This week, Adventures by Disney executives stopped by Travel Agent's offices in New York to give a sneak preview of the tour operator's new itineraries in 2008. Next year, Adventures by Disney ups its product offerings from 12 to 18 trips. Ten of the company's 2007 trips are returning in 2008, alongside new debuts in Australia, California, China, France, Germany, Peru and Spain.
The following details, along with pricing information, will make their debut on Adventures by Disney's web site on September 1. Agents can reserve departure dates all the way through February 2009 and, as departures are limited to 40 guests, it is suggested to reserve space early.
In Australia, Disney puts on "Discovery Down Under," with stops in North Queensland, Ayers Rock and Sydney. Adventure highlights include a marine biologist guide while snorkeling; a private guided sunset camel ride at Ayers Rock; a boomerang and spear-throwing activity for Junior Adventurers; and an exclusive pre-opening visit and breakfast at the Taronga Zoo.
In California, ABD is offering two itineraries: "Backstage Magic" and "Coasting the Golden State." "Backstage Magic" gives guests a VIP pass to such Hollywood hallmarks as the studios of "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and Jim Henson, as well as an exclusive tour of Disney's Imagineering. The tour also spends a day at Disneyland Resort, with a custom VIP tour. Highlights of "Coasting the Golden State" include an excursion to Alcatraz, Hearst Castle and a tour of Hollywood. The trip also includes a stop at Disneyland's Magic Kingdom.
On its "Enchanted China" tour, ABD stops in Beijing, Chengdu, Guilin, Shanghai and Hong Kong, where they will experience a private, guided hike up the great wall of China, a glass-blowing and noodle-making demo at the Schoolhouse at Murianyu, as well as a kung fu stick-fighting demo and tai chi lessons. Guests also will partake in a private guided tour of the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base in Chengdu and a VIP tour of Hong Kong Disneyland.
"Flavors of France" takes place in Provence and Paris, where adult guests take part in a wine tasting, while children sample nougat, caramel and honey. ABD also will provide a private tour of the Louvre Museum and a Junior Adventurers detective activity; a private, guided bicycle excursion on La Route des Cretes and participation in pastry making with a local chef.
In Germany, ABD brings the fairy tales it's famous for recreating to life. On "Once Upon a Fairy Tale," guests will bike through Hofgut Stammen; take archery lessons; make pretzels; and have a fairy-tale themed dinner at Sababurg Castle with Sleeping Beauty and her prince, as well as a medieval-themed dinner in Trendelburg Cellar with Rapunzel and a knight.
On "Sacred Valleys and Incan Cities" in Peru, guests travel with ABD to Machu Picchu, the Sacsayhuaman ruins and raft up the Urubamba river. Guests witness a dance performance by Urubamba students and a one-of-a-kind weaving demonstration at the Center for Traditional Textile of Cusco.
Finally, in Spain, ABD has combined two trips into one. "Grande Espana" stops in Madrid, Seville and Barcelona. Adventure highlights include a private, guided tour of the Royal Palace & Armory in Madrid, a walking tour of "Spanish Village" in Barcelona, a visit to the El Esparragla Far and a guided tour of the Codorniu Winery.
A selection of ABD adventures making a return in 2008 include "City of Knights and Lights" in London and Paris; "The Emerald Isle" in Dublin, Killarney and Shannon, Ireland; and "Path to Pura Vida" in San Jose, Arenal, Manuel Antonio and Quepos in Costa Rica. Visit [www.disneytravelagents.com].