Reviews of Backstage Magic - 3 Park Tour
This seven-hour program visits backstage!! Visit the Magic Kingdom Utilidors, Creative Costuming, Walt Disney World Central Shops and more. Lunch included perhaps Whispering Canyon Cafe.
Reviewed by EPCOTCitizn Review Date: 01/02/2013
Rating: (9) Recommended
This was a great behind the scenes tour. We had great access to so many places at Disney World. We visited all 4 parks and moreâ€”most notable were the American Adventure and the nursery. The tour was very fast-paced because we had so much territory to cover. Disney provided headsets, so you could hear without crowding around the guide. Both of our guides were very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. Overall, Iâ€™d recommend it to the seasoned Disney World fan who wants to see more.
Cons:A lot of information to process
Reviewed by Jt3456 Review Date: 01/09/2013
Rating: (8) Recommended
Coming to Disney World for the very first time, we decided we also wanted to include a look behind the scene. We think it was very much worth the tour to see how the magic worked.
Our tour guides, Walt from Disney and Rob from deep, deep, Deep South took us around throughout the Disney World Resort.
Starting at Epcot, we visited the American Adventure Pavilion in the World Showcase. They explained how they used forced perspective to shape the guest experience throughout the park (the pavilion is actually a five story structure but it visually appears to be a three story one), how the culture is engrained in all the cast members again to shape the guest experience and that the decisions on why Disney decides to do things or not (e.g. To spend more money to import the bricks from Georgia to build the American pavilion rather than use local Florida bricks) are focused on the guest experience. We then went inside to see the animatronic equipment.
At Hollywood Studios, we visited the building where they manufacture or rather hand make all the costumes worn by all the performers in the Disney franchise (cruise ships, other Disney parks.) You can actually see the building we walked through while riding the Studio Backlot Tour ride, but of course while riding you wouldn't be able to stop and talk to the seamstresses.
We then made our way to the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror where we were introduced briefly how the ride and ride vehicles were maintained.
Off to the Animal Kingdom where we examined the parade vehicles for Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade and got to see the tallest tree in the Walt Disney Resort aka the AT&Tree disguised as a tree cell tower.
Lunch at the Wilderness Lodge where ate meat, meat, meat and more meat and a little beans and potato and corn. Followed by a peach-berry cobbler with ice cream.
After lunch we drove past the water treatment facility which processes all the grey and black water generated by the entire resort before returning the water to the environment. The waste is turned into "Green Magic Grow" aka fertilizer or Zip-pity-Do-Doo or other Disney related themed names.
We arrived at the "tree farm" where we saw all varieties of plants trees and topiaries that are used throughout the park. We saw cast members assembling stuffed topiaries.. The ones we saw in January would be ready to be put on display by spring.
Next was a visit to Central Shops where you could say this is the heavy industrial muscle of Disney was located - the paint shop, ride vehicle maintenance / refurbishment, animatronic shops were here. Nearby were the monorail and train maintenance facility, Disney power plant, and Disney University.
Finally we made our way into the Magic Kingdom. Saw the 3 o'clock parade, stroll down Main Street and then down underground or more correctly down to the first floor utilidors. Main Street USA and the park is actually on the second floor.
In short we thought it was a very comprehensive tour of the resort. Despite the long length if this tour we thought it was worth taking a day away from visiting a theme park on our vacation to take the tour.
Pros:Provides a very good look "offstage."
Cons:Takes the whole day if you are short on vacation time.
Reviewed by momof3inMadisonAL Review Date: 01/13/2014
Rating: (5) Not Recommended
We took the KTTK tour in October and left wanting more. Took this tour on Jan 10 and really wanted less.
Our tour group was 39 people. Although they had 2 tour guides and technically had us in 2 groups, we all rode the same bus. The large group really took away from the experience. (I decided to not name the tour guides because I did not find them to be very personable, which was in stark contrast to our tour guide for KTTK.)
Note, that as others may have pointed out this is a Disney Institute tour. It was a lot different than the KTTK tour by Disney.
