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    • Keys to the Kingdom - Magic Kingdom

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        13 144791
      • Recommended By Average Rating
        100% of reviewers 9.3
      • Description: This four-and-a-half hour tour celebrates Disney Magic! Learn about the Magic Kingdom's history and backstage secrets. Hear stories of Walt Disney, his visions, his philosophies, and his accomplishments.

  • Author
    • lauri

      Registered: October 2016
      Posts: 13
      Review Date: Sat October 8, 2016 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): cast member guides/information/experience
      Cons: could use some benches

      This was on our Disney Bucket List, and since we left my 13 yr old daughter home, it was time to cross it off. We went on the 45th birthday of Magic Kingdom (I had no idea when I made the reservation), which worked out well since the park was ridiculously crowded. I liked the ear piece we were given to use, so you could hear the guides, although they got staticy if you were not close enough. Most of the information they gave, I knew, being a big Disney fan, but the way it was told was entertaining. We also were able to ride the Jungle Cruise and Haunted Mansion, heading to the front of the line. Lunch was at the Lunching Pad, and was waiting for us when we arrived. After lunch we went into the utilidors, which I found fascinating. What was really a treat, was since it was the park's birthday, there was quite a party going on in the utilidors, complete with a DJ and cupcakes for cast members. I have to say, it was pretty funny to see "Rapunzel" , "Merida", and "Tiana" in their "bloomers" dancing with other cast members! My only complaint is the lack of seating during the tour. We stopped to look at pictures and hear about some history, and ended up standing for about 45min-1hour. This was the end of a 5 hour tour, so I was a bit tuckered. I think Disney could remove the stuff they had stored along the wall and add 2 benches. Since we had to constantly move out of the way for other things, that would actually help with that. If everyone was seated out of the way, no worries about people getting run over by a golf cart. Our Cast Member guides were entertaining and friendly and really knew their stuff. They truly enjoyed their job. I'm really pleased we took the tour and will probably take it again if my daughter was interested once she is old enough!
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      Registered: February 2016
      Posts: 1
      Review Date: Mon February 29, 2016 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): A lot information
      Cons: Trying to get into the park before it opened

      Fair warning, the first paragraph is basically negative experience leading up to the tour. My actual review starts at the second paragraph.

      I had wanted to take this tour for a long time. I've always found mixed reviews and was hesitant (and I also couldn't find the time). Finally I decided to book for my mother's 60th birthday. When I booked it in January I specified that my mother would be in an electric wheelchair (the ones you rent at the park) and was told there would be no problem because the tour is accessible. Fast forward to the day before we are scheduled to take the tour, I call to make sure everything is all set. It didn't occur to me that we would actually have to check in before the park even opened (we booked the 9am tour but had to check in 15 minutes prior). The cast member on the phone told me I should get there at least by 8:30 am so I would have enough time to rent the electric wheelchair. I asked to make sure they would even be open to rent them out. She assured me they would be. My mother has her own wheelchair but it’s so much easier to have her ride an electric one instead of pushing her all day. But I worried that she would have a hard time getting to the front of the park and hoped there would be courtesy wheelchairs at the front of the park to make it easier on her. Lo and behold there were a plethora of wheelchairs located near the handicap parking. We took one and walked to the ticket center. A cast member approached us and told us we were not allowed to take the wheelchair past the ticket center but also mentioned we could rent the wheelchairs from the store right next door. She literally took the chair from us. When we went inside, the cast member there told us they only rent the manual wheelchairs and we couldn't take a wheelchair and exchange it when we arrived at the Magic Kingdom and that we also couldn't take the courtesy wheelchair either. We really didn't have time to argue since we had to still take the ferry and then rent the chair on the other side and then check in. Thankfully there was a ferry waiting for us. When we got to the other side I sent my brother ahead of us to start the process of renting the chair as I helped my mother walk to the bag check line (because she had to have her purse with her). By the time we made through, my brother called my cell phone to tell me he couldn't rent the chair for her because they needed her license and her signature and he was having trouble with the cast member because they couldn't find our name for the tour. In all the confusion, my mother and I made it to the front of the line (we had to fight our way through the crowd waiting for the opening ceremony) and that cast member was able to find our name (since I booked it, they couldn't find my brother's name). My brother met us right under the train station (I took a moment to admire an empty main street). (No matter how many times I visit Disney, I forget how magical it is even for an adult). This is when I found out we had to go back outside the rope so we can rent the wheelchair. By the time we had my mother sitting in her chair and checked in, my brother and I were exhausted and frustrated with everything. We were so angry and were venting to each other that this is the reason we stopped coming to Disney. He hates the crowds and he always finds something that angers him no matter how highly anyone speaks of Disney. A cast member made an announcement that there might be rain and we should be prepared. Of course they conveniently sold $10 rain ponchos with Mickey's face on them.

