Adventures by Disney

“Legendary Adventures. Storybook Destinations. A Different Kind of Magic.” Being an Adventures by Disney “Insider” (the term used for repeat guests), these group tours are truly a different kind of magic. I know many might be shy to try this type of trip- a set itinerary for a set length of time, with other people you probably don’t know. Today’s traveler is different from the traveler in past decades where group travel was more accepted as the best way to see a particular city, country, or region. I truly believe that it really still is the most efficient way (both in cost and time) to experience a country to it’s fullest and this post will help explain why! If going on an Adventures by Disney tour hasn’t been on your radar before, it should be!

Welcome Reception

The Disney difference is so apparent in their tours. Each day and detail is filled with learning mixed with fun; which is just as great at capturing the attention and intrigue of children as it is adults. At the welcome reception the first night or morning of the tour, you are gifted with a lanyard to start your “pin collecting” journey! With Germany having an evening reception, we also were treated to a glass of bubbles!

The second day of our Adventure through Germany included a longer bus ride to Neuschwanstein Castle. This is something I’ve always wanted to see, but I know many travelers might shy away from an excursion that includes a 2 hour drive, each way, from the major hub of Munich. Adventures by Disney always makes these longer bus rides fun, with lots of snacks, fun projects (like Origami), trivia quizzes, and even performances from the guides!

Speaking of guides, Disney only picks the best and most interesting ones. On every Adventures by Disney Tour, each group has two “Adventure Guides,” one from the US and the other who is local to the country you are visiting. These two guides are with you throughout the duration of your trip and I’m not sure they ever sleep! They are constantly working to make sure the guests are happy, on time for whatever might be next, stress free, and having the best and most magical trip ever.

On top of the Adventure guides, on many days you may also have a “Local Guide” who adds their flavor to the destination or place of interest. I can’t say enough about the local guides or the Adventure Guides chosen, it completely makes the experience.

Another Disney difference is hands on experiences. It is so much fun to be a part of the local culture and learn different skills or simply immerse yourself in the culture instead of hopping from monument to monument, museum to museum! A few of my favorites from Germany were beer tasting at the oldest brewery, learning Graffiti Art in Berlin, making Pretzels in Rotenburg, and visiting a few of the most famous beer/dance halls!

At the end of the trip, I made new friends and countless memories. In 8 nights, we were able to see so much of Germany due to the seamless planning. At the end of every train station or bus ride, there is a team (or Adventure guide) to collect luggage and whisk it all away to your next destination. In Southeast Asia, the guides take care of visas, checking guests into the internal flights, again, luggage collection, and more. It saves so much time and this service is something that even with an amazing Travel Advisor and tour company, would be difficult or extremely pricey if doing on your own!

Adventures by Disney operates over 60 different itineraries on 6 continents. They have a wide array of choices to suit your needs from Adults Only Departures to Short Escapes, Cruise add-ons, and more!

The Shameless Tourist is hosting an exclusive webinar to learn more on April 23, 2020 at 8PM EST and we would love to have you join along in the fun. Lead by one of Disney’s Adventure Guides, you can get a taste of what Adventures by Disney is all about. Please use the contact form today to join us!

A Week in London

2020 is here and I have vowed to be better about my blog posts, I have a lot of travels to catch up on, but thankfully, I always take good notes of my travels to share!  Be on the lookout for new posts, but I apologize, these may not be in the best chronological order!

Christmas 2018: I woke up and my husband gave the best gift to me– a long weekend trip anywhere I would like.  Anyone who knows me knows; this was the best possible gift I could have received. With my husband not able to always go go go as I do, his time away with us is really a gift in itself.  Also, if you notice the title of this blog post “A Week In London”, I might have stretched this long weekend gift to the max!

We arrived on our long haul journey on June 2nd and went straight to our first hotel stop, the Stafford.  The Stafford is located in St James and the entrance is on a very quiet street, which is so nice feeling as though you are in the middle of everything, but also somewhat away from the London Traffic.  The location is prime and the hotel is idyllic.  Soaked with history and having one of the largest wine cellars in London, feel free to host a small (or large) dinner party in the massive Air Raid Shelters under the hotel. I love the newly renovated Carriage House Rooms and the American Bar is famous in the city!

After checking in, we made a bee line for “Sketch,” one of the most famous tea rooms in the city with it’s multiple themed rooms, hip ambience, and infamous bathrooms, it’s been a must on my list for years.

