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  • Author
    • stnick622

      Registered: December 2014
      Posts: 1
      Review Date: Thu December 4, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): The tour guide, the lights
      Cons: The speed

       
      I took this tour on Wednesday evening, 12/3/2014 and it was excellent. Nancy, Jean, and Donna were our tour guides. We had about 40 people in our tour all together. Stops include Wilderness Lodge for dinner, Event and Decorating Services, Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and finally EPCOT for the candlelight processional. When we split into 2 groups of 20 (to make getting around each location easier) Nancy led our group and she was FANTASTIC!! Full of wonderful facts about the Disney Christmas displays and a little humor too! I would recommend this tour to anyone who wants to add a little something extra to their vacation during the Christmas season. The only drawback is that due to the tour being such a large group it took a while to get everyone back together to for our departure to the next location. If that is my only compliant you know this was a wonderful tour.
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      jkb1955

      Registered: February 2008
      Posts: 10
      Review Date: Wed December 14, 2011 Would you recommend the product? No | | Rating: 2 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Quick access to the three big Lights events
      Cons: Over-priced; undercommunicated

       
      The schedule for the evening was never clearly communicated to us. The tour description on the WDW site lists a "light holiday buffet" as the final bullet point. We took this as we would be given a light meal at the end of the tour. So we ate a big, late lunch. When we arrived for the tour at 4pm, we were told we were going directly to the Wilderness Lodge for an "all you can eat" preset dinner at 4:30 pm. It was NOT a buffet. We weren't the least bit hungry. The food served at the Wilderness is marginal, fatty, processed and overall unhealthy. It is a bit of coleslaw drenched in mayo, followed by dry cornbread, greasy chicken, greasy sausage, greasy ribs, greasy french fries, greasy potato wedges and beans. We were given no other choices, yet our tour guide ordered himself a nice green salad and proceeded to sit and eat it in front of us at our table. We were later told that ALL tours are served this same awful food no matter what the tour description says.
      The tour description on the WDW site reads: "visit Epcot theme park and unwrap some of the secrets behind time-honored Disney traditions." We not shown any back stage areas at Epcot other than to unload from the bus behind the America building. No "secrets" were shared.
      There is reserved seating for the Candlelight processional last show. You sit in the last row on the far left side. These are the worst seats available. For $200 per person, you should be given MUCH better seats.
      At the Magic Kingdom, you are marched on to Mainstreet to watch the castle being lit. There is no special section or reserved area. Some other park patron was yelling at us to get out of her way. You can go see the castle being lit yourself without spending $200.
      The same is true for the Osborne lights. The bus drops you off back stage and you walk in and wander around with everyone else. Again, you can do this yourself. The guide gives some history, but that's easy to find online. FYI: the Osborne lights are tacky and the music is so loud you can't hear yourself think.
      The only thing you can't do on your own from this tour is the 15-minute tour in a warehouse near the Magic Kingdom that stores scenery and props. The guide there was personable and interesting, but nothing special.
      Our tour guides were unimpressive. I've taken other Disney Institute tours that I've rated as a 10. This one is not worth the time or money. If you absolutely have to see the three events in one night accompanied by marginal food and have an extra $200 to waste, go for it. Otherwise, do these things on your own over two nights and enjoy a great meal at many of the really good restaurants that are available.
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      jame8608

      Registered: May 2006
      Location: NorthCarolina
      Posts: 27
      Review Date: Sun December 11, 2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): well organized , informative
      Cons:

       
      Each visit, we try to allow for one behind-the-scenes tour. This year was Holiday-D lights, which is only offered seasonally and in very limited quantity. Guest list maxes at 40, with three tours each week ( T-W-Th) 3 weeks between Thanksgiving and Xmas week. Tour is facilitated by 2 Disney trainers, using a Disney Cruise line bus to cart you around between the parks. You DO NOT need park admission for this tour- which is good - because price is $199 for 5 hours,before any discounts. (eligible for AAA, Disney Visa discounts etc). Tour commenced at 4PM outside the Epcot entrance. We were shuttled over to Wilderness Lodge for early dinner at Whispering Canyon. Then backstage to one of the Holiday warehouses where we actually learned HOW they do the ice lights on Cinderella Castle. PHOTOS were ALLOWED in a section of the warehouse. Heard a lot of incredible details about holiday decorating and the props-planning etc. Then Took us into Magic Kingdom in time to see the evening castle- lighting presentation. Appreciated it much more once I knew how they do it. Took us backstage to Studios for in-depth look at the Osborne Lights - with interesting trivia and inside scoops. Finished up with Epcot and reserved seating for the late Candlelight Processional. Oh - and Extra Treats! received a super Rice Krispie Treat, and cool thermo cup, and a special edition Holiday DLights Pin at conclusion. Pin is exceptionally cool, as diff. design each year and VERY limited, given the max # participants each year is only 360 people. I recommend this to anyone who can carve out 5 hrs of time. I'm not sure there would be any other way to catch 3 of the biggest holiday traditions across 3 parks in one night. Plus the added info. and backstage insights. SUPER TOUR
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