Adventures by Disney unveils short city tours

By Arnie Weissmann

Responding to changes in consumer behavior, Adventures by Disney is offering a long-weekend product in San Francisco and New York for the 2015 season.

Disney said that some vacationers want just a bite-size sample of their tours.

“We live busy lives,” said Adventures by Disney’s senior vice president and general manager, Ken Potrock. “A lot of people have concerns about whether they want to commit to a seven-, 10- or 14-day experience.”

The three-night, four-day Long Weekends are nonetheless designed to give a “deep dive” of the city, linked to Adventures by Disney’s format of storytelling, said Heather Killingbeck, the tour operator’s director of trip and program development.


The San Francisco tour will be based out of the Fairmont, and include a tour of LucasFilm, a Disney production partner, which is not typically open to the public; a day trip to Napa Valley and Silverado Winery, owned by members of the Disney family, where adult guests can blend their own private label wine (while their children infuse olive oil in another room); and a bicycle ride from the Embarcadero to the base of the Golden Gate.

A Long Weekend in Manhattan will include a visit to the “Good Morning America” studio during a broadcast (Disney owns the show’s parent company, ABC), dance lessons in a professional studio, a performance of “Aladdin” at Disney’s New Amsterdam Theater (including a hands-on backstage tour), an afterhours tour of the Tenement Museum that includes conversations with matriarchs from several immigrant families, as well as an immersive tour of Harlem which includes a meal of soul food at Amy Ruth’s.

Also, Disney will be going to the Amazon for the first time in 2015 — or more exactly, to the Napo River, a major tributary, in Ecuador. The river cruise will be aboard a new 20-cabin vessel, the Anakonda. In addition to looking for wildlife, the group will stop in villages and create their own souvenirs.

In the next phase of the 12-day/11-night Ecuador trip, guests will fly to Quito and learn to make ceviche in an upscale restaurant, then continue to the Galapagos for a land-based tour based out of the Finch Bay Eco Hotel on Santa Cruz Island. They’ll also take a private yacht to Santa Fe Island to view wildlife.

The inventory will be available for booking on May 21.
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Follow Arnie Weissmann on Twitter @awtravelweekly. 

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