Okay, so everyone has heard of the Walt Disney World complex in Orlando, and Disneyland in California. And most people have heard of the Disneyland Parks across the ocean — namely in Paris, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. But have you heard of the Disney Vacation options that don’t expressly involve a theme park?
Aulani Resort in Hawaii
Disney's Aulani Resort in Oahu (Hawaii)
The new Aulani Resort in Hawaii opened last year, with a rousing thumbs up across the boards. While very family-friendly, this resort maintains enough ambiance and style that its equally suited for adults. This resort is designed to be an experience in itself, and is a great choice for upscale clients who want to just “chill” at their resort, and not so much touring and exploring beyond the park. And yes, you can explore the island with this resort as a base, but you’ll need a car rental, and you are losing out on the resort’s amenities.
Adventures by Disney
Disney is the genius when it comes to perfecting the guest experience. So, no wonder Disney’s upscale escorted tour company, Adventures by Disney, has received accolades and a growing repeat traveler roster. Itineraries for 2013 include North America, Europe, Central and South America, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific. Disney targets both the family and the adult couple market, and is a great option for multi generational families. Guides are uniquely Disney, and special experiences are planned for kids as well as for adults. And for those adults who are not inclined to travel with kiddos, there are exclusive Adult Only Departures. Hurray!
Disney’s Vero Beach Resort (Florida)
I imagine this resort to be perfect for the couple or family with a car, and enough time and financial resources to extend their usual one week Disney experience into two full weeks. This gets you some quality beach time, in a beautiful stately beach resort setting. The beach here is the Atlantic, and isn’t nice (but not mindblowing). What is great, though, is a resort two hours from Walt Disney World, with elegance, exceptional service levels, and enough to keep you busy, if you run out of paperback novels to read.
Disney’s Hilton Head Resort (South Carolina)
This resort caters to the Northeastern coast drive market who want to break up their drive en route to Orlando, and for those same clients who want a Disney-flavored vacation without having to drive all the way to Florida. This resort is Southern elegance Disney-style and suits couples and families who want to relax for a few days.
Disney Cruise Line
Disney Cruise Line was, for a long time, a two ship cruise company departing mostly from Port Canaveral. Very recently, though, Disney Cruise Line expanded to four ships, with more in the oven. Itineraries span multiple departure ports and oceans, and unique itineraries pop up here and there. The result is a cruise line set to appeal to the return Disney Cruise Line fan, as well as appealing to a broader upscale audience who might want an itinerary beyond the usual Florida-Bahamas thing. Very popular with families, holidays and school breaks tend to spike the price (due to overwhelming popularity at these times). But if you can travel when schools are normally in session, you can save. Also, booking early will most certainly get you a better rate.