"Is ABD worth the $$$?" Discussion thread

Discussion in 'Adventures By Disney' started by sayhello, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel

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    I'm sorry to hear that, but I'm glad your son was able to figure it out in his head, and deal with it. Teens can be cruel, and you're right, even ABD is not immune to that.

    I'm curious if you ever discussed this with the Guides? Were they aware he'd been ostracized from the group of 6, and not just choosing to hang with you guys?

    Sayhello
     
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  2. RSM

    RSM Mouseketeer

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    Didn't overtly discuss with the guides. At one point, one of the guides asked him to get in a photo with the other 6 and he said something like I don't think they want me in their picture. They never followed up on the comment. We dropped a couple of hints that he's always made friends on these trips and even other group tours with other tour operators, but the guides didn't really ask the follow up questions. At the end of the day, we weren't going to force anything, and I don't think the guides really wanted to pursue it either. As he said, it was a great trip except for the social aspect of it. For us, the experience de-emphasizes the importance of the social aspect of being with other kids, which had been one of our main reasons for selecting ABD, and opens up more options around travelling on our own or doing more adventure based travel (my sense is he is kind of growing out of the ABD experience and wants to do more active types of adventures).
     
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  4. jimmymc

    jimmymc Professional Adventurer!

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    I'm actually thinking of going to Alaska in 2019, I will price out and compare a sample itinerary later today and update.
     
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  5. sandhya

    sandhya Earning My Ears

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    we just finished Adults only Greece trip. My two thoughts were:
    1. Can anyone do a better job than this?
    2. Is Disney really making money on this trip?
    I am a DVC member using points. I guess my perspective would be different
    if I am paying cash.
     
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  6. OhanaCuz

    OhanaCuz I can finally say that I've been on an ABD.

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    The Greece trip wasn't even on my radar until I saw so many people raving about it on here!
     
  7. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel

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    Still the favorite of my 9 (so far) ABD's. :)

    Sayhello
     
  8. CaliKris

    CaliKris Mouseketeer

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    We are signed up for the Adults only Sept 2018 Greece trip. I am curious how many people were in your group and if there were any younger adults. Our two adult children (in their 20's) will be traveling with us. How was the weather in September?
     
  9. sandhya

    sandhya Earning My Ears

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    we were 32+1, +1 was a Disney executive traveling with us to fine tune this trip. No younger adults, but your children will easily meld in.
    Weather was perfect. 65-70 all the time. Zero humidity. It was like doing the whole trip in AC.
    I will post a mini cheat sheet for future adventurers.
     
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  10. CaliKris

    CaliKris Mouseketeer

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    Good to know! A mini cheat sheet would be great!!
     
  11. jimmymc

    jimmymc Professional Adventurer!

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    UPDATE ON THE ALASKA TRIP PRICING COMPARISON

    ABD Alaska
    July 16-23, 2018
    $5,099 pp x2 = $10,198 for 2 people, 1 room

    Hotels:

    All hotels assume 1 Queen/King or 2 doubles, whichever is cheaper, and double occupancy.

    Anchorage Marriott Downtown, 1 night = $359.95+$43.19 tax = 403.14

    Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge, 1 night = $336 + $16.80 tax = $352.80

    Grand Denali Lodge, 2 nights = $479x2 + 7% tax = $1,025.06

    The Hotel Alyeska, 3 nights = $389x3 + tax = $1,337.04

    Hotel Total = $3,118.04

    Transportation:

    Since there basically isn't any public transportation in the area, I will use the price for a rental car instead:

    Pickup and Return at ANC Airport from July 16 to July 23 = $650 + gas, approximately $706

    Meals (all prices are for 2):

    Day 1:
    Welcome Dinner at Bridge Seafood: Prices not listed, based on reviews about $90

    Day 2:
    Breakfast at hotel: $38
    Private BBQ Lunch: $30 (estimate)
    Dinner at Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge: $130

    Day 3
    Breakfast at Talkeetna Roadhouse: $30
    Lunch: Included in train ride, see below
    Dinner at Alpenglow Restaurant: $140

    Day 4
    Breakfast at Alpenglow: $50
    Lunch at Denali Park Salmon Bake: $80
    Dinner on your own

    Day 5
    Breakfast at Alpenglow: $50
    Lunch at Pizza Thyme: $60
    Dinner on your own

    Day 6
    Breakfast at hotel: $50
    Lunch on your own
    Dinner included in Rafting Tour, see below

    Day 7
    Breakfast at hotel: $50
    Lunch on your own
    Farewell Dinner at Hotel Alyeska: $150

    Day 8
    Breakfast at hotel: $50

    Total for all meals: $998

    Activities:

    Day 1
    N/A

    Day 2
    Alaska Native Heritage Center: $50
    Bike and Kayak Rental: $170

    Day 3
    Alaska Railroad Goldstar Car: $442

    Day 4
    Canyon Water Run Rafting: $194

    Day 5
    Happy Trails Kennels Dog Sledding Tour/Demonstration: Price not available, but since there is no sled ride included, estimate at $40

    Day 6
    Gold Panning: $40
    Spencier Glacier Float Trip and Dinner: $853.04

    Day 7
    Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center: $34

    Day 8

    N/A

    Total for all activities: $1,823.04

    Summary:
    Lodging: $3,118.04
    Transportation: $706
    Meals: $998
    Activities: $1,823.04

    Grand Total: $6,645.08

    Price difference: $10,198 - $6,645.08 = $3,552.92

    Things included in ABD but not included in booking on your own:

    2 Guides familiar with the area acting as your personal concierge
    Luggage service at all hotels and the airport
    Private transportation that does not involve driving yourself
    Several private meals at the restaurants mentioned above
    Separate activities for children

    Because this trip involves so many outdoor activities, it can be exhausting, so don't underestimate the value of things like charter buses and luggage service. Alaska is beautiful, but the weather and nature is unforgiving, even in the summer, so having local guides and organized outdoor activities feels much safer than just showing up and doing some hikes on your own. This is especially true in Denali, where there are very few hiking trails, and the ones that exist are somewhat extreme (the park encourages off-trail hiking, so they don't disturb the wildlife too much). I personally feel like I would want to spend more time on my own in untouched nature than doing organized activities, so I don't think this trip is for me. However, if you want a hassle free, safe way to see the wonder that is Alaska, then the activities they have planned are pretty spectacular. This is also great for varying ages of kids, since most activities are not too strenuous, or there are alternatives.

    Biggest tip: make sure to make use of the on your own time in Denali. The park offers buses that take you deep into the park, where you'll get spectacular views of the mountains and possibly see bears, wolves, and moose in the wild. I don't think 2 afternoons is enough time to properly see the park, so maybe consider extending your trip by taking the train from Girdwood to Denali, or renting a car at the airport to explore the state park.
     
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  12. Jess_S

    Jess_S DIS Veteran

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    This is awesome. Thank you so much for putting together a detailed breakdown.
     
  13. wanderlust7

    wanderlust7 DIS Veteran

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    Thank you, this is great! So that comes out to $220/person/day (using 8 days) for the guides, driver, and extras/intangibles.
     

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