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Dispatch, Disney river cruise: Spin like Fraulein Maria: Travel Weekly

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The hills were alive with Disney magic.

The adventures of Disney’s dedicated Adventure Guides made the magic happen, guiding dozens of river cruise guests in a whirling, jumping photo op on an Austrian mountain meadow – an emulation of the famous scene of opening of the musical film “The Sound of Music.”

The second day of our Danube cruise started in Passau, Germany, then we crossed into Austria for a spirited hike through the Tree Path Kopfing, a treetop trail, which culminated in a large playground. games next to a restaurant serving hearty Bavarian dishes.

Part of the Adventures by Disney model is that Adventure Guides take kids on their own activities on selected excursions, giving parents a break. Thus, the children had fun in an adventure playground (trampolines, ropes course, zip lines) that seemed to spring naturally from the forest floor. Meanwhile, the adults socialized and cooled off with radlers (a beer-lemonade cocktail).

Now, this day could already have been more than complete with the forest park and the charming Passau walking tour preceding it, but there always seems to be that little extra offered by Adventures by Disney.

One of the many Instagrammable spots in Tree Path Kopfing. Photo credit: Hector Fadraga

Before a return to the AmaLea, moored across the border in Germany, adventure guide Michaela announced on the coach that we would be stopping again in about 5 minutes.

We stopped in an incredibly green meadow with deep grass (my son spotted crickets) and drove out. In the distance loomed the Austrian Alps, and the scene was a doppelganger of Maria’s opening shots in “The Sound of Music.” I don’t know if it was impromptu, but it certainly was. One of our adventure guides later told me that the stop was only made possible after our coaches were allowed to park closer to the end of our walk.

The adventure guides led the guests in a twirl and chant, after which many children and parents of kid-at-hearts posed for photos and videos and ran around. It was a lasting memory forged via a beloved film and made possible by our outgoing Adventure Guides.