We started off going to the back of Epcot and the American Adventure. We really enjoyed hearing about the show and seeing the mechanics. Unfortunately, it was downhill from there. We went around to the front of AA (while the second group went to the mechanical room), and heard about the building --all things I had read online before the tour.
Back on the bus. (We seemed to spend a lot of time getting off and on the bus.) Then we went to HS. First stop was costuming. They were working on costumes for the new parade, but our tour guide didn't seem to want to talk about that. Didn't see much more than what I would see on Backlot Tour. It was just longer and I was standing.
Then to Tower of Terror where we got out of the bus to STAND and look at a mechanical room where there was supposed to be a ride vehicle. We got a few fun facts from tour guide #2 (yes, we were all one BIG group for that part), but as another guest stated, "we could have stayed on the bus for that talk."
Then it was off to AK to see the parade floats. When I saw parade floats at MK as part of KTTK tour, our guide was full of facts and interesting tid bits. I didn't hear as much of that this time. Tour guide #1 had a couple of fun facts specific to AK, but I was underwhelmed.
Tour guide #1 talked a little about the new Lion King building and even less about Avatarland. He was upset when my husband asked about the rumor to get rid of the AK parade. I figured he wouldn't answer it even if it were true, but he seemed annoyed that we would have the audacity to ask about a rumor.
We then stopped to hear about topiaries. I'm not a plant person, so I could have skipped this part and not batted an eyelash.
Then it was lunchtime. I have eaten at Whispering Canyon Cafe before. Food was fresh and tasty. It was really a highlight of the day, if you are ok with eating family style with strangers. It was a little awkward although it was fun talking to other Disney fans at our table. After lunch, I really was ready to just "call it a day" and do my own thing.
But we still had more. First stop Central Shops. That was kind of fun to see, but I was getting tired of standing, and my back hurt. We passed by the Christmas shop. I would have loved to have seen and heard more since the Christmas decorations were just coming down this week.
But we were off to MK. It was fun to see where the trains and monorails go at night. Would have loved to see the CM enterance at MK, but then went back to the front to go inside the park.
Tour guide #1 pointed out a few things on Main Street but I heard more on KTTK tour. We then watched the Block party since there is no 3:00 parade right now. I've seen it many times before with my kids. It was awkward watching it without them. To me, that is a show for kids. Then it was down to the utilidoor. Saw on KTTK tour. Less interesting the second time around. Tour guide didn't really point out any of the interesting photos on the walls.
At the end of the tour, they were going to take us back to Epcot, but we opted to stay at MK. Although park admission wasn't needed for this tour, we have APs.
Just another side note. DH and I watched "One Man's Dream" at HS the next night. It seemed that tour guide #1 got all his info off that movie. So save yourself $200 and just go see the free attraction at HS (and do the KTTK tour if you haven't).
Pros:American Adventure, lunch at WCC
Cons:$$$, too long, group too large
Reviewed by lizdykes Review Date: 06/28/2018
Rating: (10) Recommended
Our guides were so fun and had a lot of different experiences at WDW. I especially loved the costume shops--I could have spend all day there. They take several photos for you, and were very accommodating about taking one of the four of us and one of each couple! Lunch was delicious--it was my first time at the restaurant. Would definitely do this again.
Pros:Lots of info
Reviewed by Anonymous Review Date: 04/20/2019
Rating: (10) Recommended
I did the Back Stage Magical Tour in January 2019. I had wanted to do it for a long time so I finally took the plunge and I'm so very glad I did. It was amazing. The tour guides were awesome and very informative and knowledgeable about everything. Everywhere they took us was so interesting. The meal was delicious too. They took awesome pictures of us and patiently and thoroughly answered all questions. As a Disney lover, it was so cool to see all the behind the scenes goings on at Disney. Things you never think about...like all the laundry they do around the clock, and what happens to all the trash! One interesting piece of information was that I would have to run my washing machine 24 hours a day for 72 years to do the amount of laundry they do in one day! The building where rides are built and repaired was amazing as was every other stop we made on the tour. I can't say enough good things about this tour. I highly recommend it and would do it again.