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They’re back! Disney tours are a fun way to add extra magic to your Walt Disney World vacation. The good news? At this point many of the tours have started back up, with a few exceptions. Whether it is your first time at Disney or your 17th a behind the scenes view, Disney VIP Tour, or animal experience can really enhance your vacation. Plus there are definitely some affordable options! We’ll walk you through what Disney tours are available, which ones we love, and what you need to know before you go.
Are Walt Disney World Tours Worth It?
Yes! A thousand times YES! I absolutely believe the extra magic you can experience in a Walt Disney World Tour is worth the price. That being said, each tour is different and comes with a different price tag. There are tours that start at $29 per person ranging all the way up to $12,000. The private Disney VIP Tours come with an hourly price tag and a 7-hour minimum. Below I will highlight several of the most popular tours and offer my advice on who will benefit the most from each one. Keep in mind, valid theme park admission tickets and park reservations are required to participate in most tours. If the tour hops parks you will need park hopper tickets. The pricing listed below for the various tours is accurate as of the date of publication.
How Do I Book a Walt Disney World Tour?
If you are as excited as we are after reading about all the tour options that Disney has you may be ready to book. Most of these tours are part of Disney’s Enchanting Extras Collection. This means that like dining reservations they can be booked up to 60 days in advance of your arrival date. For example, if you are visiting Disney for 7 days and checking in on May 1st you could book a Disney tour on March 2nd for any day during your trip. The 60 day count is from check-in and valid for up to a 10 day stay.
Most Disney tours can be booked through the The Walt Disney Company website. In some rare instances you’ll have to call to book and the numbers will be provided on the tour pages.
We strongly recommend using a travel professional to book your Disney family vacation. Personally, we recommend Get Away Today. You can read our full Get Away Today review here. They will be able to book tours for you so that you don’t even have to think about it! We love anything that saves us time.
Disney Tour Rules and Cancellation
Across the board Disney has very standard rules in place for tours. When you book be aware that every tour has a listed meeting place and requires you to check in 15 minutes prior to its start. Be sure to plan reliable transportation and allow extra time. If you arrive late you will not be able to join the tour. Some of the meeting spots are pretty far into the parks and you’ll need time to clear Disney security, get through the entrance, and walk to your destinations. If you’re staying at a Walt Disney World Resort be sure to double check Disney transportation times and consider scheduling an Uber or Lyft if you have any concerns. If you’re staying off property in the Orlando area you’ll want to allow time for travel, parking, park entry, and walking.
The cost of your tour will be forfeited if you do not show up, show up late, or do not cancel within two days of your reservation. Some VIP level tours have a cancellation fee equal to the cost of 20% of the tour price if you do not provide at least 72-hour notice.
Walt Disney World VIP Tours
Disney offers multiple options for guests interested in experiencing the ultimate VIP experience. Guests can choose between several group VIP Tours, Private VIP Tours, or the ultimate World of Disney Tour.
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Group VIP Tours
Disney’s Group VIP Tours allow you to experience the VIP treatment in a larger group setting. These tours are great options for families and groups that want to see exactly what the Disney VIP treatment is all about. Guests participating in a Disney VIP Tour can enjoy expedited FastPass+ access to most attractions with their Disney VIP Tour Guide.
Ultimate Disney Classics VIP Tour
This 4-hour tour offers VIP access to many of the classic attractions in the Magic Kingdom. The Ultimate Disney Classics VIP Tour is great for families with smaller children as none of the attractions included with the tour have a height requirement. This tour is the perfect way to add some family magic to your Walt Disney World vacation. The tour costs $249 per person and includes lunch.
Ultimate Nights of Adventure VIP Tour
Experience Disney’s Animal Kingdom at night on the Ultimate Nights of Adventure Tour. This 4-hour VIP tour includes expedited FastPass+ access to many attractions, as well as preferred seating at Rivers of Light. While there is no age limit on this tour, guests must be at least 44 inches to participate. This tour is $249 per person and includes a snack.
Taste of Magic Kingdom Park VIP Tour
Ok foodies, this tour is for you! The Taste of Magic Kingdom Park VIP Tour takes you behind the counter of the food and beverage experience with VIP tastings of iconic Disney menu items. This 3-hour VIP tour is available to guests 16 years of age and older for $99.
