Special Journeys

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Special Journeys provides chaperoned vacations for individuals who need assistance traveling. Our goal is to provide fun, well-planned and reasonably priced vacations that are staffed with experienced volunteers and tour leaders. We are a local company exclusively serving those states where we can physically pickup and drop-off our travelers (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota).

Our travelers are individuals with developmental or physical disabilities and other individuals with special travel needs. Most travelers are individuals with mild to moderate developmental disabilities. Travelers must exhibit good social behavior, have no major medical concerns that would interfere with traveling, be at least 18 years old (unless prior arrangements are made) and display appropriate behavior toward property, themselves and others.

Your Guaranteed Cost Trip™ means there are absolutely no hidden costs - your trip includes everything necessary to have a great time including:

  • all meals (breakfast at hotel, lunch and dinner both at a restaurant),
  • lodging (in your own, regular bed),
  • all transportation including local pickup and drop off in your city,
  • airfare with one checked bag weighing under 50 pounds (for flight trips) for flight trips
  • all entertainment, attractions and activities,
  • an experienced tour leader and experienced staff care in 1:3 and 1:4 small groups.
  • 1:1 staffing is available at an additional cost.
  • Travelers only need to bring souvenir and snack money.

Best of all your Special Journey adventure includes the opportunity to have tons of fun, see exciting new places and meet new friends!

New Photo DVDs - All travelers will receive a photo DVD that shows a slideshow of the trip's photos in your DVD player/TV and can also be used to print any trip photos!

Monster Truck

February 3 -5, 2017 (3 Days)

For additional information about this trip please click here.

Orlando Universal Studios & Universal’s Islands of Adventure (Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, Spider-Man) with Additional Choice of either SeaWorld or Holy Land Experience

February 27 – March 4, 2017 (6 Days)

For additional information about this trip please click here.

Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure Park

March 13 – 18, 2017 (6 Days)

For additional information about this trip please click here.

Swimming with Dolphins

April 3 – 8, 2017 (6 Days)

For additional information about this trip please click here.

Florida Sun, Beaches and Turtles

April 3 – 8, 2017 (6 Days)

For additional information about this trip please click here.

Branson Spring Shows

April 19 -23, 2017 (5 Days)

Additional information and the exact shows will be announced shortly.

Atlanta TV Shows & Movies Tour - Zombies/Walking Dead, Gone with the Wind, The Blind Side, Tyler Perry, Driving Miss Daisy, What To Expect When You’re Expecting, Trouble with the Curve, Remember the Titans and We Are Marshall!

May 3 – 9, 2017 (7 Days)

For additional information about this trip please click here.

Animal Interaction Adventure - Feed a Panda Bear; Feed & touch an African Elephant and visit the Coca Cola Museum

May 3 – 9, 2017 (7 Days)

For additional information about this trip please click here.


Monday, May 22, 2017 through Sunday, May 28, 2017 (7 Days)
NOTE: This is now a seven day trip!
Driving Trip

Are you looking for some adventure, eh? Then come along on our early summer to up to O Canada, eh. We will begin by stopping first in Fargo, North Dakota (our last stop in the United States) for lunch at Space Aliens. What’s Space Aliens you ask? A wonderfully wacky restaurant where you dine in Space of course! From here we will make our way over the border and into the beautiful city of Winnipeg. This truly beautiful city will be full of adventure as we first stop for dinner and shopping at The Forks. The Forks has been called Winnipeg’s Meeting Place and is one of the city’s most beloved places. After a second day touring Winnipeg we will then take a day to tour the Mennonite Heritage Village. Located just 45 minutes outside of Winnipeg, this incredible place boasts over 30 buildings that will give you a taste of what life was like in yesteryear. As we walk the grounds we will see a church, school, general store. We will even enjoy a special Mennonite lunch in their café! Finally, we will tour the historic Assiniboine Park located in the heart of the city. It is rumored the “REAL” Winnie the Pooh was born here and of course we will stop for some photo opportunities at his statue.NOTE: Passport required for this trip!

