(Article last updated: March 26, 2019)
Whether it is your first visit or your 100th, participating in one of the tours Disney offers can be an added treat or a dash of extra magic on your next Disney World trip.
With a wide range of topics and themes, Disney World tours offer guests the opportunity to do things an average park guest isn't able to do.
All tours have an additional cost but not all are created equal. Here are some commonly asked questions about tours, as well as some tips to help you choose the best one for your next vacation.
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Disney World tours FAQ
Wait...you can book a tour of Disney World?
Sort of. Most people don't realize that in addition to all the fantastic rides, attractions, and entertainment offerings, Disney World also has a lengthy list of tours that, for an additional cost, guests can book.
There are multiple tours (each with its own unique topic and theme) that are available at each park - like a tour where you go backstage at Magic Kingdom to see the Utilidors (those cool tunnels that run under the park) or one at Animal Kingdom where you are invited to see how the extensive team of Cast Members there care for the animals.
Where can I find a list of what Disney World tours are available?
While there are quite a few tours that are offered year round, there are others that are seasonal or only offered during special events like the Disney's Holiday D-Lights tour.
Here's an overview of the tours that are offered year round....
|Backstage Magic||X||X||X||X||A behind-the-scenes look at the entire Walt Disney World Resort (both locations inside the parks and out)||12||7 hrs||$275.00|
|Backstage Tales||X||A behind-the-scenes tour of the animal facilities at Animal Kingdom||13||3 hrs 45 min||$90.00|
|Behind the Seeds||X||A tour of the greenhouses and fish farms that make up part of The Land Pavilion and the Living with the Land attraction||None||1 hr||$25.00/adult, $20.00/child|
|Caring for Giants||X||An opportunity for a close-up look at the African Elephants while learning what it takes to care for them||4||1 hr||$30.00|
|Disney's Family Magic Tour||X||A family-friendly scavenger hunt through Magic Kingdom||None, but best for 4+||2 hr||$39.00|
|Disney's Keys to the Kingdom Tour||X||An in-depth look at Disney's Magic Kingdom||16||5 hr||$99.00|
|Disney's The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains Tour||X||A behind-the-scenes look at the steam trains of Magic Kingdom||10||3 hr||$54.00|
|Epcot Seas Adventures - Aqua Tour||X||A snorkel tour of the Caribbean Coral Reef at the Seas with Nemo and Friends Pavilion||8||2 hr 30 min||$145.00|
|Epcot Seas Adventures - DiveQuest||X||A SCUBA tour of the Caribbean Coral Reef at the Seas with Nemo and Friends Pavilion||10 and SCUBA certified||3 hr||$179.00|
|Epcot Seas Adventures - Dolphins in Depth||X||A behind-the-scenes look and opportunity to interact with the dolphins at the Seas with Nemo and Friends Pavilion||13||3 hr||$199.00|
|Savor the Savanna: Evening Safari Experience||X||A private safari paired with fine African tapas and beverages||8||2 hr||$169.00|
|Sense of Africa at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge||X||A behind-the-scenes tour of what makes Animal Kingdom Lodge so special, followed up by breakfast at Boma||10||3 hr 30 min||$249.99|
|Star Wars Guided Tour||X||VIP access to all your Star Wars favorites including Star Tours and reserved seating for the March of the First Order and Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular||None, but 40" min. to ride||Varies (depending on show times)||$92.95|
|Starlight Safari at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge||X||Nighttime tour (with night vision goggles) of the savannas of Animal Kingdom Lodge||8||1 hr||$74.17|
|The UnDISCOVERED Future World||X||A backstage look at Epcot||16||4 hr||$69.00|
|Ultimate Disney Classics VIP Tour||X||VIP access to all your favorite Magic Kingdom classic attractions (like Peter Pan's Flight, Dumbo, and Pirates of the Caribbean)||None||4 hr||$249.00|
|Ultimate Day of Thrills VIP Tour||X||X||X||VIP access to Disney World's greatest thrill rides (like Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Slinky Dog Dash)||None, but need to be tall enough to ride||7 hr||$349.00|
|Ultimate Nights of Adventure VIP Tour||X||A nighttime tour of Animal Kingdom with VIP access to its top attractions including those in Pandora, Rivers of Light, and Expedition Everest||None, but need to be tall enough to ride||4 hr||$249.00|
|Up Close with Rhinos||X||An opportunity for a close-up look at the rhinos while learning about their behavior and the challenges that threaten them in the wild||4||1 hr||$40.00|
|Walt Disney: Marceline to Magic Kingdom Tour||X||A exploration of how Marceline, MO influenced the creation of Magic Kingdom||12||3 hr||$49.00|
|Wild Africa Trek||X||A VIP up-close look at the many animals of Disney's Animal Kingdom capped off with a delightful aray of African-inspired snacks||8||3 hr||$189.00-$249.00|
|Taste of Magic Kingdom Park VIP Tour||X||A behind-the-scenes tour of the kitchens at Magic Kingdom park with curated tastings of some of the park's most beloved food items||12||3 hr||$99.00|
|World Showcase: DestiNations Discovered||X||An in-depth walking tour of the 11 countries in the World Showcase||16||4 hr 30 min||$79.00-$109.00|
For the most accurate and up-to-date information your best resource for tour options is to visit the Disney World Special Events and Tours page.
