Disney has announced a new bucket list adventure aboard a private jet for 75 ultimate fans: an around the world trip spanning 24 days, 6 countries, all 12 Disney theme parks worldwide, and other destinations all for the low, low starting price of $109,995. This post will share details about the Disney Parks Around The World – A Private Jet Adventure and commentary about this “interesting” new offering from Disney. (Updated June 26, 2022.)
If you wanted to book this $100k+ adventure, you’re unfortunately out of luck. The Disney Parks Around The World – A Private Jet Adventure sold out ahead of the on-sale date for the general public. Pre-sales for the worldwide trip to all Disney theme parks went on sale on June 20 for Adventures by Disney “Adventure Insiders” and most slots were booked at that point. The remaining ~5 slots booked first thing when availability opened for Golden Oak and Club 33.
We’re told that demand among those residents and members far exceeded available slots, and there’s already a lengthy waitlist for guests who are interested in booking the experience. The general public on-sale date for the Private Jet Adventure was scheduled for June 28, 2022. It’s unknown whether waitlist spots will be available then, or if that too will fill up.
As you can see from our critical commentary below, this Disney Parks Private Jet Adventure holds no appeal for us. We also question why those with the means would opt for this as opposed to something by an actual luxury brand or a do it yourself trip. However, we never questioned whether this would sell out. With so few slots and so many affluent Disney fans, that much was always a foregone conclusion.
Now the question becomes whether Adventures by Disney will add dates for the Disney Parks Around The World – A Private Jet Adventure. While it’s not for me, I’m curious what level of demand exists for this and how much of that is due to its perceived exclusivity. In other words, if there were 5 dates instead of 1 from the outset, would it have booked much more slowly? How many dates could be added before there’s a drop-off? We’ll probably find out soon.
In the meantime, let’s begin with basics for our readers who are heirs to frozen banana stand empires and thus will want to book this new Adventures by Disney itinerary if more dates are added. The trip starts at Disneyland in Anaheim before traveling north to Los Angeles and San Francisco. From there, it heads to Tokyo Disneyland via Alaska, then Shanghai Disneyland, Hong Kong Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, and Walt Disney World.
Between stops the Asia parks and Disneyland Paris, the private jet will make several detours to 3 iconic landmarks: the Taj Mahal, Pyramids of Giza, and Eiffel Tower. Throughout the trip, you’ll stay in world-class accommodations, including the rare opportunity to be a guest at Summit Skywalker Ranch. Naturally, you’ll travel in luxury via a VIP-configured Boeing 757, operated by Icelandair, with long-range capabilities. Presumably, it also has efficient WiFi for casually gloating about the posh experience via realtime Instagram updates. If not, well…that’s a dealbreaker for me!
During the Disney Parks Around The World – A Private Jet Adventure, guests will also enjoy personal access to experts and staff, who provide fun and fact-filled stories at every location you visit. This includes tours guided by representatives from Imagineering, Lucasfilm, Walt Disney Co., and more.
Here are some of the trip highlights:
Here are the accommodations for the Disney Parks Around The World – A Private Jet Adventure:
Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
Summit Skywalker Ranch
Tokyo Disneyland Hotel
Shanghai Disneyland Hotel
Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel
The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra
Marriott Mena House, Cairo
Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
All 9 locations for the Disney Parks Around The World – A Private Jet Adventure:
Food for the Disney Parks Around The World – A Private Jet Adventure:
68 MEALS TOTAL
Flight information for before and after the Disney Parks Around The World – A Private Jet Adventure:
Arrive: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) OR John Wayne Airport (SNA) OR Long Beach Airport (LGB)
Return: Orlando International Airport (MCO)
June 20, 2022: Previous Adventures by Disney Guests who have traveled on 3 or more adventures
June 22, 2022: All previous Adventures by Disney Guests
June 24, 2022: Golden Oak Members
June 28, 2022: General public
There are two ways to approach this commentary. The first would be treating this trip seriously, breaking down the estimated costs on a line-item basis in order to analyze whether the the Disney Parks Around The World – A Private Jet Adventure is “worth it” from an objective perspective or, if not, how much Disney is marking up the indulgent itinerary. The other would be dismissing it out of hand as ridiculous, and critiquing it from the perspective of optics.
