|All photos by Adventures by Disney|
Travel Agent was on the scene at a New York press conference where Adventures by Disney representatives showed off the company's newest itineraries. In 2015, the company will be launching a new "Long Weekend" offering aimed travelers looking for a more convenient experience, as well as Disney's first trip to the Amazon.
"One of the major trends we saw from travelers was a desire for shorter vacation opportunities to fit in with their busy lives, and so we wanted to offer them that," said Ken Potrock, SVP and GM of Disney Vacation Club and Adventures by Disney. To fill that niche Vacations by Disney is launching "Long Weekend" itineraries, which typically run Thursday through Saturday.
"It's about a chance to introduce the guest to our brand," said Heather Killingbeck, director of trip and program development at Vacations by Disney.
The first two long weekend itineraries will focus on New York and San Francisco. Key activities on the New York itinerary include a visit to Good Morning America during the show's live filming, a trip to a working Broadway dance studio and a chance to see the Broadway musical Aladdin.
In San Francisco, Disney is taking advantage of its recent acquisition of Lucasfilm to offer guests a tour of the studio, which does not offer guided tours to the general public, Killingbeck said. The San Francisco itinerary will also offer a tour of the Walt Disney Family Museum and an excursion to Silverado Vineyards in Napa, which is owned by members of the Disney family.
Also new in 2015, Adventures by Disney will build on its previous Galapagos Islands itinerary with a new Ecuador trip that visits both the Galapagos and, for the first time, the Amazon.
"Guests will be sailing on the Anakonda, and it's a full buy-out so they'll be the only guests on board," said Killingbeck.
The 12-day, 11-night trip will include four days sailing on the Anakonda, a three-night stay at the Finch Bay Hotel in the Galapagos with a privately guided trip to a neighboring island, an exploration of Quito, a cooking class with a local chef paired with an Ecuadorian chocolate tasting, as well as visits to a local school and jewelry workshop.