What: A 5 hour walking tour of the Magic Kingdom
Where: Meet at Guest Services at the front of Magic Kingdom at least 15-20 minutes before the tour begins
Price: $79 per Adult
Note: Photography is allowed in all on-stage areas, however it is NOT permitted anywhere off-stage. Your guide will let you know when photography is and is not permitted.
As part of our Honeymoon in September 2013, we decided to try some new experiences while we were down at Disney World. We did the Backstage Safari Tour at Animal Kingdom and the Keys to the Kingdom tour at Magic Kingdom.
The tour begins on Main Street, U.S.A. with an overview of the park and its history. The tour guide also pointed out the names on the windows above Main Street that serve as “opening credits” to the main attraction of Cinderella’s Castle and talk a bit about some of their contributions to creating Magic Kingdom and Disney World.
We next set off for Adventureland, where they usually take guests on a private excursion on The Jungle Cruise, however when we went in September 2013, the attraction was closed for refurbishment, so we got a behind-the-scenes boat ride on Pirates of the Caribbean instead. Being one of my favorite rides, it was really interesting to experience the ride with this new perspective, as our wonderful guide was giving us bits of information here and there as we sailed along.
Moving along from Adventureland, we made our way over to Frontierland and took the parade exit out of the on-stage area of the park, back to where they store the Main Street Electrical Parade floats. It was pretty neat to learn about the daily maintenance and checks they perform on the floats so they are show-ready every night. While it was interesting, I maintain the opinion that the floats are way cooler all lit up at night and making their way down Main Street during the parade. (NO PHOTOGRAPHY HERE)
Lunch time! Our next stop was at Colombia Harbor House in Liberty Square. They had our food ready (we picked our meals at Guest Services in the morning – another good reason to be sure and arrive early) and we had a nice little break while we ate. I really enjoyed Colombia Harbor House, we had never eaten there before and now we usually stop by there on our trips to split a plate of their Chicken Tenders!
After lunch, since we were conveniently located in Liberty Square, we made our way to The Haunted Mansion. Before riding, we were given a debriefing on the history and background of the Mansion. We even were told to be on the lookout for several Hidden Mickey’s and even a Hidden Donald on the ride! Afterwards we boarded our Doom Buggies and enjoyed the ride.
Of course they saved the best for last: the Utilidors! It was so awesome to go under the park and experience the unique solution to transporting people, food, merchandise, trash, and anything else across the park without disrupting the park! Besides learning all the behind-the-scenes on Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion, this was definitely one of my favorite parts of the tour! (NO PHOTOGRAPHY HERE)
Is it worth it? For any Disney fan, the wealth of behind-the-scenes information is worth it alone; now when we ride Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion, we remember the Imagineers and the stories of their hard work that went into designing and bringing to life these amazing attractions. Visiting the Utilidors was a once-in-a-lifetime experience (for us anyway) and it really ended the experience on a high note. I would highly recommend this experience to any adult who is interested in the creation of Magic Kingdom and behind-the-scenes information, and does not mind seeing and hearing about how the Magic is created.