Have you ever visited Disney World and pushed your way through an impossibly enormous crowd only to discover that the standby line for Haunted Mansion—an attraction that you and your theme park posse really wanted to ride—was snaking out into Liberty Square? And the wait time was over two hours? Yeesh.
Have you ever wished that you could just sashay up to the front of the line and walk right into the famous stretching room? Or skip all the infernal lines at the popular resort? Well, you can.
I'm not talking about Fastpass+, Disney's ingenious ride reservation system. Yes, you can use My Disney Experience, either online or by using the Disney World app, to reserve some rides in advance of your visit and, in fact, skip to the front of the line of Haunted Mansion and many other attractions. But there are all kinds of restrictions and limits. (For example, only three reservations can be made in advance.)
Worse, you may find that you're unable to book Fastpasses for some attractions. The most popular ones, such as Avatar Flight of Passage, “sell out” almost immediately. Unless you reserve a day and time early in the process, it is likely that no Fastpasses would be available. With Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge now open, and all of the hype surrounding the groundbreaking Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance set to debut in December 2019, anticipation for that attraction is, um, out of this world. But for now, Disney is not issuing Fastpasses for either of the rides in the new land.
No matter how much planning you do, you're bound to end up waiting in at least a few (if not many) lines.
But what if we told you that you could forget about Fastpasses, MagicBands, and all of the other line management technology and strategies that Disney offers, but still walk right onto nearly every ride your heart desires (including Avatar Flight of Passage)?
All you need are some bucks—lots of 'em.
Disney World doesn't trumpet it too loudly, but the resort offers something it calls VIP Tour Services. It allows participants to hop right onto most rides of their choosing as well as a bunch of other benefits. In 2019, the fee to book a premium VIP tour is—brace yourself—$425 to $625 per hour, depending on the time of the year. There is a minimum 7-hour duration, so a tour could cost as much as $4,375. Yikes! And note that the cost does not include theme park admission.
On the positive side, each guide can accommodate up to 10 guests, so the per-person price for a fully loaded tour starts at about $298. That’s still plenty of money, but at least it might be within the realm of possibility for folks of relatively modest means. (If you're among the moneybags class, we suppose that price would be less of a concern.)
Things to Know About Disney World VIP Tour Services
- The premium service includes door-to-door transportation from wherever you are staying in Central Florida to Disney World. Unfortunately, the mode of transportation is not a pumpkin coach.
- Participants also get VIP seating for shows. For parades and nighttime spectaculars, the Disney VIP Tour Services team will help make reservations for special viewing areas.
- Tour groups receive the insight of the trained guide. (You may have seen the guides at the parks; they're the ones wearing the tartan vests.)
- The tours can cover multiple parks and last multiple days. (Disney World is enormous, after all.)
- At the end of the seven-hour period, guests have the option of extending the tour up to 14 total hours. But, the meter is ticking at $425 per hour (at least) for every hour of your tour.
- Despite the price, the program is quite popular and availability can be limited. Make reservations well in advance (up to 180 days) if you want to take advantage of the service.
Other Tour Options
If Disney World's custom, private VIP tours are too pricey for you, the resort does offer other pre-planned group tours. Among the choices are an Ultimate Disney Classics tour of the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney: Marceline to Magic Kingdom Tour, and a Backstage Magic tour. There is even an Epcot Seas Adventures – Aqua Tour that includes snorkeling in The Living Seas huge aquarium tank. Learn more about other Disney World tours.