A day with a VIP Tour Guide
As long as I can remember, I have said, “One day, I will be able to spend the day with a VIP Tour Guide!” As a matter of fact, almost a year ago, I put it on my Disney Bucket List (http://www.wdwfamilytips.com/disney-bucket-list/) Well, that day came August 5, 2016. As we were planning our trip, my wife and I were looking for a special gift for my daughter who just graduated from high school, and her two friends. We had actually booked the “Ultimate Day of Thrills Tour” (https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/vip-tour-services/) for the same day. However, as we were planning our vacation, a “magical” email arrived from the Disney Vacation Club! As we are DVC Members, they were running a special promotion of 25% off the Private Premium VIP Tour. My wife dialed the phone so fast, the operator didn’t even know how to book the discount!
Our day started at 7:45am when our VIP Tour Guide Lauren pulled up in a large white van to pick up our party of 10. As a side note, any party over 10 requires an additional tour guide. We had planned out our day, and had emailed an itinerary earlier to optimize our time with the guide. We decided since it was an “Extra Magic Hours” day at the Magic Kingdom, we would start there. One of the coolest things about this tour is we were shuttled in all the private employee entrances. So as we pulled up next to Space Mountain, I was just as excited entering into the parking lot as I was riding all the thrill rides. Once we passed security, we parked just behind the Buzz Lightyear ride. We were greeted by two other cast members and offered some water and snacks. After they scanned our magic bands, we entered the park through the special entrance. We immediately went to ride Space Mountain. With the tour guide, the entire party enters into the Fastpass line if one is available. At the Magic Kingdom, we rode the following rides, Space Mountain, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain and on our way back to the van, Buzz Lightyear.
We all piled back into the van and it was off to Epcot! As we entered into the parking lot of Epcot, I never realized how big of an area they had behind all the countries. We drove all the way to park right behind Soarin’. Soarin’ was a must do on the list as they recently produced a new ride video which is absolutely amazing! The parking area is so big, we actually got back into the van and drove over toward Test Track. After Test Track, my son and nephew wanted to ride Mission Space. This gave the rest of the group time to go get lunch. We were all still so excited, I don’t think any of us actually tasted the food!
We all met up again and made our way back to the van. This time we were off to Hollywood Studios. Once again, through a special entrance, we entered the park right between the Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. We went right into Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, then made our way over to Toy Story Mania and Star Tours. On the way back to the van, the few brave ones (including myself) went on the Tower of Terror!
As our time was running out, we decided we would do two rides at Animal Kingdom. Since it looked like rain (go figure rain in the summer in Orlando), we wanted to get on Kali River Rapids first as it is my wife’s favorite ride. The rain held off and a few of us made it on to Expedition Everest!
I would say we used every minute of the 7 hour minimum. 4 parks, 16 rides and tons of smiles and laughter. As I would assume most people do, we must have asked Lauren 1000 questions from the time she picked us up, until the time she dropped us off. 7 hours of lugging us around the parks and she was still smiling at the end of the day. She was absolutely amazing, engaging with our kids and answering every one of the 1000 questions we asked.
The Private Premium VIP Tours range from $400-$600 per hour with a minimum of 7 hours, based on the season. We chose to go early, however you can schedule the best time for your group. For more information, or to book a tour, call 407-560-4033.