We finished the evening with the London Eye Champagne Experience. This fun offering is just a bit more than the regular tickets and provides a glass of champagne and Fast Track entry to the London Eye. Before hopping aboard, we also visited the Eye Lounge nearby to grab an extra glass of champagne while we waited! Also noted that they provided Keki with sparkling cider instead of Champagne!

Day Two Started with a train and trip to Windsor Castle! St. George’s Cathedral is beautiful and was a fun sight to see soon after the Royal Wedding of Harry and Megan. It’s also so fun to ride the train for the quick 30 minute trek outside the city. Why see Windsor? It’s most certainly one off the easiest castles to see in London.

This afternoon, the rest of the group appeased me after we bid adieu to our guide and changed trains at least 4 times to see King’s Cross. We finally arrived and while it is a very cool train station, note: Platform 9 3/4 is simply a plaque outside a gift shop in the terminal and is no where near the actual Platform 9 or 10. Regardless, we got a great photo op!

We finished the big first day with a couples Date Night. We found a great sitter who took Kennedy to Hamley’s (Basically FAO Schwartz of London) while we toured the Egerton House Hotel, drank Martini’s (and learned to make them), and ate dinner at the Oldest Restaurant in Town; Rules. The Egerton House is the perfect hotel for someone looking for a boutique property with exceptional service. With only 28 rooms, it feels very quaint and personal.

On day three, we took a walking tour through London, visiting the various neighborhoods, seeing Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, exploring the Borrough Market, and ending at Westminster Abbey. I definitely recommend dining at FISH! when wandering the Borrough Market– I love Fish and Chips and this place is delicious.

Day Four was a long trek to Stonehenge, which I have always wanted to see! It’s about a 2 hour or so drive from London to Stonehenge and there isn’t much on the way in either direction. I often combine Stonehenge visits with the Cotswolds for my clients doing a multiple destination stay in the UK, but for this trip, we just wanted to focus on London, making this a day trip for us. It was great to see, but it’s a one and done for me personally. We also stopped at a cute traditional English Pub (The Boot Inn in Wadsworth) on the way back, which was certainly a wonderful experience!

This afternoon, we checked into the second hotel of our stay at the Brown’s Hotel, the oldest hotel in London and a staple in Mayfair on one of the poshest street’s in the area. The decor in the common space feels like a perfect mix of traditional British decor with modern British art and patterns. The Rooms were quite modern, however, bright and cheery. I especially loved the details for children’s amenities including personalized “princess” sheets, a stuffed animal, a book (about the hotel!), a child size umbrella, and of course a small robe and slippers.

This evening we booked a Flytographer Session with Rajeesh and I have to say he might be my most favorite Flytographer I have met thus far!

The Next Day was Kennedy’s Birthday, so we took the day to do fun things, starting with Harrod’s, which is a must for any trip to the city! Of course, we started with the toy department, which has it’s own “Toy Concierge”. It being her birthday, we decided to call upon the concierge for birthday guidance. It was certainly an experience that my daughter will never forget. A hundred Great British pounds later, I finally pulled Keki from the store and we went on to the Princess Diana Memorial Park. This park is the most amazing child’s playground with Pirate Ships, lots of places to play and imagine.

This afternoon, we toured the World Famous Goring Hotel, the “Queen’s Hotel” which is where Kate Middleton stayed the night before she married Prince William. The hotel is simply exquisite with beautiful rooms that make the perfect setting for any British holiday, careful attention to detail (the wall paper is hand painted), the best concierge and service, and the best address in London– Belgravia just around the corner from Buckingham Palace. We had a special tea party at the hotel for Keki’s Birthday and it was the perfect way to spend a special day!

On our last day in the city, we took advantage of the Brown’s Hotel House Car (the beautiful Bentley!) and took the short drive to Fortnum and Mason, the Queen’s Grocer to explore this fun store. I love fancy grocery stores and this is quite the fanciest I have ever seen!

Afterwards, we went to lunch at the Mayfair Chippy, my favorite Fish and Chips Shoppe we stopped at. Make reservations though, it books up!

After lunch, I toured and stopped by several other famous hotels including Claridge’s, The Corinthia, and the Hamyard. All had something different to offer, but I adored the common spaces (especially the spa and restaurant) of the Corinthia, along with the room quality and views. The Hamyard has a much more hip feeling with bright colors, a bowling alley, and a fun vibe. I also love the Soho area where it is located.

The next morning, we went back to the US after a lovely week away. What is your favorite memory in London?