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Planning a Walt Disney World vacation and feeling overwhelmed? You are not alone. As a parent planning a Disney family vacation, you are likely trying to find the best Disney World secrets. You may even be considering booking a tour guide to help you navigate how to use FastPass and skip the long lines. Here is what you need to know to decide if any of the Disney VIP tours are a fit for your family.
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Booking A Disney VIP Tour
A variety of companies from Disney to a number of private tour operators offer tours. Families hoping to book a tour can do so at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
The official Disney tours range from private VIP Tours that are completely customizable (you choose whether to visit Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, or Hollywood Studios) to set tours with a VIP Guide. The set tours are themed to explore things like classic Disney rides or a Disney ultimate day of thrills.
Official Disney VIP Tours with Disney VIP Tour Guides are the only tours that can guarantee skip the line access to rides; no Fastpasses needed! They also offer access to exclusive VIP experiences such as special viewing areas for parades and shows. While the perks of having an official Disney private VIP Tour service sound incredible, they come at a steep cost. The private tour ranges from $425 an hour to $625 an hour which does not include theme park admission. Groups can be made up of up to 10 people.
Whether you are headed to Walt Disney World or Disneyland, check out the Ultimate Disney Vacation Planning Guide for Families before you go!
My VIP Tour
Recently, I traveled to Walt Disney World with my kids and some extended family. Our group was made up of 4 children in vastly different age groups. My nephew was only 6 months old and his brother was 2. My kids were 8 and 10 years old. I was concerned with height restrictions and figuring out baby swapping for rides. I also wanted to include rides and activities that would entertain the older kids. After doing hours of research, I contacted a private tour company, My VIP Tour, to help me plan our vacation.
How My VIP Tour Works
When I first contacted My VIP tour, I was intrigued by how the company operated. I filled out an online form and was contacted almost immediately by a staff member from My VIP Tour. I shared my concerns about the size of our party and how we would navigate the parks. The guide ensured me that My VIP Tour could help with planning long before we arrived at Walt Disney World.
The process with My VIP Tour begins when you pay a $150 planning fee. The fee is deducted from the total cost once you complete your tour. From this point forward, a guide is available to help you plan not only your tour day but your entire Disney vacation.
In speaking to our guide, out of all the Disney parks I felt our family would benefit most by booking a Magic Kingdom Tour. My reasons were that I find the Magic Kingdom to be the most overwhelming and also the most toddler-friendly. I had traveled to the Magic Kingdom recently, but my sister had not been in years. This was also a first-time visit for her husband and their two sons.
Pre-Planning our Magic Kingdom Tour with My VIP Tour
Once we decided on a Magic Kingdom tour, My VIP Tour got straight to work offering help planning everything from park tickets to lodging. We had already booked an off-site hotel and had purchased tickets. Thus, our guide went ahead and scheduled the dates that she could begin booking our Disney World FastPasses. On the day FastPass booking opened, our guide booked 3 FastPasses for early morning on the day of our tour. About a week before our tour, we received an itinerary for our entire stay including Disney Dining bookings and ride times.
Which advanced Magic Kingdom FastPasses should you pick? Check out the Best Magic Kingdom FastPasses for 2019.
Our Magic Kingdom Tour with My VIP Tour
On the day of our tour, we met our tour guide Monica at the appointed time. I was excited and curious to see how she would be able to navigate the entire Magic Kingdom park during our 6-hour tour. I must admit that from the time Monica joined us to the minute she departed, my mind was blown by her skill as a tour guide.
The day began by Monica getting us on to one of the most popular Disney World rides, The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, in record time. By navigating the various entrances to Fantasyland, Monica was able to get us on the ride without a wait. While we were riding she not only stayed with my youngest nephew but had Starbucks coffee waiting in hand when we exited the ride. It turns out that My VIP Tour has a dedicated runner in the park to ensure that your tour time isn’t spent waiting in line for snacks and drinks. Monica also surprised the three older kids with jewels that she had received from some of the Seven Dwarfs. This magical moment set the tone for our entire day.
I followed Monica in awe as she took us from ride to ride knowing exactly what to visit between our FastPass scheduled attractions. The adults in the group were nervous as we approached the first ride that our 2-year old would not be able to ride. As we walked off towards Space Mountain, he happily played with bubbles Monica had brought along for this purpose.
What We Loved About Our My VIP Tour
It was clear during the tour that Monica had taken all my requests to heart. She knew exactly where there would be no line to meet Goofy, my nephew’s favorite character. Monica also watched for signs of us getting hot, tired or hungry. She scheduled short breaks to ensure we were re-applying sunscreen and drinking water. While we took a ride down Splash Mountain, Monica happily ordered our lunch. While we ate and played, Monica continuously booked us more FastPasses ensuring we would be in the short FastPass lines instead of the long stand-by queues. That meant we could ride more rides as quickly as possible.
In our 6 hour tour, we rode every ride that we were hoping to ride in the park and visited characters with minimal wait times. Monica gave us advice on everything from visiting the wildly popular Toy Story Land to where to sit for every show on property. Before departing, Monica ensured that she found us a front row seat in the shade for the Festival of Fantasy Parade.
Was Our Magic Kingdom Tour With My Vip Tour Worth The Cost?
Unequivocally, yes. Depending on the season, the cost of My VIP Tour ranges from $175-$250 per hour. Even in peak times, you save a significant amount of money compared to an official Disney VIP Tour.
Before our trip, I stressed about planning our day at Magic Kingdom for our group. From the moment we found My VIP tour, this stress simply went away. I found myself spending the day taking fun photos with my family- and I was actually in them for once! I savored the moments spent with my kids and nephews without having to worry about what we were doing next. My sister even stated that having enjoyed this experience so much, she would only return to the busy Magic Kingdom with a My VIP Tour guide.
*Disclosure: I was a guest of My VIP Tour in order to facilitate this review. The opinions are my own.
Lead image by Pixabay/Pexels