Disney Answer: It depends
Adventures by Disney is Disney’s guided tour business. At this point, they have “adventures” to just about every continent, though most adventures are either in Europe or North America. Adventures by Disney is a unique product, and is not for everybody. You won’t find any Disney characters, thrill rides or massive crowds. You will find first class hotels, world class adventure guides and unique experiences you and your family cannot have anywhere else.
Adventures typically include your hotel(s), and the hotels are usually the best around. Every year Disney looks to upgrade hotels to the nicest/best options in the locations where they serve, so if you are used to first class, that is what you get. Adventures also includes all of your transportation once you arrive at your destination, most of your food, all entrance fees to any attraction you visit, etc. The only thing not included in Adventures are going to be your airfare, some meals and tips for your adventure guides. And souvenirs of course.
The question “Are Adventures by Disney worth the money?” comes up often because the adventures are expensive, especially when compared to staying at a value resort on Disney World property. For example, I did the Ireland adventure a few years ago. It is 7 nights, and the cost for 2 adults is in the $11,800 range, double that if you have 2 kids that you want to bring along. I am headed on the Italy adventure in a few weeks, and it is also 7 nights, and about the same price as Ireland. There are some less expensive and shorter Adventures, and more expensive and longer.
After going to Ireland, I sat down and tried to recreate our trip including hotels, meal, transfer, tickets, etc. It was cheaper for me to do it on my own, but not much cheaper, and it didn’t include a tour guide or any of the unique experiences that we got to do (nor would I be able to go to the front of all the lines like we did with Disney).
Adventures by Disney are first class, you will not be let down. I still consider my Ireland adventure as one of the 2 or 3 best vacations I have ever had, and I look forward to Italy being just as good.
While you find another tour company that offers a similar tour for less money, they do not offer the same tour at all. When you go on an Adventure by Disney, you will find that almost everyone on the tour has been on multiple adventures, Disney has a huge repeat business. Once you go on an Adventure, you won’t want to go on any other kind of vacation.
The answer to wether they are worth it or not depends on you. I really depends on what $1 is worth to you. To some people, they could never fathom spending $11,000+ on a vacation, and to them an Adventure by Disney is NOT worth the money. To others who often spend $11,000+ on a vacation all the time, an Adventure by Disney is DEFINITELY worth the money. Also, if you are looking for a once in a lifetime vacation, but it is a stretch for you, I think Adventures by Disney is worth the money. You will not be disappointed.