One of the more unique ways to enjoy as many attractions as possible in a day at Walt Disney World is by booking a VIP Tour. VIP Tours are a great way to enjoy one or all four Disney parks with friends and family without waiting in long lines. We have gone on several VIP Tours and done different things each time, so we’ll share information as well as our thoughts and ideas for these below.
Please note: there are VIP Tours at Disneyland, and some of their rules are different than Walt Disney World’s VIP Tours. We have not done a VIP Tour at Disneyland, so we don’t know all of the differences.
- What Is Included with a VIP Tour?
- Is My Park Ticket Included with a VIP Tour?
- How Much Does a VIP Tour Cost?
- How Many People Can Go On a VIP Tour?
- What Rides Are Included on a VIP Tour?
- Does the Tour Guide Ride the Rides with You?
- How Long Is a VIP Tour?
- How Do You Get From Park to Park?
- Do We Go Through Security?
- Where Does a VIP Tour Start?
- Can the Transportation Accommodate Car Seats and Wheel Chairs?
- Does The Time Stop for Food, Bathroom Breaks, Etc?
- Snacks on a VIP Tour
- Planning a VIP Tour
- Does Everyone in the Group Have to Ride Together?
- Fireworks Viewing on a VIP Tour
- How Do You Book a VIP Tour?
- What if I Need to Cancel My VIP Tour?
- Should You Tip Your VIP Tour Guide?
- Tips From Our Personal Experiences
- Is A VIP Tour Worth It?
- What about Unofficial VIP Tours?
What Is Included with a VIP Tour?
VIP Tours include a tour guide for each tour group up to 10 people, access to the Lightning Lane lines for every attraction in all four parks at Walt Disney World (the exception being some brand new rides depending on popularity), a VIP Tour pin, snacks, backstage access into the parks to save time, and a van or suburban to get from park to park.
Is My Park Ticket Included with a VIP Tour?
No. Your park ticket to get into one or all of the Disney Parks is not included in the cost of your VIP Tour. If you are only going to one park, each person in your group must have a ticket to get into the park. If you plan to go to more than one park in a day, every person in your group must have a park hopper ticket to get into the parks. Anyone who has an annual pass can get into the parks as long as you are not there on a blackout date of the pass.
How Much Does a VIP Tour Cost?
The price ranges from $450 to $950 per hour for a VIP Tour depending on the time of year and if a major event is happening (opening of Toy Story Land, Galaxy’s Edge, etc).
One of the ways that makes a VIP Tour not as expensive is by splitting the cost between 10 people. We like to get a group of friends or family members together to split the cost between all of us so the cost is much less per person than the total of the whole tour. Whether you have one person or 10 people, the price is still the same per hour, so if you split it up between all of you, it makes the total less and easier to make a reality.
How Many People Can Go On a VIP Tour?
A VIP Tour can have up to 10 people in one tour group. If you have more than 10 people who want to go on a VIP Tour, you can have multiple groups, but each group of 10 travels separately in vans from park to park and has their own tour guide.
What Rides Are Included on a VIP Tour?
Currently, you can go through the Lightning Lane line of every ride in all four Walt Disney World parks on a VIP Tour, including Tron Lightcycle Run.
Does the Tour Guide Ride the Rides with You?
This is completely up to you. If you would like them to ride with you, they will. Especially if you have an odd number of people riding, it is always nice for everyone to have a ride buddy. But if you would prefer they not ride or need them to stay near a wheel chair, stroller, hold bags, and hats, they can do that too.
How Long Is a VIP Tour?
VIP tours are at least 7 hours long. You can book up to 14 hours for your tour, but you must have a minimum of 7 hours booked for a VIP tour. You can book 7 hours and add on time the day of if you decide you would like the tour to continue.
We’ve found that 8 hours tends to be our sweet spot, but depending on how much you want to do in a day, you may want more time. One thing to consider though is that walking for that amount of time is exhausting. If you have plans to rest throughout the day, it will be more enjoyable for everyone.
How Do You Get From Park to Park?
On a VIP Tour, you are driven from park to park in a van or suburban, depending on the size of your group. You park backstage and drive along back roads to get to each location quickly and not waste time.
Do We Go Through Security?
When you are on a VIP Tour, your bags are checked at the beginning of your tour one time by security. After that, you can carry your bags with you or leave them in the vehicle if you’d like.
Where Does a VIP Tour Start?
Your VIP Tour begins anywhere you’d like on Walt Disney World property. You can choose to be picked up at your resort or a restaurant or meet your guide at the first park you plan to be at.
We prefer to meet at the first park because the time it takes to get to the park is on us, and it means we can arrange the time for our tour to start at the park and not at the resort. We try to make every minute count without stressing. If you have little ones or are concerned about your whole group getting somewhere on time, the best option is to be picked up at your resort then. It is much faster to ride in the van to the park than to end up on a stopped monorail or miss the bus to the park and be late for your tour. Your time starts whether you’re there or not.
Can the Transportation Accommodate Car Seats and Wheel Chairs?
In both cases, the answer is yes. VIP tour vehicles can accommodate car seats and wheel chairs. Car seats are included if you let them know ahead of time, but they should ask you if you’ll need one and what size.
We had a VIP tour group that had someone in a wheel chair, and our tour guide pushed her from ride to ride all day, helped her on rides, and helped her into the van from park to park.
Does The Time Stop for Food, Bathroom Breaks, Etc?
During your tour, the countdown on the clock does not stop. Any stops for food, restroom breaks, travel, and shopping are all part of the time in your tour. If your tour starts at 9 a.m. and is 7 hours long, everything from 9-4 is part of the VIP tour.
