I admit; I was a doubter. I didn’t want to pay extra for a VIP tour. I’ve been to Disney World many times and feel I have mastered the FastPass system. That’s Disney’s online system that allows you to reserve access to coveted attractions, rides and meet and greets with characters. You can choose up to 3 FastPass selections a day and it’s easy to use inside the park and before you get there by downloading the mobile app. That said, you only get three choices and then you are stuck with everyone else waiting in lines that can be hours long. Waiting hours for a two minute ride or meet and greet can be frustrating and anti climatic. This visit, I decided to go for it. I booked a VIP experience and even though it was expensive (check current rates here), it was worth every penny. Here’s why.
- No more stress! Leave the planning to the professionals. There are a variety of tours from which to choose, including the Ultimate Day for Young Families VIP Tour. In this tour, you begin in Magic Kingdom riding some favorites such as Peter Pan’s Flight, It’s a Small World, and Under the Sea- the Journey of the Little Mermiad. Then after lunch, you’re whisked off to Hollywood Studios for rides and interactive experiences such as the Disney Junior Live show and finally you land in Animal Kingdom. The entire tour lasts 7 hours and it is only offered Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays. It costs $299/per person. Since we were there on a Monday, this was not an option. Instead, we created a custom tour of Magic Kingdom which exceeded our expectations. In eight hours, we saw everything we wanted to see in the Kingdom with very little wait time. We went on all the rides aimed at preschoolers and saw every Princess and Disney pal. The talking Mickey near the park’s entrance was amazing! Queen Elsa and Princess Anna engaged my boys with jokes and hugs. Eight hours is a long time, especially with young children. By the end of the day, my three and five year olds were smiling from ear to ear. We took it easy the next day, sleeping in and relaxing by the pool.
- Virtually no lines! Our tour guide maximized the FastPass system and planned out our day so the most we waited for any ride was 10 minutes. She told us the best places to eat and led us to the best spot to watch the parades and shows. The Dream Along with Mickey show by the Castle is a must see.
- No map required! Even though I’ve been to Disney World many times, it is always changing. There are always new rides, exhibits and character meet and greets. That’s why I valued having a professional with us who knew the best ways to get us where we wanted to go. I didn’t touch a map or look at any showtimes. It was all masterfully handled by our tour guide.
I cannot say enough about how much I loved the VIP experience. If you have a tight budget, I’d recommend staying in a less expensive hotel and splurging on the VIP tour. You won’t regret it!