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Bit By The Disney Travel Bug

Disney Cruise docks at Castaway Cay

With vacation season in full swing, I can’t help but daydream about the next Schaffer getaway. Will it be an island excursion? An adventure by land or by sea? Hmmm…. what will it be? Typically, our family chooses destinations that allow for exploring a bit of both. For us, the ideal family vacation is a blend of beautiful natural surroundings, physical activity, culture, education, food and fun. And after experiencing all that and more at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa on Oahu earlier this year, I think it’s safe to say that we were bit by the travel bug. And not just any travel bug. This fantastical creature’s bite causes a fever that brings cravings of magic, wanderlust and unique experiences that only Disney can provide.

In addition to Disney’s fabulous theme parks we all know and love, I just learned about some other unexpected ways families can receive a magic-filled experience: On land with Disney in Japan, Vietnam, Alaska, Amalfi Coast, Ecuador, and Costa Rica, by sea on a river cruise down the Danube, Sein or Rhine, or cruising throughout the Caribbean or Mediterranean.

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse Cruise

Disney Cruise in Europe
Throughout the summer of 2019, the Disney Magic’s tour of Europe includes engagements in Norway, Iceland, the Baltic, the British Isles and the Mediterranean. Disney Cruise Line will return to the picturesque Geiranger, Norway, during Norwegian fjords cruises. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)

Amsterdam Street

For one reason or another, many of these destinations haven’t been on our family travel radar. And instead of wondering why, I am now wondering why not! Instantly intrigued, I pretend that I don’t have 80 other things to do today, and immerse myself in the Adventures by Disney website. Holy cow! All of these experiences backed by the trusted Disney brand, can only mean one thing. INSTANT SCHAFFER BUCKET LIST. Look out world! We’ve got our passports, our bags are packed and we’re ready to set sail on some rad family adventures with Disney.

Japan Itinerary | 2019 Launch

It would be an absolute dream for my family to visit Japan – the birthplace of my husband’s Mother (Mama Schaffer) – with Disney’s new Japan itinerary. With culture dating back thousands of years, yet on the cutting edge of modern technology, fashion and trends, Japan is uncharted territory that would be both magical and meaningful to our family in countless ways. My friend told me to check out this travel guide to Kyoto if I ever went to Japan. It looks such a beautiful place!

Experience the captivating culture and rich diversity of Japan during a brand-new 11-day, 10-night itinerary, with expeditions in Kyoto, Osaka, Takayama, Hakone and Tokyo. Feel fully immersed in the ancient customs and storied traditions deeply rooted within the Japanese culture with authentic experiences including learning about the tradition of samurai swordsmanship, watching a maiko dance performance, discovering secrets to perfecting sushi, building a delectable bento box and more. Japanese dinner Disney Cruise

Disney Elsa On Disney Cruise

Southern California Short Escape | 2018 Launch

For a shorter trip, the Southern California Short Escape is right in our back yard, and also right up our entertainment industry obsessed alley!

This 4-day, 3-night land tour is a behind-the-scenes look at The Walt Disney Studios and Walt Disney Imagineering, including VIP experiences at Disneyland Resort, a visit to Walt Disney’s Disneyland apartment and a sneak peek at props and costumes from Disney favorites. Available on select 2018 dates in Spring and Fall. This package can also be booked in conjunction with Disney Cruise Line sailings departing from San Diego.

Believe it or not, but this mama got her sea legs early on in life, working on a cruise ship at the age of 17 in Hawaii. Since then, it’s always something I’ve wanted to experience as a family. This year and next, Disney Cruise Line is setting sail for adventure with a wide variety of exciting destination options aboard the 2,700 passenger Disney Wonder and Disney Magic.

For The Spontaneous: Fall 2018 Sailings

Fall 2018 sailings feature new itineraries and new ports, including first-time visits to Bermuda and Quebec City, Canada – both offering multiple days in port to fully experience these captivating destinations. In addition, three special sailings from New York will take guests to Walt Disney World and Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay. Sailings from California, Texas and Florida round out the 2018 fall season.

