Although Adventures by Disney has taken him to destinations around the globe, one of trip planner Bruce Austin’s favorite trips is Backstage Magic, a Southern California experience that brings Guests within a few blocks of his office. “We lift up the curtain a little bit and get some VIP access to areas around The Walt DisneyCompany that the public is never allowed to see,” he explains.
The trip takes Guests backstage at Disneyland Resort and into Walt Disney’s private apartment, and behind the scenes at the Jim Henson Company. Visitors explore the Walt Disney Studio Lot and go backstage at Disney’s historic El Capitan Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, as well as enjoying perks like VIP entry to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Parks.
Perhaps most exciting is the chance to go behind closed doors at Walt Disney Imagineering – a rare opportunity to see how the magic is made. “They get to walk through the building and meet some of the Imagineers face to face and have conversations with them. The Imagineers are set up to show them some very interesting things. I don’t want to reveal any magic, so I won’t get too specific! But they see some of the work in development revealed just a little bit, as well as viewing the workshops, the work rooms, the artists, the designers — everything from model-making to software design and engineering to roller-coaster ride systems. There’s one amazing room that houses an extraordinary collection of sculptures that go back to John Hench, one of the earliest of the great Imagineers.”
Backstage Magic is unique in the level of exclusive access it offers Guests to the inner workings of the Walt Disney Company, but every Adventures by Disney trip is a travel experience you could only have with Disney. However, don’t think that means that Goofy will be your Adventure Guide! Think Disney quality and Disney storytelling, not Disney characters. Bruce explains, “Because we’re Disney, we focus on spectacular Guest service and excellent accommodations and focus on food and beverage so that that part of your experience is taken care of. We also like to deliver what I call a seamless experience – one aspect is our seamless luggage delivery. From the moment you show up at a destination to the moment you say goodbye to your Adventure Guides on the last day of the trip, we handle your luggage for you. It magically arrives in your next hotel room as we move from point A to point B to point C along our itinerary, and it magically is taken away from your room and brought to the next place. One of the things we love to brag about is that you just show up and we take care of everything for you! We love getting that kind of feedback from Guests after a trip – that it was a Disney-quality experience.”
“We do bring our characters in one little way on every trip: each day of every trip has a theme, and we celebrate that theme by giving our Guests a different pin every day. A lot of visitors to our Parks and Resorts are great pin collectors. Even people who don’t collect pins appreciate having this memento to take home with them. If the trip is eight days long, they’ll go home with eight pins. The pins all have Mickey or Goofy or Donald doing something typical of that destination, and these pins are exclusive to Adventures by Disney. We’ve joked a little bit that we probably get people who book trips just to get the pins!”
From rubbing elbows with Imagineers to walking in Walt’s footsteps, when you explore Southern California with Adventures by Disney, you’ll go home with mementos — and lifelong memories — that are only possible with a Disney touch.
For more information call the Adventures by Disney Vacationistas at (800) 543-0865.