Fishing in Ozarks - A Guided Fishing Trip for Striped Bass

Monday, June 5, 2017 through Friday, June 9, 2017 (5 Days)
Driving Trip
Unfortunately this trip is not wheelchair accessible

Join us on another spectacular guided fishing trip where we will focus on fishing for trophy Striped Bass on Beaver Lake. Beaver Lake is listed as one of the "Top Big Fish Striper Lakes" in the world. These monster fish can range to 20 or even 30 pounds (and that is NO fish story). Imagine reeling one of these fish in-then think about bringing in more than one! We will use professional fishing guides operating Tournament quality, Coast Guard Certified boats. Our guide will provide the license, bait, life jackets (required to be worn at all times), tackle, nets and rods & reels. Our guide will assist us with everything necessary such as handling the rods and casting, helping us reel the monster fish in and getting it off the hook if necessary.

Eureka Springs - Shopping, Shows and Fun

Monday, June 5, 2017 through Friday, June 9, 2017 (5 Days)
Driving Trip

Join us on a unique Special Journeys trip as we travel to Eureka Springs, Arkansas and attend the famous Great Passion Play. This outdoor play is the #1 attended outdoor drama! This spectacular experience is brought to you by a cast of hundreds. You'll be inspired as the story of the Man who changed the world forever unfolds before your eyes (complete with live animals, donkeys, camel, sheep and more). We also attend a music show and see the historic sights in Eureka Springs and shop at the wonderful stores. Visit the Eureka Springs Garden, tour the Queen Anne Mansion and stop at the great downtown shopping district and wonderful restaurants on this relaxing trip.

Nashville - Home of Country Music

Monday, June 19, 2017 through Saturday, June 24, 2017 (6 Days)
Driving Trip

See the stars, sights and sounds in famous Nashville, Tennessee. On this trip we will enjoy the live radio show performance at the famous Grand Ole Opry Theater. The Opry features a line-up of new stars, superstars and legends of country music in each show. The complete line-up for the show is announced about a week out so hopefully your favorites will be there that night! No tour of Nashville would be complete without going to the Country Music Hall of Fame where you can see memorabilia from hundreds of stars. Then tour the famous “Studio B” where over 200 popular hits were recorded by stars ranging from Elvis, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson to Lee Ann Rimes.. Board the General Jackson Showboat and see Steve Hall & Shotgun Red bring their jaw-droppin', gut-bustin' show to the stage, offering one of the most animated and interactive shows to cruise the Cumberland River, complete with a mouth-watering Southern lunch. This trip is an absolutely incredible opportunity to enjoy hours of live country music and the best sights of Nashville! We will also have time for shopping, including a stop at the Willie Nelson store, Sun Records store and the famous Cooter’s Garage which features a Dukes of Hazzard Museum and store.

Baseball -Twins, Brewers, Cubs

Sunday, July 2, 2017 through Friday, July 7, 2017 (6 Days)
Driving Trip

See the World Series Champion Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers and the Twins at their home stadiums. Additional details and attractions announced shortly.

Four Day Mystery Trip

Friday, July 14, 2017 through Monday, July 17, 2017 (4 Days)
Driving Trip

The destination may be a MYSTERY but the trip will be full of FUN attractions!!!
Seriously, where are you going? - Here, there and that other fun place! It's a MYSTERY trip, the destinations are part of the fun! As this trip is four days we can tell you that it will be a driving trip and a little closer to home but with unique attractions that Special Journeys has never visited on group trips before. Beyond that you have to sign up for the trip to find out!

