Hi Everyone! Today I am SO excited to share our recap of our amazing trip with Adventures by Disney to Ireland. To say this was a trip of a lifetime is an understatement. Disney pulled out ALL the stops and made this the most memorable trip we have ever been on. Grab a cup of a coffee and settle in as I take you thru our trip thru the Emerald Isle.
ADVENTURES BY DISNEY
Some of you may not be aware of what Adventures by Disney is. It is luxury travel vacations planned by Disney for all generations. Each trip has authentic touches to the countries or cities you visit with Disney magic sprinkled in. You get a “backstage pass” to experiences that are not available to the general public. It is a truly magical and unforgettable way to travel and will prove that not all vacations are created equal. We left Ireland with not only amazing memories, but a new understanding of the Irish culture and history. Check out all the destinations they offer HERE.
BEFORE YOU GO
Adventures by Disney supplies you with a pamphlet of everything you need to know about your trip. How to prepare for your trip, travel tips, destination information, common words/phrases and a full day to day itinerary. This was extremely helpful before and throughout the trip.
Day 1- Meet your Adventure Family
The first day,you check into your hotel and settle in for the next few days. That evening, Adventures By Disney planned a candlelight dinner with a local musician playing Ireland’s instrument, the harp, while you get to know each other over a delicious meal. It was wonderful to get to meet everyone and learn a bit about each other. Céad míle fáilte! – A Milllion Welcomes!
Day 2- “Life on the Liffey”- Explore Dublin
We started the morning with a delicious breakfast and then loaded up in the coach to head to the world’s only interactive museum, Epic. This museum guides you thru the dramatic and moving stories of the Irish, that traveled the world from early times to today. You will also discover the many achievements of the Irish history including music, literature, sports and science. Oliver Wilde, William Butler Yeats and James Joyce are a few of the great figures that came from Ireland. We were blown away by this museum and Olivia enjoyed every second as well.
After the museum, we fueled up with coffee at a local bakery, while the kids noshed on baked goods and hot chocolate.
ON TARA- DRESS Asos | SANDALS See By Chloe
Next up, was a walking tour of Dublin with a local expert. We walked around the historic parts of Dublin, including the ha’penny bridge to the temple bar, and immersed ourself in the culture. I loved venturing thru the local farmers’ markets and seeing the locals out and about enjoying this beautiful city. Adventures By Disney always makes sure you have the most authentic experience and our local guide gave us the best tour we could of asked for.
After the tour, we had lunch at a local Irish pub! We enjoyed authentic Irish food and had wonderful conversation of what we experienced with our adventure family.
The next stop was a private tour of the Guinness Storehouse. This is a must do while visiting Dubiln and you can’t leave without getting the certificate of authenticity of pouring the perfect pint. We loved the Gravity bar, located at the top of the storehouse, where you get a 360 view of Dublin. It is absolutely gorgeous!
That night we had dinner on our own, but not without the help of our Adventure Guides. They are extremely helpful in guiding your family in the right direction for dinner and/or activities.
Day 3- “Celtic Kingdoms”- Headed to Killarney
After breakfast, we loaded onto our coach for a full day of exploring. Our first stop was the charming town of Kilkenny. Before heading into town, we had a hands-on experience learning the Ireland’s national game, Hurling. Olivia had a BALL learning the skills and techniques of this 3,000 year old game. After building up an appetite, we headed into town for lunch at another local pub.
Kilkenny was one of my favorite towns we visited. The streets are full of colorful shops and dining establishments. It is also home to the gorgeous Kilkenny Castle.
After exploring Kilkenny, we loaded up in our coach and headed to the Rock of Cashel. We were beyond blessed with the amazing weather the entire week. Blue skies in July is a rarity in Ireland and we took full advantage. While the adults took a private tour, the junior adventures were taken to hunt shamrocks on the sacred St. Patrick’s grounds. You will see throughout this itinerary how special they make every experience for the kids and adults alike.
After exploring St. Patrick’s rock, we headed to our home for the next two nights, the Great Southern Killarney. This hotel was absolutely charming and reminded me of my southern roots. The staff was incredibly helpful and pulled out all the stops for us. We enjoyed a delicious meal at the hotel and explored the town before our bed’s started to call our names.
DAY 4- County Kerry Craic
We started our day at the beautiful Ross Castle which was the ancestral home to the O’Donoghue clan. This was one of the most picturesque spots on our trip. After exploring the grounds, we hoped on a boat to ride across Lough Leane. We took in the stunning views of Killarney National Park and explored the Innisfallen Island.
