If you read this blog, chances are you’re a luxury traveler–or at least you hope to be soon. If you appreciate First Class, VIP services and preferential treatment, a trip to Walt Disney World may seem like your worst nightmare–being stuck in 3-hour lines with masses of people surrounding you may not sound like the vacations you’re used to. If this sounds like you, then you may be very pleased to know that Walt Disney World actually offers VIP Tour Services.
What are Disney’s VIP Tour Guide Services?
Well let’s first start out with what they’re not–a Disney VIP Tour is NOT the same as hiring a handicapped person to escort you and your family to the front of the line. This is very, very not cool, Upper East Side Mommies! Shame on you. What are VIP Tour Services, though? Essentially, your Disney VIP Tour guide is an unlimited Fast Pass. Hiring a guide doesn’t afford you the chance to skip directly to the front of the line, instead your guide is your free ticket to enter every ride’s Fast Pass line as many times as you want (and repeatedly if you so desire). FastPass lines are not generally longer than 10-15 minutes, (or at least that was my experience in all my trips to Disney World) though, many rides have barely any Fast Pass wait at all. The only rides that still have a short line even with Fast Pass access are usually Soarin,’ Tower of Terror, Rock-n-Roller Coaster, and a few others. But like I said, these weren’t much longer than 10 minutes.
How Many People Can Go with Each Disney VIP Tour Guide?
Each tour guide can take a maximum of 10 people around the parks.
What Are Some of the VIP Tour Guide Perks Besides Not Waiting on Line?
Your Disney VIP Tour Guide will pick you up at your hotel in the morning to devise a plan of exactly what attractions you want to hit. Then they will whisk you away in a private vehicle to your first stop (bye-bye Disney World public transportation!). You’ll enter the parks through their back-door entrances (a la Madonna and Mariah Carey) closest to the attractions you’re looking to visit. This saves you tons of travel time between parks and hotels. (Usually Disney usually estimates the average trip to take 1 hour between parks) This leaves you more time to spend enjoying the Disney magic! Guides also are able to get your preferred event seating at shows and parades. Also, want to sit in the front row on your favorite ride? Or the back? Your guide will make sure whatever seat you want is yours. We rode the Aerosmith Rock-n-Roller Coaster front row baby! And, if you want your kid to star in the show next to Mickey mouse, while not guaranteed, your guide can definitely help!
How Much Does a Disney VIP Tour Guide Cost?
Prices vary based on whether you’re a Disney hotel guest or not and also whether it’s holiday season (which is of course their busiest time of year). Prices start at $315/hour and there is a minimum of 6 hours to hire a private Disney VIP Tour Guide. Park admission is not included in these prices.
Is Hiring a Disney VIP Tour Guide Worth It?
At first glance, $1,890 (minimum) plus the cost of tickets may seem rather steep but when you consider that you could conceivably see all four parks (Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom and EPCOT) in just one day, it ends up not costing you as much extra money (depending of course on how many people you have) as you may think.
If you have a few families and have the maximum of 10 people, let’s figure out how much it would cost. For 10, 4-Day Park tickets (regularly priced non-Park-Hopperes), so you can see all four parks, it would cost$2,790 for all those tickets. But let’s say you hire a VIP Tour Guide for 8 hours, it would cost $2,520 plus 10 Park hoppers for one day, which are $137 each, so $1,370 for a grand total of $3,890. That’s a difference of$1,100, or in other words, just $110 extra per person and then you don’t have to wait in lines! Wow, guys. That math hurt my brain but I double-checked it and I think that it’s correct!
Of course this only makes the same mathematical sense if you plan to visit all four parks and if you have that many people. However, if you have the money and you’re not pinching pennies, I would say that this is the only way to see Disney World. You wouldn’t believe what a difference it makes.
So, the 4 Parks in 1 Day with a VIP Guide–can it be done?
It is ambitious but it can be done if everyone is moving quickly. And of course, this is talking about trying to see every main attraction. It would definitely be rushed, which may take some of the enjoyment out of it, but if you want to do Disney like a VIP and don’t have that much cash, it can be done!
My Top Five Reasons I Would Hire a VIP Tour Guide Again
I thought it was a truly magical experience and I can’t believe that I hadn’t done it before. Here are some of my fave parts of the experience.
1. You can skip the lines–obviously that has to be number one!
2. You get to learn insider knowledge, all of the guides have had extensive training about the Parks’ history and they can give you a bit of behind-the-scenes information.
3. Visit multiple theme parks in one day if you’re on a short trip.
4. No public transportation or searching for your car in the parking lots.
5. This is the only way to experience Disney World stress-free!
*I was part of a VIP Press trip to Disney as part of my visit to Golden Oak. However, I was with my parents and we all agree that this is the only way to see Disney World from now on! We are already planning our family vacation back here with the whole family sans lines and we will happily pay.*
Photos Credit: Katie Goldstein