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This month on Instagram I’ve been sharing our trip to Aulani (Disney’s AHmazing Hawaii property) along with some snippets of my friends at It’s a Lovely Life’s trip to Montana and Someday I’ll Learn’s family cruise. ALL of us were on Disney vacations, but none of us were at a Disney park! Here is some info on how you can plan and research travel with Disney that has nothing to do with a theme park. Huge thanks to Disney for partnering with all of us so we can bring real experiences and reviews to you!

Adventures by Disney

There are a few different ways Disney takes family adventure and travel beyond the parks. We got to experience Aulani A Disney Resort and Spa on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. We wrote about all the amazing things there are for teens to do over on All for the Boys if you want to see our family favorites.

Disney Aulani - Allison Waken from All for the Memories

When you think of a Disney vacation do you think of Disneyland Resort or Walt Disney World? I know I did! It’s the first thing that comes to mind, that’s for sure. All the magic of my childhood mixed with magical memories made with my boys. My thinking is starting to transition though as we’ve been lucky enough to have been on 2 Disney Cruise Line cruises and now got to experience Disney in Hawaii at Aulani! I’ve been following along with my friends on their trips this summer and I’m convinced that a Disney vacation can mean so many different things and I wanted to share them with you and show you why you might want to consider it for your next trip.

Disney Cruise Line - Chelsea from Someday I'll Learn

Disney Aulani

Aulani is an absolutely incredible resort nestled in a gorgeous lagoon on the island of Oahu. What makes this resort different than the others in Hawaii is that it’s a DISNEY resort. It’s loaded with authentic culture and splashed with a touch of Disney magic. We visited recently with the family and everyone had an amazing time. I mean, it’s hard not to with this amazing location right?!

Disney Aulani - Allison Waken from All for the Memories Disney Aulani - Allison Waken from All for the Memories Disney Aulani - Allison Waken from All for the Memories

The thing that sets Aulani apart is their dedication to working with local artisans and cultural experts. Not only will you get an amazing Hawaiian vacation on your stay, but you can talk to people fluent in the Hawaiian language, be told a fireside story each night, take in the incredible art around the property, and even take tours to learn more about the area and property. All of this in combination with the “Disney Way” of incorporating the entire family along with an endless list of things to do on property or around the island and you have all you need for an incredible family vacation.

Disney Aulani - Allison Waken from All for the Memories Disney Aulani - Allison Waken from All for the Memories

Disney Cruise Line

While we were experiencing Disney Aulani for the first time. Chelsea from Someday I’ll Learn and her family were discovering Disney Cruise Line for the first time. You can read what I think makes a Disney Cruise so special here. There are some very similar reasons to Aulani. Disney does an incredible job of accommodating everyone from food to entertainment. A Disney Cruise is our families favorite way to have a truly relaxing vacation and know that everything is taken care of.

Disney Aulani - Allison Waken from All for the Memories Disney Aulani - Allison Waken from All for the Memories

There are many different ships and itineraries to choose from so you really can get a different experience every time. Or, you can return each year to Castaway Cay because if you’re like me it will become your favorite island and you’ll miss it as soon as you leave! I really would love to experience Europe or Alaska with Disney though!

Disney Aulani - Allison Waken from All for the Memories

Be sure to check out Chelsea’s 25 Disney Cruise Line Tips. You can also check out the Disney Parks Moms Panel for Disney Cruise Line tips and questions/answers.

Adventures By Disney

Did you know that you can travel with Disney to Washington DC, Montana, The Grand Canyon, Australia, China, Japan, South Africa, Europe, Central & South America and so much more? Adventures by Disney is a full service adventure led by Adventure Guides. It includes things like accommodations, local experts, scheduled meals, activities, and entertainment, transportation throughout the trip etc. A guided adventure truly is an amazing experience. The Disney service is what takes it to another level. The knowledge, preparedness and ability to accommodate the entire family is what sets them apart.

Adventures by Disney - Heather from It's a Lovely Life

This is what Heather from It’s A Lovely Life had to say about her latest Adventures By Disney experience to give you an idea:

“As soon as the tour starts (and even sooner if you book your airfare through Disney) you will find an Adventure Guide waiting for you. I call them the “Magic Makers”. They are there to make sure you have the most amazing vacation ever. They work non-stop behind the scenes and are prepared for anything. Random rain storm? No problem, they have ponchos in their backpacks for everyone, a word game for entertainment and one of them will literally run down a hill in the rain to get the bus if need be. The best part is that while all of this is happening, you don’t even feel like it is an out of the ordinary situation. It almost feels like it is part of the fun.

Adventures By Disney also have experiences that are special just for their tours. This includes experiences you just can’t purchase and viewings that are before or after regular hours so that there are no lines or crowds. It is these little touches that add up to a truly remarkable experience.”

Adventures by Disney - Heather from It's a Lovely Life Adventures by Disney - Heather from It's a Lovely Life

There are SO many different types of Adventures and even River Cruises you can experience with Adventures by Disney so definitely take some time checking out their site and then go read the rest of Heather’s trip (and watch her videos).

Adventures by Disney - Heather from It's a Lovely Life

A Disney vacation outside of the parks isn’t necessarily filled with characters, attractions, and Disney songs (although we fell in love with the Disney songs sung in Hawaiian in the elevator at Aulani and bought the album). It does however, have all the excellent service and attention with the quality you’ve come to expect from Disney.

Ways to Travel with Disney Outside the Parks


Allison Waken is the founder, writer, photographer, and content creator of All for the Memories and All for the Boys.

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