Recently I experienced a Private VIP Tour at Disney World. You don’t want to miss this magical extra! Here’s why!
My Private VIP Tour Experience
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I went on a Private VIP Tour with a large group, 13 total including myself. Each Private VIP Tour has a maximum of 10 people and therefore we needed two guides for our group size.
In our 7 hour tour, we wanted to cover all 4 parks and the majority of the E-Ticket attractions in one day.
E-Ticket means the most popular attractions. This term comes from when Disneyland first opened and guests bought ticket booklets to ride the different attractions instead of the all-encompassing ticket we purchase now.
Our guides picked us up at 10 am at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. This is where the excitement really began! We piled into our two private vehicles and we were off to Magic Kingdom!
Park One: Magic Kingdom
One of the greatest perks on the tour is entering each park from backstage and skipping the long ticket and bag check lines!
At the Magic Kingdom, we entered through “Park One” near Space Mountain. This parking lot is heavily restricted and only the most important Cast Members are allowed in. In fact, after your VIP Tour Guide lets you out of the vehicle and escorts you into the park another Cast Member moves the vehicle out of the way until your return! That’s just how small and coveted this parking space is!
After arriving in Park One/Magic Kingdom we were given water bottles and snacks, our Magic Bands were scanned and off we went!
We entered Magic Kingdom via the bypass that runs behind Main Street USA. The bypass is only opened on really busy nights after fireworks or during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
Attraction One: Buzz Light Year’s Space Ranger Spin
From there we walked straight to Tomorrowland and rode Buzz Light Year’s Space Ranger Spin. We went into through the exit door, loaded the attraction and off we went. I was lucky to ride with one of our tour guides Kelvin. He pointed out all the targets to shoot for the highest score! It seems however if you can’t aim very well, you still can’t win! Even the greatest tour guide can’t fix my lousy aim!
Attraction Two: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Unfortunately, Space Mountain was temporarily closed so we passed it up for our next great attraction Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. This attraction consistently has a 90 – 120 minute wait time and a FastPass can be pretty hard to get if you don’t grab them at 60 days prior to arrival.
Another perk of the Private VIP Tour Guide is unlimited FastPasses so to speak! We entered Seven Dwarfs Mine Train via the FastPass line and went straight to the front! In a matter of minutes, Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho It’s off to work we went!
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is one of my favorite attractions at Magic Kingdom. This short smooth roller coaster is great for all ages. A starter coaster I sometimes call it!
I don’t get to ride if often because of the long wait so this was a real treat for the day! An extra treat was riding it with our other VIP Tour Guide, Julia, where she pointed out TWO hidden Mickey’s! I’ll give you a clue, they’re both in the mine!
Attraction Three: Haunted Mansion
After Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, we walked through a crazy congested Fantasyland and straight in the back door of the Haunted Mansion. We entered this attraction in the same place as I did with the Keys to the Kingdom Tour, another magical extra that you must try!
This special entrance takes you right into the holding room, skipping the standby line and FastPass line. We then entered the stretching room. (Did you know there are actually two stretching rooms?) After the stretching room, we made our way to the attraction queue. (Another side note, when touring by yourself always stand under the “Pink Lady” the door opens under her!) We entered behind the crowd in order to keep our large group together but were then escorted from the back of the line to the front of the line bypassing the remaining queue. I tell you this VIP Tour has perks!
Because I had ridden Haunted Mansion on the Key’s to the Kingdom Tour I knew the magical secrets being shared here! It’s fascinating how this attraction works! And of course, there’s a hidden Mickey and a few other great secrets in here as well! I don’t want to give them all away so if you want to know more take the Keys to the Kingdom Tour!
Attraction Four: Big Thunder Mountain
By the time we’d exited Haunted Mansion, it was about 11:15 am. We had been in the park for just over an hour and already ridden three of the most popular attractions. We continued our loop around the Kingdom and over towards Big Thunder Mountain. The crowds were insane at this point and it took some maneuvering to get through Liberty Square and Frontierland.
At Big Thunder Mountain we joined the FastPass queue which was somewhat backed up. The wait was not long by any means but we didn’t hop right on as we had at the other attractions. At most I’d say we waited 10 minutes which truly isn’t a bad wait!
Once again I rode with our VIP Tour Guide Julia and she shared the hidden Mickey at Big Thunder. Big clue, it’s near the end as you make your way back into the mine house.
Attraction Five: Pirates of the Caribbean
Our fifth and final attraction at Magic Kingdom was Pirates of the Caribbean. We used the FastPass entrance and were whisked right through to boarding the boat. Our tour guides stayed behind to have our VIP vehicle called back to Park One while we enjoyed the attraction. As our boat pulled away our guide yelled from behind the jail bars “the Hidden Mickey, he’s in the locks scene”.
