FEBRUARY 2018: A new, limited-time tour is being offered at Disney’s Animal Kingdom as part of the park’s 20th anniversary celebration. Called “A Path Less Traveled,” the tour is available daily from April 1-May 5. It takes guests through the backstage veterinary hospital and Animal Nutrition Center at Rafiki’s Planet Watch, and allows them to help perform a nest check on a purple martin birdhouse, enjoy the “Caring for Giants” elephant-viewing experience and cap their day with a VIP viewing of Rivers of Light. The tour is open to guests ages 4 or older. Guests 17 or younger must be accompanied by a participating adult age 18 or older. The regular price is $59 per person plus tax. There is also a Disney Vacation Club member 15 percent discount. You can book the tour by calling WDW-TOUR, or, if you’re a DVC member, call Member Services.
To see reader comments on any of these tours/experiences, or to leave comments of your own, visit our Rate and Review section!
Curious about how the Magic is Made at Walt Disney World? Want to learn more about your favorite park?
Then perhaps you want to take one of the special tours or other special experiences offered at Walt Disney World.
For a price, you can spend hours learning about the art and architecture of World Showcase in Epcot, take a full-day tour of the theme parks and backstage areas, learn about the Magic Kingdom and more.
GENERAL TOUR INFORMATION:
RESERVATIONS are required for most tours. They can be made by calling 1-407-WDW-TOUR (1-407-939-8687) between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays. You will need to reserve your tour with a credit card. Most of the tours DO NOT include park admission — you’ll have to provide your own. Be sure to ask about this when you call.
NOTE: There is a 48-hour cancellation policy for a full refund.
DISCOUNTS of 10 percent to 20 percent MAY be available. See individual tours for details and always inquire when you make your reservation, especially if you belong to the Disney Vacation Club, have an Annual Pass or a Disney Visa, or are a Cast Member.
NOTE: Some WDW packages may include a tour.
AGE REQUIREMENTS: Unless noted in the description below, tour participants must be 16 years of age or older.
— Unless noted, these tours and many of these experiences are outdoors and require a good deal of walking. Most tours and experiences are accessible for those with special needs; inquire when you call for reservations.
— Bring Photo ID with you for checking in to the tour.
— Some programs MIGHT NOT be offered at certain times of the year, or may require itineraries and prices to change without notice.
— Photographs are NOT allowed while in backstage areas.
All tour and price information is subject to change without notice. Call Disney directly to confirm.
Brief descriptions of the tours currently offered follow. Our MOST CURRENT Reader Reviews of these tours can be found in our Rate and Review section HERE.
If you have taken one of these tours and would like to have your TOUR REPORT included on the site, please share with us. Thanks!
DISNEY’S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS TOURS
Star Wars Guided Tour
This brand-new, seven-hour tour is led by a Star Wars guide and includes: reserved viewing for “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away”; a journey on Star Tours – The Adventures Continue; an opportunity to participate in Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple (for guests age 4-12); a guided exploration and character greetings at Star Wars Launch Bay; dinner at Backlot Express, featuring Star Wars-themed items; the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party; fireworks viewing and a personalized souvenir.
Cost: $99 per person (for adult and child, tax included — separate theme park admission required).
Age: Guests under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a paying adult.
Tours are offered Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Check-in is next to the Great Movie Ride. Reservations can be made now by calling 407-WDW-PLAY.
ANIMAL KINGDOM TOURS
Disney’s Animal Kingdom is offering a new tour experience called Backstage Tales. During the tour you’ll learn about the challenges involved in helping animals thrive, while visiting backstage animal-housing areas, the Animal Nutrition Center, and the state-of-the-art veterinary hospital, where you may witness animals being treated. Animal interaction is not guaranteed and no photography is permitted. Participants must be 12 years old or older, but those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
The tour costs $90 per person, and a portion of the proceeds is donated to the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund. Call 407-WDW-TOUR to book or for additional details.
You can find a review by AllEars® Editor Deb Koma HERE.
Caring for Giants
The 60-minute experience Caring for Giants gives participants a chance to meet with dedicated animal specialists who provide for the care and wellness of Walt Disney World’s African elephant herd. They’ll give you a glimpse into their day-to-day responsibilities as they provide fascinating facts about the elephants. African cultural representatives will also be on hand to share stories of Disney’s conservation efforts dedicated to the preservation of wild populations throughout their homeland. Throughout the experience, you’ll be able to observe the elephants from approximately 80 to 100 feet away. Tour is offered daily, between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., and costs $30 per person. Participants must be at least 4 years old; guests under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a participating adult (18 years of age or older). Book by calling (407) WDW-PLAY or (407) 939-7529
You can find a review by AllEars.Net’s Deb Wills HERE.
Savor the Savanna
The Savor the Savanna Evening Safari Experience offers you the opportunity to hop aboard a private safari vehicle and enjoy an expedition through the Harambe Wildlife Reserve. It includes a stop at an exclusive viewing area where those 21 and over get to sample a selection of regional beers and wines and savor African-inspired tapas while taking in the impressive savanna. A special keepsake commemorating your unforgettable evening trek is yours to take home as well.
Cost: $169 per guest. Valid Theme Park admission is required.
Age: At least 8 years old. Guests under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a participating adult (18 years of age or older).
Each experience is limited to a maximum of 12 guests. This experience requires guests in ECVs to transfer into an available wheelchair to participate in the tour. Inclement weather conditions and other factors may affect schedules, and offerings are subject to change without notice.
Wild Africa Trek
Wild Africa Trek, is a three-hour, expert-led wildlife experience. Participants can explore the most remote reaches of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Highlights:
* Trekking with experienced guides through areas of Harambe Wildlife Reserve that aren’t explored during regular Animal Kingdom experiences.
* Navigating through fern and vine forests on a bushwalk.
* Clipping into a harness attached to a safety line, crossing a rope bridge over the Safi River and cliff-hanging at the edge of gullies that are home to hippos and crocodiles.
* Experiencing the thrill of “over-landing” in customized open-air vehicles.
* Unwinding at a private safari camp for wildlife viewing. At this station elevated above the savanna, savor sample tastes of Africa as the adventure draws to close.
Wild Africa Trek is offered several times daily at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Groups will be kept to no more than 12 trekkers per safari. Reservations for Wild Africa Trek can be arranged by calling 407-WDW-TOUR (939-8687).
Pricing for this unique adventure will vary seasonally, ranging from $189 – $249/perperson.
There are a number of restrictions associated with this tour. Participants must:
— Wear closed-toe shoes with a backstrap, or hiking boots. Skirts/dresses are not recommended.
— Weigh at least 45 pounds and no more than 300 pounds.
— Be at least 48 inches tall.
— Be at least 8 years old.
— Be in general good health, and ambulatory, with sufficient stamina. Pregnant women should not attempt the Trek.
Park admission is required for participants.
Senior Editor Deb Koma took this tour in May 2011. Read her review HERE.
Ultimate Nights of Adventure VIP Tour
On this 4-hour group guided tour, you will have expedited access via FastPass+ for:
- Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain (44” height requirement)
- Kilimanjaro Safaris
- Avatar Flight of Passage (44” height requirement)
- Na’vi River Journey
- Dinosaur (40” height requirement)
- The nighttime spectacular Rivers of Light
You will also enjoy signature snacks and a specialty beverage (non-alcoholic or alcoholic beverage, for Guests 21 and older) along with a souvenir lanyard and other surprises.
Cost: $249. In addition, valid admission to Disney’s Animal Kingdom is required and is not included the price of the tour.
Age: Guests 17 years and under must be accompanied by a paying participating parent or guardian. Guests will need to be at least 44″ tall to ride some attractions.
This tour is currently offered on Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, aside from the following blockout dates:
- November 20 to 24, 2017; December 21 to 31, 2017; February 17 to 19, 2018; March 25 to April 7, 2018.
World Showcase: DestiNations Discovered
This is a five-hour walking excursion. From the streets of Paris to the Bavarian countryside, you will be immersed in the architecture, landscapes, streetscapes, attractions, shops and restaurants of the 11 themed pavilions of Epcot’s World Showcase, each staffed by actual citizens from these countries. The tour is offered daily, leaving from the Epcot Character Spot at 8:15 a.m.
The walking experience lasts about five hours and includes lunch at Restaurant Marrakesh. The tour is wheelchair and service animal accessible. Cameras are permitted, but no photos are allowed in backstage areas.
Cost: $109. Annual Passholder and Disney Chase Visa discount is 15 percent; be sure to ask about other discounts (DVC). Park admission is required.
Age: 16 and up, but under 18 must be accompanied by adult.
For more information or to make a reservation, call (407) WDW-TOUR.
Behind the Seeds
Take a one-hour walking tour of the LAND greenhouses and labs. Tour greenhouses to discover over 60 crops from around the world, and see some of the latest techniques used to grow and improve plants. Watch as beneficial insects used at The Land battle pests that can destroy our food supply. Venture through the fish farm to see thousands of fish and alligators, too! Bring your cameras, and have fun!
Tours are led by a member of the Epcot Science Team. Flash photography and videotaping are allowed. Children are welcome, but must be supervised; strollers are provided for small children. Wheelchair accessible (guests in electrical wheelchairs need to transfer to push type). Safety and sanitation rules are strictly enforced in the greenhouses and labs. Covered, non-alcoholic drinks are allowed during the tour.
$20/per adult and $16/per child (3-9). Reservations can be made up to one year in advance.
Same day tour sign-up downstairs at The Land pavilion, near the entrance to Soarin’.
Epcot Seas Aqua Tour
Epcot Seas Aqua Tour, is now available to persons aged 8 and above. Persons under 18 must be accompanied by a participating adults.
Program is offered Tuesdays – Saturdays at 12:30 p.m. The 2.5 hour experience includes 30 minutes in the Living Seas aquarium. The $145 includes all your gear and group photo. You will also receive a backpack that includes the logos for Aqua Tour and Divequest and Dolphins in Depth sponsored by NAUI Worldwide You can pick the color of the backpack, currently: royal blue, lime green, bright orange or purple.
Park admission is NOT required.
Bring a bathing suit! You will be given a wetsuit to wear. No special certification required.
DiveQuest will allow certified scuba divers to live the ultimate diving dream. Imagine a salt water dive with 203 feet of visibility and over 4000 animals native to the Caribbean swimming with you in every direction. Tropical fish, sharks,stingrays, giant sea turtles, and plenty of coral for you to enjoy is just part of the fun. The other part, is you become part of the show! Your family members and friends can view your dive through any of the 56 giant acrylic windows at the Living Seas!
Experience a 30-minute dive adventure in The Living Seas aquarium. You will also receive a backpack that includes the logos for Aqua Tour and Divequest and Dolphins in Depth sponsored by NAUI Worldwide You can pick the color of the backpack, currently: royal blue, lime green, bright orange or purple.
You can also purchase a DVD of your dive for $35.
Groups of up to 12 persons are accepted.
Minimum age is 10 years.
Length of Program: 2 1/2 hours. Program is offered Tuesdays – Saturdays at 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. Proof of current SCUBA certification is required.
Cost: $179 per person (plus tax). Theme Park admission is not required.
Diving Certifications: All are accepted including the Handicapped Scuba Association.
NOTE: You can bring your own dive mask. (It is the only piece of equipment you are allowed to bring, if you choose to.)
Dolphins in Depth — CLOSED FOR REFURBISHMENT 11/9/17
A behind-the-scenes experience for Guests interested in learning more about the dolphins and research at The Living Seas, as well as those wanting to increase their awareness and appreciation for dolphin counterparts in the wild.
Expectant mothers may not take the tour.
You must be at least 13 years old to attend and anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a participating adult.
Wetsuits are provided but your must bring your own swimsuit. You will be in water up to your waist for about 30 minutes.
Offered Tuesday through Saturday at 9:45am and lasts approximately 3 hours.
The cost is $199 per person, which includes a photograph with the dolphin, refreshments, and a T-shirt. Theme park admission is not required or included. Tour begins near the outside Guest Relations window.
Disney provides showers, shampoo, towels, soap and the wetsuits and booties. No swimming required. No cameras or video taping is allowed. Dolphin interaction is NOT guaranteed. It is the dolphin’s choice to participate in the research sessions as well as the interactions.
Gardens of the World
NOTE: This tour runs only during the Flower & Garden Festival, and occasionally during the Food and Wine Festival.
Learn about the basic design concepts, theming, and practices used in creating the beautiful Epcot landscapes. This is a 3-hour tour is hosted by a horticulture expert.
Tour is normally offered on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays during the Flower & Garden Festival from 9 a.m. to noon. for ages 16 and older.
Tour costs $59 PLUS your Epcot admission. Ask about discounts (DVC, AP, Disney Visa, AAA) that may be available.
Read Blogger Kristin Ford’s Review HERE.
Undiscovered Future World
Learn about the history and creation of Epcot and the legacy Walt set forth for the Walt Disney World Resort. See how each pavilion in Future World celebrates human accomplishment and presents the challenge of the future.
This outdoor walking tour covers all of the Future World pavilions and gives you a glance at how each area celebrates man’s accomplishments and challenges. Visit a VIP lounge area, get a backstage peek at Cast Services and the IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth barges at the Epcot marina to see how the Epcot show is put together. Visit with one of the International Ambassadors and learn more about the program.
There are some fun “perks” associated with this tour, one is a special Limited Edition Undiscovered Future World pin given to participants.
The 4 to 4.5 hour tours are offered daily at 8:30 a.m. Meet 15 minutes prior in the Guest Relations Lobby (to the left of Spaceship Earth as you enter the park).
NOTE: Guests are able to arrive before the 9 a.m. opening in Future World by identifying themselves as being on the Undiscovered Future World tour. There is a guest list at the turnstiles. Use the same far right queue the Princess Storybook breakfast (Norway) guests use.
$69 per person, plus your Epcot admission.
Age: Guests must be at least 16 years of age with a valid photo ID.
MAGIC KINGDOM TOURS
The Ultimate Disney Classics VIP Tour
This new tour provides you with special access to at least 10 classic Magic Kingdom attractions, which may include: Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, “it’s a small world”, and Peter Pan’s Flight. In addition, you will have a meet-and-greet with Mickey Mouse. There are no height restrictions for the attractions and entertainment on this tour, so it is open to all ages. The Ultimate Disney Classics VIP Tour costs $199 per person, plus tax. (Admission to Magic Kingdom park is also required, and is not included in the price of the tour.) The tour is offered on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., and lasts approximately four hours. For reservations call (407) WDW-PLAY or (407) 939-7529.
Walt Disney: Marceline to Magic Kingdom
The new “Walt Disney: Marceline to Magic Kingdom” tour uses the Magic Kingdom as a “walking timeline” to help guests discover how the events in Walt’s life helped develop his understanding and view of the world around him. The three-hour tour is available Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays each week, starting at 8:15 a.m. Call 407-WDW-TOUR for prices and to register.
Age: Participants must be at least 12 years old. Guests under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a paying adult (18 years of age or older).
Cost: $49 per person.
A tour the whole family can enjoy is offered at the Magic Kingdom. Family Magic Tour takes you on a one-of-a-kind interactive tour through Main St, Liberty Square, Tomorrowland and Fantasyland. During the 2 hours, you are taken through the park’s themed lands in search of clues (like a treasure hunt).
Offered daily at 10 a.m.
Disney Family Magic Tour is open to everyone.
$39 for adults and children (plus tax). NOTE: Magic Kingdom Admission is NOT included in the price of the tour.
SPECIAL NOTE: – The Special Character at the end of the tour varies.
Keys to the Kingdom
Offered daily, this four-and-a-half hour to five-hour tour celebrates Disney Magic! Learn about the Magic Kingdom’s history and backstage secrets. Hear stories of Walt Disney, his visions, his philosophies, and his accomplishments. In addition to Disney history, guests finally get the opportunity to find answers to all of those “neat” Disney trivia questions and get an inside look at how the MAGIC KINGDOM operates by venturing downstairs to the main Utilidor entrance, see display cases of MAGIC KINGDOM Wardrobe, and Cosmetology Guides. Guests also visit the MAGIC KINGDOM Production Center, where they see storage facilities for the floats.
At the 2 1/2 hour mark, the group breaks at the Columbia Harbour House for a delicious meal which is prepared and waiting for all the Tour Guests. Orders are taken in the Tour Garden, next to City Hall, upon check-in before the Tour begins. Menu choices include a Fried Chicken Strips Basket, Fried Fish and Chicken Combo, Garden Galley Salad (mixed greens with feta cheese, pecans, grilled chicken, and pineapple in a zinfandel vinaigrette), Starboard Deck Sandwich (Toasted bread topped with ham, cheese, tomato, and broccoli slaw), and New England Clam Chowder or Vegetarian Chili.
Offered daily at 8, 8:30, 9 & 9:30am. Tour starts at City Hall just inside the Magic Kingdom Main Entrance.
Cost is $99. NOTE: Magic Kingdom Admission is NOT included in the price of the tour.
The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains
The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains, a Magic Kingdom park tour, explores Walt Disney’s passion for steam trains, while giving Guests the opportunity to join the opening crew as they prepare for the daily railroad operation at the MAGIC KINGDOM. This tour also offers the rare opportunity to visit our backstage “roundhouse”.
The tour highlight is the train trip back to the roundhouse with an up-close and personal look at one or more of our locomotives, but the experience is also rich in history about Walt Disney’s lifelong fascination with steam trains, how we acquired our four old locomotives, and the operating procedures we follow to serve our annual ridership of over 3 million. You will received an exclusive pin, designed by one of the engineers, at the end of the tour.
Offered Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at the MK turnstiles at 7:30 am and ends approximately 10:30 am.
The cost is $54. NOTE: Magic Kingdom Admission is NOT included in the price of the tour. Guests must be at least 10 years old to participate. DVC members can receive a 15% discount.
Train enthusiasts may be interested in: Walt Disney’s Railroad Story : The Small-Scale Fascination That Led to a Full-Scale Kingdom by Michael Broggie.
This seven-hour program visits a number of areas behind-the-scenes. Travel to the Magic Kingdom to see the Utilidors, examine backstage computer controlled attractions at Epcot, see behind the scenes at the Seas, have a special lunch at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, plus other surprises. Offered Monday through Friday at 8:45am. Disney recommends reservations at least two months in advance.
$275 per person. Theme park admission is not required.
Disney’s Holiday D-Lights Tour
Disney’s Holiday D-Lights Tour will show how the twinkle of holiday magic is created for the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, the transformation of Cinderella Castle, and the Candlelight Processional. The tour will only be offered on select dates in November and December. Tours will begin at 5 p.m. outside of Epcot. This tour is for guests 16 years of age and older. The cost is $209 per person. Theme park admission is NOT required. Make your reservation by calling 407-WDW-TOUR.
Disney’s Yuletide Fantasy
Almost magically, Walt Disney World Resort transforms into a holiday headquarters complete with millions of sparking lights, larger-than-life Christmas trees and miles of garland. Guests take a behind the scenes peek at that magical transformation in Disney’s Yuletide Fantasy, a three-hour journey into the holiday history of Walt Disney World Resort.
Guests take guided tours to theme parks and resort hotels, learning stories about the themes of the Yuletide decorations and how Disney elves transform the parks and hotels into an annual winter wonderland. Disney’s Yuletide Fantasy is open to ages 16 and older.
The program is $89 per person, NO theme park admission required.
For reservations, call 407-WDW-TOUR.
The Floridian Express
Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is now offering a one-hour resort tour called The Floridian Express. The tour focuses on the charm of Southern Florida during the turn of the century and other hotels and individuals who inspired the Grand Floridian. This tour also includes a behind-the-scenes look at Victoria & Albert’s restaurant. The tour is offered at 9 a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, with check-in at the main Porte Cochere. The tour is limited to 10 participants, ages 10 and up, and can be reserved up to 180 days in advance (subject to availability). Price is $15 per person (plus tax). Book by calling 407-WDW-TOUR.
The Sense of Africa Experience
Animal Kingdom Lodge
The Sense of Africa Experience at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is a 3.5-hour breakfast and tour designed to immerse guests in the culture and history of the resort while giving a backstage peek at the care and feeding of the resident animals. The tour begins with breakfast at Boma-Flavors of Africa, followed by encounters with animals such as okapi, giraffe, ostriches and red river hogs. Sense of Africa is offered on Tuesday and Saturday mornings. The cost is $249. Reservations may be made by calling 407-WDW-TOUR (939-8687). NOTE: Staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is NOT required. Experiences may vary.
Animal Kingdom Lodge
This popular, nighttime expedition at Animal Kingdom Lodge is now open to all guests at Walt Disney World Resort. Climb aboard a sturdy, open-sided safari vehicle, and feel the rush of night air as you rumble through lush scenery, scanning the horizon for over 30 species of African wildlife. To make the most of your animal-viewing extravaganza, you will be provided with night vision goggles. You may see: zebras, giraffes, gazelles, wildebeest and antelopes, plus flamingos, ostriches and more than 20 other exotic African species.
Offered 7 nights a week, this excursion takes place from 10 to 11 p.m. Starting November 5, 2017, it will also be offered from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. (reservations are now available to book this time beginning in November).
Age: The tour is available for all guests 8 years of age or older. Guests under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.
Cost: $74.17 + tax
Wilderness Back Trail Adventure Segway Tour
Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground
In summer 2007, a new Segway tour was introduced at the Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground called Wilderness Back Trail Adventures. Tour participants can take a Segway X2 Personal Transporter to view the scenery of Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground and Wilderness Lodge.
The Adventures tours may be booked for 8:30 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday through Saturday (not available Sunday or Monday) and last two hours. Tours can consist of up to 10 people and meet at Fort Wilderness Meadows Bike Barn in Fort Wilderness. The cost is $96 per person. Some discounts are occasionally offered to Passholders, DVC Members and Disney Visa Cardholders — be sure to ask when booking the tour.
Guests wishing to participate in the tour must be at least 16 years of age and be accompanied by an adult if under the age of 18. You must weigh between 100 and 250 pounds to ride the Segways. Expectant mothers and guests with special needs may not participate due to safety reasons. Payment in full by credit card is required at time of booking. If you need to cancel your tour, you must do so at least 48 hours prior to the start of the tour to receive a full refund. Tours can be booked by calling 407-WDW-TOUR.
Disney’s VIP Tour Services
The VIP Tour Guide can host up to 10 Guests. If your party size is larger than 10, they will provide an additional VIP Tour Guide at an additional cost. VIP Tour requests may be taken up to 90 days in advance. Please note that reservations may not be accepted during certain holiday periods. To ensure availability, call at least 72 hours in advance. Existing WALT Disney WORLD Resort transportation will be used. Private transportation is available at an additional cost.
The cost of Disney’s VIP Tour Services is $315 ($355 for holiday rate) per hour for Disney resort guests, with a minimum charge of six hours. Non-Disney Resort guests are charged $340 per hour ($380 holiday rate), with a six-hour minimum. Should your plans change, we require advance notice of 24 hours to avoid a cancellation fee.
Priority entrance to attractions is neither offered nor available. However, tour guests may be offered a special viewing area for some parades or shows.
EDITOR’S NOTE: For more info visit:
NOTE: All information subject to change without notice.