Any trip to Europe usually means a lot of pre-planning, be it choosing the best hotel, researching what to see and do in each city, and even deciding where to eat. With Adventures by Disney, most of the legwork is done for you. Just choose an itinerary, purchase flights and you’re pretty much good to go!
However, as with any vacation large or small, there are always things to consider before, during and after the trip. The Central Europe itinerary is jam-packed with activities, and hopefully these tips make your trip even more enjoyable!
Do remember to check your passport’s expiration date to be sure that it does not expire for at least six months after your return. Do remember to do this in enough time to renew it. Do put it in a safe place before traveling. Do send yourself an email telling you where that safe place is, so that you aren’t panicking the night before departure because that place was a little too safe!
When planning what to pack, do remember that an electrical adaptor merely allows a U.S. plug to be inserted into a European outlet. It does not convert electricity. It will not prevent your curling iron from dying with a little puff of smoke on first use. Do put a convertor on your shopping list!
For Central Europe, do pack for both warm and chilly temperatures. Long pants, a light jacket and gloves (yes, gloves!) are a must for the ice cave even if average daily temperatures are in the 80s!
If at all possible, do try to arrive a day before your Adventure begins. It will not only give you a little time to acclimate to the time change, but Prague is a beautiful city to explore on your own! Adventures by Disney offers pre-trip stays with breakfast and transportation included for most itineraries.
Be adventurous, and do try some new foods in Central Europe! While the “Sour Kidneys of Adolescent Bull” may not be to your liking, there are many interesting items not often found in your local grocery store. And don’t miss the strudel or the Wiener Schnitzel!
Do get to know your Adventure Guides! Our German guide, Betti, provided so much history about her country, giving us a fascinating (and often emotional!) window of what growing up in Germany was like. Christine has a background in entertainment and event planning at Walt Disney World, and was a wealth of information for the many Disney fans on this trip! All Adventure Guides are hand-picked from hundreds of qualified applicants, and you can be assured that they are not only kind, efficient and patient, but also very interesting!
Don’t be intimated by the very steep hike up the mountain to the ice caves. There is a 20-minute uphill walk, followed by a ride up the side of the mountain by cable car, followed by another 20-minute uphill walk, followed by 700+ steps up inside the ice cave. And then you do it all again in the reverse. Do know that after exiting the cable car after the first climb, there is a lovely restaurant with WiFi and an open tab where those inclined to stop (“Can’t. Catch. My. Breath.”) can wait for the others for lunch. In our group, only four of us didn’t make the second leg, and one was due to vertigo. My husband summed it up with, “I’m really glad I did it. I’m really glad you didn’t.”
Do explore in your free time. Adventures by Disney trips offer a great mix of planned activities and meals with time on your own. Our philosophy is that if you don’t get lost in a city, then you’ve never really been there. Get lost! 🙂
Do enjoy all of the many activities! Don’t be embarrassed to folk dance in Prague or waltz in Vienna. (By the time you are in Vienna, waltzing is by far the least embarrassing thing you’ve done so far on the trip!) Make pretzels, play with marionettes and go backstage to talk with a marionettist, sing in the Sound of Music gazebo, make strudel, enjoy the salt mines (I’m keeping that part a surprise unless you’ve seen my very embarrassing Facebook photos), and enjoy your amazing after-hours visit to the Vienna Zoo! Pose for silly pictures. Don’t be afraid of getting wet at the trick fountains in Schönbrunn Palace. Take loads of photos. Make memories!
Don’t be embarrassed if you cry at the farewell dinner. We all did. You have just spent eight days with a fabulous group of people, two amazing guides, and have seen and done things that would be near impossible on your own. You began your Adventure as strangers, and now have 30-40 close friends. Don’t say goodbye. Do say, “Bis bald!” (See you soon!)