Hiring a personal guide service for Walt Disney World
"I'm planning a trip to Orlando the week of November 19-24. This is pretty much the only week I have available to travel. I came across a personal guide service (name withheld) while I was visiting TripAdvisor.com. My first question would be is this service real; meaning is not a scam or anything right? The second question is, would it be worth it?
Thanksgiving Week and Special Access
A VIP Tour of Tower of Terror might be cool - Photo by Mike Billick
Because you're going the week of Thanksgiving, you're probably looking for ways to shorten wait times at the rides. Am I right?
Wouldn't it be cool to have special access? To walk right up to the front of the line like a VIP?
Personal Guide Service
I have no clue about the particular personal guide service you mentioned. I will say that when I Googled them they didn’t show up which is not a very good sign.
It is against Disney rules for “personal guides” to operate on Disney property. That’s not to say they don’t. They do, but it’s against the rules. If they get caught, they will be warned. If they persist, they can be arrested. (I haven’t heard of that happening, but it’s possible.)
I'm not sure of the benefit you'll get from a non-Disney guide service. They can help you choose what rides to go on at what time, but they will not be able to get you VIP access, extra FastPasses or help you skip the lines. You'll still have to stand in line like every one else.
Disney VIP Tours
An alternative that you might consider is going with Disney's special tours.
Disney offers private VIP Tours. The price is $425 to $600 per hour for up to 10 people. This gives you a virtual front of the line pass to all attractions, VIP viewing locations for fireworks and parades, and personal service.
You get a personal Disney guide who will take you where you want to go and walk you right to the front of every ride.
Disney also offers some guided tours that are targeted at certain attractions. These tours tell you about the rides then take you right up to ride them without a wait.
Ultimate Day of Thrills Tour
The Ultimate Day of Thrills Tour is probably the best bet for your money because you get to experience the biggest line rides without any wait.
Check out this list of attractions. Space Mountain, Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, the Haunted Mansion and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in the Magic Kingdom. Then in Epcot there's Soarin', in Disney's Hollywood Studios it's Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, Toy Story Mania and Star Tours.
The tour is $299 per person. It’s a 7 hour tour. If you are looking to shorten your wait time then this is the tour for you. The 10 longest rides done in just 7 hours and you don't use up any of your FastPasses. That's a bargain.
Other Disney VIP tours include the Classic’s VIP Tour ($199) in the Magic Kingdom where you ride the classic rides that Walt influenced. In Animal Kingdom there's the Nights of Adventure for $249 which is a 4 hour tour of the big rides at night.
Park admission is NOT included on any of the Disney Tours.
Is the Disney VIP service worth it? That's a question that you'll have to answer for yourself. Yes, you will get front of the line access to the rides, but at a big cost. Only you know what you can afford but that Ultimate Day of Thrills looks pretty promising.
Does Disney make it a great experience, yes and if you have a group of 10, the VIP tour could be something special and not crazy expensive.
My Friends will help
I do suggest you get in touch with my friends and partners at Destinations to Travel. They can help you build an itinerary that will save time in lines. They can help you make your FastPass+ reservations and get your ADR's all lined up.