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Old 06-27-2011, 10:40 AM   #1
pclaire
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Planning our first ABD - can you help?

Hi everyone. My daughter and I are planning a trip to Italy next summer, and are considering ABD. I have some questions I hope someone can answer.

We are thinking of the Central Italy trip bcause I have never seen the Amalfi coast. Also, it sounds a little more varied than the Rome/Florence/Venice trip, which I worry is too many croweded cities in the middle of the summer. Has anyone done Central Italy?

Also, my daugher will be turning 14 in the middle of the summer. Is she too old for Disney?

Finally, any other suggestions for tour operators that might fit the bill?

Thanks so much!
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Old 06-27-2011, 11:57 AM   #2
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I haven't done these trips (although I did do the Med cruise add-on which contains elements of both trips). But I thought I'd answer your question:

Quote:
Also, my daugher will be turning 14 in the middle of the summer. Is she too old for Disney?
These trips are not "Disneyfied". There's plenty to keep teens as well as adults interested.

I know there are several people here who have taken the Central Italy "Bella Italia" trip, so you will hopefully get plenty of answers to your trip-specific questions.

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Old 06-27-2011, 12:26 PM   #3
Bobo912
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I haven't done the Central Italy ABD, but I've taken 2 previous ABD and I'm leaving on my 3rd next week. I can definitely say your daughter is not too old. The kids mainly do the same activities as the adults, except for the Disney movie night. And if your daughter wants to skip that she can go to dinner with the adults. I've found on the trips that we've taken that many of the teenagers choose the kid's dinner and movie, over joining the adults. Tauck Bridges also offers a trip to the Amalfi coast that I have on my short list for next year. Their itinerary is a bit different. They have a couple of days in Rome, then Pompeii, Capri and the Amalfi Coast. I've traveled with both companies and I think either is a good choice.
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Old 06-28-2011, 10:45 AM   #4
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I haven't done the Central Italy trip, but I did do Viva Italia last year. It was a wonderful trip and although Rome can be crowded, that was never really a problem as you were typically too busy going from sight to sight with the guides. Don't forget also that going to a busy city on an ABD trip is ideal because you don't have to wait in lines for the main attractions. It was wonderful passing all the people waiting in line at The Vatican Museum and The Colloseum. Venice is also a remarkable place and I wish we had spent more time there. I'm not saying don't do the Central Italy trip, just don't count out the Viva Italia trip because of the crowds.
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:11 AM   #5
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I haven't done a Italy ABD.

About the crowds, there will be crowds any time the weather is nice but with ABD you don't have to worrie about crowds, most of the time you will be go into a museum or building without having to wait in the lines at all!!

14 is not to old for ABD, ABD is for every age!!!
There is something to do and see for all ages and the guides are very very very good in making the trip intresting for all ages.
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Old 07-29-2011, 12:40 AM   #6
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Never been there lol. Hope you'll share your experience here. Enjoy
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Old 07-29-2011, 01:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diskidatheart View Post
I haven't done the Central Italy trip, but I did do Viva Italia last year. It was a wonderful trip and although Rome can be crowded, that was never really a problem as you were typically too busy going from sight to sight with the guides. Don't forget also that going to a busy city on an ABD trip is ideal because you don't have to wait in lines for the main attractions. It was wonderful passing all the people waiting in line at The Vatican Museum and The Colloseum. Venice is also a remarkable place and I wish we had spent more time there. I'm not saying don't do the Central Italy trip, just don't count out the Viva Italia trip because of the crowds.
agree
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Old 07-30-2011, 05:22 PM   #8
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My daughters did an ABD with us to Costa Rica 4 years ago at 10 and 12 and can't wait to go on their next one at 15 and 17 next summer. ( Galapagos)
As someone mentioned ABD trips are not Disneyfied like the parks or even the cruiseline- my girls would not do the DCL again at this age and prefer other lines now, but can't wait for their ABD trip.
It's hard to express how the guides manage to make everyone of all ages have a good time- that must be the Disney magic part
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Old 07-30-2011, 05:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by familygoboston View Post
My daughters did an ABD with us to Costa Rica 4 years ago at 10 and 12 and can't wait to go on their next one at 15 and 17 next summer. ( Galapagos)
As someone mentioned ABD trips are not Disneyfied like the parks or even the cruiseline- my girls would not do the DCL again at this age and prefer other lines now, but can't wait for their ABD trip.
It's hard to express how the guides manage to make everyone of all ages have a good time- that must be the Disney magic part


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Now posting my Greek Odyssey Trip Report (2013)
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Old 08-01-2011, 03:45 PM   #10
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I agree with the previous posters, your 14 yr old will not be too old by any stretch of the imagination. We actually did do the Central Italy trip last year with our two DD's, aged 13 and 10 at the time and they absolutely loved it!!!! There were quite a few kids and they quickly bonded within their relative age groups which made it very fun for the girls.