Obviously, we’re going to choose the second route. As much as I’m curious about how much an Around the World trip to Disney destinations might actually cost (perhaps we’ll do the math in a separate post), I don’t think anyone reading this post is seriously sitting in their La-Z-Boy, thinking: “I’m on the fence about this private jet adventure thingie, sure hope Tom does the math so I can decide whether to book!”
The thing is, I don’t doubt that there’s a market for this type of trip. Honestly, many of Disney’s recent moves have felt like someone inside the company is asking, “how can we be more like Four Seasons and Ritz-Carlton?” First came the company-branded residences, now comes the private jet around-the-world itinerary.
I guess you could even say the Disney Parks Around The World – A Private Jet Adventure is a steal of a deal, since the Four Seasons Private Jet Experiences all appear to be priced above $150,000. While both feel like they’re in “Monopoly Money” territory, I’d imagine the target consumer for this type of trip has more trust in Four Seasons to deliver a luxury experience commensurate with the cost. Four Seasons has the experience and expertise with actual luxury offerings.
For those of you banana stand heirs who are planning on booking this, it’s probably easy to write off criticism as jealousy. While my curiosity has been piqued by past Adventures by Disney itineraries (and we’ve done one long weekend in San Francisco), I honestly struggle to see the appeal in a trip like this even when setting aside the exorbitant cost.
If we had a couple hundred thousand dollars to dedicate to an around the world trip, I’d rather put it together myself. That would give me complete control over the itinerary and, critically, not be subject to sharing the experience with 73 strangers. (The odds are not in your favor that of 73 wealthy people, they’ll all be perfectly tolerable and well-adjusted.)
That’s the sticking point for me. (Well, that and the WiFi situation. And I guess the cost, if we’re being totally honest.) With other Adventures by Disney itineraries, the argument can be made that there’s value in the ease and efficiency of a group trip for affluent individuals. After all, vacation time is limited and their time has, in theory at least, tremendous value.
The same argument is a harder sell for a month-long trip. These people clearly have time on their hands, and could easily put this together themselves–or hire someone to do it for them.
Speaking of which, at this point I should plug my own travel planning services, which are actually launching today (total coincidence). For the bargain basement price of $54,997.50, I will take you on a tour of these same places. Please note that won’t feature a private jet but it will include us getting lost on the Tokyo Metro and seeing rats at one of my favorite spots near the Eiffel Tower. But did you really visit Tokyo and Paris if you didn’t get lost in one and see rats in the other? Joking aside, it’s absolutely the imperfections that make travel and exploring new places memorable.
Beyond that, I’d also humbly suggest that an around-the-world trip is absolutely the wrong way to truly explore and experience these destinations. None of them will be done justice by such cursory and superficial visits. If you have no shortage of time and resources, do these places the right way.
This Adventures by Disney itinerary feels like it’s less about ease and efficiency and more about coddling people who want to travel the world without really experiencing the world. Those who need the comfort and safety of Disney just to see international theme parks so they can check off every park on their bucket list and boast about the accomplishment.
My reaction was more or less the same to that new subdivision Disney is attaching its brand to on the outskirts of Palm Springs. The main appeal of that area is its rich history, culture, and stunning mid-century modern architecture. It’s a truly amazing place with tremendous charm and appeal. You endure the desert heat and everything else because all of that is so cool. A new subdivision there comes with all of the downside and none of the upside–literally missing the point entirely.
Setting all of that aside, my bigger concern is one of optics. Disney had to have known that this new Adventures by Disney itinerary would get picked up by every blog and vlog. It’ll become outrage fodder, racking up millions of views on videos and posts–not from people planning on doing the trip, but from those disgusted by its very existence.
