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Guided Tours

The following is an update to pages 170-172 of PassPorter™ Walt Disney World® (1999 Edition) for the convenience of our current readers and for the enjoyment of our future readers.

Disney frequently adds and removes guided tours based on guest requests and feedback. Two tours listed in PassPorter, Disney's Special FX and Walt's Hollywood Heritage, have been removed from the tour line-up. In their place, two new tours are available: Disney's Architecture and The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains. These two new tours are described to the right, along with the other tours currently available. Please note that we also updated prices and availability for several of the other tours.

If you're interested in taking a tour and curious how it is, we encourage you to visit Deb Wills' site which archives various guest experiences with the tours. You can reach her Tour page a


Updated 06/27/06

Copyright 1999-2006
PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

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  Guided Tours

6/21/2000 Update: Disney is now offering yet another guided tour, this one called Undiscovered Future World. Here's the description:

In the Undiscovered Future World tour, guests will learn about the history and creation of Epcot and the legacy Walt set forth for the Walt Disney World Resort.

During the tour, guests will learn how each pavilion in Future World celebrates human accomplishment and presents the challenge of the future. They will visit a VIP lounge area and meet an international Ambassador. They also will get a backstage peek at Cast Services and the IllumiNations 2000: Reflections of Earth barges at the Epcot marina to see how the Epcot show is put together.

We hope guests will discover the richness of Future World in Epcot and the vision Walt had for a better world, and from that get a better understanding of the possibilities that lie ahead," said Glen Lewis, Guest Relations host.

The four-and-a-half-hour tours start July 4th and will be offered Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 9:15 a.m. The cost is $45 a person and guests must be at least 16 years old. Magic Kingdom Club members, American Express card users, Disney Vacation Club members and annual pass holders get a 15 percent discount on the cost of the tour.

Admission to the park is required for the tour, and that fee isn't included in the cost of the tour. For more information or
reservations, call (407) WDW-TOUR.


Unless otherwise noted, advance tour reservations may be (and should be) made at 407-939-8687. Some tours offer a discount with the American Express card or an Annual Pass—inquire upon reservation. Some tours are offered only on certain days and are only open to guests 16 and older.

Backstage Safari Tour—A three-hour, behind-the-scenes peek at Disney’s Animal Kingdom to see how they care for our four-legged friends. Tours depart at 8:30 am on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and cost $60. Park admission required (not included in price).

Backstage Magic—This seven-hour tour of three major parks explores how Disney’s magic is created and maintained. You’ll go beneath the Magic Kingdom to explore the “utilidors,” observe Disney animators at the Disney-MGM Studios, and see the computer-controlled systems at Epcot’s Body Wars. Tours cost about $199 per person and include lunch and entry to the parks. A minimum of six guests are needed, although Disney will combine smaller groups when possible. Reserve well in advance.

Disney’s Architecture—Learn how Disney’s architects and Imagineers apply their innovative magic to the buildings and structures of Walt Disney World. The tour starts at the Disney Institute for a hands-on building exercise, Disney-style. Visit two marvels guests normally miss—the Disney Casting Center and Team Disney—and tour the Dolphin, Swan, and Wilderness Lodge resorts. The tour runs Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 2:00 pm, lasts 3 1/2 hours and costs $49. American Express, Annual Pass and Disney Vacation Club discounts.

Disney’s Magical Storytelling—This six-hour tour of the Magic Kingdom explains how Walt Disney World tells stories with the architecture, decoration, and design of its theme parks, focusing on the little details that are often overlooked by Disney’s guests. Tours cost $150 and include park entry and lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern.

Family Magic Tour—This two-hour tour offers guests an interactive adventure through the Magic Kingdom park, in search of clues to the disappearance of Captain Hook’s hook. The tour is open to everyone and costs $15 for kids aged 3-9, and $25 for “kids” aged 10 and up (yes, adults can go, too). The tour is offered twice, at 9:30 am and 12:30 pm. Reservations are accepted, but those without reservations may still find room by asking at City Hall. Park admission is not included.

Gardens of the World—This three-hour walking tour explores the lush gardens of Epcot’s World Showcase pavilions. A Disney horticulturist explains the basic concepts, theming, and practices used in creating the gardens, and offers ideas for home gardens. The tour leaves at 9:30 am (same-day and advance reservations are accepted) on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The cost is $49 per person; park admission is not included.

Hidden Treasures of the World Showcase—This three-hour walking tour of Epcot shows you the unique design and construction of the World Showcase pavilions for about $49 per person. Tours of the East pavilions (Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, and the American Adventure) and the West pavilions (Canada, United Kingdom, France, Morocco, Japan, and the American Adventure) are available. A special five-hour tour of all pavilions is available on Wednesdays for $85 (park admission not required). Advance reservations are accepted.

Innovation in Action—This five-hour tour focuses on the backstage areas at the Walt Disney World Resort. The basic tour visits such backstage areas as the Magic Kingdom “utilidors.” Extra-cost “modules” can be added for areas like the Central Shops and the Tree Farm & Nursery. The basic tour costs $85 per guest. The tour is for groups of 20 or more guests staying at Walt Disney World resorts. Disney will not combine smaller groups, so count heads before making a reservation. Park admission is not required. Call 407-828-2259 for more details.

Inside Animation—This two-and-a-half-hour tour looks behind the scenes at Walt Disney Feature Animation. It begins with a walking tour of Disney-MGM Studios and gives guests a chance to create their own Mickey Mouse cel. Tours are offered at 9:30 am on certain days of the week. Cost is $49 per person; park admission is not required.

Keys to the Kingdom—This four-and-a-half hour guided tour of the Magic Kingdom is offered daily for about $45 per person. The walking tour provides an overview of the park’s highlights, history, and backstage areas. The route varies a bit, but usually visits five attractions and two backstage areas (the “utilidors”). Reservations for the 10:30 am tour can be made up to 45 days in advance. Guests without reservations may take the 10:00 am tour—ask at City Hall. Both tours are limited to the first 15 guests. Park admission is not included.

The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains—Railroad fans get an inside look at the Magic Kingdom’s Walt Disney World Railroad. Tour the roundhouse, join the opening crew, and explore Walt’s passion for steam trains. The tour is held on Thursdays from 7:30 to 9:30 am, costs $25, and is open to guests 10 and older. Park admission required.

VIP Tours—Custom-designed four- to eight-hour tours may be booked by individuals or groups of up to ten people. Tours lasting longer than four hours must include a meal. Cost is about $45 per hour per tour guide and does not include park admission. VIP Tours may be booked from 48 hours to six months in advance through Disney Special Activities at 407-939-8687.

Yuletide Fantasy—Offered during the Christmas season, this three-hour tour gives a behind-the-scenes peek at the magical holiday transformations at the Walt Disney World Resort. The tour visits theme parks and resorts to view and discuss the beautiful Yuletide decorations, and is open to guests ages 12 and older (guests under 16 must be accompanied by an adult). The program is about $55 per person which includes a refreshment; theme park entry is not required.

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