The tour is offered on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays during non-peak times in the parks. We booked our for Sunday. The tour begins at Magic Kingdom and guests are asked to check in at the Tomorrowland Terrace by 8:15 am. Magic Kingdom had a 9:00 am opening that day so we inquired at the Concierge desk at Pop Century about the buses and what time they would begin running. We were told the first bus for the Magic Kingdom is at Pop Century at 6:45 am. While we didn't need to be on that bus, we were reassured that Disney transportation would be able to get us where we needed to be, as when I had called for the tour reservation, it was suggested that we take a taxi to the Contemporary and walk over.
We made it to Magic Kingdom in plenty of time and moved to the line to the left which was for people with early dining reservations and tour reservations. I had our tour confirmation number with us, which was a good thing as when we told the Cast Member just inside the gate our name and tour, when she flipped the page, there were no names listed next to the VIP tour. She took our confirmation number and told us to go to Town Square Theater--she said all tours meet there. I told her that we were supposed to go to Tomorrowland Terrace. She just shrugged her shoulders and waved us on.
After we exited Haunted Mansion, we made our way through Fantasyland to Gaston's Tavern where we took a break--bathrooms and drinks/snacks at Gaston's or the vendors nearby. During the break, I was confronted with the reality of the real Magic Kingdom, as there were lines--lines to get into Gaston's, lines for the bathroom, and lines to meet Gaston. It was the first time, that day, that I had experienced lines.
It was time of us to leave Magic Kingdom and make our way to Disney's Hollywood Studios. We exited Magic Kingdom through a "back door" near Buzz Lightyear. And, since we were backstage, we were asked not to take photos. We obliged. The group was divided into two vans. We were offered cold water to drink during our trek. The guides allowed us to ask questions during the ride.
|I didn't mean to capture the light behind the husband's head to make him look like he had extra hair!|
Since we were in the area, Tower of Terror was next.
It was time for lunch! We walked into Hollywood Brown Derby to find table settings with our names. The lunches that we ordered soon arrived.
Sometime, while we were off playing, the vans had been moved to an area behind Toy Story and we left the park through another back door. It was now time to go to Disney's Animal Kingdom. While we made our way to an area just behind Dinosaur, we caught glimpses of the new Rivers of Light floats/boats.
When we got out of the van, one of the guides asked me to put out my hand. I did. She then slipped me two trading pins as she had overheard the boy asking about that earlier in the day. I put them in my pocket without looking, but smiled and said "thank you." The boy didn't know about the pins until later in the day.
We walked up the stairs and found ourselves in the DINOSAUR gift shop. We headed to Expedition Everest and encountered a glitch. Everest was down. So, we turned around and walked back to DINOSAUR.
After Everest, the tour group gathered to determine everyone's plan for departure. Some of the group was staying at Disney's Animal Kingdom for the remainder of the day. We were headed to EPCOT, so we walked back to DINOSAUR and exited through the gift shop to the van.
The In's and Out's of the Ultimate Day of Thrills VIP Tour:
- The cost is $299 per person and includes lunch (and lunch tip). Discounts are available when using Disney Rewards Visa--which we took advantage of!
- The tour lasts 7 to 7.5 hours. That sounds like a long time, but it is also fast paced.
- We were told to wear closed toe and heel shoes, meaning no sandals. There were other guests on the tour in sandals, which wasn't a problem.
- We were also told, when we called to make the tour reservation, that a Park Hopper ticket was required. So, we had one, BUT the ticket/MagicBand was only scanned at Magic Kingdom. We did not have to scan our bands for entry into any other park.
- It was fun to visit with other guests on the tour and our guides. There were people from Nevada, Oregon, Wisconsin on our tour. The guides said they either get Disney veterans or first-timers on the tour. I guess we fall into the "veteran" category.
- Be sure to have Memory Maker attached to your MagicBand. You are riding all of these incredible attractions with ride photos and video in one day. You'll want the photos!
- All ages were represented. The tour doesn't suggest an age limit. There was a boy who was 7 or 8 also along for the tour. I would hope parents check height requirements of the attractions included in the tour prior to booking.
- Another guest turned to me to ask about tipping our guides. I relied on our knowledge and experience of other tours and told him that tipping would not be expected--that the guides would most likely have to refuse the tip.
- Our guides handled non-scheduled bathroom requests with ease, were happy to hold bags while we rode attractions--this in itself was an incredible service, and provided background information about the rides and attractions.