Have you ever thought about adding a backstage Disney World Tour to your vacation?
These tours offer guests the chance to go behind-the-scenes at multiple parks, learn about what goes into making the magic, and experience parts of Disney World like never before. But which ones are actually worth the additional (and often hefty) price tag?
Check Out the Six Disney World Tours That Are Worth the Extra Cost — According to Our Readers!
Keys To The Kingdom
Note: The Keys To The Kingdom Tour has not resumed since the temporary closure of the parks in March 2020.
Perhaps one of the most well-known backstage tours at Disney World is the Keys to the Kingdom Tour. This 5-hour walking tour takes place in the Magic Kingdom and offers guests the chance to learn hidden secrets about classic attractions (and ride them), and go behind the scenes underneath the park into the “Utilidor” tunnels where Cast Members and supplies get around unseen. Plus, lunch is included, and guests get an exclusive keepsake to take home with them all for the cost of $99 per person.
Many of our readers have had the chance to go on this tour, and many have praised it saying, “From the peeks backstage to the utilidors, everything was so interesting.” But others found the tour to be less enjoyable due to all of the walking and found that the tour was slower-paced than they would have preferred.
Caring For Giants
Note: The Caring For Giants Tour has not resumed since the temporary closure of the parks in March 2020.
Over in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, guests can also take advantage of a backstage tour and have the chance to get up close to some of the largest animals on the savanna — elephants!
The Caring For Giants Tour costs $30 per person and is a 60-minute experience that brings guests behind the scenes to observe the elephants under Disney’s care from approximately 80 to 100 feet away. During the tour, animal specialists will explain how they take care of the elephants, African cultural representatives will share stories of Disney’s conservation efforts in their homelands, and guests get plenty of time for photos.
AllEars Readers who have taken this tour have found it to be worth the extra cost, saying that they used it to make Disney’s Animal Kingdom a “full-day park” and only wishing that the tour was longer because they “could have watched [the elephants] all day long.” Plus, most readers even said that they were one of the only families on the tour making it a more exclusive and personalized experience.
Wild Africa Trek
Note: The Wild Africa Trek Tour has not resumed since the temporary closure of the parks in March 2020.
Also in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the Wild Africa Trek Tour that lasts three hours and takes guests through the animal enclosures in the park to see giraffes, rhinos, hippos, and crocodiles closer than you would on the Kilimanjaro Safaris attraction. The tour consists of a walk along a grassland path, across a rope bridge over the crocodile enclosure, and then into a vehicle to drive around the savanna. Plus, you’ll even receive free PhotoPass downloads of images taken during the tour and complimentary snacks throughout.
The cost can be pretty hefty ranging from $139–$249 per person, but many reviewers note that it is “well worth the cost” thanks to the knowledgeable tour guides, tasty snacks, and animal interactions. In fact, one commenter even noted that the tour guides “know where the animals congregate at the time of your tour and let you hang out in the jeep as long and close as you want.” Though, keep in mind that the tour is susceptible to weather so it may be canceled if conditions are not cooperative.
Behind The Seeds
Note: The Behind The Seeds Tour has not resumed since the temporary closure of the parks in March 2020.
EPCOT is also home to a few behind-the-scenes tours including the highly-rated Behind The Seeds Tour! The one-hour guided tour costs $29 per adult and $29 per child (ages 3–9) and consists of an up-close look at the fish farm and four greenhouses that make up The Land Pavilion. During Behind the Seeds, you’ll visit the fish farm during feeding time, get up close with gigantic fruits and vegetables and unusual crops from around the world, learn about the newest plant-growing techniques that Disney is using, and leave with ideas for your own garden.
And as one of our readers said, “If you are the kind of person who never skip Living with the Land, then this tour is totally worth it.” The tour is “the perfect length” and still leaves plenty of time to enjoy the park during the day but some reviewers critiqued it for involving lots of standing and mostly showing things that could already be seen on the Living With The Land attraction.
Note: DiveQuest has not resumed since the temporary closure of the parks in March 2020.
Also at EPCOT is DiveQuest which is a different kind of “tour” that lets you go scuba diving inside of Disney’s 5.7 million gallon saltwater aquarium at The Seas. Costing $179 per person, the 3-hour experience takes guests on a roughly 40-minute deep dive (literally) into the water with over 6,000 sea creatures including angelfish, dolphins, eagle rays, sharks, and sea turtles.
Just keep in mind that you do need to be SCUBA-certified to participate.
Aside from the cost of the tour, AllEars readers praise it saying that “The tank itself is lovely, and the amount of sea life you can see…is amazing”, and others even comment that it is their favorite tour in Disney World.
Note: The Backstage Magic Tour has not resumed since the temporary closure of the parks in March 2020.
The last behind-the-scenes tour that is rated highly by reviewers is the longest of them all — the Backstage Magic Tour. This takes you to THREE different parks (EPCOT, Magic Kingdom, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom) over seven hours with Adventures by Disney and gives guests an up-close look into the artistry, technology, mechanical marvels, and backstage secrets that go into producing world-class entertainment.
The tour itself includes a behind-the-scenes look at The American Adventure show in EPCOT, a tour through the “Utilidors” in Magic Kingdom, a look at working costuming Cast Members as they design the costumes for characters, and more. Plus, you’ll even get to enjoy lunch at Tiffins Restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom along the way.
What makes this tour so great according to our readers? Well, it’s informative, guided by knowledgeable Cast Members, and even the meal is tasty (though some note that the tour groups can be very large)! In fact, one commenter noted that they “can’t say enough good things about this tour. I highly recommend it and would do it again.”
So, there you have it — the best-rated Disney World backstage tours according to our readers! If you’ve taken any of these tours, be sure to leave a review! And, if you’re considering adding on tours or other big upgrades to your next Disney World vacation, you can check out more of the ones that are actually worth the cost in our video below.
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Have you ever done a Disney World tour? Let us know in the comments!