This is an attraction I have ridden so many times that I couldn’t even begin to count but I loved listening to the guests who have never ridden this infamous ride! And of course, help them locate that Hidden Mickey in the locks scene!
From there we walked through Adventureland and across Main Street USA, stopped for a quick picture with the castle and continued our march back to the bypass and out of Magic Kingdom. It was an odd feeling to have experienced Main Street and the “Castle shot” and the end of our Magic Kingdom tour and not in the beginning but it’s a feeling I could get over if it meant I got to tour the park VIP style!
Park Two: Animal Kindom
After getting back to our private vehicles we headed across Disney property to the other side of the World and Animal Kingdom. If you’re a park guest it’s a long way to the other side! A minimum 20-minute drive and that’s if the traffic is decent. But when you tour with the VIP Tour Guides everything magically takes less time!
We drove from Magic Kingdom to Animal Kingdom in 10 minutes via a back road that only Cast Members have access to. I’ve seen this road many times and have wished to enter but never been able too. One of the downsides of living with a Cast Member is knowing all of the cool backstage access they have and wondering what it’s all like! I’ve seen a few things here and there while participating in RunDisney events but this Private VIP Tour took me all the places! (ok not all the places but quite a few) and this magical shortcut road to the Animal Kingdom was one of them!
Attraction Six: Flight of Passage
We entered Animal Kingdom from backstage and parked directly behind Pandora – World of Avatar and Flight of Passage. Which would be our sixth attraction of the day! The line here is consistently 120 minutes long and the Fast Passes are gone often before you’re able to get them 60 days prior to arrival. (Trick: make Animal Kingdom your third of forth park day to have a better chance of getting a Fast Pass for this attraction). We accessed the line via the FastPass entrance and walked right to the first holding point to get on the attraction.
This is arguably the best ride in all of Disney World! I say arguably because there are so many elements that go into a ride being the best! Therefore we could choose other attractions based on various factors, however, Flight of Passage definitely earns the best attraction for the most innovative and immersive attraction at Disney World. Here you are truly whisked away on the back of banshee inside the world of Pandora. I LOVE to watch newbies experience this and listen to their awes and exasperations as they dip, drop and smell their way through this awesome attraction!
We stopped for a quick lunch at Pizzafari with the kids, which I mobile ordered while waiting in line for Flight of Passage. The adults opted for Flame Tree Barbecue. (My favorite quick service location inside Animal Kingdom).
Ideally, we would have mobile ordered this as well but the service was not working. The adults instead walked over to order and brought their good back to Pizzafari to join the kids. After lunch, we proceeded to our next attraction!
Attraction Seven: Expedition Everest
Expedition Everest was our next stop! I was surprised when the VIP Tour Guides loaded us back into the vehicles and drove us around the backside of Animal Kingdom to get closer to the entrance of Expedition Everest. We parked behind Finding Nemo – The Musical building and quickly walked to Everest.
Did you know Animal Kingdom is the largest park at Disney World? Magic Kingdom has more ground for guests to cover and a manages a higher capacity of people but because of the large savannah that is part of Kilimanjaro Safaris Animal Kingdom is actually the largest of the parks!
Here we used the FastPass entrance to board the attraction and ride through the Forbidden Mountain Pass and past the trouble making Yeti all on full tummies! This may not have been our smartest move of the day but everyone survived so that counts for something!
With our final descent from Everest, we were off to our forth park of the day just a little over 4 and a half hours from our 10 am start time.
Park Three: Hollywood Studios
Our next stop on this Private VIP tour was Hollywood Studios. At Hollywood Studios, you park behind Rockin Rollercoaster and walk the entire length of the park to do the attractions on the other side. Granted this is the smallest of the four parks at Disney World and therefore fewer steps to cover it all. But it can also feel the most crowded due to its smaller size. By 3 pm when we arrived it was really crowded!
Our guides warned us that we were starting to cut close our ability to do four parks in one day. Even though we were able to utilize the FastPass lines for everything we had done, it still took some time to maneuver around the parks with the crowds.
Because we wanted to cover all four parks without adding any time to our private tour, we opted to only ride Slinky Dog Dash and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios.
Attraction Eight: Slinky Dog Dash
After grabbing a quick coffee we joined the other toys in Andy’s Backyard, bypassed the 180-minute wait to ride Slinky Dog Dash, and slinked our way over the backyard on the backside of Slinky Dog catching a quick glimpse of Galaxies Edge in the distance. This attraction always has me giggling like a kid and living up the endless childhood nostalgia that screams 90’s kid!