The Ultimate Day of Thrills VIP Tour
Are you a thrill seeker? Do you enjoy roller coasters and other thrilling attractions in Disney? If so, the Ultimate Day of Thrills VIP Tour is for you. This 7-hour VIP tour will allow you to experience expedited access to many of your favorite attractions in Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This tour is available for all ages; however, you must meet the height requirements to ride the attractions. This 3-park tour includes private transportation as well as a table service lunch for $349 per person. I would recommend this tour for guests over the age of 10.
Private VIP Tours
If you want to experience Walt Disney World in the most magical way possible you should book a Private VIP Tour. Speaking from experience, this is the absolute best way to do Disney if it is within your budget. Disney’s Private VIP Tours can accommodate parties of up to 10 without any age requirements. Private VIP Tours have an hourly rate ranging from $425-$850, with a 7-hour minimum. You will need to purchase valid park admission which is not included in the tour rate. A cancellation fee equal to 2 hours at the booked rate will apply if you don’t give 48-hour notice.
So, what all is included in a Private VIP Tour?
- Pre-arrival planning. You work with Disney’s Signature Services to customize the perfect day.
- A flexible start time, chosen by you.
- Visits to multiple theme parks with private transportation.
- The ability to enjoy your favorite attractions efficiently with expedited Genie+ access.
- Special VIP viewing areas for parades, select stage shows and nighttime spectaculars throughout Walt Disney World.
- Shared insight from your highly knowledgeable VIP Tour Guide throughout your tour.
I book these tours quite often for my clients and have yet to hear anything negative. In fact, the majority of people who book a Private VIP Tour will continue to book them year after year. Many families form lasting relationships with their VIP Tour Guides. Honestly, you have to experience one before you will understand just how magical they are.
50th Anniversary Tour
Visiting while Walt Disney World is celebrating their 50th Anniversary? This limited time Private VIP Disney tour option is being offered to celebrate. Your private tour group can include up to 6 people. You’ll be transported from your home resort to Disney’s Contemporary Resort where you’ll start with a champagne toast. A private charter will take you over the waterway to Magic Kingdom. There you’ll stroll, learn, and explore Cinderella’s Castle Suite! You’ll have lunch at Be Our Guest restaurant. After lunch you’re off to EPCOT to learn more Disney secrets. New Space 220 is on the agenda for a snack and then you’ll check out Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. Guests must be 12 years of age. This tour can take 8 hours and is booked through Disney Signature Services by calling.
World of Dreams Tour
Disney’s World of Dreams Tour is the most expensive tour available, with a price tag of $12,000 for 12-hours. While the cost may seem a little extreme, the exclusive opportunities offered on the tour cannot be find anywhere else. When you book a World of Dreams Tour you are assigned a representative with Disney’s Premium Services. Your representative will work with you to completely customize your day. One of the highlights offered with the World of Dreams Tour is access to the Cinderella Castle Suite. Very few people have seen the Cinderella Castle Suite as stays are by invitation only.
The World of Dreams Tour can accommodate up to 6 guests. I would not recommend this tour for anyone under the age of 16. So many of the opportunities are offered backstage where there are age requirements.
I experienced the World of Dreams Tour last month and I cannot begin to tell you how amazing it really was. Seriously – the best day ever! The sky is the limit with this tour so if you plan to book one – Dream Big!
Behind the Scenes Tours
Disney offers many different behind the scenes tours that offer guests an opportunity to learn more about the parks. In an effort to keep the magic alive there are age requirements on some of these experiences as the guests are allowed to go “backstage.” Likewise, the use of cameras, videos and cell phones are prohibited on many of these tours.
Keys to the Kingdom
Disney’s Keys to the Kingdom Tour is an exciting way to experience the backstage magic in Disney’s Magic Kingdom. This 5-hour walking tour is available to anyone aged 16 and up (you must have a photo ID). If you’re a fan of Walt Disney and the history surrounding the Magic Kingdom you won’t want to miss this tour. Highlights include access to the Magic Kingdom utilidors, hidden secrets surrounding the Magic Kingdom classic attractions, little known facts about the park, and more. The Keys to the Kingdom Tour is $114 per person and includes lunch. You will need a valid theme park ticket (not included in price) and park reservation to take part.