      They finally called our group to gather. I thought for sure we would be an inconvenience to the group because of the wheelchair. The cast member that led our group was Stephanie from Texas. She made sure we caught up to the group if for some reason we were separated (we had to find ramps whenever the group was on a sidewalk or if we had to maneuver around obstacles). I'm not a complete Disney nerd so there were some facts and trivia I didn't know about that Stephanie incorporated into the tour. Lunch was better than I expect it. We had the salad, the dressing was delicious. The highlights for me were the warehouse where the floats are kept and walking backstage. Previous to booking the tour, I read reviews that mentioned the utilidors weren't all that exciting so I was trying not to get my hopes up. All those reviews were wrong. I was excited and thrilled and almost quit my job so I could apply to Disney (I'm still considering it). By the end of the tour we had forgotten all about the miserable time we had leading up to the start of the tour.

      I recommend the tour, highly. Especially to those who really enjoy Disney. If you don't like Disney and don't usually enjoy the behind the scenes "secrets", this tour is not for you.
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      Registered: September 2015
      Posts: 3
      Review Date: Tue September 1, 2015 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Lots of information and awesome tour guide
      Cons: None

      Our two sons were finally old enough this year to take the tour, so on 8/20/15, we had our Keys to the Kingdom tour. I will say first that is everything advertised. Our tour guide was great and kept us informed and entertained the whole time with facts about everything as we walked through the park. I was happy to find out at the start that we were each given ear pieces to hear what she was saying as she talked into a microphone out among the crowds. With that, you didn't have to fight to be in the front of the group.

      While people have said it's a lot of walking, I think we sat down much more than I would have during a normal Disney visit. I can recall sitting down right off main street, across from Pirates, and backstage for a bit, plus our lunch break.

      Lunch was at the Columbia Harbour house. Nothing special, but our "keys to the kingdom" pins where there waiting for us and our food was at the table when we arrived. Other reviewers have said it was cold for them. I can see this happening, but ours was okay. I suppose it depends on how good the guide is at arriving on-time.

      If you have been a Disney fan for years, a lot of the "inside" information you will hear will not be new to you, but there was enough to learn that it was still worth taking the tour.

      We did go on two rides, and this is good to know if you are going to be planning your fast passes in advance. We went on the Jungle cruise, cutting the line and getting a "insider" tour, led by our guide and not the boat captain. That was great because she gave a lot of info on the ride. We also went on the Haunted Mansion, again, sneaking in the back door to avoid the line. We didn't really ride "together" since it's not that kind of ride, but rather regrouped at the end of the line. We still got a lot of info before the ride.

      Backstage we got to see the utilitors, and as most people have said, they are not too impressive. There are some great pictures on the wall which she talked about, but you don't roam around too far. Think of it like "take your child to work day". Cool for the first 5 minutes, but then you realize it's just people going about their day working. Still, it's interesting to see. Don't expect to see any headless characters. I suspect the door we enter is away from that area intentionally. While we were down there she talked about the construction and opening of the park, and she must have been a great speaker because it gets a little emotional hearing about Roy making the opening speech.

      We did get to see the parade floats in their storage area, and talked about how they are driven. One of the highlights for me was seeing the parade start while we were backstage, and watching the cast as they cross the "sight line", the border between onstage and offstage. She talked about this earlier, but it was something else to see it.

