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  • Home » TOURS at WDW (WILD AFRICA TREK, KEYS TO THE KINGDOM....)












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    • VIP Tour Guide Service

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        2 13887
      • Recommended By Average Rating
        100% of reviewers 10.0
      • Description: Disney's VIP Tour Services


        The VIP Tour Guide can host up to 10 Guests. If your party size is larger than 10, they will provide an additional VIP Tour Guide at an additional cost. VIP Tour requests may be taken up to 90 days in advance. Please note that reservations may not be accepted during certain holiday periods. To ensure availability, call at least 72 hours in advance. Existing WALT DISNEY WORLD Resort transportation will be used. Private transportation is available at an additional cost.


        Priority entrance to attractions is neither offered nor available. However, tour guests may be offered a special viewing area for some parades or shows.


        The cost of Disney's VIP Tour Services is $125 per hour when scheduled more than 48 hours in advance, with a minimum charge of six hours. Any tour scheduled with less than 48 hours notice, will be charged $150 per hour with the same six hour minimum. Should your plans change, we require advance notice of 24 hours to avoid a cancellation fee of $250 per VIP Tour Guide. There may be discounts for Disney resort guests during the least busy times of the year.


        Customizing your VIP Tour is easy. Call Disney Special Activities at (407) 560-4033 and speak with a Disney Special Activities Coordinator; also available via e-mail at WDW.VIP.Tours@Disney.Com.


  • Author
    • jmchic

      Registered: October 2009
      Posts: 1
      Review Date: Wed December 30, 2015 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): everything
      Cons: none

       
      For all those wondering about the Disney's VIP Premium Tour, I searched endlessly and found very limited info and chose to write this informal but informative review for those considering it. Please forgive spelling typos and grammatical errors (not proofreading) as this is not meant to be fine poetry but useful information for those interested. My goal will be to provide info on what to expect and what not to expect as well as make comparisons between VIP Premium tours at Disneyland (Anaheim) as well as Walt Disney World (Orlando). I have participated in both of these and recently completed my first Disneyland trip this Christmas 2015 for which I booked a Premium VIP tour. I have gone to WDW in Orlando over 100 times with my family since we have family in Orlando and did the premium VIP tour there approximately 2 years ago so some procedures may have changed at WDW but the Disneyland VIP tour info is as recent as it gets! We also chose to stay on property even though we have family in Orlando and for those with family and in-laws know why! I will try to address certain topics and compare the two when appropriate. The first thing to remember is this review is referencing the Disney VIP Premium Tour Only and not the other hundreds of tours Disney offers. This is the ultimate premium VIP experience and as you can imagine is NOT CHEAP but is convenient and every person who reads this review will need to determine if the experience is worth the money. This info is not meant to be gospel but the info presented here is based on my personal recent experiences and may not reflect current offerings but is current for me. Here we go...


      COST: This will vary depending on the time of year you visit and obviously the holiday times are the most expensive and you do pay by the hour (6 hr minimum at both DL and WDW). I paid $550/hr on our recent Disneyland (DL) Christmas trip and about $400/hr on our past WDW Christmas trip. However, like all things at Disney, prices change and usually if not always go UP!. The WDW website now lists the cost to vary between $400-$600/ hr. This buys you and your group of up to 10 people a private VIP guide (wearing plaid) . If you have more than 10, a separate guide will be required and same costs apply for each guide! So if you like someone enough to share a tour guide that may average out cheaper per person but you may not get as much done having a full group of ten or separate families who may not agree on what to do next. Either way it's beyond EXPENSIVE, but to me worth it for my family of 5 to do alone. I can't tell you how many times I've said standing in a 2hr line for a 2 min ride "Oh what I would pay to get priority access", but it has to make sense for you.


      SEPARATE ADMISSION REQUIRED?: YES, in both DL and WDW separate admission is required and is in addition to the cost of the tour, so buy those park tickets. If you plan on park hopping you better buy park hopper tickets and not single park, single day tix or you will be stuck in that one park. Be aware.


