Want to skip all the lines at Disney? Get an air conditioned ride from park to park that will deliver you backstage? Have your child star in the Indiana Jones stunt show? This is everything you need to know about VIP tours.
Over the years I have been hosted on press trips with VIP guides and paid for them out of pocket. CNN recently did a story about the luxury side of Disney and got the math wrong on the VIP tour guides. They should have asked me.
Go to the Disney website for the new variety of tours that they offer. But know that if you want the VIP experience of front of line every time rides, premium seating and backstage delivery, you need to book a private guide.
The cost fluctuates based on time of year (want to go Christmas week? that is more expensive) the cost runs from $450-600 per hour (there is now a 7 hour minimum-it used to be 6). CNN wrongly calculated cost without factoring in the minimum hours.
The tours accommodate 10 people so you can split it with another family (we’ve done that with great success). Know that infants, even little tiny ones count in your 10 people. A more budget friendly option is to work with Stone VIPs. While not official Disney tour guides, they are perfectly legal, and have passed the Luxury Travel Mom test. For more information contact me.
If you have a smaller family and a focused interest (princesses…thrill rides) Disney now has specialized tours that are $299 per person that follow a pre-set agenda. These options still get you to the front of the line, but don’t allow you to customize your day.
Disney VIP Tours
1. Backstage meet and greets with the characters. No lines, no standing in the hot sun clutching a sweaty autograph book and crying child. I cannot tell you the hours that I have spent waiting for an autograph and the child NEVER looks at the book again, but in the moment they are desperate to meet Mickey, or Cinderella, or whomever is in the park. When you are on Disney VIP Tour you can tell them that they’ll be meeting Mickey later and to just keep moving.
2. Go directly to the fast pass line AS MANY TIMES as you want. Want to go on Rock n Roller Coaster ten times in a row? No problem! (This was my first time, not my tenth, and it in my defense, it goes REALLY fast). On one trip the kids literally went on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad three or four times in a row. You don’t go to the front of the Fast Pass Line but I have never waited more than ten minutes. If you have been to Disney, you know the Stand By lines can be brutal, make you need a drink brutal.
3. Front row seating at all shows. Those lucky kids who get pulled up on stage? Chances are they’re with a VIP tour. Book one and your child will be the star of the show too. This is never guaranteed, but it has been my experience every time. Wilson got to captain the Jungle Cruise tour, on another trip the kids were onstage with Indiana Jones.
4. Zip from park to park and enter backstage like the real rock stars do. Last year my family booked a tour and we hit every major ride in three different parks, in ONE DAY. Oh, and we even had time for the Electric Light Parade with primo seating. The parks at Disney World are actually a fairly good distance from each other, so if you want to do Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom in one day the time to catch the shuttles alone can take 45 minutes. Having a personal driver makes it possible to fit in so much more. This option is only available with the official Disney tours.
5. Inside tips from a pro. Your tour guide will teach the kids lots of nifty tricks like how to score the most points in Toy Story Mania’s Midway game. They know exactly where the cameras are for any ride and will help you pose for the perfect Splash Mountain photo.
Aside from a much lighter wallet, the biggest downside is the Cinderella moment the next day when your chariot is gone, along with your footmen and you have to stand in line again-don’t these people know who you are??
There’s a lot happening at Disney right now and it’s ALL fabulous, check out my story on Ten Surprising New Reasons to Visit Disney This Summer. Only two of them are alcohol related.
Want more Disney luxury? Book a private fireworks cruise and have your ship stocked with champagne – dreams really do come true. Read my advice here.
Still can’t get enough Disney? Did you know you can live there? Really, check out Golden Oak homes.
To book your VIP Tour call 407-560-4033. Know that you might have to leave a voicemail, but they will return your call the same day. To get info on Stone VIP Tours, contact me directly, they work at both Orlando and California.