Attraction Nine: Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
I have a lot of favorites at Disney World! In fact, I have so many that if you ask me what my favorite is I can’t tell you! I can’t choose just one. But Tower of Terror is right at the top of my list!
I love Tower because it’s different every single time! Yes, I know what’s going to happen, but the order of elevator drops is never the same, always leaving me in the same childhood anticipation that every great theme park ride gives you.
What I had forgotten I loved so much about this attraction was experiencing it with someone who has never ridden it before! This was the case with my group of 12! The majority of them had never been on the ride and it was terrifyingly funny listening to their every gasp as doors opened and closed and the elevator car moved about the storyline.
When the elevator finally clicked into the drop zone and the ride truly began all I could do was laugh and scream as we all experienced this part for the first time. One of those first-timers may have let out an “I hate you all” on the final drop! I”ll never tell who.
There is something about laughs of joy, screams of delight (ok maybe terror) that make family theme park days so much fun!
Park Four: Epcot
And with that, it was time for Epcot! At this point, we’d already walked over 15,000 steps and everyone was Disney exhausted! You only know exactly what this means if you’ve walked Disney World through your exhaustion and kept on moving by the magic of Disney! Somehow your feet just keep going!
We parked behind Test Track and entered to the side of it which was fantastic because that’s exactly where we were headed!
Attraction Ten: Test Track
The kids on our tour we’re dying to try out Test Track and that’s just what we did! We joined the FastPass line, built our streamlined cars in the waiting queue and then buckled ourselves in! After break checks and a responsiveness test we went from 0 to 60 in seconds and circled the outside of the building with the cool breeze in our hair. It was the perfect carefree ride to end our VIP Touring day!
After loading back up into the van our guides dropped us back off at Disney’s Polynesian Resort were our VIP Tour had come full circle.
This was a truly amazing, one of a kind park day that I highly recommend! 4 parks, 10 E-ticket attractions all in 7 hours on the day before Thanksgiving with holiday-sized crowds! Wow!
Why 4 Parks in One Day?
Four Parks in one day at Disney World is a Disney bucket list item for many Disney parks fans. It can be done many ways but often includes one to two E-ticket attractions at each park to say you’ve done it. I have to say it was exhausting doing it on a Private VIP Tour and I’m positive it would be even more exhausting if I’d had to navigate Disney parks transportation, ticket ques and bag checks.
It’s a Disney World bucket list item I have not done in the past simply because I’m spoiled by having Disney in my backyard and access to the parks weekly. I will say however that I have the Parkology Challenge has been looming in the back of my head to be completed at some point. I should do that soon since it’s only going to get harder to accomplish with the opening of Galaxies Edge in the Fall of 2019!
How Disney’s Private VIP Tour works
- Tours have a maximum guest count of 10 people per tour guide.
- All guests including infants count in the guest count for the group.
- There is a minimum touring time of 7 continuous hours
- The start time is flexible, you can begin when you’d like.
- Guests can add on time in increments of 15 minutes to their touring time prior to the start of the tour or while the tour is taking place.
- Tours are prepaid 48 hours prior and range in price from $425 – $625 per hour, per tour guide. (Prices can change at any time) Holidays and peak season will be higher in price.
- VIP Touring guides will pick you up at your desired location and return you to your next destination at the end of your tour.
- Everyone in your group will ride in the VIP Touring vehicle that your tour guide will drive.
How to reserve your VIP Tour guide:
- To book your VIP Tour guide call your Love of the Magic Vacations travel agent or 407-WDW-PLAY (our travel agents make a small commission off your tour and help us keep our blog running. Your price is the same as if you booked it directly)
- VIP Tour guides can be reserved 180 days prior to arrival.
- Included in the cost of your VIP Tour is one Disney VIP Tour Guide specific to your group.
- Access to any of the four parks from backstage skipping the ticket entrance and main bag check.
- Your VIP Tour Guide will tour you through any of the four parks, your choice, and give you FastPass access to any attraction with a FastPass queue.
- VIP Tour Guides will make suggestions based on your attraction style and offer expertise in touring the parks and the parks history and details if you’re interested.
- VIP seating at most parades, stage shows, and live nighttime spectaculars.
Do you need a Disney World park ticket for the VIP Tour?
- Yes, all guests need a park admission ticket for the tour.
- The VIP Tour price does not include park admission.
- If you’ll be touring more than one park in a day like I did you’ll need the Hopper option added to your park ticket.
Is lunch included?
- The cost of lunch is not included on your VIP Tour, however, your Tour Guide will be happy to stop for lunch (or any meal) as desired.
