Imagine taking a Disney vacation that’s been perfectly tailored to your family’s interests, and guided by your own personal concierge. Think about how different your vacation would be, not having to wait in long lines or deal with transportation to and from the parks! My family and I recently had the opportunity to take a private Disney World VIP tour in Orlando, and we had by far the best Disney experience ever! Not only did we get star treatment, but we got the most value possible because we were able to ride tons of rides (repeatedly) and had front-row seats to the best shows. We never would have been able to do so much without taking one of the Disney World private tours. There just aren’t enough hours in a day! Many thanks to Walt Disney World Resort for hosting us on this trip.
Here’s our travel vlog from the trip:
As I’ve been sharing photos and videos online, I’ve been inundated with questions, so I decided to make a comprehensive Q & A video and this guide to accompany it. Here you’ll get answers to all of your questions regarding the Walt Disney World VIP tour, including how much it costs, and also learn about a few other VIP experiences you can opt for if splurging on one of the Disney World private tours just isn’t feasible. So let’s get started!
Here’s my FAQs video:
Q: How long has the Disney World VIP Tour been around?
A: According to our fabulous guide, Jaime, the Disney World VIP tour service has been around since Disneyland opened in 1955 in Anaheim, California. The very first tour guide was actually Walt Disney himself! People all over the world started hearing about this amazing place called Disneyland, and soon, foreign dignitaries and royalty wanted to visit. Disneyland didn’t want these celebrities to just wander around with everyone else. So, Walt Disney himself used to accompany these parties and give them a private, behind-the-scenes tour. (The guides leading Disney World private tours today are sometimes called “plaids” because of the uniforms they wear. This way, they’re easily recognizable in the parks.)
Q: How does the Disney World VIP Tour work exactly?
A: You can have a party of up to 10 people per one guide in a Disney World VIP tour. In case you’re wondering, everyone counts toward this number, including infants (even though children under 2 get free park admission). If your group is larger than 10 people, you can still do the private VIP tour, but you’ll need to add an additional guide, which will cost more. The minimum amount of time you can book is seven hours and the maximum is 10. It’s best to reserve Disney World private tours as early as possible. (I’ll share details on how to do this towards the end of this guide.)
Q: Can I skip every line if I take a Disney World VIP Tour?
A: With the Disney World private tours, you can’t actually skip any lines as far as rides go, but you do get to join the FastPass+ lines instead of the regular lines. This means you’ll have significantly shorter wait times, but you’ll still need to wait behind the FastPass holder ahead of you in the line. Typically, guests have a limited number of FastPasses (and they can only use them at assigned times), so this is really the next best thing to being able to skip the line. If you really love a certain ride and want to immediately ride it again, all you have to do is exit the ride completely and join the FastPass line again. My girls loved this feature! When you take a Disney World VIP tour, you do get to skip the lines to actually get into the park. This includes not waiting for a monorail, ferry, or bus! (I’ll explain this in the answer regarding transportation.)
Q: Do I get better seats at shows and events if I take a Disney World VIP Tour?
A: Absolutely! Disney World VIP tour guests receive priority seating and standing, depending on the show or event. For example, when we were at the Magic Kingdom and it was time to watch the parade, we had a killer view! We were allowed to go above the top deck of the train station. Typically, this is a guarded area, off-limits to the general public. As Disney World private tours guests, we were also able to watch the fireworks spectacular at Epcot from the waters’ edge, which is typically not an option.
Q: Does the Disney World VIP Tour provide transportation?
A: One of my favorite things about the Disney World VIP tour is that you essentially get door-to-door service throughout the entire experience. Our guide actually came to pick us up at the airport, too. Disney World private tours have a fleet of vehicles in this particular department, including several 10-passenger vans, if you’re traveling with a larger group. They can pick you up anywhere in Orlando and bring you to Disney World. In our case, they picked us up from the airport and brought us to our hotel property (Disney Beach Club Resort, which was lovely, by the way). From there, they took us all around the theme parks. And the Disney World VIP tour guides don’t have to park their vehicles with the rest of the guests, either; they utilize a backstage entrance, where the cast members enter and exit. (In case you don’t already know, Disney refers to all of its employees as cast members because the entire experience is considered a performance.) In this way, guests of the Disney World private tours don’t have to deal with long lines and crowds, and can spend more time enjoying the park.
Q: What is the biggest benefit of the Disney World VIP Tour?
A: In my opinion, the biggest benefit is the amount of time you are going to save when you take a Disney World VIP tour. It’s pricey, but time is money! Think of all the time guests spend waiting in lines at theme parks. Some of the standby times for rides we went on were two hours! And the rides only last, like, three minutes! Disney World private tours guests pack more rides and attractions into their visits, for sure. Being able to turn around and ride something a second time without a significant wait time was also fabulous (and perhaps the best part, according to my girls). The last time we went to Disney, we got up at the crack of dawn in a desperate attempt to maximize our time and to get a good parking spot. We were at the gates before they opened, but this time, we made our way to the park at our leisure. Vacation shouldn’t be stressful! Thanks to our Disney World VIP tour guide, we had already been on so many rides after only being in the park for an hour and a half (and we even got there two hours after the park had opened). With Disney World private tours, we were also able to visit multiple parks in one day, without the usual hassle of transportation and lines.
Another great benefit is a completely customized itinerary. Disney World VIP tour guests simply let the guide know what they’re into, and the Disney World private tours guides make sure they experience the best in that category (for example, family rides, thrill rides, shows or character experiences).