Our next stop was in the town of Kenmare where we lunched on our own. We shopped for authentic Ireland sweaters, indulged in gelato and took in all the Ireland hospitality of this lovely town.
Next up was one of Olivia’s favorite parts of the trip, a Chocolate Experience and Workshop at Lorge Chocolatier. We all got to participate in chocolate making, with a little bit of competition haha. We of course indulged in lots of chocolate and even learned about the history of chocolate. The staff at Lorge was absolutely delightful and I loved how special they made it for the kids.
On our way back to the Great Southern, we stopped by the picturesque Ring of Kerry mountains. This view took my breath away. Again the weather was magical , so we felt VERY lucky to have this clear and beautiful view of this gorgeous landscape.
ON TARA Dress Gianni Bini | SHOES Sam Edleman
ON OLIVIA DRESS Gianni Bini
Day 5- The Royal Treatment
Before we headed to our home for the remainder of our trip, we made a stop at the Foynes Flying Boat and Maritime Museum. The Foynes museum is the only dedicated flying boat museum in the world. The tour brought us back to the 1937-45 era and it was amazing to learn about the history of aviation. After the tour we had lunch and an Irish coffee demonstration which was first created at the Foynes Terminal building.
After lunch we headed to the stunning Dromoland Castle. Olivia had been looking forward to this for MONTHS and it did not disappoint. We were greeted like royalty by the staff and whisked away to our luxurious rooms. After settling in, we headed to a local Irish Farm.
I will be honest, I did not want to leave the castle, but this Farm experience ended up being my favorite night of the entire trip. We learned the secrets of scone making, even made them ourselves and Olivia got to bottle feed a baby lamb. That night we enjoyed a delicious home-style dinner and lively traditional Irish entertainment. The entire experience was authentic, special and truly made you feel like part of the Irish culture. I will never forget this night!
ON OLIVIA DRESS Joyfolie c/o
Day 6- Medieval Majesty– A Day at the Castle
We started our morning in the beautiful dining hall enjoying scones, crossiants and a delicious hot breakfast. I think I ate more bread and butter on this trip than I have in my entire life haha. SO worth it! 😉 After breakfast, we were taken on a guided tour of the castle grounds where we learned the history of the castle and the land it sits on. We then headed to a Falconry Demonstration with a local expert.
This was one of the coolest experiences I have ever participated in. We had up-close encounters with not only falcons, but hawks and owls too. Olivia INSTANTLY became obsessed with falconry and loved every single second.
We had the afternoon to ourselves to explore the many activities at Dromoland castle. Dromoland has an incredible list of activities for you and your family to enjoy. From horseback riding thru the rolling hills, to the world famous golf courses or a one on one falconry experience, you are destined to have a magical day at the Dromoland Castle.
While Drew ventured off with other members of our Adventure crew to play golf, Olivia and I went with our friends to the falconry experience. Olivia had a ball catching the falcons on her hand and getting to chat with Pickles the Owl. I am still not over how fearless she was!
After working up an appetite, us girls went and had afternoon Tea at the Dromoland Castle . Olivia LOVES afternoon tea and declared this tea experience, her “most favorite ever!”
After Tea we met Drew for an archery lesson. Would you believe that Olivia got a bullseye on her first try?!? YEP! I told you, NO fear haha.
That night we got dolled up for a fancy Dinner with our fellow adventurers. To say they made this night special, is an understatement. A full lineup of talented Irish musicians kept the music flowing while 4 world medalist dancers entertained us through out the night. Olivia was in complete awe and didn’t take her eyes off the very talented dancers. The dinner was incredible but my favorite part is when Olivia got to dance with the girls. Drew teared up and I had the goofiest grin across my face. It was so special and something we will never forget.
ON TARA: DRESS House of Harlow c/o | BAG Valentino
ON OLIVIA: DRESS Joyfolie c/o
Day 7- Ever-Moher
Our last full day of the trip called for the most epic view in Ireland, the Cliffs of Moher. Pictures truly do not do this place justice. The millennial efforts of wind and sea carved a natural wonder of stunning beauty that serves as protection for wildlife, including the Atlantic Puffin. It is no surprise, this is the countries most visited attraction.