Yellowstone National Park

Thursday, July 27, 2017 through Friday, August 4, 2017 (9 days)
Driving Trip

Travel with Special Journeys on this wonderful nine day western adventure! Your journey will start with a stop in Cheyenne at Terry’s Bison Ranch where we will take a train ride and see wild bison roaming across the prairie. After a lunch of bison burgers we will continue our trip westward. The next day we will stop at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument which preserves the site of the June 25 and 26, 1876, Battle of the Little Bighorn, near Crow Agency, Montana. It also serves as a memorial to those who fought in the battle: George Armstrong Custer's 7th Cavalry and a combined Lakota-Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho force.
As your journey continues we will enjoy a fascinating experience at the Montana Grizzly Encounter: a Grizzly Bear Rescue & Education Sanctuary. The sanctuary provides a spacious and natural home for rescued grizzlies and provides a place where the public can safely learn about grizzly bears as they watch these majestic animals “up close” in a safe and beautiful mountain setting.
The sanctuary is run by TV star Casey Anderson and features four bears including the bear Brutus who is also a TV star! The next day we will check out some amazing scenic sights, see some museums and enjoy sapphire hunting at a real working mine! Our gem hunting will consist of sorting through some pre-dug gravel in a wash trough looking for the gems. Then we will travel south a little and begin our adventure in Yellowstone!
We will then spend two and a half days in and around Yellowstone National Park seeing the wonderful sights. Your journey will include stops at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, geysers, hot springs, mudpots, and fumaroles (which are evidence of ongoing volcanic activity). We will stop at Yellowstone Lake which is North America’s largest high-altitude lake and a prime habitat for many birds and mammals. No visit to Yellowstone would be complete without spending time enjoying the sights at Old Faithful where we will discover the secrets of geysers and the fascinating story of life in extreme environments.

Dollywood Park - Shows and Rides

Wednesday, September 6, 2017 through Tuesday, September 12, 2017 (7 Days)
Driving Trip

Ya’all come and sign on up for a wonderful adventure to Dollywood! Our vacation begins as we board our bus and giddy on down to the beautiful city of Pigeon Forge located in the lovely state of Tennessee. Here we will spend a few days at Dollywood which is jointly owned by none other than Dolly Parton herself! The park has over 30 rides and attractions including three new ones for 2017 among them being everything from roller coasters to an old western town to explore complete with a chapel, school and general store. In addition to the exciting rides and attractions, there are some wonderful shows to enjoy such as Country Crossroads which is a medley of music from a variety of styles that helped shape what country music is today. There is also Dreamland Drive In which is trip down musical memory lane and Gem Stones which highlights music from the 50s & 60s. When we are not hanging out at Dollywood we will enjoy some delicious Tennessee cooking as well as shopping in historic Pigeon Forge which boasts some amazing shopping opportunities! There’s lots of fun to be had on our Dollywood vacation.

Discover Hawaii!!!

September 18 - 25, 2017 (8 Days)
Flight Trip

Aloha! Special Journeys invites you to travel with us to the beautiful island of Kauai in the state of Hawaii. No, you do not need a passport to enjoy this spectacular and picturesque journey of a lifetime but you do need to pack a wonderful imagination and desire to have fun! Your vacation includes a chocolate farm. What’s that you ask? A tasty experience of course! Or chocolates for every course of course since Hawaii is the only state where chocolate trees actually grow! Our tasty tour includes sampling exotic fruits and viewing exotic plants such as orchids, rare black bamboo and dozens of other plants you never imagined. Then the culmination of the tour includes viewing chocolate trees and a chocolate menu where you will sample several chocolates from around the world. We will also attend a Luau which begins with a lei greeting and activities on the island. Then we will enjoy a delicious four course meal before we watch an incredible show complete with fire dancing and other dances of the culture. We will learn more about the culture as we tour the Kauai Museum No trip to Hawaii would be complete without spending some time soaking up the sun along some spectacular beaches complete with white sand and amazing views. We will also have time for shopping in some amazing places such as the Kauai Kookie Factory and the Island Jewelry which sells local treasures. Did you know some famous movies were filmed in Kauai? That’s right King Kong, Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Lilo and Stich, Blue Hawaii among many others were shot and filmed on the island. As part of your vacation we will take a tour of some of these filming locations while enjoying some amazing scenery. If all this sounds like and incredible experience then sign on up for this exciting (and tropical) vacation.

Bermuda Cruise on the amazing Anthem of the Seas

Friday, October 6, 2017 through Friday, October 13, 2017 (8 Days)

