Are you a big Disney fan? Have you visited the theme parks multiple times, only to feel like you’ve “done it all?” If you’re looking for something new and different to add to your Disney World visit, check out the separately ticketed tours! They just might surprise you.
What is the Keys to the Kingdom Tour?
So what is the “Keys to the Kingdom” tour? Why would you want to take it? I hope to answer all of that and more for you! My husband and I were privileged to take this tour when we took a kid-free trip to Disney World recently, and I can’t recommend it enough.
Disney’s “Keys to the Kingdom” tour is a six hour immersive tour that included special access to backstage areas, a dedicated tour guide, and a lunch.
How do you book a tour? What is included?
First, how do you book a tour? No matter which tour you desire to take, you have to call ahead and reserve your space. There is not an option to book online as of this posting. The phone number is (407) WDW-TOUR (407-939-8687). Walk-up booking may be possible, but if the tour or time you want is full, you may have to wait for the next one or try again another day.
Theme park admission is not included in the tour ticket, but lunch and a special commemorative pin are included. Our group had lunch at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe, which is one of my favorite quick service restaurants in Magic Kingdom park. It was nice to have a private room and not have to wait in line for our lunch on tour day!
What is the cost? Can I bring my kids?
Next, let’s talk about cost. I’ve been asked several times if this tour is worth the cost and time commitment. It is a six hour walking tour, and it seems like a lot of time to spend not riding rides or watching shows. I guarantee you, especially those who really love the Disney Company as a whole, this tour is absolutely worth your time and money.
The cost is $99 unless you are a DVC member, Annual Passholder, or a Disney Chase Visa Rewards member, and then you get 15% off. The age minimum on this tour is 16. More about that later.
What to Expect on the Keys to the Kingdom Tour
Now, let’s get to the good stuff. What will you do on this tour? What makes Keys to the Kingdom the tour for you? As I’ve previously mentioned, if you are a Disney fan, especially a fan of more than just the theme parks, this tour is tailor made for you. You’ll get a good dose of history, sneak peeks in the backstage areas, and you’ll get to ride some of the classic attractions all while being given a gold mine of information about them. Who doesn’t love taking a Cast Member only pathway to get on the Haunted Mansion attraction?
Tour guests should expect to be provided with personal guidance and insightful information about the Disney family. In addition to lunch, there is also a keepsake pin at the complete of the tour, and you get to keep your nametag too!
Why You’ll Love the Keys to the Kingdom Tour
As I mentioned, tour guests receive special access to a few classic attractions, but what everyone is usually most excited about is the Utilidors. The Utilidors are actually the first floor of the two story park. Yes, you read that right. We, the guests, are actually on the second level of the Magic Kingdom when we enter the park! How cool, right? Even cooler is seeing how it all actually works. The Utilidor system is pretty elaborate and well thought out. It allows Cast Members to move from one part of the park to the other and so much more!
Why You May Not Love the Keys to the Kingdom Tour
Finally, “Keys to the Kingdom” is an in depth tour. It requires a lot of walking. Additionally, you’re at the mercy of the temperatures outside as you are not inside much at all during the tour. These two reasons alone are enough to make any parent think twice about bringing a child along.
One of the reasons our guide gave for the minimum age of 16 to attend the tour was keeping the Disney magic alive for the younger generations as long as possible. As a teenager, I was able to go “backstage” a few times for various marching band and choir performances we had over the years. Being back there as a teen was like being backstage anywhere else. I didn’t really pay attention.
As an adult, the backstage details are so intriguing. We were able to see costumes, floats, and more that stay expertly hidden “behind the curtain.” I was fascinated by the lengths that Walt and Roy Disney went to in their designs to make the parks the best they could for the guests. “Keys to the Kingdom” will truly give you the opportunity to see the Disney theme parks in a whole new light.