I looked into Walt Disney World VIP tours and skip-the-line experiences because our Orlando family vacation fell over winter break. This meant there were crowds. And, if there’s one thing my family doesn’t thrive in… it’s long lines.
My research on TripAdvisor (a site affiliate partner) and elsewhere led me to Stone VIPS one of the most highly rated tour companies in town. I booked a Magic Kingdom VIP tour with them because it was the park we’d visit on a Sunday and likely spend the most time in.
Truth be told, I was a little wary initially, but our entire family wound up being extremely pleased with their service. It will be hard to experience a Disney park without a guide going forward.
Why A Disney World VIP Tour?
Like I said, a Walt Disney World VIP tour helps guests navigate lines in popular parks. These guides are more or less your Disney concierge service.
To give you an idea, because of our guide, we rode nearly every single ride in the park, during a peak season weekend, before 1:00 p.m. (Magic Kingdom opened at 8:00 a.m.). And, that includes a stop for lunch. There is absolutely no way we could have experienced so much of the park without a VIP tour guide.
Disney World VIP tours are ideal for families with younger kids who might not have the stamina or patience to wait in line. They’re also great for people like my husband who are not usually theme park fans because of the lines. Or, maybe you don’t want to forward think an itinerary or scour maps.
VIP tour guides plan the day’s itinerary based on preferred rides, character greetings, food preferences and more so that guests don’t have to think about anything other than having a great time.
Initial Disney VIP Tour Planning
I hadn’t used a Disney VIP tour before and wanted to talk to someone at Stone VIPS to determine whether their services were a fit for us. At $750 for 6 hours, Stone VIPS is significantly less expensive than the official Walt Disney World VIP tours. I would have paid $3600 for the latter through Disney during peak season for the same amount of time (both tour prices are in addition to park admission). I (unnecessarily) worried that the difference in cost might equal a discrepancy in service, too. It didn’t.
How Many Parks?
I asked about possibly visiting Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the same day. The GM said it was doable not not recommended because of the time it takes to transfer between each park. In the end, we stuck with Magic Kingdom only and it was definitely the right thing to do.
Make Preferences Known
Shortly before our trip began, Kyrsten, our guide, called to discuss my daughter’s preferences, favorite characters, rides and how we’d like to structure our day. I gave them my login to MyDisneyExperience so that they could make FastPass reservations on my behalf. In fact, I’d forgotten to purchase our Magic Kingdom tickets so when they called to remind me, I was on the tarmac. With my permission they went ahead and added the tickets to my account using the credit card they had on file. Easy.
What Our Disney World VIP Tours Was Like
I picked up our Magic Kingdom tickets from the Disney Planning Center in the lobby of Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort. While the resort has a complimentary shuttle, we hopped in an Uber due to time constraints.
Kyrsten had texted me a designated meeting spot near shuttle and taxi drop-off. We met her there and the four of us walked on to the monorail and into the park without trouble, right as it opened.
We headed down Main Street U.S.A. and then left into Adventureland. Our first few rides there had no waits and I began to wonder whether the entire day would yield the same results. We walked right on to the Jungle Cruise. My daughter then asked to ride Aladdin’s Magic Carpet and then Pirate’s of the Caribbean, a family favorite. There were no lines… yet.
We probably did all of this within 20-30 minutes because people had not yet scattered deeper into the park.
After this, it was necessary to start using FastPasses, which our guide had reserved in advance. Disney guests are only allowed to reserve three FastPasses at a time, which can be done through the Disney mobile app.
I wasn’t sure how we’d skip every line given that three FastPasses isn’t very many. However, Stone VIPS’ guides also have extra FastPasses from the company (some were in paper form) as well as their own FastPasses. Somehow, we miraculously had more FastPasses than a regular guest could get a hold of to get us through every FastPass line we entered.
We progressed more or less clockwise through the park. In Frontierland we rode Splash Mountain twice (and hilariously got stuck on it once as the ride stopped) and Thunder Mountain Railroad. At this point, normal queues were reaching an hour in length. Next, Liberty Square meant Haunted Mansion before wandering over to Mickey’s PhilharMagic in Fantasyland.
It was about 11:00 a.m. when we decided on a quick lunch. Because we were in Fantasyland and weren’t super picky, Pinocchio Village Haus for pizza it was. I thought it would be a waste of money and our guide’s time to reserve a proper sit down restaurant which proved to be a wise decision. While we ate, Kyrsten planned out the next few hours.
We hit Dumbo, it’s a small world, Mad Tea Party, The Barnstormer, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin (twice), The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Under the Sea – Journey of Little Mermaid, Space Mountain, Tomorrowland Speedway, and PeopleMover within the next few hours. I’m sure I’m forgetting some others.
That is almost every single ride in the park. We skipped Peter Pan accidentally and a few shows.
When you’re on the move like this, it’s a lot of walking. The three of us were pretty tired at the end of 6 hours. We did not have the stamina to visit another park or ride any more rides as we’d pretty much already done them all with our Stone VIPS Walt Disney World VIP tour.
Of course, we finished the day with a Dole Whip and I didn’t have to bust out the map to figure out where to go because we had a guide.
This sort of half-day schedule is exactly how we prefer to tour theme parks around the world. It meant we were back lounging at the glorious hotel pool by 2:30 p.m.
The Disney World VIP Tour Bottom Line
We don’t travel to Orlando often, so it was worth every penny to get the most out of our one day at Magic Kingdom with Stone VIPS.
My husband says to this day that he’s never had such an amazing theme park experience. I would have to agree. By the time we left, lines were ranging in the 90-120 minute range and we waited no more than 10 minutes most.
It is seriously relaxing to have someone else plan the day because it eliminates intra-family banter about what to do. She had an itinerary based on what we told her that was executed flawlessly.
If you think that a having a guide with you for 6 hours might be too intense, in our case, it certainly was not. Kyrsten rode with us on Pirate’s of the Caribbean and maybe a handful of other rides. She usually took the time to sort out our next moves while we were busy with attractions. This created a nice sense of space, something I can see many families needing. Though frankly, we all really enjoyed her company and it was nice to have a fourth person to keep one of us company on rides as we’re a family of three.
If you are concerned about space and privacy, I would communicate this to your Stone VIPS guide in advance. I’m positive they can strike a nice balance.
Stone VIPS offers tours of the following parks:
- Magic Kingdom
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom
- Islands of Adventure
- Universal Studios Florida
- Universal Studios Hollywood
- and More
Read more about Stone VIPS on TripAdvisor where you can also book your Orlando theme park VIP tours with them.
I can’t recommend the experience enough and will use them again.
Have you ever taken a Disney VIP tour?