Walt Disney: Marceline to Magic Kingdom (Currently Unavailable)
The Walt Disney: Marceline to Magic Kingdom Tour is a great way to learn more about the man behind the Mouse. This 3-hour walking tour is a condensed version of Disney’s Keys to the Kingdom Tour. On this tour you’ll learn little-known facts about Walt Disney’s upbringing in Marceline, Missouri as well as inside information about the design and operation of several classic attractions in Disney’s Magic Kingdom. The tour is available to anyone 12 years and older for $49 per person. Theme park admission is not included but is required.
Behind the Seeds (Currently Unavailable)
If you’re a fan of the Living with the Land attraction in EPCOT you’ll love the Behind the Seeds Tour. This 1-hour walking tour takes you behind the scenes of the attraction with visits to four greenhouses where you’ll learn all of the latest plant growing techniques. You also get to visit the fish farm at feeding time. This tour is available to all ages so it’s the perfect option for families with smaller children. The price for the Behind the Seeds Tour is $29 per person.
One of our TravelingMom’s Nasreen Stump had a fantastic experience on this tour:
“When I was in college we did a large multigenerational trip to Disney with my family, my cousins, and my grandparents. My grandfather was a good sport. Disney wasn’t really his scene but he was an avid gardener and him and I had spent hours together plotting out garden maps and discussing ways to make his vegetable gardens even better. After going on Living with the Land in EPCOT he was blown away. The two of us immediately booked the Behind the Seeds tour and spent an hour learning how Disney was pioneering food growth alternatives. As soon as he got home he started trying to reconstruct their hydroponic frames in his basement. This was in 2001. He passed away in 2021 and this experience that we shared remains one of my fondest memories of him to the point where I’m tearing up typing this over 20 years later.”
Park and Holiday Specific Disney Tours That Are Currently Unavailable
One fun part of Disney tours is the ability to dive deeper into the Disney theme park that you are most excited about. Here are additional Disney tours sorted by park that we hope to see back soon.
A Path Less Traveled Tour at Disney’s Animal Kingdom- This two hour walking tour focuses on on-stage experiences (no behind the scenes). You’ll learn about details and construction of Animal Kingdom and meet with Animal Care Experts. Cost is $69/person not including theme park admission.
Gardens of the World- Have you ever wondered how the Disney Horticulture team transforms the park for the Flower & Garden Festival or Food and Wine? This tour covers how Disney tells stories through flowers. Cost is $85/person not including theme park admission.
unDiscovered Future World- This 4 hour walking tour of EPCOT tells the story of Walt Disney’s dream for the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. Cost is $69/person not including theme park admission.
World Showcase- DestiNations Discovered- This 4.5 hour walking tour of EPCOT’s 11 countries. You’ll learn all about how the World Showcase came to be and get some glimpses backstage. Cost is $79/person.
Disney’s Backstage Magic Tour is the perfect option for anyone wanting to experience behind the scenes magic in multiple parks. Highlights of this backstage tour include experiencing the utilidors (the underground tunnels throughout the Magic Kingdom), along with visiting Creative Costuming where all of the Disney Parks costumes are made. Learn the inner workings of the American Adventure in Epcot’s World Showcase and dine at Tiffins Restaurant in Animal Kingdom. You must be at least 12 years old to participate in this tour. Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. This 7-hour tour is $275 per person and requires a lot of walking. Theme park admission is not included but is also not required for this tour.
Disney Family Magic Tour
This interactive scavenger hunt tour is priced at $39/person. You’ll work together to solve clues as you journey around Magic Kingdom and might even see a few familiar faces.
The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains Tour
This early morning 3 hour tour is perfect for railroad enthusiasts and includes a backstage peek at the roundhouse where the trains are stored and serviced. Cost is $54/person.
Holiday Tours at Disney (Currently Unavailable)
If you love the holidays at Disney there are several Disney tours that you should look into.
