Your Walt Disney World Information Station
Results 1 to 13 of 13
Beyond the Parks Discuss Disney tours in the Vacation Planning forums; Ok...So this isn't really beyond the parks but I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions of tours that they highly recommend in WDW. My wife and I are 30 ...
  1. #1
    kik4adog is offline A-Ticket holder
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    15

    Disney tours

    Ok...So this isn't really beyond the parks but I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions of tours that they highly recommend in WDW.

    My wife and I are 30 and 27 respectively and we have done the Keys to the Kingdom tour at Magic Kingdom and really enjoyed it. We are going down for 8 days in May and I'd like to do another tour.
    We are thinking about doing the 8 hour tour that takes you through MGM Studios, Epcot, and Magic Kingdom but I was concerned about repeating a bunch of info that we'd already learned on the Keys to the Kingdom tour. And was also concerned about "wasting" (for lack of a nicer term) a whole day on doing a tour and not really getting to do any attractions in the park.

    I love learning about what makes Disney run and about all of the little "details" as well as seeing all of the backstage areas.

    Also...we'd love to do a behind the scenes tour of Animal Kingdom but we're more interested in doing something that brings you up close and personal with the animals and as far as I know there isn't anything like that unless you do the concierge tour from the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Am I correct or is there something I'm missing?

    Thanks
    ~Bryan~

  2. #2
    Bahimiron is offline A-Ticket holder
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    47
    The Backstage Magic tour is amazing, but you have to know what you're in for.

    At first I was unhappy with it, because I was expecting more time in the parks, in backstage areas. Which is, in fact, where it starts. Epcot, behind the scenes at the American Adventure. However, after that you pretty much leave the parks entirely and explore the rest of Disney property, where you see how they put together the magic every day.

    A stop by the Disney florists, the Disney decorators, the Disney props department, the machine shop and more. Highlights definitely included getting to see a few people working on making what seemed to be a backup Yeti, as well as the character costuming department in MGM where we got a sneak preview of the new 'face' Captain Hook long before it was unveiled in the Magic Kingdom. The holiday warehouse was also something that needs to be seen to be believed. The size of a football field and it only contains a third of the Christmas decorations that will be put up in the parks, resorts and cruise ships.

    There is only a brief time toward the end spent in the Magic Kingdom, and that's just for the same brief walkthrough of the utilidors you probably did in Keys.

    Once I started figuring out just what the tour was all about, I really started getting into it. It is presented by people from the Disney Institute, so they're all very well-versed in the company lore, having been there for many years, as well as passionate about the Disney experience. There are plenty of opportunity for learning just about anything you could think of to ask about.

    The only warning I could give is that this is definitely a tour where the magic can be in jeopardy a few times. I'm the kind of person who actually appreciates Disney MORE after seeing what goes into making the park tick, but if you're apt to get upset at seeing normal every day people walking into a room at Epcot and walking out wearing their World Showcase costume, it's probably not a tour for you.

    A note: Backstage Magic is the only tour where you will get to see backstage at MGM, which is actually pretty cool. You get to see a lot of the stages where TV shows have been filmed and the backside of Catastrophe Canyon is a must-see.

    Backstage Safari is also a pretty good tour, but I didn't like it nearly as much as Backstage Magic. If you're looking to get up close and personal with the animals, that's just not likely. Most people I've talked to have gotten the pet a rhinocerous (as did I) but nothing is written in stone. The tour takes you through the facilities where the animals are kept, hospitalized and where their food is prepared. The message of the day is what DAK does to help the animals really feel like they're not in a zoo, but as close to home as humanly possible.

    It's a tour with a LOT of walking and as everyone here probably knows, the Animal Kingdom is not big on air conditioning. So depending on the time of the year you're going, you may want to stock up on the bottled water. There are also a few points in the tour where it drags a bit, though your mileage may vary if you are more or less interested in certain aspects of the park than myself. For instance, I found the elephant paddocks and the bird sanctuary to be very interesting, but visiting the food preparation station went on a bit long and a presentation on spiders made my fiancee downright squeamish.