      RIDE ACCESS: Be aware this is not instant "front of line" access despite the cost. As a general rule, most if not all attractions that offer Fastpass (FP) access allow you priority access. This means your guide can get you through the fast pass line as many times as you want to go. Know however, there may still be a short wait, but my recent experience at DL took a 110 minute standby wait to 5 min with our VIP guide.
      Ride access also varies between DL and WDW. In DL, most of Fantasyland is not available for premium access due to size of exits we were told and for $550/hr this was disappointing. (we could not get premium access to some of our favorites like Peterpan, Snow white, Mr. Toads, Winnie the pooh, Dumbo etc. mostly the small kiddie rides. ) At WDW, most of Fantasyland was accessible) This was a big difference between the two parks. All of the big rides at DL and WDW (FP access) are included and save a ton of time. Some rides you just enter the FP line with your guide where other rides you and your guide enter through the exit (even faster access) It really depends on the particular attraction.


      RESERVED SEATING: This is another nice feature which is included in the VIP tours at both DL and WDW. There are special reserve seating areas for the Nightime Fireworks and other BIG shows specific to each park as well as the Parades. The key to this is to remember you have to arrange this seating for the specific shows you want to see when you call the Disney VIP number to book your tour. The reserved seating of the VIP tour is a nice perk for several reasons...first- since it is reserved seating you don't have to start finding a viewing spot along the parade route or in front of castle for fireworks an hour and a half or longer before the show!! This gives you a ton more time to continue to ride attractions with your guide... second- in many cases the Disney cast members and characters know where the VIP sections are and tend to acknowledge you and make an effort to wave or smile at your kids or party. third... if certain shows involve picking someone out of the crowd to help or participate in a show, you can bet it usually is a VIP tour party individual that is selected. (coincidence? I think not)This may not always be the case but still another great photo opportunity if it happens. REMEMBER to book or at least request this reserved seating at the time you book the tour.


      WHEN TO BOOK: As with Dining reservations or FP reservations, it pays to call or reserve as much in advance as possible to ensure availability. DL books VIP tours 90 days in advance and last I knew WDW books 6 months in advance. Confirm these dates on the websites as this may have changed. I called exactly 90 days out to book our Christmas DL VIP tour since Christmas can be so crazy. Also reserve seating is on a first come first serve basis so you don't want to book a tour a week before Christmas and then act surprised or worse get upset that all reserved seatings are booked! PLAN AHEAD.


      HOW LONG IS TOUR? There is no set time as far as a maximum number of hours but there is a minimum for each day. Current minimum is 6 hrs at both DL and WDW.


      IS FOOD INCLUDED? No, food and beverages are NOT included with the VIP Premium tour. It is also up to you whether you want your guide to join you or not while eating. If they do, you are not expected to pay for their meals but we chose to do that since we considered them more a part of the family for the day rather than just a human FastPass ticket. One thing to keep in mind, especially during the busier times of year and holidays is that even with Dining reservations it can take at least an hour to an hour and a half to eat a sit down meal. Keep this in mind if rides are your priority. It can wind up being the most expensive sit down meal you've ever had at $550/hr plus the cost of your food and the meter keeps running while you eat. I'm lucky in that our kids are picky with food and one has a Gluten allergy so we usually hit the quick service or counter ordering locations to avoid wasting time sitting for a long meal on the clock. I'm not suggesting to NOT make dining reservations and if the princess dinner or lunch in the castle is a must for you then by all means, do it...after all, you dictate the pace and priority of the day. It's your tour and you're paying a lot of good money for it.


      CHARACTER GREETINGS: Nothing eats up more time if you have young ones wanting to meet, take pictures or get autographs with the Disney Characters . Thankfully, many of the more popular characters now offer a FP meet and greets or are present at "character" meals. The character meals are nice because you kill two birds with one stone. You feed yourselves and the characters come to you!!! No waiting in a random line that suddenly appears where the character is standing. On our recent DL trip, we had a private meeting with Mickey and Elsa and Anna. This was nice and did not feel rushed through. No other characters were accessible on the tour. Thankfully my kids are getting tired of the meet and greets and have started and never finished about a dozen autograph books. Parents know what I am talking about here. WDW seem to have better access to characters and bypassing lines than DL. If there is a certain character you must meet and don't want to wait in the endless line, ask the VIP cast member when you call to book the tour.