The Central Italy trip will be more "relaxed" than the Viva trip (I've been told), in that Sorrento is a lovely place to hang out at the pool/beach, and the boat trip around Capri was great! We all jumped off the boat and swam in the Mediterranean. While there is sightseeing, it is not as museum based--there is more time to hang out and enjoy the cities that you will be visiting.

We began our trip with 3 days in Rome on our own to do all the touristy/city things--Colluseum, Vatican tour, Forum, Pantheon, etc. . . I am very glad we did this and we hired a private guide for the first day to show us around and get the lay of the land. We then took the train (very easy) down to Naples and we were met at the track by a driver arranged by ABD who took us to the hotel to join the tour. About 3 other families did this as well--travelling independently.

I'm sure you would enjoy either Vival Italia or Central Italy--but the Amalfi Coast is breathtaking and it is nice to spend time in Florence itself (rather than just going in for a day visit). It depends on what you're looking for.

If you have any specific questions, please feel free to ask.
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:50 PM   #11
Icemann
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I have to agree with every one else.We haven't done this trip but since it's Disney it will be great.We have been on two trips with ABD and would not think twice about going with them again.The guides are great I know one who has done this trip for the last two years,and she is super sweet and is the best. You guys will have a great time.When you check your luggage with Disney check your brain too just set back, take in the sights and relax,it's Disney. You will get all the help and tips for a great vacation right here
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:51 PM   #12
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Use the Internet to skip the admission lines

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diskidatheart View Post
Don't forget also that going to a busy city on an ABD trip is ideal because you don't have to wait in lines for the main attractions. It was wonderful passing all the people waiting in line at The Vatican Museum and The Colloseum.
You don't need ABD to skip admission lines! Tickets for many destinations in Europe, such as the Vatican Museum, can be bought on-line via the Internet.

I enjoy planning my own custom trip to Europe, while others may perfer to let ABD handle all the arrangements.


-Paul
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Old 08-03-2011, 04:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjacobi View Post
You don't need ABD to skip admission lines! Tickets for many destinations in Europe, such as the Vatican Museum, can be bought on-line via the Internet.

I enjoy planning my own custom trip to Europe, while others may perfer to let ABD handle all the arrangements.


-Paul
Pre-buying a ticket to the Vatican Museum does not get you front-of-the line access. It just means you don't need to buy your ticket before you get in the general admission line. ABD actually bypasses the general admission lines.

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Check out my Southwest Splendors Trip Report! (2008). 5 parts, full of pics & details & impressions!
My Taming the Last Frontier ABD Alaska Trip Report! (2009)! 7 parts, pictures, stories, & more impressions!
Also check out my ABD/DCL Mediterranean Magic Trip Report! (2010)
NOW POSTING! My DIS Unplugged London/Paris/Disneyland Paris Trip Report! (2011)
Now posting my Greek Odyssey Trip Report (2013)
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Old 08-03-2011, 05:04 PM   #14
carpenta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sayhello View Post
Pre-buying a ticket to the Vatican Museum does not get you front-of-the line access. It just means you don't need to buy your ticket before you get in the general admission line. ABD actually bypasses the general admission lines.

Sayhello
...and to add to that on our DCL cruise in 2007 we had a private tour of the Vatican and an after hours tour of the Sistine Chapel with only about 50 people or so. We even were allowed to take pictures and video of the ceiling. Disney does get you special access.
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Old 08-03-2011, 06:42 PM   #15
disneyphx
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14 is not too old

We have not done this trip, but on the 2 ABDs we have done, I would say 14 was right around the 'median' age.
Our daughter was 5 and 6 on our trips - what you think of as a more 'Disney' age, but she was the youngest on both. In China the next youngest was 7 and in South Africa the next youngest was 10.
I love that ABD does all the planning for us- and packs in way more things on a day than we could planning it ourselves.
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