For The Planner: 2019 Sailings

In early 2019, Disney Cruise Line will return to favorite destinations on a variety of itineraries, including an expanded two-month season from San Diego to sun-drenched Baja and Mexican Riviera. A host of options to the Bahamas and Caribbean from Florida ports, plus cruises to the Southern Caribbean from San Juan, Puerto Rico, take guests to visit timeless tropical locales and experience endless amounts of Disney magic.

Where Marvels and Magic Collide

Engaging activities put families in the middle of their favorite Disney stories. What kid (or Star Wars obsessed adult) wouldn’t love an opportunity to celebrate Marvel Day at Sea on the Disney Magic during special voyages from Miami, and Star Wars Day at Sea on special Disney Fantasy sailings from Port Canaveral? Sign us up!

Marvel Characters At Sea

Spiderman on disney cruise
Marvel Super Heroes like Spider-Man are onboard for heroic encounters during Marvel Day at Sea. The event features all-day entertainment celebrating the renowned comics, films and animated series of the Marvel Universe. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)

fireworks on Disney cruise

Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa

Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa was imaginatively designed to embrace time-honored Hawaiian traditions. Perfectly positioned on 21 beautiful oceanfront acres of Ko Olina on the leeward coast of Oah’u, the resort is just 17 miles from Honolulu International Airport, and just a short flight from Southern California! I have a feeling our first trip to this magical Moana-clad island certainly won’t be our last, so an encore visit is also on the bucket list. And let’s not forget how they celebrate all things MOM during the month of May!

family at Disney Aulani Dad and son Disney Aulani Disney Cast Member Aulani citygirlgonemom at disney aulani Minnie Mouse and girl selfie dad and son Disney Aulani citygirlgonemom at Disney Aulani Disney Aulani Disney Aulani pool at disney aulani auntie disney aulani disney aulani dancer citygirlgonemom hawaii Mickey Mouse snow cones Hawaii beach with family kids at fruit truck Hawaii couple north shore Hawaii

And even closer to home? In early 2019, Disney Cruise Line will return to favorite destinations on a variety of itineraries, including an expanded two-month season from San Diego to the sun-drenched Baja and Mexican Riviera. And for my East Coast friends, there’s a host of options sailing to the Bahamas and Caribbean from Florida ports, plus cruises to the Southern Caribbean from San Juan, Puerto Rico.

As you can see, we’ve got some traveling to do. And lucky for me, I’m going to leave the planning to Disney! With the hassle-free Adventures by Disney guided group vacations, our family can become a part of the story, as we immerse ourselves in the people, places and cultures of wherever the adventures will take us. To start planning your next big adventure, visit Adventures by Disney.

Photos Provided by Disney

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14 comments

  1. Great pics D👌✨

  2. I love your images of the beautiful family and Disney cruise experiences look amazing.. didn’t know there were so many options

    1. Danielle Lucia Schaffer

      for sure… I want to go on all of these excursions

  3. What an amazing family trip you had. So many memories to share for years to come.

  4. I love all your photos! Super cute. I will always be a fan of Disney and I want to plan a trip to one of the places soon!

  5. I didn’t realise there were so many different ways to experience Disney – we love Disney so will definitely be considering some more trips around the world! Your trip looks like such a fantastic experience.

  6. This looks like an amazing family adventure. Love all your photos, but especially the photo sitting with Spiderman! How totally fun for the kids and the whole family.

  7. This looks like so much fun! I can’t wait until my little one is old enough to enjoy a Disney cruise. Couple more years…

  8. There are so many sights to see here. We’ve been wanting to take the boys, but we’re waiting until our little give is a bit older. It’ll help us avoid strollee

  9. Wow ! The photos are so gorgeous and so much fun .
    I am a big Disney Fan – yes still ! The Disney Cruise Lie and the Japan Itinerary is certainly holding my interest a lot.

    1. Danielle Lucia Schaffer

      yes me too would love to go

  10. Holy smokes that looks like so much fun! Those are some really great photos too! Maybe that will be our 2020 vacation…if I can wait that long lol!

  11. I’m a huge fan of Disney cruises. You really captured them so well. Now I want to plan a new one!

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