      OTHER VIP TOUR PERKS: Even though WDW and DL now offer a Disney Photopass service which is where their photographers take the shots and then give you a card to view them later is convenient, you are at the mercy of where these photographers are located. Plus you don't own the pics and have to pay for them. For me, family photos and memories are priceless and the more , the better. Having a VIP guide allows me to actually be in the pics with my family rather than looking at years of photos where I only exist behind the lens and not in the picture!!! Your guides can also assist with having purchases you make in the park get stored at the exit to pick up or transported back to your hotel. Beats carrying them around all day. VIP Guides can not get you employee discounts on items and meals so don't ask.


      CLUB 33: For those Disney Veterans and those who know about it, the highly coveted reservation or ability to eat at the exclusive private club 33 in DL is not accessible from the tour. Sorry, I tried too. I did not ask to see the Cinderella suite in WDW Cinderella castle or Walt's private apt in DL, or the Disney Dream Suite in DL so I can't say if the guide would have accommodated. I doubt it but it never hurts to ask.


      TIPS FOR GUIDE: This topic continues to be a confusing one. When at WDW, our VIP guide said tips could not be accepted. This was NOT the case this Christmas trip to DL. Our guide was happy to accept one and in my opinion earned it. We had him for a full day tour for 2 days back to back. What is appropriate? Up to you, but I heard a one hr rate tip is good and a 2 hr rate tip is for an excellent experience. I went between and paid a 1 1/2 hr rate tip for our guide. Yes, this can be a $500 -$1000 tip but if you're fortunate enough to be booking the Premium VIP tour, just go with it and reward your guide..



      At the end of the day, each person has to decide if this VERY EXPENSIVE VIP experience is worth it. We were able to ride everything we wanted to in DL and had reserved seats for all the shows and parades at Peak Christmas time. This would have never been possible without our VIP guide. A prime example of this is where we did a total of three big rides and were done in 25 mins. Total wait time otherwise would have totaled over 270 minutes without our guide.!!!! Is it worth it? You decide! Hope this was helpful and informative. Walt and his creations are truly amazing. Enjoy them how you wish and Thanks for reading.


      Visited December 2015
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      EK4636

      Registered: December 2012
      Posts: 2
      Review Date: Sun December 30, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Guide with increditble amount of Disney knowledge, ease of access, convenience
      Cons: Huge cost factor

       
      When we first read about the VIP tour, we debated for a month or so when we were planning our vacation mostly due to the cost of the tour. We decided to do it since it was our splurge trip, and boy, are we glad we did!


      Once we've confirmed with the VIP tour office, we received a call from our assigned tour coordinator a couple of hours later to ask for our rough plans. At that point, we have done a lot of our planning including ADRs, so I said that we'll get back to him on the things we would like to do. I later sent to him a list of rides that we like to go on along with the parades we would like to see. We also let him know that we'll be at the park 6 days prior to the tour so we may have some additions of "must-do-agains" with our guide. His response was, "No problem. We'll work all this out."


      The awesome part about this tour service is that it started even before our arrival in Orlando. Prior to our arrival, we talked to our coordinator about our plans once because we wanted to see Fantasmic! and the Electrical Parade and he was concerned about our dinner plans. Other than that, everything was, "Send me a list, and I'll make it work." Talk about relieving stress!


      When we had to change ADRs as our plans changed prior to the trip, it only took an email to our coordinator stating, "We will be at MK on Saturday, and need a place for dinner, everything is booked," and he replied with, "Where would you like to eat?" He then got us in to Crystal Palace at the time we want - it wasn't even on the day of our tour! (There were some limitations - "Be Our Guest" was not an option as it was so new. We also can't ask him to reserve a seat at CP because the VIP Office does not have pulls on seasonal events.)


      On the day of the tour, our guide met us at noon at Katsura Grill in Epcot. He was amazingly friendly and connected with us right away. I think our group of 2 adults were very easy for him compare to a family with young children. He reviewed the plans for the day with us by simply asking, "I have everything you've sent to us before your trip, would you like to add or change anything?" We told him that we really liked Dinosaur and EE (which weren't on our original plans since neither of us had been to AK), he said no problem and then off we went to enjoy our day.


