So, you’re thinking about taking an Adventures By Disney trip? I am SO happy you wound up on this blog post!! Because I’m going to be talking all about my Adventures By Disney trip that I took with my husband, Dan, to Costa Rica! And before I continue, I just want to mention that I am a travel consultant that specializes in Disney destinations!! So, if you have any further questions after this blog, or want to book an Adventures By Disney trip, or want to book ANY Disney related trip, please send me a message and I’d love to talk with you!
I want to first start out with the booking process and how you decide what Adventures By Disney trip is right for you! There are literally a ton of trips to choose from!! There are so many locations around the world (even within the United States), varying itineraries, and different price points. The best way I recommend seeing what trip is right for you? Browsing around the Adventures By Disney website. This website is so intricate and well-designed… it literally will give you all the information you need about each adventure!! It talks about the different locations, day-by-day plans for each trip, what hotels you’ll stay in, the prices, trip dates and more! However, if this seems overwhelming for you, you can talk with your travel consultant (ME!!! Hehehe!) or you can hop on a phone call with an Adventures By Disney vacationista. These vacationistas will answer any and all questions you may have about an Adventures By Disney experience. The vacationistas can be reached at: 1-800-543-0865.
Okay… so, now you’re ready to book your Adventures By Disney trip! What do you do?! Nothing, really. And that’s the best part of going on an Adventures By Disney trip!! It is meant to be as stress free and relaxing as possible! Essentially, you will tell your travel consultant or vacationista what adventure you want to go on, and that’s it!! You’ll pay a deposit, give a little information, and the rest you don’t have to worry about!! Disney will take care of everything! You will receive a confirmation email after booking with all your information, and any other information Adventures By Disney will need down the line.
So, what do you do in the mean time? Start getting excited and wait for your magical package to arrive!! What!?!? That’s right. You will get a magical package a few weeks before your trip! You’ll receive a travel booklet, a bag and luggage tags. It’s a great way to get you even more excited for your trip! In the travel booklet, you will have a final detailed schedule for your trip, a packing list, and any other important information you should know.
And now… the waiting is over!! It’s time to adventure! I will be taking you through our adventure, and what made it truly magical!!
This was travel day! Dan and I flew into San Jose a day early because I always error on the side of caution… in case our flight was delayed or cancelled. I didn’t want to miss out on any Disney fun!! We landed at the airport pretty late that night… around midnight. After going through the traditional security and customs procedures, we headed to baggage claim to meet our Adventures By Disney representative. We met a sweet man there holding an orange Adventures By Disney sign. He then led us to our transportation to the hotel. It was about a 15 minute drive to our hotel, Costa Rica Marriott Hotel Hacienda Belen. This hotel was so gorgeous, and my favorite aspect was the open air concept of the hotel. When we got to the hotel, we checked in, went to our room, and fell fast asleep. This extra night was NOT included in the Adventures By Disney trip cost.
This was technically the first day of our Adventures By Disney trip! The night before, we had received a welcome letter from our driver. It gave us instructions for our first day and how to properly check in for our adventure. To properly check in, we had to make our way to a conference room off of the main lobby. There we met our amazing adventure guides, Ronald and Summer Rose. Who… just for the record… are totally awesome people!! One of the best aspects of taking an Adventures By Disney trip is being with stellar adventure guides. Summer Rose has a long history with the Walt Disney Company, and used to be a VIP tour guide at Disneyland. She has an educational background in hospitality, and is honestly one of the sweetest people I have ever met. Ronald was born and raised in Costa Rica and is essentially a walking encyclopedia of all things eco-tourism and Costa Rican!! Ronald has literally been all over the world and is one of the coolest guys around!!
After meeting our adventures guides, they gave us a little synopsis of what the day would look like, and how we would start the next day. They also gave us a goodie bag and some delicious Costa Rican juice. But other than this, we were on our own for the rest of the day. This day was meant for people arriving, checking in, and getting comfortable. So, Dan and I spent our time by the pool for most of the day. Breakfast and lunch was NOT included this day, but dinner was included. For breakfast and lunch, there were plenty of dining options at the hotel.
