Did you know that Walt Disney World and Disneyland have special backstage-like tours for their guests? It’s true! And as part of my series on how to do an adult trip to Disney, I wanted to share with you 2 amazing special Disney Tours my husband and I went on during our trip in December 2017. Hopefully, after reading this you too will want to make a Disney Special Tour a part of your adult Disney vacation.
Special Disney Tours are so Magical
One of the tours we went on during our trip to Disney was called Disney’s Yuletide Fantasy. In this tour you head” backstage” to get the inside scoop on the insurmountable work Disney does to decorate and prepare for the holidays. We’re talking Christmas, Fall/Halloween, Easter, etc. All of it!
Disney Yuletide Fantasy
This special Disney Tour does not allow you to take photographs since they are literally taking you behind the scenes to where guest are not usually allowed. This is why we don’t have many photos of this Tour.
Here’s a Summary of How the Yuletide Fantasy Tour Went:
- We started out and met just outside the gates at Epcot before the park is open to the public.
- Our Tour guides walked us through a private entrance to a ‘backstage’ area where we boarded a super comfy motor coach that would take us to backstage areas at Epcot, Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.
- We toured Epcot before the park was open to guests as they talk about the various Christmas Decorations in each country’s pavilion and the history behind it all.
- We drove (in motor coach) to their holiday warehouse (on Disney Property), where they have full-time cast members (what Disney calls all of their employees) who work on decor for all 4 Walt Disney World Parks and all Disney Cruise Line ships! It was fascinating and so cool to be at a place guests never get to see.
- Next it was on to Disney’s Magic Kingdom where we learned some unknown facts about all the Poinsettias. We learned how many it takes to decorate Magic Kingdom Park and what happened at their first live televised Christmas parade there as well. So fascinating!
- Finally, we traveled one last time to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge where they have phenomenal Christmas Decorations. We were treated to warm spiced Apple Cider while our Tour Guides shared a bit more about Resort Decor and the history and magic behind that.
It’s funny, even though we heard and saw a lot of what goes on behind the scenes to make magic for guest everyday, it didn’t take away from the magic we experienced. It was just as magical to see, hear, learn and even smell everything that goes on to create experiences for guests. It was just so… magical!
Wild Africa Trek
Special Disney Tours are So Fun
On another day during our trip, my husband Rich and I took a special behind the scenes tour at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park. The tour was called Wild Africa Trek. This was more than a tour, this was a fantastically fun experience.
This was a backstage hike and safari-like trek through the savannah area of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park. We helped to feed hippos got super close to giraffes, crocodiles and rhino’s. Here are some photos from our experience:
Everyone is required to leave their belongings in a special designated locker in the Trek area. We put on these vests that enable us to strap on all of the things we want to bring with us, cameras iPhones etc. We also are required to put a harness so that when we are in certain environments we can easily and quickly be tethered to a nearby wired system. Disney is all about safety!
Included in the tour are headsets that we wear to hear our tour guide even from afar (to be returned at the end of the tour) and water bottles with the Wild Africa Trek logo imprinted on them for us to keep as a keepsake! EVERYTHING is strapped onto the vests so they do not fall into the animals
environments. Even Rich’s glasses! Finally, we are given name tags to keep so our Tour guides can call us by name.
Some went as couples, groups of 3 and we even had a woman come on her own! We had a great time getting to know her and her story.
We hiked through some of the backwoods of the Savannah area of the park where we were then taken to enter the environments of the hippos. We learned so much about them and our group even got to help feed them!
We risked our lives walking across these two rickety bridges over the crocodile habitat. Take a look!
We didn’t really risk our lives. The bridge is super secure and we were tethered to a strong rope over our heads the whole time. 🙂
And then this happened…
We entered into their habitat and stood over them a little closer than I would think is healthy but nevertheless there I was Instagramming Disney Crocs! Soooo close! Fun!
After my selfie with the crocodiles we boarded our own private group safari bus and toured the Savannah at a much more leisurely pace than the regular Safari ride at the Park.
View from our truck: Note the sleeping lioness.
Near the end of our safari ride we drove to this beautiful place in the middle of the Savannah to have our lunch, which is included in the price of the tour. Guys, this lunch was delish! And they make adjustments as necessary for dietary restrictions if needed.
This light gourmet meal was prepared by Disney Chefs and served in a cute little double decker canteen that locks on each side. Here’s what we ate:
- Chicken curry salad
- Sun-dried tomato hummus and mini pita
- Marinated tandoori shrimp
- Smoked salmon roulade with dill
- Air-dried beef and prosciutto
- Fresh fruit marinated in mint and ginger
As a beverage they served us Disney’s cult classic “Jungle Juice” a guava and citrus drink that is oh so yummy. It was on tap, and I was in heaven!
This was a fantastic tour and Rich and I had so much fun doing it. I totally would do it again and would bring friends!
Special Disney Tours Give You the VIP Treatment
Let’s just be real. This is Disney. They know how to do things well. They know how to do things so well people will brave 120 minute wait times to ride some of their rides. So when you take a special Disney tour you can’t help but feel like a VIP.
On Disney’s Yuletide Fantasy Tour the backstage access and all the special magical extras they provide help you feel like aVIP. On our Wild Africa Trek it was VIP all the way. No one gets to go to the places we did and do what we did. That goes for both tours actually.
We loved our special tour experiences. Both of these tours were magical, fun and both gave us the VIP treatment. I’m definitely planning to do more tours in one of my next Disney trips. So, if you have the opportunity, definitely add a special Disney tour to your Disney trip.
What would you like to know about special Disney tours? Leave your comments and I’ll get back to you!
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