      We left the Katsura Grill and walked behind Japan to get into our Suburban and the guide drove us to Soarin'. On the way, we got to see all of the Food and Wine Festival booths that they kept behind the scene. We parked right behind Soarin', walked into the Land, and got into the Fastpass line with our guide. Once we got done with Soarin', we headed over to Test Track. Again, using the Fastpass line we rode Test Track. When we were done, we walked out and right back into the Fastpass line to go again. After 3 Test Track runs, we headed back to our car and drove over to AK while our guide tells us a bit more about the parks and some of his stories about hosting other VIPs (without mentioning any names, of course).


      When we got to AK, we parked right behind Dinosaur and jumped into the Fastpass line. A cool little benefit with a guide is he knew where all the cameras and when exactly to pose for a picture so our photos came out awesome.


      After Dinosaur we went out to Kali River Rapids and rode it twice. Our guide did not go with us as Kali is the only ride they are not allowed to go on as their spiffy uniform may (will) get wet, so he waited outside and held our stuff. After Kali, we headed over to EE, and rode that twice before heading back to our car and drove over to DHS.


      At DHS, we parked behind Rock n' Roller Coaster and rode that a couple of times before we went through TSM 3 times in a row. After TSM, we went for a quick dinner. Your guide's meal is on Mickey's tab. After dinner, we headed over to Fantasmic! where we had our own reserved section in the Mickey section at the top of the bowl with fantastic view. When Fantasmic! was over, we stopped by TOT, rode it twice, and drove to MK.


      We parked behind Buzz Lightyear and went to the Haunted Mansion (no FP line, but we were told that if the line is too long, they have some pull). We learned a few secrets including where to stand in the stretching room so we can be the first one out the door to board the doombuggy. After that we went to view the Electrical Parade at a reserve seating section which is located between Liberty Square and Cinderella Castle. The view was amazing as no one was allowed in that area except for VIP guests and other selected guests. We were pretty much face-to-face with all the characters. Right after the parade, we went to the Plaza Restaurant for the fireworks right next to the water under the yellow and white umbrellas - again, roped off to other guests. After the fireworks are done, we headed off to meet Mickey at Town Square theater and finished off MK at Buzz Lightyear (2x) before being drove back to our resort at 11pm.


      It was an amazing day, and we truly enjoyed it. A few points about this tour:


      (1) The cost. As I've said, it is a lot of money, especially now that they are no longer doing 2 versions of the tour (standard vs premium). We were told that the majority of the tours booked are premium anyway so they eliminated the standard version. If you can afford it (or if it's a splurge), I would say go ahead and do it. I wouldn't do it everyday, but I think we made the right decision to do it on our last day after we've explored the parks on our own. Partly because then we know what we'd like to do again and can hit all major attractions in 4 parks in 8 hours and partly because after the VIP treatment, you just can't top that.


      (2) The guide. The VIP guide is just awesome, period. They can adapt to your plan, handle last minute changes based on your preference, and act as your scheduler. We didn't have to remember when the parades were and where they were. They will take care of your entrance into the park (not admission tickets, those are not included) and you won't have to wait in line and go through security.


      (3) The transportation. It was very nice to be able to go from park to park without having to wait for bus, ferries, or monorail. The ability to drive up right behind the attractions was great, but there's a downside: You get to see the behind-the-scene stuff. For us, we just wanted to get from place to place quickly, it was fine, but I would imagine that some of the magic would be taken away for kids to see cast members (and characters) in the "offstage" environment.


      (4) The wait. This tour DOES NOT give you front of the line access, just simply access to the FP line. You will still need to wait in line just like any FP guests (except if you are a REAL VIP). However, it is a convenient feature to have when you want to go on a ride multiple times in a row. Yes, you will still have to get off the ride, come back out, and get back in the FP line.


      Would we do it again? Yes, absolutely. Of the two of us, I was the planner and my partner was a thrill junky so it worked out very well for us. Do we need it? No. You can enjoy the parks just fine without VIP guide if you are on top of FPs and know your way around and are willing to wait in line for the other stuff (parades, shows, etc.).


      If you have the means, by all means, try it. Just be aware that you may get spoiled!
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