Typically on every day of your adventure, it will be an early start! You leave your luggage outside your hotel room door, and the Adventures By Disney team will come pick it up for you. No need to worry about luggage or checking out of the hotel. So convenient! Then it’s off to breakfast! At this location… it was probably my favorite breakfast. It was a buffet full of extraordinary treats and food!! So yummy! After breakfast, we had a short welcome meeting. This is where we officially met everyone in our group, and our adventure guides gave a little talk on Costa Rica and what we would expect for our time together! Right away, we started off on a positive note and that carried through for the rest of the trip!! Our key phrases for the trip were, “Pure Vida” and “Good Vibrations”!
We started off our first adventure day with a BANG!! We were going white water rafting down the Sarapiqui River!! In order to get there, and all our other destinations, we were chauffeured around in a very comfortable motor coach. On longer drives, the adventure guides would talk about fun Costa Rican history… and sometimes even play some Disney games with us! Hehehe! Fast forward to the white water rafting!! When we got to the drop in point of the river, we were all geared up, put into our groups, and introduced to our river guide. Side note… for all the more “thrilling” activities, there is always an alternative activity for those who do not want to partake in the more “thrilling” activity. But this activity was SO much fun!! All the river guides were a hoot, and had a blast with everyone in their raft!! And a bonus?! There was a professional photographer going all the way down the river snapping photos of us! We got complimentary access to all these photos.
After rafting, we were able to change and dry off. Then we had an amazing lunch waiting for us, just alongside the river!! Another thing to note… the adventure guides will constantly be taking photos of you! They’re your professional photographers for the week! And you’ll get access to all the photos taken once the trip is over.
Once we were all done eating, we hopped back on the motor coach and made our way to the new hotel! And let me tell you, it was a fabulous hotel! It was called Hotel Arenal Kioro Suites & Spa. It is situated right by the beautiful Arenal Volcano. Once we arrived, we were greeted with a delicious welcome drink and showed to our rooms. All of our luggage was delivered to our rooms, and check in was completed by the adventure guides.
Once Dan and I got to our room, we were shocked!! Our room had a hot tub inside of it! How cool is that?! Besides the hotel rooms being immaculate, the whole hotel grounds was absolutely stunning. Everything was surrounded by lush greens and tropical flowers. It truly felt like paradise. And my favorite part of this hotel? The natural hot spring pools!!! There were a handful of these pools that you could just lounge in. It was so glorious!!
Once we had a little down time to ourselves, it was time for dinner! But first… we had a special drink making class! We learned how to make the famous Costa Rican Guaro Sour! I’m actually not much of a drinker… but this drink was delicious!! I had never made a drink like this before, so the process behind it was super cool to learn about and actually do! Then it was off to dinner!! Dinner was a traditional Costa Rican buffet, and we could choose to sit more to ourselves, or get to know other people in the group! For a little surprise, we had professional dancers come in that taught us how to dance different Latin American dances. After dancing, it was off to bed to prepare for the next day!!
This started out with another yummy breakfast buffet. After breakfast, we all boarded the motor coach to head to Cano Negro. Cano Negro is a wildlife refuge where you can see so many of Costa Rica’s animal friends! We all boarded a river boat, and headed down the Rio Frio (“Cold River”). It essentially was like a live version of The Jungle Cruise at Disney! Hehehe! We saw so many animals… 3 different types of monkeys, 2 types of sloths, caymans, bats, a plethora of various birds, and much more! After our river cruise, which was a couple of hours, we had lunch alongside the river. After lunch, we boarded the motor coach and drove back to the hotel. We had some free time at the hotel, and went to the hot spring pools again! After the pools, we had dinner, and after dinner, we hit the hay.
This day was another jam packed adventure day! Per usual, we had breakfast and then boarded the motor coach. And our first activity for today… zip lining!!! Now, zip lining in Costa Rica is a whole different ball game. We’re talking soaring above the trees at about 600 feet. WOAH. To start off, we were all harnessed up and waited in line to take the sky tram up. And UP we sure went!! It was such a magnificent ride up, and it was so breathtaking to see the vegetation change as we ascended. And when we finally got to the top… it was time to go down!!! And this wasn’t just a one and done zip line. We got to go on 7 different zip lines! It was a blast!
After zip lining, we got a yummy juice from the staff, and headed to the town of La Fortuna. This town was a cute and quaint Costa Rican town that we all got to explore for a few hours on our own. We could grab a bite to eat (NOT included in the price) or do a little shopping.