- Tour Guides can make suggestions of where to eat in each park.
- Keep in mind that time spent eating is less time touring the parks and truth be told, make for a very expensive meal if you eat slowly!
Should you tip your VIP Tour Guide?
- It is customary to tip your VIP Tour Guide 10% of the total cost of your tour.
- Please keep this in mind when budgeting for your tour total.
Do I have to do the same tour you did?
- You do not have to do the same touring plan or attractions our group did on our tour.
- Your groups VIP Tour can be customized to the experience you want to have at Disney World.
Does Disney offer group VIP Tours?
- Yes, Disney offers a handful of group tours that you can join. These tours are not customizable and have a schedule the VIP Tour Guide follows.
- View the Ultimate Day of Thrills VIP Tour, Ultimate Disney Classics VIP Tour, and Ultimate Nights of Adventure VIP Tour here.
Can you go to the front of the Photopass/Character lines?
- VIP Tour Guides have the ability to move you through any attraction or character meet and greet through the FastPass line.
- Guides can not cut other lines or lines without FastPass ques. For example, if you’d like your picture taken on Main Street by a Photopass photographer you will have to wait in line like other guests or have your guide take your picture with your camera.
- Other examples include characters that have lines to meet guests on the streets do not have FastPass ques and therefore VIP Tour Guides do not have the ability to get you to the front of the line. You will have to wait in the same line as non VIP Touring guests.
Was it worth it?
- 100% without a doubt YES! I’m a Disney World local and visit the parks weekly. I know my way around all four parks, never need a map and know the ins and outs of the parks like any great Disney junkie does. I have literally ridden ALL of the attractions more times than I can count (yes I love it every single time, it never gets old) and I still say this tour is 100% worth it!
- Why? Because it’s a Disney experience like none other! Having the ability to have unlimited FastPasses to the attractions is just part of the fun. Skipping the lines is great but skipping the ticket lines, parking lots, trams, and bag checks all while seeing backstage and having your VIP Tour Guide share cool Disney news with you is what makes it worth it for me! I LOVED it!
Do you recommend dining with your VIP Tour Guide?
- We all have to eat something during the 7-hour tour timespan and a snack probably isn’t going to cut it so do plan on eating a meal while on your VIP Tour.
- I would suggest a quick service meal that you can mobile order from your My Disney Experience app. Your VIP Tour Guide can help suggest when and where to do so on your tour.
- I do not recommend a table service (think waitstaff) dining experience while you’re on your VIP Tour simply because of the amount of time it takes for a sitdown meal. I don’t personally think it’s a good use of your VIP Tour time or expense.
Can the VIP Tour Guides get a reserved parade or show spot?
- Yes, your VIP Tour Guide can utilize VIP reserved viewing areas during parades and shows including the fireworks displays. Simply let them know that’s one of the items you’d like to do on your tour.
Can the VIP Tour Guide get you in to hard to eat places?
- As part of the concierge level of services the VIP team provides they will check on and make your dining reservations at 180 days prior to your arrival for the entire duration of your Disney World vacation, not just your VIP Touring day.
- However, they do not have the ability to book reservations at restaurants that show no availability.
- While you are in the parks your VIP Tour Guide can inquire at any location you’d like to eat to see if there is an opening. They can not guarantee you’ll be able to eat at your desired location. See above about using your VIP Touring time for table service restaurants and my thoughts on that.
Are your bags checked on entry?
- Yes, your bags are checked as you enter the backstage parking lots in your VIP vehicle.
Are your tickets scanned at each park?
- Yes, your park admission ticket or MagicBand is scanned at each park you enter on your VIP Tour.
- Valid park admission is required for any of the four parks you enter.
What if I cancel my Private VIP Tour?
- VIP tours can be canceled at any time prior to 48 hours of your scheduled tour without penalty.
- If you cancel inside the 48-hour window you will pay a cancellation fee equalling two hours of the booked tour rate.
What kind of vehicles do the VIP Tours use?
- Depending on your party size you will be driven around in a large van or Suburban.
How to do a VIP Tour more affordably.
If you’re dying to try out the VIP Tour but it’s out of budget consider these options to make the experience more affordable:
- Book your tour during low season. Use my crowd calendars to determine lower crowd levels and off-peak seasons.
- Gather a group of 10 friends and split the cost. At the lowest price of $450 per hour and 7 hours that makes the cost of the tour around $315 per person plus tip.
- Instead of doing the Private VIP Tour you can choose one of the group VIP Tours Disney offers.
- Consider taking off one of your park days to help defer the cost. With the VIP Tour you will cover more attractions in one day and theoretically can shave off a day of your park tickets or even a night of your stay.