    One very important note about the Backstage Safari tour is that unlike everywhere else in Disney, you are not going to be looking at people whose primary job it is to entertain you. For the most part, the people you will see working behind the scenes at DAK aren't performers or customer service, but are veterinarians, botanists and other doctors and scientists. They're as friendly as any Disney staff, but they're doing work that, to them, is far more important than the guy at the Magic Kingdom who serves you the Dole Whip or even the kid in the Mickey outfit. There is definitely a feel at some times that you are intruding a bit into someone's workspace. Still, for the most part everyone is very glad to talk to the tourists, because it's us that allow them to continue their important work.

    There are pins for each tour. I won't ruin the surprise (there are plenty of Disney pin sites out there that will spoil if you want) but I will say that the Backstage Safari pin is pretty humorous and always got a comment.

  3. #3
    Bahimiron is offline A-Ticket holder
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    47
    Along the same lines:

    I'd like to hear peoples' opinions of the Wild by Design tour, as well as the Hidden Treasures of the World Showcase tour. I will be hitting Disney for two weeks this fall and would love to take a couple more tours and these two are at the top of my list. (The fiancee wants to do surf lessons at Typhoon Lagoon. That ain't happenin'!)

  4. #4
    kik4adog is offline A-Ticket holder
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    15
    Thanks for taking the time to type up detailed reviews of both tours. I am the type of person that LOVES to see what goes on backstage. I thought it was the coolest thing in the world just to get to see the backside of Splash Mountain. Like a kid in a candy store. So the backstage magic sounds like something I would like. And it sounds like I won't have to sit through too much repeat information about Magic Kingdom.
    The Animal Kingdom tour sounds ok though it sounds like I may end up bored through much of it. While certain aspects are interesting to me, I'm more interested in see the animals than the people who take care of them.

    I know you asked about a couple of other tours and while I have not done either of them, we have done the Dolphin Encounter at Epcot and I can speak very highly of it. I'm not sure if you've ever done that before but if not and if you've ever thought about it then it is definitely a must.
    It's nice because it only take up a few hours of your day so you can still enjoy the parks later on in the day and thye information that they give you is very informative.
    You only get about 30 - 45 minutes of contact time with the dolphin(s) and while you're not swimming with them, you are in the water about waist deep with them.
    And you do get a pretty nice sezied complimentary photo of you with your arm around the dolphin. And you get to wear these nifty wet suits...haha.
    Also, one thing I hadn't quite expected, was you get to see the top of the Living Seas aquarium. If you're a big Disney nerd like me, this is really an awesome sight to behold. You get a totally different perspective than what you get by just visiting the pavilion. It's very cool!

    Anyway...thanls for all of the great information.
    ~Bryan~

  5. #5
    MelinaR.'s Avatar
    MelinaR. is offline B-Ticket Holder
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    79
    The Backstage Magic tour sounds like a great way to find out about the magic
    MelinaR..

  6. #6
    GaRain's Avatar
    GaRain is offline I love a guy who can make me laugh!
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Right here!!!
    Posts
    14,183
    If you go read my last trip report, I did a review of the Undiscovered FutureWorld tour - I liked it!!!
    Nothing to countdown to, so just smile and be happy everyday!




  7. #7
    JEDIPRINCESS's Avatar
    JEDIPRINCESS is offline I'm going back to the World YAHOO
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    In the land of Dreams
    Posts
    4,445
    Yes Dolphin in Depth is a must tour. I have done it twice already and I love it both times.




    YES I"M GOING BACK AGAIN FOR HALLOWEEN

  8. #8
    GaRain's Avatar
    GaRain is offline I love a guy who can make me laugh!
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Right here!!!
    Posts
    14,183
    Quote Originally Posted by JEDIPRINCESS View Post
    Yes Dolphin in Depth is a must tour. I have done it twice already and I love it both times.
    She had more fun the second time though!!!
    Nothing to countdown to, so just smile and be happy everyday!