      Overall, the pace was good. The information was interesting. The value for the money was good. Does it spoil the magic? Maybe a little bit for those who choose to really live that disney magic because there is no magic backstage. Personally, I don't think it was ruined because you realize how much effort goes into keeping us happy while we are there.
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      Registered: August 2014
      Posts: 1
      Review Date: Sat August 30, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Was as advertised
      Cons: A bit too long

      We took the keys to the kingdom tour (8:30am) and were very pleased with it. We left our DD(16) and DS(15) on their own for the morning and they had their own fun. Haylee our tour guide was vey eager to snow us all the hidden secrets that are right out in plain site in MK. YEs, we eventually went "underground", but as others have posted, that's not as exciting as it might seem. We learned a lot more about Walt and Roy and our kids got a kick out of some of the things we learned when we later hooked up,with them. Lunch was nice in the American Pavilion. It was a really hot day and there is ALOT of walking I really thing the tour could be cut short about 1/2 hour or 45 min and still be as enjoyable. You really have to be interested in Disney to enjoy it, which we are. Definitely well worth the price.
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      Registered: May 2012
      Posts: 7
      Review Date: Mon March 31, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): fun! great tour guide, lots of info
      Cons: just the amount of walking on a very hot day!

      My husband and I are seniors, age 63 and 66, when we took the Keys to the Kingdom tour. We have never gone a tour before, but wanted to try something different. The 5 hours long tour was broken up in some rest areas not listed, but still a lot of walking. It was worth it though. Our tour guide made the tour for us. He was enthusiastic, entertaining, and seemed like this was his first time giving the tour, that is, he was as awestruck as the rest of us. The info and behind the scenes tours were great. The food was really good too, and the special gift at the end was a nice surprise! I would recommend this tour to anyone who can keep up, but if you are at WDW you do a lot of walking every day. One of my favorite parts of the tour was not on the tour! Before the 8:30am tour, we were able to walk about the empty park (main street area only and the castle area) before the tour and before the park opened. It was a real treat to walk about practically alone and to actually see the store window displays all spruced up for Christmas. It was awesome! Would we do it again? Probably not but only because we have done it once. It is well worth the money and the experience is unforgettable. If you have health, walking issues you should probably take a shorter, easier tour. One older couple had a difficult time with the walking, heat, etc. I would recommend this tour to anyone, and would definitely take another WDW tour!
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      Registered: August 2013
      Posts: 24
      Review Date: Tue March 11, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Incredible amunt of information is shared and all very interesting.
      Cons: Food at meal was cold by the time we sat down because it was pre-served.

      Great tour. Even though you walk around for nearly 5 hours, it doesn't seem that long. So much information and "side stories" are told that time flies. Left wanting for more. (how about a part 2 to Fantasyland & Tommarrowland.) Lunch was cold by the time we got sat down because they set it up before you get there....maybe they could serve it after you arrive so the food is hot. This is a great tour to also learn about "Walt's Vision" and some of the many things that were incorporated into the Magic Kingdom.
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      Registered: December 2009
      Location: Niceville, FL
      Posts: 80
      Review Date: Sun January 12, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): great information
      Cons: left wanting MORE

      My husband and I took this tour October 4 (8:30). I realized that I didn't review it, now that I have taken the backstage magic tour (separate review). We have 4 kids, all too young to take this tour, but had a chance to visit WDW for a weekend by ourselves. This tour was a must do!

      Our tour guide was Rachel. I only remember that because it is my daughter's name. She was super friendly and personable. She told us about her history with the company and it really felt like we knew her. She was very knowledgable and answered all of our questions (as able).

      She first took us to the side street off of Main Street and we sat at the tables and chairs. (To counter someone else's review, our tour guide had us sit frequently.) It was so fun to see the park open and all the guests go by. She pointed out the windows and things that in all our visits to MK, we have missed.

      We went to Adventureland and sat at the little tables across from Swiss Family Robinson. She gave us the history of Walt, disneyland etc. We rode Jungle Cruise and honestly I enjoyed this boat ride of fun facts more than the actual cruise.

      Rachel was full of fun facts, pointing out things from Frontierland to Liberty Square. We ate lunch at Columbia Harbor House.

      Then we did STAND near the Liberty boat while getting the history of Haunted Mansion, supposidly Rachel's favorite ride. She had so many facts about HM, that we couldn't remember a fraction of them as we rode through.

      We were excited to see the utilidoor, but it was really uneventful as others have said, and we did have to STAND. We were hoping to see more than the coridor under Main Street. Rachel was great talking about the pictures that were on the wall though.

