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    • Backstage Magic - 3 Park Tour

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        6 61428
      • Recommended By Average Rating
        67% of reviewers 7.2
      • Description: This seven-hour program visits backstage!! Travel to the Magic Kingdom to see the utilidors, examine backstage computer controlled attractions at Epcot, see behind the scenes at the Living Seas, have a special lunch at the Disney-MGM Studios, plus other surprises.

  • Author
    • momof3inMadisonAL

      Registered: December 2009
      Location: Niceville, FL
      Posts: 80
      Review Date: Sun January 12, 2014 Would you recommend the product? No | | Rating: 5 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): American Adventure, lunch at WCC
      Cons: $$$, too long, group too large

      We took the KTTK tour in October and left wanting more. Took this tour on Jan 10 and really wanted less.

      Our tour group was 39 people. Although they had 2 tour guides and technically had us in 2 groups, we all rode the same bus. The large group really took away from the experience. (I decided to not name the tour guides because I did not find them to be very personable, which was in stark contrast to our tour guide for KTTK.)

      Note, that as others may have pointed out this is a Disney Institute tour. It was a lot different than the KTTK tour by Disney.

      We started off going to the back of Epcot and the American Adventure. We really enjoyed hearing about the show and seeing the mechanics. Unfortunately, it was downhill from there. We went around to the front of AA (while the second group went to the mechanical room), and heard about the building --all things I had read online before the tour.

      Back on the bus. (We seemed to spend a lot of time getting off and on the bus.) Then we went to HS. First stop was costuming. They were working on costumes for the new parade, but our tour guide didn't seem to want to talk about that. Didn't see much more than what I would see on Backlot Tour. It was just longer and I was standing.

      Then to Tower of Terror where we got out of the bus to STAND and look at a mechanical room where there was supposed to be a ride vehicle. We got a few fun facts from tour guide #2 (yes, we were all one BIG group for that part), but as another guest stated, "we could have stayed on the bus for that talk."

      Then it was off to AK to see the parade floats. When I saw parade floats at MK as part of KTTK tour, our guide was full of facts and interesting tid bits. I didn't hear as much of that this time. Tour guide #1 had a couple of fun facts specific to AK, but I was underwhelmed.

      Tour guide #1 talked a little about the new Lion King building and even less about Avatarland. He was upset when my husband asked about the rumor to get rid of the AK parade. I figured he wouldn't answer it even if it were true, but he seemed annoyed that we would have the audacity to ask about a rumor.

      We then stopped to hear about topiaries. I'm not a plant person, so I could have skipped this part and not batted an eyelash.

      Then it was lunchtime. I have eaten at Whispering Canyon Cafe before. Food was fresh and tasty. It was really a highlight of the day, if you are ok with eating family style with strangers. It was a little awkward although it was fun talking to other Disney fans at our table. After lunch, I really was ready to just "call it a day" and do my own thing.

      But we still had more. First stop Central Shops. That was kind of fun to see, but I was getting tired of standing, and my back hurt. We passed by the Christmas shop. I would have loved to have seen and heard more since the Christmas decorations were just coming down this week.

      But we were off to MK. It was fun to see where the trains and monorails go at night. Would have loved to see the CM enterance at MK, but then went back to the front to go inside the park.

      Tour guide #1 pointed out a few things on Main Street but I heard more on KTTK tour. We then watched the Block party since there is no 3:00 parade right now. I've seen it many times before with my kids. It was awkward watching it without them. To me, that is a show for kids. Then it was down to the utilidoor. Saw on KTTK tour. Less interesting the second time around. Tour guide didn't really point out any of the interesting photos on the walls.

      At the end of the tour, they were going to take us back to Epcot, but we opted to stay at MK. Although park admission wasn't needed for this tour, we have APs.

      Just another side note. DH and I watched "One Man's Dream" at HS the next night. It seemed that tour guide #1 got all his info off that movie. So save yourself $200 and just go see the free attraction at HS (and do the KTTK tour if you haven't).
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      Registered: January 2013
      Posts: 1
      Review Date: Wed January 9, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 8 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Provides a very good look "offstage."
      Cons: Takes the whole day if you are short on vacation time.

      Coming to Disney World for the very first time, we decided we also wanted to include a look behind the scene. We think it was very much worth the tour to see how the magic worked.

      Our tour guides, Walt from Disney and Rob from deep, deep, Deep South took us around throughout the Disney World Resort.

      Starting at Epcot, we visited the American Adventure Pavilion in the World Showcase. They explained how they used forced perspective to shape the guest experience throughout the park (the pavilion is actually a five story structure but it visually appears to be a three story one), how the culture is engrained in all the cast members again to shape the guest experience and that the decisions on why Disney decides to do things or not (e.g. To spend more money to import the bricks from Georgia to build the American pavilion rather than use local Florida bricks) are focused on the guest experience. We then went inside to see the animatronic equipment.

      At Hollywood Studios, we visited the building where they manufacture or rather hand make all the costumes worn by all the performers in the Disney franchise (cruise ships, other Disney parks.) You can actually see the building we walked through while riding the Studio Backlot Tour ride, but of course while riding you wouldn't be able to stop and talk to the seamstresses.

