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Disneyland Article
Private Vip Tours At Disney Can Cost Thousands Of Dollars But Are They Worth It Here Is Why Die Hard Disney Fans Say Yes

Indiana Jones Adventure, Temple Of The Forbidden Eye
ID:
TMS-5111
Source:
Yahoo
Author:
Megan Dubois
Dateline:
August 24, 2022
Posted:
September 1, 2022
Status:
Current
If you've ever been to Walt Disney World (WDW) or Disneyland, you've likely seen employees in plaid vests walking around the parks with groups of mouse ear-wearing park goers. Those red-vested people are VIP tour guides, cast members (Disney's term for its employees) whose job is to help people get the most out of their Disney day.

While you might assume the groups include a celebrity like Captain America actor Chris Evans, who's known to roam WDW, more often than not the groups are just normal guests looking for an elevated experience. Yes, that's right, anyone can be a VIP at WDW or Disneyland ... for the right price.

How much do Disney VIP tours cost?

At WDW, tours start at a cool $425 an hour and can run up to $850 per hour, depending on the season. But no abbreviated tours are allowed: All VIP tours must be booked for a minimum of seven hours, quickly running the cost into the range of $3,150 to $5,950 for the day.

Over at Disneyland, tours start at a base price of $3,500 for the day for a seven-hour tour. And no, these prices do not include park tickets in either location — you'll have to purchase tickets for each member of your group on top of the tour price.

What is included in the cost of a Disney VIP tour?

No matter which park the tour is taken in, each group has room for up to 10 guests. Often, the groups are made up of large multi-generational families looking for an easy way to do everything at the parks, or a big group of friends who split the cost and want to ride all of the attractions they can in one day.

With the hefty price tag comes premium services and amenities that each group has exclusive access to. On the day of your tour, a VIP guide will pick your group up from a designated starting location, usually your Disney hotel, and take you to the theme parks to get front-of-the-line access to attractions and shows. If your tour goes into the late evening, you'll get VIP-viewing of nighttime spectaculars like World of Color at Disney California Adventure or Harmonious at Epcot. The tours also include the ability to visit more than one park in a day, pending you have a ticket with park-hopping access. Each person on the tour will also get a commemorative pin, just for VIP tour guests.

But those who have taken one of these pricey tours often say the best part isn't access to rides or restricted areas — it's the guide themselves. Jordan Poblete, a Disney fan from Irvine, Calif., did a VIP tour at Disneyland, where their guide became more of a friend than a service provider. "It felt like this person was less of an accessory if you will, and more of just a part of our group," Poblete tells Yahoo Life.

On the day of their tour, Poblete and his crew were able to ride about 15 attractions, including Space Mountain, the Matterhorn Bobsleds and Indiana Jones Adventure. They also made their way across the esplanade to Disney California Adventure to do some of the top-tier attractions at that park.

Who is a VIP tour at Disney best for?

Eduardo Lara, a former VIP guide at the Disneyland Resort, explains that VIP service starts even before a guest walks into the park. "Usually what happens is when they book these tours, they talk to someone and give them a brief [list of] the things they want to do," he explains. "They'll say, 'I want to start off in Disney California Adventure or Disneyland."

To Lara, the best type of VIP tour group was always big groups of friends who had each saved up money for their share of the tour. "It felt like the tour itself was more personal to them because they all chipped in," he says. "So it just seemed like they had a lot more fun."

And it's all personalizable to the specific group: If he was working with a family with kids, for example, Lara loved pointing out hidden Mickeys — nods to Mickey Mouse within attractions and around Disney theme parks that look like Mickey's iconic three-circle silhouette.

If you've ever been to Walt Disney World (WDW) or Disneyland, you've likely seen employees in plaid vests walking around the parks with groups of mouse ear-wearing park goers. Those red-vested people are VIP tour guides, cast members (Disney's term for its employees) whose job is to help people get the most out of their Disney day.

While you might assume the groups include a celebrity like Captain America actor Chris Evans, who's known to roam WDW, more often than not the groups are just normal guests looking for an elevated experience. Yes, that's right, anyone can be a VIP at WDW or Disneyland ... for the right price.

How much do Disney VIP tours cost?

At WDW, tours start at a cool $425 an hour and can run up to $850 per hour, depending on the season. But no abbreviated tours are allowed: All VIP tours must be booked for a minimum of seven hours, quickly running the cost into the range of $3,150 to $5,950 for the day.

Over at Disneyland, tours start at a base price of $3,500 for the day for a seven-hour tour. And no, these prices do not include park tickets in either location — you'll have to purchase tickets for each member of your group on top of the tour price.

