Adventures by Disney in Ecuador & the Galapagos

Adventures by DisneyThe magic of Disney. The adventure of a lifetime. I found that to be true on my recent Adventures by Disney (ABD) trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. And just like the Disney theme parks, ABD makes sure that their trips appeal to all ages. There are activities for the adventurous and even the not-so-adventurous, like me.

Before my November 2012 trip with ABD, I received a call from a “vacationista,” asking lots of questions about me. This trip was a special trip, just for travel agents. Disney brought 25 agents together from the United States, Canada and Brazil to get us acquainted with this relatively new division of Disney. (ABD began in 2006.)

One of the questions for me was about my food allergies. I have a severe aversion to fish and made them aware of this. A Disney Difference is that not only did they accommodate me, but the alternative food was delicious. Our adventure guide, Laura, told me about one boy on one of her trips had to have a certain brand of ketchup at every meal, and Disney made sure it was on the trip. Disney is also very good with food allergies.

Mickey Waffles
Disney knows good food–even if you have allergies.

On our trip, just like every ABD trip, there are two adventure guides—one from the United States and one from the destination country. Laura was our American guide, and Eduardo was our Ecuadorian guide. This is another Disney Difference: two guides with at least one from the destination country.

There are many advantages to two guides rather than just one like other escorted tour companies. The biggest one is that one guide can be with the adults and one can be with the children. The “junior adventurers” have different interests and different attention spans than adults, and the two guides can adapt to that.

Adventures by Disney (via Disney Parks Blog)
Disney makes sure junior adventurers enjoy themselves.

The first leg of the trip was to the Ecuadorian Highlands. Here we got to experience life in Ecuador. We stayed at an authentic hacienda, and we visited a working rose farm and weaver. Disney has a way of throwing education into their trips without the kids (or even adults) knowing it. ABD wants to show their adventurers about life in the destination country, and this is another Disney Difference.

After a few nights in the highlands, we were off to the Galapagos Islands for a four-night cruise. These ships are much smaller than your typical cruise ship, with about 100 guests. Of course, we were only one third of the guests on the ship, but Disney arranged with the ship operator to have our group depart the ship first during all excursions. This Disney Difference allowed us to be the first on to the island and see the animals before anyone else disturbed them. I can’t believe how much Adventures by Disney packed into one vacation.

Two dozen itineraries. Six continents. A lifetime of memories. Disney does it again.


Kirsten Cuillard is the owner of Castles & Dreams Travel, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner based in North Carolina. Contact Kirsten at if you have any questions about ABD or any Disney Destination. There’s never a fee at C&D!