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You Don't Have to Cruise to See Alaska: Taming the Wild Frontier with Adventures by Disney

by Mary Jane Crawford, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Last modified 05-26-2010

Maybe you are afraid of those beautiful “floating cities” so you haven’t visited Alaska. Or maybe you are like me – you love to cruise but also have a desire to see more. If so, then you need to travel with Adventures by Disney on your next vacation! Adventures by Disney provides great options for all travelers - multi-generation, parents, children, grandparents, and singles. Everyone will enjoy their experience. Some departure dates are also available for adult-only adventures. Let me share some of the highlights and Disney exclusive experiences that were my favorites:

Everyone enjoyed the Trail Breakers Kennel experience. Not only were we able to hold the puppies, but one of the young boys in our group was picked to be outfitted for an Iditarod race, 1150 miles long! Since none of us were ready to run the 1150-mile dog sled race (and there was no snow), we continued on our voyage.

Another day we experienced a jet boat ride along the Nenana River to visit a trapper and learn about his life. We also learned how to pan for gold, and everyone turned out a few specs richer. Later in Denali, I found a glass shop that made my gold into a unique, reasonably-priced pendant.

Along the Tanana River they have the Nenana Ice Classic which started in 1917. When will the Tanana River ice break up at Nenana? A tripod is planted two feet into the river ice between two bridges and connected to a clock. When the tripod falls the clock stops. The winner is the one that guessed the correct date, hour and minute the clock will stop. After exploring Denali National Park, four of us wanted to stay for the dog sled demonstration. Can you believe Disney took the others back to their hotel, and had the bus return to pick the four of us up later? Now that is personal service!

One of the rescued bears at the Alaska Wildlife Conservations Center posed for lots of photos on command. My favorite was when the bear stood on her hind legs with her front paws on the log cabin, and then lifted her left front and back legs. We had an opportunity to take plenty of photos as we pet and fed fireweeds (a wildflower of Alaska) to a porcupine.

It wouldn’t be a trip to Alaska if we didn’t ride the scenic Alaska Railroad. We were transported to the tranquil Placer River for our raft ride to see Spencer Glacier. From the shoreline, the glaciers didn’t appear to be very big, but as we moved closer the ice blue became more vibrant and they were considerably larger. We came so close, that we could actually touch the glacier – another thrilling encounter!

At Kenai Fjord National Park, we took a cruise on a catamaran. When an animal was spotted, our captain would drift in close for photos and a better view. After hours, we had a private tour of the Alaska Sea Life Center. No crowds - just the 28 of us. We enjoyed a hands-on experience petting and viewing puffins, starfish, and numerous other beautiful sea life.

Our accommodations during the adventure were always exceptional, providing beautiful views and large rooms. Most of the meals and tips were included. Our bus was very comfortable and large enough to hold twice as many people. The extraordinary Adventures by Disney Guides were always with us, extremely knowledgeable, and made sure our vacation was perfect. Special activities were arranged for the children throughout the trip. It was very educational, exciting, and enjoyable in every way!

Remember, Adventures by Disney offers many fabulous destinations around the world. Contact your® Travel Specialist to book yours today!

About the Author: Mary Jane is an agent with and She has taken two Adventures by Disney vacations, and is looking forward to her next Disney cruise aboard the Disney Dream in 2011!

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Updated 05-26-2010

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