  9. #9
    aw738 is offline A-Ticket holder
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    6
    My wife and I are 30 and 27 respectively and we have done the Keys to the Kingdom tour at Magic Kingdom and really enjoyed it. We are going down for 8 days in May and I'd like to do another tour.
    We are thinking about doing the 8 hour tour that takes you through MGM Studios, Epcot, and Magic Kingdom but I was concerned about repeating a bunch of info that we'd already learned on the Keys to the Kingdom tour. And was also concerned about "wasting" (for lack of a nicer term) a whole day on doing a tour and not really getting to do any attractions in the park.
    I was interested in the Keys to the Kingdom tour. Is it worth it? This is my 3rd trip and my GF's 2nd trip. We are interested in doing something new. We are also going in May, what dates will you be there?

  10. #10
    kik4adog is offline A-Ticket holder
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    15
    We are going to be at WDW May 18th - 25th.

    I enjoyed Keys to the Kingdom very much. I was like a kid in a candy store and ecstatic just to be able to see things like the backside of Splash Mountain with the giant resevoir that holds all the water for the attraction and also seeing the underground untilidors was pretty awesome.
    There is some excellent "detail" information about Magic Kingdom that provides some insight to the design of the park as well as other aspects.
    And we even got to bypass lines and get right on to certain attractions that our tourguide was taking us on. Which were Pirates, Jungle Cruise, and Haunted Mansion. And even lunch at Columbia Harbour House was nice. The tour guide ate lunch with us and chatted with us and answered any Disney related questions that we had including the infamous "fifth gate" rumor of a villains themed park with all roller coasters.

    So I would highly recommend it!

    ~Bryan~

  11. #11
    LockShockBarrel's Avatar
    LockShockBarrel is offline C-Ticket Holder
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Buffalo NY
    Posts
    143
    yeah so i know this is an outdated post but oh well, deal with it! lol

    on a whim i took the behind the seeds tour. it was actually pretty darn neat. its about an hour long walk and tour through the greenhouses where they talk a lot about the different growing arrangements and some of why things are grown the way they are like the hanging pumpkins. the guide goes into how they control pests with non-harmful methods (like ladybugs to eat the aphids) and they'll show you some of their record holding plants (like the tomato tree). we got to eat something too...i think it was a cucumber that was grown there. you see mickey shaped pumpkins and mickey shaped cucumber or zuchinni (can't remember which). you also get to go into where they have the fish farm which is especially cool with the alligators. we got to feed the alligators ( no it wasn't huge chunks of raw meat, it was a pellet, kinda like dog food) and the tilapia (same thing, a pellet food) but all in all a neat little tour. it was fun to get to walk around where you see from the boats, plus you can wave and say hi to the people on the boats as they pass. plus it was very inexpensive at 12 bucks, but a nifty little peak behind the seeds.

  12. #12
    Cinderella2's Avatar
    Cinderella2 is offline Thrilled to know there are others who sparkle!
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    17,511
    That's very cool. One day I am going to try to do tours, but somehow even though I don't have my own kids I always end up going with kids and many of them aren't allowed to do the ones I would love to try!
    Dreams Really Do Come True

  13. #13
    mritty's Avatar
    mritty is offline Fastpass Holder
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Selkirk, NY
    Posts
    803
    Quote Originally Posted by Cinderella2 View Post
    That's very cool. One day I am going to try to do tours, but somehow even though I don't have my own kids I always end up going with kids and many of them aren't allowed to do the ones I would love to try!
    Behind the Seeds is both cheap and kid-friendly. When my gf and I took it last year, there was an 8 year old in our group.

    There's also a Family Magic Tour in MK that's specifically geared towards kids.

    Tours and Other Experiences -- Descriptions

    Paul Lalli
    Last edited by mritty; 10-12-2007 at 12:35 PM. Reason: I can't spell.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •