. This is usually accomplished by one of the adventure guides, who not only cares for every detail of the trip, but also seeks out those magical moments for each family.
Guests quickly learn to appreciate the two adventure guides, excellent locations for the hotels and being immersed in local culture. The guides are an integral part of the success of the vacation.
PVR: What do you say to a client who might be worried about the price?
KG: I advise my clients of what makes an Adventures by Disney (ABD) tour unique compared to the other high-end tour products, by describing my observations of our family’s experience of the Viva Italia tour. While we were on our ABD tour to Italy, almost everything was included in the price of the tour. It was very clear in advance of what was not included, so it made the budgeting process much easier.
ABD puts you in the best location, so your time is used very efficiently. Not a lot of time is spent on the bus, which gives the guests more time to explore the sites. The location of the hotels and tour inclusions are so comprehensive, that it is not necessary to spend more money on additional touring or transportation.
I think the Disney differences really justify any difference in costs that you may find in similar tour packages. The two guides, instead of one, make a huge impact on the trip. They have a lot to coordinate when doing a tour, not to mention if someone gets hurt and can’t continue at the pace of the group. One guide was constantly disappearing into a dark alley only to end up two steps ahead of the group to pay for a restroom, take a surprise photo, or have coins ready for us to throw in Trevi Fountain! Having two guides makes the tour so much more efficient and meaningful!
PVR: Have you experienced an Adventures by Disney departure and what were your own thoughts about it?
KG: Our family did the Viva Italia tour and as much as we travel, all four of us thought it was the trip of a lifetime!! As a parent of two young boys, it was amazing to me that my 6 year old was able to gain so much knowledge and appreciation of a foreign country. The highlight for my son was seeing the Sistine Chapel. Who would have thought a 6 year old would be most intrigued with the Sistine Chapel??
We were continuously amazed with certain components of this vacation. Throughout the tour, my husband and I kept saying that we couldn’t believe how smoothly the trip was flowing. We were especially impressed with the postcards they had for us at the Vatican to be mailed home, CD with all of the vacation photos, pre-paid for all restrooms, and the adventure guides’ ability to pull the group together as one big family. The bonds that were created on this trip will last a lifetime!
As a frequent traveler with my family, I feel like the Adventures by Disney vacation was the perfect trip for our family. The two adventure guides quickly became members of our family, along with the others on the trip. This tour included everything we would possibly want to do in Rome, Florence and Venice, so I was able to sit back and relax. It was nice being on a trip and not having to be the “tour guide.” We also really enjoyed having a guide meet us at the airport and escort us to the hotel, not having to wait in any lines or handle our luggage while in Italy.
PVR: Anything else you would like it add?
KG: Our magical moment was created when my son tripped and dropped his newly purchased stone Colosseum. He was very upset about this, but the tour had to go on. Within minutes one of our adventure guides, Courtney, ran into a store, unbeknownst to us, and purchased another Colosseum for him. Needless to say this made his day and ours!!
For more information on Adventures by Disney, visit adventuresbydisney.com.