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MEV Vacation Tips: Taming the Last Frontier Adventures by Disney
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by Lee Ellen King, Member of the MouseEarVacations.com Team (archives)
May 17, 2010
MouseEarVacations.com team member Lee Ellen King takes an Adventures by Disney tour to Alaska and tells us all about it.

Are you the type of person who would enjoy

  • Snuggling with a sleepy puppy who may one day lead her team to victory in the Iditarod?
  • Walking on a glacier?
  • Taking a raft trip down rapids on a glacial fed river?
  • Seeing nature as it was meant to be seen, pristine and pure?
  • Talking with a man who has spent the last 47 years hunting and trapping for a living?
  • Panning for gold? (and finding some)
  • Having the very best tour guides?
  • Feeling the Disney magic at its best?

If you answered yes to any of the above, then you would enjoy going on the Adventures by Disney trip Taming the Last Frontier in Alaska. I have just returned from this amazing vacation and I can honestly say it was an adventure of a lifetime. The group assembled and met in Fairbanks, Alaska. There were families with children, couples without children, grandmothers with grandkids, girlfriends traveling together; there was a total of about thirty people, a small intimate group. We met our two wonderful, fantastic, awesome (did I think they were great?) tour guides. They were both from Alaska and could answer every imaginable question this group could ask.  

After a getting acquainted breakfast and receiving a new lanyard, we were on our way! For the next eight days and seven nights we were to see and feel Alaska through our guides eyes, marveling at the incredible beauty that met us no matter where we went. We made our way from Fairbanks to Denali, to Anchorage to Seward with many stops in between. We experienced a thorough sampling of what this incredible state has to offer. 

In my opinion, what set this Adventures by Disney tour apart from any ordinary tour is of course Disneys attention to detail and the personal touches that made it comfortable, laid back and PERFECT! The group was small. We never felt rushed, even though we were on the go all the time. A new surprise of some kind awaited us each day, such as getting to pet a porcupine when we went to the Alaska Conservation Center. The guides went with us on every single excursion and were there to see to our every need.  

One example of this touched all of our hearts. Coming back to our hotel from Seward one evening, about an hours drive, the bus had to pull over as traffic was stalled due to a traffic accident ahead. We found out that the wait to get moving again might be several hours. Our two guides called all the kids off the bus and played games with them for about two hours. When they got back on the bus, every child went promptly to sleep. We were supposed to go on an excursion the next day about 8:30 am. But with Disney magic, the excursion was changed to 1:30pm. We all had a sleep in and we were still able to fit in an unscheduled hike one of the guides had suggested would be fun. And it was! A hike right up to the face of a glacier!  

Every day we were offered many bottles of water and snacks; we watched movies in the bus while driving long distances. What could be more perfect than watching Snow Dogs after visiting an Iditarod dog kennel?   The guides spent extra time with the children, leading activities so they could all become Junior Adventurers (and so the adults had their own time, too). The kids were all so wonderfully behaved because the guides kept them so busy. The food was incredible, lots of salmon (we learned how to remember the five types of salmon) and halibut. Often there was a speaker or presentation as we feasted in style. And for every person who collects Disney pins, we received a new pin each day, one that corresponded to the specific adventure we had had that day. We went to the Alaska Sea Life Center in Seward, had a personal tour and saw lots of halibut and puffins, so our pin that day was called Fins and Feathers. One other little Disney touch: whenever a hike was scheduled it seemed it would begin to rain. Sure enough, Disney pulled it offjust as we were to set off on our hike, it would stop raining and the sun would come out. Thanks, Mickey! 

When our Adventure, alas, was over, we all parted, not as thirty strangers any longer, but as a family. We exchanged email addresses and the promise to share our photographs and keep in touch. We had made many new friends on our trek through this incredibly beautiful land. Many thanks go to our knowledgeable and caring guides, and of course to Disney for making this trip possible. I can hardly wait to go on another Adventures by Disney vacation!

-- Posted May 15, 2010