How do you book a tour at Disney World?
Tours have limited space so it is important that if you want to participate that you plan to book when the reservations open (which is typically 180 days in advance) by calling (407) 939-8687 or (407) WDW-TOUR.
How much do the tours cost?
The price for the tours vary from around $25 per person (for the Behind the Seeds tour at Epcot) all the way up to $249 per person (or more), and it is important to note that full payment is due at the time of booking and the price of the tour generally does NOT include admission into the parks. So, if your tour is inside of one of the parks, you'll need to factor in the cost of a regular park ticket, too.
Can you get a discount for a tour at Disney World?
What if I need to cancel a tour?
Tours must be cancelled 48 hours beforehand to receive a full refund.
Can kids go on tours at Disney World?
On some tours, yes, but definitely not on all of them. Before getting your heart set on a tour make sure you check the age requirements if you're looking for something your entire family can enjoy.
Check the chart above for ages for each tour, or look on the Disney World tour page for details.
Tours can also make for a great adults-only break in a family trip. Check out the different childcare options at Disney World if you're interested in trying a tour that doesn't allow young children.
Disney World tour tips
- Book early. Tours can and do fill up so secure your space as soon as you can.
- If your tour involves a lot of walking, be sure to dress accordingly (wear proper shoes, etc.).
- When searching for tours, use the handy filters to narrow your choices down.
- Tours begin right on time, and Disney will ask you to arrive 15 minutes prior to the start. Since some tours begin prior to park opening, be sure to plan out your transportation to the park in advance. Options like Uber or Minnie Vans might be the best choice if you want a guarantee that you'll arrive on time. If you prefer to use Disney transportation, this is what you can expect:
- Buses for the Magic Kingdom and Magic Kingdom resort area start running at 6:30 a.m. daily
- Buses for Animal Kingdom and Animal Kingdom Lodge start running at 7-7:15 a.m. daily
- Buses for the Hollywood Studios and the Epcot-area resorts will start running at 7-7:15 a.m. daily
- Buses for Epcot start running at 7-7:15 a.m. daily
- The ferry from the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC) to Magic Kingdom begins running 1 hour before Magic Kingdom opens
- The express monorail (that goes from the TTC to MK) begins 30 minutes before MK opens
- The resort monorail (which will go from TTC to The Polynesian to The Grand Floridian and then to MK) begins at 7 a.m.
- The Epcot monorail usually begins operating at 8 a.m.
- The boats that service the Epcot-area resorts and go to Epcot and Hollywood Studios start running at 8:30 a.m. daily
- In most cases, photography is allowed for areas "onstage" but it is not allowed "backstage" (the behind-the-scenes stuff).
- Disney Tour Guides are known for being amazing at their job so if you have a positive experience consider leaving them a compliment at Guest Services. Doing so not only will bring a smile to the Cast Member's day, but those positive notations are also added to their record which can help with promotions and transfers.
Disney VIP Tours
In addition to group tours, guests also have the option of booking a Private VIP Guide to take you through the parks.
As you can imagine, anything that is private and has the word "VIP" in it doesn't come cheap, but even if it seems totally out of your budget there are some instances when it might make sense:
- Any group or family that want the private, VIP experience
- Groups that can split the cost (you can have up to 10 people in 1 group)
- Families that would prefer to shorten their trip length (and therefore are saving money on hotel and food costs) and utilize a VIP Tour Guide to maximize their time in the parks
Disney Private VIP Tour FAQs
What does a Disney Private VIP Tour cost?
The cost for a Private VIP Guide is between $425 and $600/hour (depending on the time of year). This does NOT include your park ticket. A separate ticket to the parks will be required.
Is there a minimum number of hours that have to be booked?
All Private VIP Tours have a 7 hour (continuous) minimum.
How many people can be in 1 group?
Up to 10 guests per guide. If you have more than 10 guests you will need to book additional tour guides (at an additional cost).
Can a VIP Private Tour Guide help me cut to the front of the lines?
A VIP Private Tour Guide is kind of like a human FastPass+, and while they can't take you to the front of the lines, they can get you into the FastPass+ lines for as many times as you want. Guests are also more likely to receive front row seats at shows, and there are special VIP sections for parades and fireworks.
What else should I know about booking a VIP Tour?
Guests using a VIP Tour Guide can totally customize their day - whether you want to do 1 park or all 4, your Private VIP Tour Guide will work with you to create the experience you're looking for.
How do you book a Private VIP Tour at Disney World?
Private VIP Tours are limited so, like other Disney tours, you'll want to book 180 days in advance by calling (407) 560-4033. You must cancel at least 48 hours in advance or else you'll be charged a cancellation fee equal to 2 hours at the booked rate.