But don’t worry… the fun still wasn’t over for today!! After La Fortuna, we went to the stunning Ecotermales Fortuna Hot Springs. This was a gorgeous oasis of various hot springs. I could have literally spent all day here. It was extremely refreshing and relaxing. We also had dinner here! It was so tasty!
This day… what did we start with? Breakfast, of course!! Then we headed off on one of my favorite experiences of the whole trip… a chocolate rainforest tour!! I honestly didn’t think I would love this day as much as I did! But the main reason I loved it so much, was because of the staff at the chocolate rainforest. They were so kind and flipping hilarious!! I seriously miss them! But essentially, we got a tour of what a chocolate rainforest looks like, and how chocolate is actually made. It was such a fun experience!
After the chocolate rainforest (and free chocolate!!!), we headed off to lunch! We ate at a local restaurant alongside a beautiful river and rainforest backdrop. Then we were off to my favorite hotel of the whole trip!
Once we arrived at El Mangroove Hotel, I immediately fell in love. This resort was seriously like nothing I had ever seen before. It was an absolute dream come true, and the perfect last stop for our trip! I honestly just loved being at this hotel and being in the element. It was so peaceful, tranquil, and just the best feeling ever.
After settling in and unpacking, we were free to explore the hotel as we wished!! Dan and I enjoyed the ultra amazing pool, and went down to the beach! This was also my favorite hotel for dinner… as it was delicious!! But we also got our own private candle lit table. So lovely!
Catamaran day!!! But breakfast first, obviously. Today, we all set sail on a huge catamaran to do some exploring and snorkeling!! And it was an open bar on the catamaran! Whoohoo! Served alongside some amazing chips and guac, and other snacks. But we ventured out into the ocean, and eventually anchored down in a little cove area. You had the choice to stay on the boat, swim, snorkel, or make your way onto the beach!! We snorkeled for most of our time, and then went to the beach for a little bit. There were quite a few pretty fish, and I loved swimming with them! All snorkel equipment was provided.
After our water adventures, we started to head back when we saw WHALES!!! A mommy and her baby. We literally followed them the whole way back and it was a total surreal experience.
And for the rest of the day, we were able to enjoy the last bits of the hotel. To end the evening, we had a community dinner, a special Costa Rican dance performance, and a farewell slideshow of all our photos from the trip! It really was the perfect send off!
This was our last and final day… so sad! We had breakfast one last time, and said goodbye to our adventure guides, and thanked them so much for everything they did for us! They were the ones that truly made this trip so magical! We then got on our transportation to the local airport and away we went!! Costa Rica will forever hold a special place in our hearts.
WOAH. What do you guys think of all that?! Definitely a different way to vacation, am I right?! And I forgot to mention!! Every day, you get a special and custom designed Disney pin!! These pins are specially made for each day and for each trip, so you can’t get them anywhere else!!! They truly are one of a kind.
I’m sure I’ll get a lot of questions on Adventures By Disney… but the one question I KNOW I will get… why does it cost so much money? Let me take a little time to explain that. When you go on an Adventures By Disney trip, you aren’t just paying for a vacation… you are paying for the Disney experience. The Disney experience that always puts their clients first… is always thinking of extra ways to create magic… and always has the client’s safety and best interest in mind. That’s what you’re paying for. You are paying for an experience, and memories to last a lifetime. Now, to get a little more specific. Most group trips, aside from Adventures By Disney, will only have a single tour guide. You get SO much more out of your time when there are 2 highly trained and professional individuals giving you their time and attention. With most other tour trips, you are paying a base price… where with Adventures by Disney, almost EVERYTHING is included. You get to do all the excursions and all the fun stuff!! It’s not an extra add on. Finally… the hotels you stay at. These are top-rated and top-notch hotels. You are going to be staying in luxury and feeling extra comfortable when you travel. You never have to worry about staying in unsafe areas, staying at subpar accommodations, or not feeling like you’re at a home away from home.
I sincerely mean it when I say, I don’t regret a single penny I spent on this trip. It was completely worth it!! And as a seasoned traveler who has planned so many trips, if I planned this trip on my own… it would have been about the same price, if not a little more expensive. So, do yourself a favor and book an Adventures By Disney trip!! You will love every second of it!
Don’t forget to pin me!