As a blogger, I may be compensated in some way (either pay, product, or experience) for sharing the post below All opinions are my own. ~Heidi
Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Orange Loop. Today we are sharing parts of a Disney vacation that people often ask, is it worth it?
Should you pay extra for a special tour at the Disney parks?
My quick answer to this question is, “Maybe.” Why? Because it totally depends on you, your frequency of visiting the Disney parks, and your interest in the Disney history and backstory.
If you are new to Disney, I probably wouldn’t recommend putting the extra time and money into a tour. I always encourage new visitors to spend their time focusing on the things that are popular within the parks. You’re going to want to see and do the things that you see on Disney commercials and read in Disney planning books.
If you’re someone who visits the parks more frequently and is looking for “just a bit more,” then doing the behind-the-scenes tours is a great idea. It gives you an up close and personal glimpse of things that you never get to see and hear just walking through the parks on your own.
Yes, these tours cost money, but I feel it is money well-spent. Disney offers a wide variety of tour options – there are tours in every park and tours for every interest. You can do the $25 Behind the Seeds Tour at Epcot or take the 7-hour Backstage Magic Tour for $275.
When is a tour a good idea?
A few years ago, my daughter and I found ourselves in the Orlando area with a few free days to spend at Disney. We wanted to do something special – something that we wouldn’t normally do on a family visit – so we decided to take the Keys to the Kingdom Tour. This tour is for adults only, so isn’t something that we could have done with the whole family anyway. The cost was $99 per person (we got a small discount for paying with our Disney Visa). It’s a 5-hour walking tour and includes lunch at a quick-service restaurant.
Because the tours are behind-the-scenes, they are limited to a certain number of tour guests each day. We were visiting on a holiday (Memorial Day) when the parks tend to be fairly busy. Doing the tour on this day meant that we didn’t have to worry about fighting crowds throughout the parks, and we were treated to an awesome, personal experience. Scheduling a tour for a holiday in the parks turned out to be a really great idea!
So, what’s so great about a tour?
#1 – They’re personal.
Because they limit the tours to a certain number of people each time, you can establish a relationship with your tour guide and feel free to answer questions, etc. There is time for each person to ask questions, share experiences, etc.
#2 – They’re informative.
We learned things about the history of the Magic Kingdom that I did not know before (and this is saying something for someone who has read every single Disney book that she can get her hands on).
#3 – There is something for everyone.
Whether you want to learn more about the railroad at the Magic Kingdom or the safari animals you see on Kilimanjaro Safaris, there’s a tour for you. If you want easy access to rides or to swim with the deep-sea divers at Epcot, there’s a tour for you. There is pretty much a tour for every age and interest level.
#4 – You get special “extras.”
Each tour includes its own little “extras” like special pins or access to areas of the parks that you would never get to see otherwise.
#5 – Tours are a way to create new and special memories at Disney.
Let’s face it … every trip to Disney creates new and special memories! But, there is something extra special about our tour memories. I share them with just my daughter and we often say things like, “Remember when they told us _____ on the Keys to the Kingdom Tour?”
If you decide to take a tour, be prepared.
Most tours require a lot of walking, so make sure you’re up for the challenge.
Consider the Florida heat when booking your tour. I wish we would have been able to take the Keys to the Kingdom Tour during the winter months when it wouldn’t have been so hot.
When booking your tour, ask about any possible discounts (Disney Visa, AAA, etc.)
Make sure the tour is available for all the ages in our party (many are adult only, or kids must be a certain age to participate, etc.) Do a little research before you book.
Please note that cameras and recording devices are not allowed during the tours.
Will you be taking a tour? If so, which one?
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Orange | Is It Worth It? Loop:
- 1st Stop – Heidi’s Head | 5 Reasons Why a Tour at Walt Disney World is Worth Your Money
- 2nd Stop – Saving Up for Disney | Is it Worth it to Stay at a Disneyland Resort Hotel vs Off-Site?
- 3rd Stop – Frontierland Station | Character Dining: Is It Worth It?
- 4th Stop – Cool Nouns | Park Hopper Tickets
- 5th Stop – Distalgic | The Disney Dining Plan: Is It Worth It?