Although my commentary above might suggest otherwise, I hold no disdain towards those who can afford to do this. I also don’t begrudge the company for trying to capture some of this lucrative market share. Not that you care, but I am very much pro capitalism–about as far from “eat the rich” as you can get. The analysis here is less taking offense to the existence of this itinerary, and more why any reasonable person would want to do it given what it costs, entails, and the alternatives.
With regard to corporate optics, there’s probably never a good time to announce a $100,000 private jet tour of the global Disney parks. However, I cannot conceive of a time that’s worse than right now. The company has already nickel and dimed park-goers so much over the last few years, increasing costs and segmenting its theme park offerings in ways that have given rise to backlash from pretty much everyone–but especially those who believe Disney only “caters to the rich” now.
As I’ve stated before, that is categorically false. One-percenters are not booking motel rooms with exterior hallways at the Value or Moderate Resorts. Beyond that, they are largely not visiting Walt Disney World at all, save for rite of passage trips. When they do, they’re more inclined to stay at the Four Seasons Orlando or Ritz-Carlton, although some undoubtedly do stay at Grand Floridian and the Poly.
I’m so confident in this assertion because it’s a simple numbers game. Sure, there are wealthy Disney fans and casual visitors. However, there are not enough of them to fill the parks and resorts on a daily basis. It’s gotta be the middle and upper middle class, splurging or going into debt. These consumers are literally the only way Walt Disney World can stay in business. The upper class cannot sustain the parks and resorts.
It’s one thing to sell 75 of these $100,000 private jet trips in a year. It’s another entirely to book over 100,000 guests per day in resorts and theme parks, every single day of the year. It’s a matter of scale–if the number of these private jet trips were increased to 1,000 or even 10,000 (again, in a year–not a day), the company would probably have trouble filling them, too.
Regardless of that truth, it often feels like Walt Disney World doesn’t care about anyone but the wealthy. There are countless recent examples of this, from simple things like Extended Evening Hours only for Deluxe Resorts to extravagant new VIP tours to Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser’s price tag. (On the plus side, the Halcyon now feels like a downright bargain as compared to this!)
The totality of these recent offerings and changes is alone is enough to alienate many lifelong Disney fans. They understandably have the perception that the company no longer cares about them, and has left behind the middle class in its lust of higher-spending affluent guests. This is not easily quantifiable, but it’s long-term brand damage that very well might outweigh the short-term financial gains of selling under 100 private jet world tours.
It probably will offer little reassurance, but currently it seems to feel like Disney doesn’t care much about anyone. We recently talked to Club 33 members who were beyond frustrated about service, telephone hold times, and a range of other issues. Disney Vacation Club members are reporting the same, and we’ve also heard from those who booked Adventures by Disney itineraries this year who have had their plans unilaterally changed or cancelled at the last minute, among other things.
This cuts to the crux of my issue with Disney rolling out this and other premium offerings right now. It would be one thing if the company’s parks & resorts division were firing on all cylinders and delivering an exemplary guest experience. That’s not the case. The top priority in the near-term should be fixing what’s broken and improving its customer service before expanding into new horizons and price strata.
Ultimately, that’s my take on the new Adventures by Disney itinerary, Disney Parks Around The World – A Private Jet Adventure. I understand why Disney is offering this and won’t be the least bit surprised if it sells out quickly. No real issues with any of that on its face.
I do wonder whether Disney should even be going down this path in the first place at a time when they’ve already eroded so much goodwill. This will only accelerate and exacerbate that. My question for the company is essentially the same as for those planning to book this trip: at what cost?! There’s the straightforward monetary component, but also the opportunity cost and so much more.
What do you think of this new new Adventures by Disney itinerary? Will you be booking Disney Parks Around The World – A Private Jet Adventure? Would you do an around-the-world trip, or would you rather take several vacations to each individual destination? Think this will be a big hit, colossal flop, or something in between? Any questions? We love hearing from readers, so please share any other thoughts or questions you have in the comments below!