      We then made our way to the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror where we were introduced briefly how the ride and ride vehicles were maintained.

      Off to the Animal Kingdom where we examined the parade vehicles for Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade and got to see the tallest tree in the Walt Disney Resort aka the AT&Tree disguised as a tree cell tower.

      Lunch at the Wilderness Lodge where ate meat, meat, meat and more meat and a little beans and potato and corn. Followed by a peach-berry cobbler with ice cream.

      After lunch we drove past the water treatment facility which processes all the grey and black water generated by the entire resort before returning the water to the environment. The waste is turned into "Green Magic Grow" aka fertilizer or Zip-pity-Do-Doo or other Disney related themed names.

      We arrived at the "tree farm" where we saw all varieties of plants trees and topiaries that are used throughout the park. We saw cast members assembling stuffed topiaries.. The ones we saw in January would be ready to be put on display by spring.

      Next was a visit to Central Shops where you could say this is the heavy industrial muscle of Disney was located - the paint shop, ride vehicle maintenance / refurbishment, animatronic shops were here. Nearby were the monorail and train maintenance facility, Disney power plant, and Disney University.

      Finally we made our way into the Magic Kingdom. Saw the 3 o'clock parade, stroll down Main Street and then down underground or more correctly down to the first floor utilidors. Main Street USA and the park is actually on the second floor.

      In short we thought it was a very comprehensive tour of the resort. Despite the long length if this tour we thought it was worth taking a day away from visiting a theme park on our vacation to take the tour.
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      Registered: October 2012
      Posts: 10
      Review Date: Wed January 2, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): American Adventure
      Cons: A lot of information to process

      This was a great behind the scenes tour. We had great access to so many places at Disney World. We visited all 4 parks and more—most notable were the American Adventure and the nursery. The tour was very fast-paced because we had so much territory to cover. Disney provided headsets, so you could hear without crowding around the guide. Both of our guides were very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. Overall, I’d recommend it to the seasoned Disney World fan who wants to see more.
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      Registered: May 2007
      Location: new york
      Posts: 13
      Review Date: Tue December 27, 2011 Would you recommend the product? No | | Rating: 3 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): behind the scenes
      Cons: not very impressed

      This was my first time taking this tour and I was not very impressed. I have been on keys to the kingdom twice, inspiration through walt's eyes, and many other tours and for the money I think this tour was not very good. There were 30 people on our tour so it was broken up into 2 groups. First the head sets weren't working when we went to Epcot to look at the bricks at the American Adventure so I don't even know what we were supposed to be looking at. Most of the people on the tour were watching the men clean the streets in front of the American Adventure instead of whatever they were talking about which no one could hear any way. We did go to the topiary place, which I guess was interesting. We also went to the costuming place which I really found interesting but we didn't stay there very long. We went to the storage facility for the Jamming Jungle parade and then watched the parade which was nice. We had lunch at Whispering canyon which was o.k. if you like bbq food. We went to Magic Kingdom through a back entrance and went to the utilidors, which I had seen before. This is my second Disney Institute tour and I think the Disney tours are better than the Disney Institute tours. Not worth the money!
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      Registered: November 2011
      Location: Maryland
      Posts: 1
      Review Date: Thu November 24, 2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Very well planned, knowledgable guides, a busy but comfortable seven plus hours.
      Cons: None.

      I took the Back Stage Magic tour November 21, 2011. Overall, it's a great tour. If you are at all interested in how Disney World works and manages to put on the show it does, this is the tour for you. After assembling in the morning outside of EPCOT, we visited The American Adventure to learn how the attraction works from backstage, the costuming department at Hollywood studios to see how some of the unique costumes are created,the parade barn in Animal Kingdom for an up close look at Mickey's Jammin' Jungle parade floats, lunch at Whispering Canyon in Fort Wilderness, the Topiary facility at the Tree Farm, the North Service area of the Magic Kingdom, and the Utilidors beneath it. All and all, a great tour. Our two guides were knowledgeable, courteous, professional, and full of Disney lore. You take the tour on a Disney Coach used exclusively by your tour group for the day, and I think it was worth every penny of the fee. If you have the opportunity, take this tour.
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      Registered: July 2006
      Posts: 100
      Review Date: Fri February 4, 2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): 4 park tour, guides Sean and Stu
      Cons: Lunch at Whispering Canyon

      We have been on several other tours and enjoyed this tour very much. It was almost all behind the scenes. The guides were friendly and knowledgeable. We did not find a repeat between this and other tours except for the Utilidores which we did see before. But we saw something different this time even there. It was a full 8 hours and well timed. The day went along very smoothly. The only thing we didn't like was lunch which was included. We have stayed at the Wilderness Lodge on a previous trip and ate at Whispering Canyon on that trip so we knew what to expect. The food is OK. The dessert was very good. But it is served family style and we were not there with our family. We were seated at tables of about 10-12. One woman at the table used the fork she had been eating with to stab a piece of chicken on the serving platter. Then she decided she didn't want it and put it back. Someone at our table decided to serve every one the dessert but had not washed or sanitized her hands before we started to eat.
      Except for the meal, the tour was very nice.
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