Disney World wants its guests to spend their time playing, not planning, so it offers private tour guide service at each of its four parks: Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Disney-MGM Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. For $125 per hour, including tax, for a minimum of five hours, plus park admission, the private tour guide will create your ideal itinerary and reserve the best seats in the house for live shows, parades and nighttime spectaculars.
Disney also offers a variety of backstage and special interest tours:
Magic Kingdom Park
If you’re fascinated by trains, check out The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains, a three-hour tour that gives you an insider’s look at the Walt Disney Railroad. You’ll enter the park before it opens to see how the train operators prepare the engines for another day of service. Guests must be at least 10 years of age. Cost is $40 per person, including tax, plus park admission.
Disney’s Family Magic tour is a primer for families with small children (ages 3 and up) who are visiting the Magic Kingdom for the first time. This two-and-one-half-hour tour provides an overview of the park via a fun-filled scavenger hunt in which guests “save” the park from an evil Disney villain. Cost is $27 per person, including tax, plus park admission.
At Disney’s Keys to the Kingdom tour, guests learn the history and philosophy behind Walt Disney’s grand vision, and take a look backstage at several rides and attractions. Cost for this five-hour tour is $60, including tax, plus park admission. Guests must be at least 16 years of age.
Mickey’s Magical Milestones tour traces the creation and career of Mickey Mouse. Cost for this two-hour tour is $25 per person, including tax, plus park admission. Guests must be at least 10 years of age. Tour is offered at 9 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
The Seas Aqua Tour provides guests an up-close experience with more than 65 species in Epcot’s 6-million gallon (23-million liter) indoor aquarium. Guests use scuba-assisted snorkeling equipment during this two-and-one-half hour experience and do not need scuba certification. Cost is $100 per person, including tax. Guests must be at least 8 years of age and children ages 8-16 must be accompanied by a paying adult. Theme park admission is not required.
Certified open-water scuba divers ages 10 and older can go even deeper into the The Living Seas aquarium on the DiveQuest tour. This three-hour experience provides 40 minutes of dive time with protected species of sharks, sea turtles, eagle rays and schools of colorful fish. Cost is $140 per person, including tax, all gear and a commemorative T-shirt. Children ages 10-14 must have Jr. SCUBA certifications and dive with a parent or legal guardian. Theme park admission is not required.
The three-hour Dolphins in Depth program allows guests to interact with its friendly and frisky dolphins and learn about their behaviors. This experience takes place in knee-deep water and you do not need to be able to swim. Guests must be at least 13 years of age and all minors must be accompanied by a paying adult. Cost is $150 per person, including tax. Theme park admission is not required.
Learn the secrets of Disney’s green thumbs on the Behind the Seeds at Epcot tour. This one-hour tour takes you backstage at The Land pavilion to explore Disney’s greenhouses and hydroponic growing areas. Cost is $14 per adult, $10 for children ages 3-9, including taxes, plus park admission.
Subtle details of art, architecture and costumes come alive within each country’s pavilion at the Hidden Treasures of the World Showcase. At the Gardens of the World tour, you’ll nurture your green thumb as Disney gardeners show you how they maintain the colorful gardens of the World Showcase. Each three-hour tour is offered to guests ages 16 and older for $59 including tax, plus park admission.
At Epcot’s UnDISCOVERed Future World, learn how Walt Disney’s desire to improve the world led to the creation of this park and get rare glimpses of backstage areas. This four-hour tour is available to guests ages 16 and older. Cost is $49, including tax, plus park admission.
Segue to the future on the Around the World at Epcot tour as you ride a Segway Human Transporter around the park on a two-hour tour. Cost is $85 per person including tax, plus park admission, and includes Segway riding lessons. Guests must be at least 16 years of age, weigh less than 250 pounds and be able to stand for the duration of the tour. Tours are offered daily at 7:45 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
On the three-hour Wild By Design tour, guests learn how art, architecture, artifacts and story-telling combine to transport guests to the faraway lands of real and imagined animals. Cost is $58 per person, including tax, plus park admission. Guests must be at least 14 years of age.
The Backstage Safari tour shows guests how Disney’s animal specialists care for the many exotic creatures that call Animal Kingdom home. You’ll tour the animal nutrition center, the veterinary hospital and other backstage areas. This walking safari lasts three hours and costs $65 per person, including tax, plus park admission. Guests must be at least 16 years of age.
On the Backstage Magic tour, guests will discover some of Disney’s most magical secrets as they delve into the special effects and “imagineering” that go into the creation and operation of Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom. This seven-hour tour is $199 per person, including lunch and tax. Theme park admission is not required. Guests must be at least 16 years of age.
If you want to experience this Orlando theme park in a way that others only dream about, or if you simply want to make the most of your limited time in Orlando, take advantage of these exciting behind-the-scenes experiences and VIP tours.
Information courtesy of Orlando CVB