Holiday D-Lights- This tour starts out at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge where you’ll eat dinner at Whispering Canyon Cafe. Then you’ll head backstage at two theme parks. First at Magic Kingdom you’ll learn about the Cinderella Castle lights from the Events & Decorating Support Team. After watching a lighting ceremony and some exclusive photo opportunities, you’ll head to EPCOT. where you’ll view the Candlelight Processional and the nighttime show. Cost is $289 per person.
Disney’s Yuletide Fantasy- This tour shows you a behind-the-scenes view of how Disney gets ready for the holidays from decorating in the theme parks to decking the halls of the resorts. It includes a visit to the floral department. Cost is $149 per person.
Animal Encounter Tours
We love the Animal Encounter tours for a few reasons. First, the cast members who you’ll interact with are extremely knowledgeable and you’ll learn things about Disney’s involvement in animal conservation efforts worldwide. Second, you’ll get the opportunity to see how the animals are cared for and get up close and personal with them. Third, they make fantastic gifts for hard to shop for tweens and teens who are animal lovers. They will never forget the experience! February 2022 saw several of them making a return and we hope that more will follow.
TravelingMom Tip: Most animal tours recommend closed-toe shoes. Think of this recommendation as a requirement. You’ll be in backstage areas that have hay, dung, and dirt. Definitely wear closed-toe shoes! We share some of our favorite theme park shoes here.
Disney Caring for Giants Tour
The Caring for Giants Tour allows guests to get a closer look at the African elephants in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park. This 1-hour walking tour will allow you to experience the elephants from only 80-100 feet away. You will learn fascinating facts about the elephants from the animal specialists that care for them on a daily basis. The Caring for Giants Tour is $35 per person. You must have a valid theme park ticket (not included in price) and park reservation to take this tour. You must be at least 4 years old to participate in this tour.
Savor the Savanna
This privately guided journey will involves a ride in a rugged safari vehicle. You’ll enjoy listening to a knowledgeable guide as you head deep into the Harambe Wildlife Reserve. Enjoy African cuisine options paired with wine and beer (21+ only) while you check out the wildlife from a private viewing area. If you love Disney+ series The Magic of Animal Kingdom (narrated by Josh Gad) this is the tour for you. At $174 per person we would say this is a special grown-up tour. Kids 8 and up are welcome but the wine and beer pairings are definitely built into the price so adults will get more bang for their buck. For us this is a great date night option at Disney!
Up Close with Rhinos
The Up Close with Rhinos Tour allows you to get practically face to face with the white rhinoceros in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park. In this 1-hour guided tour the rhino specialists will take you backstage to meet these massive creatures as few people ever do. The Up Close with Rhinos Tour is $45 per person and does not include park admission. You’ll need a valid theme park admission ticket and park reservation for this tour. You must be at least 4 years old to participate in this tour.
Wild Africa Trek
The Wild Africa Trek is a 3-hour privately-guided tour where you can experience the animals living in the Safi River Valley of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This is a fully immersive Disney tour where you’ll feel like you’ve left Florida and landed in Africa. You’re going to walk dirt paths, cross a rope bridge, and ride in a rugged safari vehicle over open savanna. Because of this there are age, height and weight requirements since you’re utilizing safety harnesses. Guests must be at least 8 years of age and 48 inches to participate. Guests must be between 45 and 300 pounds with safety harness gear on. Closed toe shoes are required and it is recommended that you do not wear skirts or dresses. This tour is $199 per person and offers some of the best animal experiences you can find in Walt Disney World.
One reason we love the Wild Africa Trek Disney tour is that it includes professional photography. As you encounter animals in the Harambe reserve a trained photographer will capture the moments for you to look back on long after your vacation. Included in the price are African snacks ranging from chicken curry to hummus and pitas.
Unavailable Animal Encounter Tours
Because of their hands-on nature some Disney tours involving animal encounters aren’t available yet. The animal encounter tours that are still closed are EPCOT Seas Adventures Aqua Tour, EPCOT Seas Adventures Dolphins in Depth, EPCOT Seas Adventures DiveQuest, Sense of Africa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, and Starlight Safari at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.
How to Book a Walt Disney World Tour
If you would like to make a reservation for one of these tours on your next Orlando vacation, you can call 407-WDW-TOUR, or contact your travel agent for assistance. If you’re an Annual Passholder you may be eligible for discounted tour rates.