ON OLIVIA: DRESS Zimmermann | BOOTS Crazy 8
After the cliffs, we headed to lunch at a local pub where we dined on fish and chips and stew. Our next stop was a privately guided tour of the Aillwee Caves. We strolled pass a thunderous waterfall and marveled at the stalactite and stalagmite crystal formations
That night the adults enjoyed a dinner at the Dromoland Castle’s restaurant while the Junior Adventures went off with the Adventure guides for a Disney movie night. Typically Olivia is glued to my side during trips, but she could not WAIT to hang out with Landon and Stephan for a movie night. They made sure the kids ha the BEST final night in Ireland while the Adults enjoyed a dinner together.
I was extremely happy with the food choices throughout the trip. Everything ran incredibly smooth each time you sat down at a dining establishment. There were always local favorites mixed in with dishes your kids would enjoy as well. They also had dessert with every meal! My favorite meals were at Dromoland but as I mentioned above, the bread and butter was INCREDIBLE everywhere in Ireland. Also, while you are on the bus, they are constantly supplying water and snacks. They even had a “snack of the day” song where they would add an authentic Ireland treat to the box. Of course Olivia LOVED that! It was the first thing she requested we create when we got back home.
Adventures By Disney takes you everywhere you need to go in driving distance and the rest is walkable. They are always there to guide you on where to go too. Everything is meticulously planned, but in a good way. There is nothing to plan on your end and the Adventure Guides will make sure you are where you need to be on time.
One of the biggest things I took away from this trip was how amazing it was for Olivia. I knew it would be a trip of a lifetime for her, but it would not have been the same without the Adventures by Disney team. This trip truly caters from ages 4-99. They always make sure everyone is happy and enjoying each and every experience. Not worrying about if your kid is going to be happy is a HUGE relief for a parent, especially in a foreign Country. Disney knocked it out of the park once again.
I was a bit nervous taking Olivia out of the country. I am an over protective parent so I am always on high alert anywhere we go. Safety was NEVER a concern of ours on this trip and that was a HUGE relief. From the amazing adventure guides, to the VIP experiences, you felt safe and secure so that you can spend more time enjoying your trip.
One thing that that did surprise me, is how close we all became on this trip with the other families. I kid you not, we are visiting a couple of the families on an upcoming trip! Olivia became best friends with a little girl named Olivia on the trip. It was so special to see them experience the trip together. We were told this happens on all the trips and to me that is truly amazing.
I have had a lot of questions about pricing of this trip. You can check out all the pricing here. While these types of trips are a big investment, I do not think you could possibly have this same type of experience without Adventures By Disney. There are many activities that you can’t plan on your own without ABD and if you did try to plan similar things, the price of the trip would be much much higher. If you are saving up for a trip for your family, I highly suggest looking into the huge list of destinations Adventures By Disney offers.
SO, It is hard for me to give you a true depiction of the weather as we were there during a VERY RARE summer. We had 75-80 during the day and 50-60 at night. We also had zero rain which is does not happen. Ireland weather is typically unpredictable and rains often. I always suggest to my readers to research the weather ahead of time and then start tracking 20 days out. I packed a lot of layers which was the best option for us.
The trip would NOT have been possible or more wonderful without our two adventure guides. Landon and Stephan were with us every step of the way and made sure we had anything and everything we needed. From their immense knowledge, to their amazing uplifting personalities, we could not have been more happy to have them with us on our Ireland journey. During the trip they were constantly taking pictures, candid and posed, then at the end of the trip you get ALL of the pictures sent to you. How amazing is that? With my job, Drew is always the one behind the camera, so it was super special having pictures with all of us as a family. Below are lots of my favorite candid moments captured by Landon and Stephen.
WHAT TO PACK
Below is both our suitcases! Light jackets, rain boots, dresses, shorts, activewear, and walking shoes are the best choices for a trip to Ireland. I also had a TON of questions about curling irons and adapters/converters. After a lot of research, I decided to buy a curling iron in Ireland (cost around $25.) The adapters and converter I purchased worked perfectly for my other electronics and I have them all linked below.
SHOP MY SUITCASE
SHOP OLIVIA’S SUITCASE
I know this is a TON of information and if you are looking into booking a trip with Adventures By Disney, please do not hesitate to ask me questions! We are happy to help!
*THANK YOU TO ADVENTURES BY DISNEY FOR HOSTING MY FAMILY AND I. MY OPINONS ARE MY OWN.