What is included in the cost of a Disney VIP tour?

No matter which park the tour is taken in, each group has room for up to 10 guests. Often, the groups are made up of large multi-generational families looking for an easy way to do everything at the parks, or a big group of friends who split the cost and want to ride all of the attractions they can in one day.

With the hefty price tag comes premium services and amenities that each group has exclusive access to. On the day of your tour, a VIP guide will pick your group up from a designated starting location, usually your Disney hotel, and take you to the theme parks to get front-of-the-line access to attractions and shows. If your tour goes into the late evening, you'll get VIP-viewing of nighttime spectaculars like World of Color at Disney California Adventure or Harmonious at Epcot. The tours also include the ability to visit more than one park in a day, pending you have a ticket with park-hopping access. Each person on the tour will also get a commemorative pin, just for VIP tour guests.

But those who have taken one of these pricey tours often say the best part isn't access to rides or restricted areas — it's the guide themselves. Jordan Poblete, a Disney fan from Irvine, Calif., did a VIP tour at Disneyland, where their guide became more of a friend than a service provider. "It felt like this person was less of an accessory if you will, and more of just a part of our group," Poblete tells Yahoo Life.

On the day of their tour, Poblete and his crew were able to ride about 15 attractions, including Space Mountain, the Matterhorn Bobsleds and Indiana Jones Adventure. They also made their way across the esplanade to Disney California Adventure to do some of the top-tier attractions at that park.

Who is a VIP tour at Disney best for?

Eduardo Lara, a former VIP guide at the Disneyland Resort, explains that VIP service starts even before a guest walks into the park. "Usually what happens is when they book these tours, they talk to someone and give them a brief [list of] the things they want to do," he explains. "They'll say, 'I want to start off in Disney California Adventure or Disneyland."

To Lara, the best type of VIP tour group was always big groups of friends who had each saved up money for their share of the tour. "It felt like the tour itself was more personal to them because they all chipped in," he says. "So it just seemed like they had a lot more fun."

And it's all personalizable to the specific group: If he was working with a family with kids, for example, Lara loved pointing out hidden Mickeys — nods to Mickey Mouse within attractions and around Disney theme parks that look like Mickey's iconic three-circle silhouette.

Kait Killebrew, a Disney fan from Ponchatoula, La. and co-host of Carousel Project, a podcast about Disney history, has done two VIP tours with groups of friends at WDW. Her favorite part of both was being able to go "backstage," what Disney calls its employee-only areas, to enter each park faster. "The first VIP tour I took was [during the coronavirus pandemic] before park-hopping had come back," she recalls. "So we were able to park hop to all four parks in December 2020, which was amazing. It was really cool to see where they ended up letting us in to make the most of the time we had allotted for the tour."

A must-do of VIP tours is being efficient with the time allotted with your VIP guide. Killebrew explains her guide had a private car waiting for them to get from one park to the next. They also had the group mobile order meals well in advance of when they wanted to eat, so they could dash to the next attraction without having to wait long for meals to be ready.

Zeinab O'Briant lives in Los Angeles, Calif., and says her Disney VIP tour is among her favorite Disney memories. "I loved being able to walk backstage and experience Disney in such a different light that guests typically wouldn't see," says O'Briant, who shares Disney content at @adventuresandthingamabobs. "I'm such a curious person about the inner workings of things, so being able to pop into a park from the cast member entrance was really cool to see."

How to know if a Disney VIP tour is right for you

Wondering whether a VIP tour of Disney Parks is right for you? Lara suggests trying a smaller guided tour at one of the Disney parks first. Unlike VIP tours, which are private and allow guests to do what they want, guided tours give guests access to certain attractions and allow them to hear different stories about the parks based on which tour they book.

Each guided tour is specific to a story, like the Keys to the Kingdom tour at WDW, a five-hour group tour that gives an overview of Magic Kingdom Park, or the Walk in Walt's Disneyland Footsteps tour at Disneyland. "The similarities come in the easier access to the attractions, so [guests] can have a much quicker time boarding some of the attractions on those tours," says Lara. "That gives them a glimpse of the VIP experience."

After taking more than one seven-hour tour around WDW, Killebrew says she's constantly recommending VIP tours to others. "I do suggest them because especially with how Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane work now," she says. "It's nice to just have that secured — even for one day — to just know we can knock out all the big rides during the seven-hour period and the rest of the trip, anything else is gravy."
 
Attractions Referenced

Indiana Jones Adventure, Temple Of The Forbidden Eye

Matterhorn Bobsleds

Space Mountain

 
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