We focused on the most important parks and rides to us first to ensure we did the main attractions, and when we wanted food, we would mobile order through Disney’s app to save time. This allows you to rest from walking for a short time and talk about the fun you’re having without stopping for too long. We generally mobile order while in line for Flight of Passage so we can exit the ride and head straight to Satu’li Canteen to eat and then continue the tour.
Snacks on a VIP Tour
You can bring your own food and drink on a VIP Tour and leave the bag in the vehicle for those times you’re driving from park to park if you’d like. Small snacks and water are offered by the Tour Guide when you arrive at Hollywood Studios and Epcot.
I don’t have any pictures of the snacks they offer because they are given to us backstage where we can’t take pictures.
Planning a VIP Tour
When you book your VIP Tour, you can choose to plan out your day, wing it when you get there or your tour guide can plan the day out for you. The Tour Guides are great at figuring out the best way to get to each of the locations you want so you can ride the rides your group definitely won’t want to miss. They know the parks like the back of their hands, and they can help you plan an epic day.
One thing to note is that many things can change a plan. Larger crowds than expected, rain slowing everyone down, someone getting sick from a ride, etc. It’s great to have a plan, but at the end of the day, the best thing to do is trust your tour guide and go with the flow.
Does Everyone in the Group Have to Ride Together?
Everyone in the group does not have to ride every ride. The tour guide will take those who want to ride the ride through the Lightning Lane lines while the rest of the group waits at the exit for the ride to be over.
There are several rides I don’t prefer, so I wait outside while everyone else gets on the rides. Usually there’s a couple of us that end up waiting together. It isn’t a long wait, and we use this time for bathroom breaks, snacks, chatting, shopping, and posting pictures.
Fireworks Viewing on a VIP Tour
For Walt Disney World, if your VIP Tour overlaps or goes up to the time of a fireworks show, you can get preferred viewing for the fireworks show of the park you’re in. For instance, if Happily Ever After is at 8 p.m., and your VIP Tour ends at 8, you can use those last few minutes to get preferred viewing for the fireworks.
We have not personally done this, but it’s a great way to see the fireworks without waiting an hour or two for a good spot and still get to enjoy the fireworks show.
How Do You Book a VIP Tour?
In order to book a VIP Tour, you must call Signature Services at (407) 560-4033 or you can book through your Travel Agent. You must put a credit card on file, but your card is not charged until 24 hours before your VIP Tour. You can book up to 60 days in advance.
What if I Need to Cancel My VIP Tour?
If for any reason you need to cancel your VIP Tour, as long as you cancel at least 48 hours before your VIP Tour, there is no charge for the cancelation. If you cancel within the 48-hour window, a two hour charge at your hourly rate will be charged to your card.
Should You Tip Your VIP Tour Guide?
As a general rule, tipping your tour guide shows how much you appreciate how great they made your day. Tipping must be done in cash as they won’t have a way for you to pay through a credit card, but you can also tip with gifts as well.
We have asked so many tour guides and cast members what a recommended tip is for a tour guide, and we have yet to get a straight answer. If everyone in your group tips something, it can add up quickly though, and every bit is appreciated.
Tips From Our Personal Experiences
Our favorite schedule for a VIP Tour is to start around 10 a.m. so everyone in the group is rested and ready to take on the day. It also means we aren’t fighting through the initial crowds waiting for the park to open. We like to start with Hollywood Studios as it has the most thrill rides and gets the adrenaline going. We then head to Epcot because it’s so close to Hollywood Studios and knock out our favorite rides there. Animal Kingdom is next, and we usually ride Flight of Passage two or three times. This is also where we mobile order lunch at Satu’li Canteen. It’s a great time to refuel, and we love the food because we can get some carbs and protein without filling ourselves too much or eating normal theme park food like hot dogs and hamburgers. With whatever time we have left, we head to Magic Kingdom and ride our favorite rides until the time is up. Then we part ways with our tour guide and continue riding rides until it’s time to watch Happily Ever After.
Is A VIP Tour Worth It?
When you consider the benefits of a VIP Tour, it’s hard to say that they aren’t worth it. You can knock out all the rides your group wants to do in a day or knock out a whole park or two of every ride, and that in turn saves you money in park tickets another day. Plus the added benefit of the more stress-free time you have waiting in Lightning Lane lines instead of the normal lines, it makes for a great way to spend time in the parks with friends and family. If you ever have the opportunity to take a VIP tour, we highly recommend doing so. It’s a unique and fun experience that makes the Disney parks easier to maneuver and more manageable, especially in really busy seasons.
What about Unofficial VIP Tours?
“Unofficial” VIP Tours are third party companies who offer their services to help you book your Genie+ and Lightning Lanes for the day, guide you through the park, share Disney trivia and fun facts, wait with your wheelchair or stroller, and just overall help make your day stress-free. The best part? Unofficial VIP Tours are much cheaper than Disney VIP Tours, so you can get all the help and services at a fraction of the cost.
While each tour guide company has different offerings, we’re going to share the one we recommend and what they offer. WDW Park Guide offers a park guide for up to 10 ticketed guests and will book all of your Genie+ and Lightning Lanes throughout the day so you can enjoy your time in the parks and not be on your phone constantly booking them. The price is also much cheaper than Disney VIP Tours ranging from $1100-$1700 per day depending on the time of year. Park Guides do a lot of the same thing a VIP Tour Guide does (guide you around the park, stay with the stroller or wheelchair, share Disney trivia and fun facts), but they do not have unlimited access to the Lightning Lane lines. Instead, they book your Genie+ and Lightning Lanes for you throughout the day so you don’t have to. They also use their knowledge of the system to focus on the more popular rides at first to help your family get the rides they truly want to enjoy the day. For more information about WDW Park Guides, what they do, and what is included, check out the FAQ page on their website.