Q: What other perks do you get by taking a Disney World VIP Tour?
A: VIP guests are greeted by a team of Disney World VIP tour guides at each park, which made us feel kind of special! The guides have baskets of snacks to choose from, including ice cold water, and this is one of those little things that made us feel really welcomed. Florida is generally hot and humid most of the year. Even with the VIP status of Disney World private tours, a trip to Disney can be physically taxing, between the walking and the intense heat. It’s tiring and kids get worn out. It’s nice to arrive at the next park with snacks waiting for you. Our car was also already cool each time we got in, which was a great upgrade from cramming into hot, public transportation with tons of sweaty strangers. (Jaime and his Disney World VIP tour colleagues obviously had some kind of secret communication going on.)
Another benefit that I really enjoyed was the amount of insider information each guide has about Disney. In order to become a Disney World VIP tour guide, there is an extensive training program that the cast members have to go through that test their knowledge on the parks. This means the Disney World private tours guides are probably among the most knowledgeable people inside the entire Disney organization when it comes to the rides, the attractions, and the history of the parks. There were so many times that Jaime shared interesting facts about the park. For example, we learned that Pandora doesn’t have any signage because it wouldn’t go with that Na’vi culture the park is trying to bring to life in that area. Instead, they have these statues that are created to kind of symbolize the rides. For Flight of Passage, there is a statue of a banshee. I can’t even list everything our Disney World VIP tour guide told us during our time together! I also really appreciated that he gave me a heads up whenever we were in an area where we might get splashed, so that my camera didn’t get wet. That’s just one more little thing that makes the Disney World Private Tours so special.
Q. Is there anything that’s not included in the Disney World VIP Tour?
A: Park tickets must be purchased separately. Dining reservations are also not included in the tour and guests of the Disney World private tours are not given any priority in these bookings. For that reason, Disney World VIP tour guests are still encouraged to make their dining reservations as far in advance as possible, especially if they have a large party. (The tour guide eats with the party, so a party of 10 would actually need a reservation for 11.)
Q: How do I actually book a Disney World VIP Tour?
A: You’ll need to call a specific number and that is (407) 560-4033. You can also request it while purchasing your tickets. The earlier you book the Disney World VIP tour, the better, since there are a finite number of guides available. Disney suggests booking Disney World private tours up to 180 days in advance of your trip.
Q: How much does it cost to do a Disney World VIP Tour?
A: The Disney World private tours vary in price from $425 to $625 per hour, though prices can change at any time, due to season. Obviously, doing a private Disney World VIP tour isn’t cheap, but it’s doable if split among a large group, or even between two families.
Q: Is the Disney World VIP Tour worth the money?
A: For us, yes! If you are a serious Disney fan, Disney World private tours are the ultimate way to do Disney. The amount of things we were able to do in just a short about of time and being able to completely customize our experience through the Disney World VIP tour was invaluable.
Q: What if I want some perks of the Disney World VIP Tour without paying the premium?
A: Disney actually has three other VIP tours to choose from, though they’re not private. There’s the Ultimate Day of Thrills, the Ultimate Disney Classics, and the Ultimate Nights of Adventure. You’ll get transportation from door-to-door, a knowledgeable guide walking you through the itinerary, and unlimited FastPasses. The only thing that you are not able to do is completely customize your schedule, the way you would with Disney World private tours. For example, on the Ultimate Day of Thrills VIP Tour, you’ll get 7 hours and about 10 specific rides. While you can choose to skip a ride, you can’t exchange it for one that isn’t on the list.
The Ultimate Day of Thrills costs between $249 and $349 per person, per adult. The Ultimate Disney Classics is only four hours long and costs $249 per person. The Ultimate Night of Adventure is also four hours long and costs $249 per person.
Is the Disney World VIP Tour worth it?
Having experienced the private Walt Disney World VIP tour firsthand, I definitely recommend it! Disney World private tours provide the best way to experience Disney because they cut out all of the stressful aspects of visiting a theme park that people tend to put up with, but actually dread. Say goodbye to lines, limitations on rides, and the hassles of figuring out transportation. When you invest this amount of money in what initially seems like just a guided tour, know this: You’re actually buying more time to spend having fun on your Disney vacation! Consider going in on this Disney World VIP tour experience with another family or two, or cutting vacation costs in other ways, like taking a less expensive flight or staying in a less expensive hotel. Because you’ll do more on each day of that you have a Disney World VIP tour tour guide, you can actually make your vacation shorter and might possibly save money in that way, too.
The details I’ve shared here about the Disney World private tours can also be found on Disney’s website, so you can see that the company is very transparent about pricing, itineraries, and what’s included. Head over there to begin planning your magical Disney World VIP tour adventure!
We received complimentary travel, accommodations, parks access and guide service from Walt Disney World Resort for the purposes of this review. All opinions are our own.
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About Carmen Sognonvi
Carmen Sognonvi is a luxury family travel content creator at Top Flight Family, named a top 10 family travel Instagram account by Time Out New York and Brit + Co. Her insights on travel have been featured in The Washington Post, INSIDER, Huffington Post, Wanderlust Travel Magazine, TravelPulse, HOTELS Magazine, and more. Carmen firmly believes that you can (and should) travel with your kids from a young age. She offers families practical solutions for travel, as well as tips on how to travel in luxury for less. She lives in New York City with her multiracial and multicultural family of four. Follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
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