      I definitely recommend this tour. Wish they had more tours like this one!
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      Registered: December 2013
      Posts: 21
      Review Date: Wed December 11, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Very informative
      Cons: RAIN

      It was pouring rain at all parts of our tour. But I really enjoyed it. Our tour guide was nice and knowledgeable. I would do it again.
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      Registered: December 2013
      Posts: 1
      Review Date: Mon December 2, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 8 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): for the most part, very interesting
      Cons: utilidor segment was boring and a lot of standing

      My family of 5 went on the Keys to the Kingdom tour this past Saturday, November 30, 2013. I should begin by saying my husband and I took this tour 14 years ago when our children were too young to join us. They have heard us talk about the tour many times on our visits to WDW and were anxious for the time when they could join us. They were finally old enough and got to join us this time.

      I can't say enough about our tour guide, Jessica, she was wonderful! She was very knowledgeable and extremely friendly. She would have made Walt very proud!

      Most of our tour was very interesting. Jessica pointed out many facts and even some Hidden Mickeys. She also revealed various other hidden characters, including a Hidden Walt! We really enjoyed all of the facts that she taught us.

      Now for the not-so-positive aspects of the tour. I think most people, and Jessica mentioned this herself, probably take this tour because you get to go into the Utilidor. Sadly, it was a real letdown. When we took this tour 14 years ago, a major part of the tour was in the Utilidor, and in various locations of it. We got to see where they styled the wigs, applied make-up, we were shown their laundry service and told about their costumes and how each and every one had a bar code sewn inside to keep track of them all. We were told interesting facts from "down under". One of which I remember them telling us was about the amount of dryer lint they produce each day. I don't remember details but it was staggering.

      During this tour we only went into the Utilidor for about 40 minutes at the very end of the tour. It was only under the Main Street section were I would assume you see less "action" in the form of characters. It was pretty much standing around looking at a few historic pictures and displays that were hung on the walls. Not only was this very disappointing compared to what we recall from our previous tour, it was also very uncomfortable to stand still for 40 minutes after you had already been touring for over four hours.

      All in all I would recommend this tour but not if you are taking it to see the Utilidor, you really don't see much of it.
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      Registered: November 2013
      Posts: 6
      Review Date: Fri November 22, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 8 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): very informative
      Cons: not what I really expected

      A tour is a tour.

      This is a 4+ hours of walking around the park with someone talking about it non-stop.

      They give you a massive amount of information, and a great deal of insight on how the parks were laid out and designed. It's amazing all the things they take into consideration and the level of detail is impressive.

      I would have like to see more of the mechanical side of the attractions how they move all the water for the water for water attractions, how they maintain the coasters and moving rides. Safety is a huge concern with Disney and their guests so I would have expected a bit more insight on all of the checks and things they have in place to insure safe operations.

      Visiting the underground was interesting although "underwhelming". If you didn't realize before the tour it existed, it might be different but most people taking a tour like this already know about it even if they don't know the details.

      I think it was worth the cost and for anyone who has thirst for more insight into how the Disney people bring this to fruition will enjoy it. I was left wanting more but in some ways I don't know what "more" was I guess I felt a bit unfulfilled.
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      Registered: July 2010
      Posts: 53
      Review Date: Thu August 1, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Info learned
      Cons: Standing for five hours

      This is a great tour for the money. You learn so much and begin to appreciate what sets Disney apart from other theme parks. The only downside, if there is one, to the tour is that you are literally standing for five hours. The jungle ride, lunch, and haunted mansion are nice breaks but don't give your feet much of a break.
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      Registered: October 2006
      Posts: 20
      Review Date: Fri May 24, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): all of it
      Cons: none

      My wife and I did this on 5/22/13. Lots of walking but a lunch break was great. Jessica from Golden Co. was the best. Knows her history and adds great side stories. Worth the effort to learn some secrets and see the "show"
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      Registered: February 2013
      Posts: 3
      Review Date: Mon February 4, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Lots of info, special pin
      Cons: None

      Tour date Sat, Jan 26, 2013. We had Landon as the tour guide. I think he has learned a LOT since the time of another reviewer in April 2012. We really enjoyed his passion for Disney.

      The details others have posted recently have not changed. Enjoyed getting our own boat on Jungle Cruise and hearing some stories of the molds of animals and characters. Really enjoyed the use of the headsets on Haunted Mansion, getting the behind the scenes info as we rode through the attraction!

      We are not Disney history experts, so all of the information we heard was new and interesting. Would love to take similar tours in other parks.

      As other have posted, get there early for check in and then wander main street for photos before the crowds let in.

      Tour lasted a good five hours, including the stop for lunch.
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