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See if Adventures by Disney, California Edition is a Fit For Your Family

by Angelique Platas

May 4, 2019

Angelique Platas

Travel Tips

While California may be the actual birthplace of the now world-famous Disney theme parks, as an East Coast girl, my association to the Happiest Place on Earth was the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. On a recent trip to California with Adventures by Disney, I saw just exactly how much I was missing.

 

Far less-known than the world-renowned theme parks and movies, Adventures by Disney tours, experiences and excursions are actually available all over the world (even in locations without a theme park to anchor the trip). For those die-hard Walt Disney fans who love the man behind the magic, the Southern California Escape offers tours and experiences tailored to them.

 

Empty Main Street, Disneyland. Photo: Angelique Platas

Empty Main Street, Disneyland. Photo: Angelique Platas

 

Beyond the films, TV shows and theme parks, Adventures by Disney actually takes travelers behind the scenes, literally, where fans can explore the lesser-known and never-before-seen-by-the-public locations, including Disney Studios. Located in the famous 1401 Animation building, brilliant Imagineers work on every aspect of the Disney brand, including, among so much else, creating models for future park experiences; developing and testing state-of-the-art VR to pre-experience rides and guest experiences; sound design for park rides and experiences; mold sculptures and animatronic characters; work on innovative artistic designs for literally every aspect of the Disney brand; and taking guests through the history of the lot and all the incredible inside scoop stories from Disney’s time.

 

This exclusive tour, which I was lucky enough to enjoy, banned photos, videos and any sort of recording, as the experience is completely unique to Adventures by Disney and is only offered a couple times a year. Otherwise, it’s top secret to the general public. It was a true highlight of the whole trip. This team of engineers, artists and all-around geniuses usually fly under the radar.

 

Our guide, Dave Fischer, is an Imagineer himself, heading up story development. His passion for Disney, his work and storytelling naturally spilled out, and was evident and infectious — adding to the fact there is no other tour like it, this excursion was truly special.

 

But that is just one day of a four-day trip. Adventures by Disney guests also enjoy a slew of experiences that may change by group, day or circumstance, but there will always be (several) tricks up your guide’s sleeve. Our own special treatment as guests included fast-pass tickets to both parks’ rides, early-bird access to Main Street, behind-the-scenes experiences usually reserved for Cast Members, meeting resident Disney horses, peeking under the hood of a car at Radiator Springs Racer in Disney California Adventure, and even dinner at Disney’s go-to restaurant, Tam O’Shanter.

 

Fun fact, Tam O’Shanter was established in 1922 and is technically the oldest restaurant in Los Angeles, but, after a brief name change and change back, the restaurant is now known as Los Angeles’ oldest operated by the same family in the same location. Sit in Walt’s favorite booth and enjoy the whimsical, Scottish-themed décor around you.

Disneyland. Photo: Angelique Platas

 

During this whirlwind adventure, guests get full days and nights of exploration, storytelling and completely original experiences.

 

When booking, tell your Vacationista any special preferences you may have and they will customize the right trip for you. Families with limited mobility or special needs will receive all the special curation they need to make every member of the family safe, comfortable and happy.

 

Read more about the tour offerings and get a better idea of your accommodations and travel plans — spoiler, your adventure guides are like all-knowing beings with never-ending energy, completely devoted to your group having a seamlessly fun and easy time.

 

If you’re the “It all started with the mouse” fan, consider this your trip. After all, it did all start in California.

#WhereverFamily

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