Join us as we set sail on one of Royal Caribbean’s newest ships the Anthem of the Seas. We will board our ship in Cape Liberty, New Jersey and set sail for five amazing nights on the high seas. First, we will enjoy a day of cruising before we land in King’s Wharf, Bermuda where we will dock for two full days! Interestingly, the King’s Wharf is a berth, not a dock. The actual port we are docking in is the Royal Naval Dockyard which boasts a modern tourist complex. The dockyard has lots to explore and enjoy as most activities take place within 250 to 500 yards of the dockyard itself. The Clocktower Mall, well known by the locals is only a short 6-minute walk. Shopping anyone? We will have plenty to enjoy on our two-day visit. Besides our port of call (yes there is only one port on this cruise), we will also have time to enjoy the MANY amenities our ship has to offer. The Anthem of the Seas, in addition to the usual casino, rock climbing wall, onboard shopping and numerous swimming pools also has a few other cool amenities such as the Flowrider, a surfing simulator that gives you an actual experience of surfing on the ocean all while being in a safely contained well supervised area. The Anthem also has a mini golf course, water slides, skating as well as a fitness center. There are nightly shows, enrichment classes and many other incredible activities to enjoy. For those who might not want to be so active, there are plenty of places to catch a few rays of sun or relax aboard this beautiful vessel. And finally, the Royal Caribbean Oasis class ships offer something a little more spectacular: an indoor bumper car, roller skating, basketball court experience. No matter what you fancy, this vacation has something for everyone to enjoy! Of course, the big question to ask yourself: will you return home with Bermuda shorts?
NOTE: Passport Required for this trip

NASCAR in Kansas City

Friday, October 20, 2017 through Monday, October 23, 2017 (4 Days)
Driving Trip

Travel with us to the Kansas Speedway and see the 2017 Kansas Lottery 300 race. Watch the best race truck drivers compete for the top spot! Before the race we will travel to pit road and watch the drivers and their teams prepare the cars for the big race and participate in the time trials. There will also be time for shopping for NASCAR merchandise from your favorite drivers. The next day you will see the big Hollywood Casino 400 race.

Gambling and Sunflowers Across Kansas

Friday, October 20, 2017 through Monday, October 23, 2017 (4 Days)
Driving Trip

What’s more fun than spending a day enjoying a local casino? Spending several days exploring many different casinos! Join Special Journeys as we put a new twist on an old past time: gambling! Your vacation begins as we travel to rural Kansas. We won’t tempt you with a buffet meal just yet – we will travel to our first casino enjoying dinner along the way. Our first destination will be the Prairie Bend Casino trying our luck and the lunch time buffet. After lunch, we will travel to nearby Sac & Fox casino known for its variety of slots including penny denominations – who knows what we will find! We will have dinner before we retire for the night. The next day we will find two more casinos before winding up in Kansas City. Now that’s a lot of gambling! We won’t always be eating and gambling of course.

Horseback Adventure

Monday, October 30, 2017 through Saturday, November 4, 2017 (6 Days)
Driving Trip

Your favorite trip is back with an extra day added. Special Journeys is again teaming up with Horses of Hope Therapeutic Riding Center to bring you a special horse adventure! Horses of Hope is accredited and licensed by NARHA (North American Riding for the Handicapped Association).
On this six day trip you will learn about and experience horses in a safe and enjoyable environment. You will have plenty of personal horse time where you will ride, groom and just enjoy these amazing animals. Several opportunities to ride your horse will be scheduled so you will have plenty of “saddle time.” For one of the days on this trip your small group will take a break from riding and check out some of the area attractions.
Our hosts will lead us through other activities such as craft making and making a painting you can take home painted using your horse’s tail. We will also take a buggy ride and enjoy a group wagon ride with special treats along the way. One day we will enjoy lunch and shop at some fun local stores.
During ride times, you will have assistance getting in the saddle from a specially made platform and have people walking with you (one leading the horse and two at the sides) to ensure your experience is as safe as possible. This is a totally safe and structured environment that is set up to accommodate individuals with all levels of physical disabilities.
NOTE: Travelers with moderate/major mobility issues and/or who weigh over 300 pounds must be pre-approved before registering for this trip. This facility is a certified Therapeutic Riding Center and needs time to make arrangements for these situations. Thank you for allowing us to create a safe environment for everyone.
Additional Paper Work Note: NARHA regulations require that the facility gather some additional traveler specific information. This will be sent out when you sign up for the trip. One of the pages will need a Doctor’s signature.

Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions Football

Friday, November 17 - Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Driving Trip

Bear Down Chicago Bears!! Join us as we travel to the Windy City to watch the Da Chicago Bears take on the Detroit Lions in the iconic Soldier Field! Our trip also includes a visit to Tommy Guns Garage where we will dine with the gangstas of Chicago and hear a tale or two of their mischievous history. The evening will surely end with a bang! No doubt a Chicago Dawg (no ketchup, all beef and a poppy seed bun) will be on the menu as well as some other tasty Chicago treats . We will also stop at the Christkindlmarket held annually in the Daily Center. The Christkindlmarket Chicago brings a cherished German and European tradition to the city with both an international and local flair as it is inspired by 16th century markets in Nuremburg, Germany.

Discover Chicago - The Windy City

Friday, November 17 - Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Driving Trip

In the words of Frank Sinatra, Chicago is my kind of town! Join us as we take you on a wonderful journey to the Windy City. We will first have an evening of entertainment at Tommy Guns Garage where we will dine with the gangstas of Chicago and hear a few tales of their mischievous history. As they say, the evening will end with a bang! The next day we will head over to the Willis (aka Sears) Tower to the Skydeck Chicago on the 103rd floor for some incredible views of the Chicagoland area. We will have the opportunity to walk out onto THE LEDGE a glass balcony extending four feet over the magnificent city. (You might not want to look down!!) We will also explore the Shedd Aquarium and eat at some Chi-Town classic restaurants. Finally, we will make a stop at the Christkindlmarket. The Christkindlmarket Chicago brings a cherished German and European tradition to the city with both an international and local flair as it is inspired by 16th century markets in Nuremburg, Germany.

Christmas in Branson - Featuring Maxine from Hallmark

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 through Saturday, December 2, 2017 (5 Days)
Driving Trip

Ho ho ho! It’s time to get your jingle bells on and travel with Special Journeys to beautiful Branson Missouri. That’s right. Where else can you find both Santa Claus and Elvis (or even Elvis dressed as Santa Claus) while eating some fantastic meals? Branson of course! Your trip includes a delicious three course meal followed by a fabulous show at the award-winning Legends in Concert. Never know who might turn up but rumor has it both Elvis and Santa usually do! We will also enjoy an evening at the Dixie Stampede where we will be treated to a fun show as well as a four-course meal that we will eat with our hands! That’s right your hands will become your forks as you clap along and sing to some of your favorite holiday tunes. The Brett family will also welcome us back once again with a fantastic show and lunch along with some additional post-meal holiday entertainment (no Santas or Elvis included but we promise lots of laughter and fun). The rumor is that Crazy Casey of Branson is going to hold an after lunch dance-off against the travelers. But at the end one of our tour leaders (or their proxy) will challenge him to see who is better dancing on the wall! Finally, we will see a Christmas Carol but with a twist. Maxine from Hallmark stars in this hilarious twist on an old classic.

An Old Fashioned Christmas in Le Mars, IA

Thursday, December 7, 2017 through Saturday, December 9, 2017 (3 Days)
Driving Trip

You don’t have to travel very far this holiday season to get into the Christmas spirit. On this exciting vacation, we will travel to Le Mars, Iowa where we will first tour the Blue Bunny Museum and Ice Cream Parlor. Did you know Le Mars is actually the ice cream capital of the world? And yes, your trip will include some delicious samplings of this tasty treat! The parlor itself moved to its present location on Main Street in 2011 and serves up 40 flavors of ice cream including Huckleberry and Mocha Almond which cannot be found in stores. Hmm guess we will have to see which is our favorite after we check out the gift shop! We will also stop at the Plymouth County Historical Museum which features several turn of the century domestic rooms including agricultural, heritage and religious. Some will even be specially decorated for Christmas. Of course, we will have time for Christmas shopping so be sure to bring your Christmas lists. Finally, we will see a spectacular Christmas show performed by the Brown Family. The Browns have entertained all over including in Branson, Dollywood and many other cities across the United States. Their heartwarming talents will be sure to dazzle and inspire us during this wonderful Christmas time vacation.

2018 Trips (All Trips and Dates Subject to Change!)

February, 2018
WWE Wrestling
Explore Mexico Cruise (February 28 – March 6)

March, 2018
Lake Tahoe/Reno
New York City

April, 2018
San Diego
Branson Shows

May, 2018
Elvis Presley

Additional 2018 Trips
Mediterranean Cruise
London, England
Disney Halloween Cruise

Dream Trips
Personal, Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences

To learn about Personal Dream Trips please click here.

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