My family is frugal and Disney VIP tours are definitely not cheap. Still, during our last trip to Disney World in Orlando we decided to splurge and booked what is supposed to be the ultimate way to experience Disney.
What exactly is a Disney World VIP tour?
A Disney World VIP tour is a customized way to experience the theme parks – you let them know your wish list of rides, attractions and interests and they streamline the entire day. The major benefits are that your personal tour guide will take you behind the scenes and use the Lightning Lanes for rides without the hassle of Genie+. Basically, this means you enjoy the attractions efficiently with little time spent waiting in lines.
How much does a Disney World Private VIP tour cost?
Price ranges from $450 to $900 per hour depending on the season and all tours must be booked for a minimum of 7 continuous hours. Tipping is optional and subjective but the guideline is anywhere from 10% to one hour for gratuity. Guest must purchase park entry separately.
How many guests can be in the group?
Each group can include up to 10 guests and even infants are included in the head count. All guests must begin the tour at the same time.
Our Disney World VIP tour review
Our group included two families with children ranging from 4-15 years old. We had all been to Disney World before and purposely booked the VIP tour on our last park day. Our objective was to enjoy the day without waiting in long lines or feeling glued to our phones and of course, easily hit popular rides like Rise of the Resistance and Guardians of the Galaxy. We had done some pre-arrival planning and had already sent over a list of our must-dos.
We chose to meet our guide at Magic Kingdom instead of getting picked up at our resort since the clock starts ticking right away. She texted a few minutes before our arranged time to let us know she was already there. Although we were game for the day, I had some hesitation about how it would feel to have a stranger spend 7 hours with us. Fortunately, she was awesome! Our guide, dressed in the telltale plaid vest, was a perfect fit for our group. She was friendly, informative and extremely efficient in an effortless manner.
We managed to zip to all our requested rides and even rode multiple times. Our guide accounted for bathroom stops, parked the stroller for us, and managed to keep everyone in the group smiling. When the 4 year old didn’t meet height restrictions for a ride our guide either found an alternate appropriate ride nearby, a hidden play area or a shady spot to enjoy a snack while the rest of the group enjoyed the thrill ride.
When booking the VIP tour you have the choice of visiting just one park or park hopping. As mentioned above, park tickets are not included in the VIP tour cost so it is the guest’s responsibility to have already purchased the appropriate park entry and have a park reservation. We chose the park hopper option and are happy we did. Jumping between parks was a breeze. Our guide used a private vehicle to transport us between parks. Every time we got out of the vehicle, cast members were waiting for us with snacks and drinks. Our guide recommended a quick service option for our lunch break and efficiently had us place our order while driving to the park so no time was wasted.
One of the perks of the tour was the behind the scenes access. It was interesting to see “backstage” and learn about the logistics of running the parks smoothly. Photos and video were not allowed and I rather prefer it that way because it made it feel more special.
At the end of the Disney VIP tour if you time it right you can have access to VIP seating for parades or fireworks. Your tour just needs to end within 30 minutes of the start time. We kept our tour at exactly 7 hours for the sake of the youngest members. When it was time to leave, we all had big hugs for our guide. Within minutes of meeting her, she was another family member. Our entire group agreed she was the best part of the whole day and we missed her already. The kids still treasure the special VIP tour pins received at the end. After we went our separate ways we also received a text from our guide that she had gotten everyone Lightning Lane on a ride that had broken down earlier. It wasn’t even a top priority ride for us and the VIP tour was over so we especially appreciated the gesture.
Are Disney World VIP Tours Worth It?
At the end of the day, I would say the Disney VIP tour is worth it if it is within budget, you are traveling with a large group or you are limited by time. Funny enough, while the entire experience was only positive, our group agreed that we appreciated it more because we had already experienced Disney the traditional way with all the lines and crowds and unpredictability.
If you are interested in taking a VIP tour on your next trip to Disney Word, read more on Disney World’s official website here.