DISNEY WORLD PRIVATE GUIDE

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Aug 26th, 2008, 07:59 AM
  #1
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DISNEY WORLD PRIVATE GUIDE

Hello Fodorites - Can you all help me find one. Relatives of mine just returned from a week in Disney where they hired a private guide who cut lines, provided snacks, and new all the in's and outs. Where can I find out more???
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Aug 26th, 2008, 08:12 AM
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This sounds like the perfect question to post on the disboards.com. Those boards are dedicated to all things disney and someone will be sure to know the answer. All I can add is that I know you can book behind the scenes tours directly with WDW but beyond that I am no help.
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Aug 26th, 2008, 08:26 AM
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Call Disney VIP Tour Services at (407) 560-4033. I believe the woman who schedules the bookings name is Pammy-Jean.

We won a trip last year from my daughter's school benefit. Part of the package included a VIP guide. Even though we knew the parks pretty well, we found it enjoyable. We used the same guide again on one day of our July trip. First time wa at the Hollywood Studios, this time at the Magic Kingdom.

There is certainly a benefit such as the ability to have fast-pass for every ride and, when possible, go to the front of the line. Technically, they aren't suppossed to do that, though the ride operators are usually amenable. Also, you can get some really good pointers on how to max out the score on Buzz Lightyear. If you're not familiar with the parks, they'll also have some really interesting tidbits. (Such as what the asteroids are on Space Mountain.)

Our guide got us VIP Parade seating, which was nice. If using the guide at the Hollywood Studios, they have VIP seating for the Fantasmic Show.

The cost at least $750, as it is a 6 hour minimum. In terms of snacks, etc that will depend on the guide. They are not reimbursed for the cost but can usually find a friendly face to help them out.

You'll need to schedule well ahead of time as they book up during busy periods.

Also, they are technically not allowed to ask for or accept tips. But, I think it is one of those "don't ask, don't tell policies." We tipped the guy $50 on both our trips.
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Aug 26th, 2008, 09:24 AM
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Michael's VIPs - http://www.michaelsvips.com/ - is another excellent private guide service. They're the service recommended by the Gaylord Palms. The owner was a Disney VIP guide before launching his own service. He also owns www.tourguidemike.com which is an online service that lets you create your own touring plans.

If the private guides are more than you're comfortable paying, you might consider using a service that creates custom touring plans for you. We've used www.buildabettermousetrip.com and they do custom plans for free when you book the trip through them. Or you can just pay for plans - it is $45 for the first day's plan and $25 for each additional day. We've used their plans twice and never waited more than 20 minutes for any of the rides even though we were traveling in the busy summer season. They put together an itinerary that had us visiting each park on the day of our trip that would have lower crowds. Then they made all of our dining reservations for us. Then had us fill out online questionnaires that covered all of the rides, shows, etc.

We received a package by mail that included general information like using fastpasses and trivia about the parks. We also received a tri-fold brochure for each day of the trip. For example, the Animal Kingdom plan told us which attraction to go to first, when to line up for the Finding Nemo show, etc. and it included our dining reservations in the plan.
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Aug 26th, 2008, 09:49 AM
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It continues to amaze me how Disney continues to suck even more $$$ out of people. A private guide, for Disney ??!! It's a theme park for goodness sake.
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Aug 26th, 2008, 09:52 AM
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$750? $750? On top of the cost of admission and accomodations?

Whew.
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Aug 26th, 2008, 10:07 AM
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Before the drop of the $$$ I used to argue that you could go to Europe cheaper than Disney. That (even today) may still be true.
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Aug 26th, 2008, 10:14 AM
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It is $750 spent in the manner the person wanted to spend it. Why is that your concern SanParis?

Unless of course you're going to say how you spent your money on vacation and I get to opine on your expenditures.
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Aug 26th, 2008, 11:15 AM
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Maybe it is not this way anymore, but I think it used to be any private guides (like Michael mentioned) can help you navigate some things but they can not get you to the front of a line - only a Disney employee/private guide can do that - if any private guide could do that part of it, all heck would break loose

So if that matters to you, which is usually the reason people do it, then be sure to ask the right questions of a non-Disney associated private tour -

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Aug 27th, 2008, 01:57 AM
  #10
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WOW - Thank you to all who replied. I had no idea it would be so costly nad cause such a controversy. Naturally, we do Disney the "old-fashioned" way whenever we visit. I was just curious upon hearing about it from a relatives recent trip.
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Jan 22nd, 2009, 06:34 AM
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I used a private guide and they were less expensive than the others and did a great job. We saw everything at the Magic Kingdom in one day. Do a search for disney vip tours on yahoo. That's how I found them. It was totally worth the money!
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Jan 22nd, 2009, 07:07 AM
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To Ryan - I would have been equally appalled re: of where the guide was guiding. But that IS typical Disney. I always wondered why the OP didn't just ask her relatives....???? Hmmmmm.
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Jan 22nd, 2009, 07:14 AM
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I'm in the wrong business ....
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Jan 22nd, 2009, 03:34 PM
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"To Ryan - I would have been equally appalled re: of where the guide was guiding. But that IS typical Disney"

Equally appalled at how I choose to spend money I earned honestly and through hard work?

Wow, either you have too much time on your hands or an overinflated sense your right to determine how I should spend MY money...
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Jan 22nd, 2009, 04:33 PM
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I was just looking at the cost of a private guide for Vail ski resort. It's $550 for the day. It seems to me that Disney's price is not out of line. A ski resort is only open about 7 hours per day.
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Jan 22nd, 2009, 04:54 PM
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You can hire me at either place. LOL. I think I can give a pretty darn good tour of Disney for $750.
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Jan 25th, 2009, 07:20 AM
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Disney wanted to charge $1400.00 for eight hours at one park. I paid $700.00. Disney would not guarentee front of the line access. I was guarenteed a ten minute average wait in line for any ride. We rode every ride in the Magic Kingdom and some rides twice in the eight hours. We didn't have to worry about how to get to the next attraction or move any faster than a casual stroll. We even stopped for lunch during the tour. Let's see anyone do that without a guide.
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Oct 26th, 2010, 06:21 PM
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Just found this thread... you should check out Ear To There Tours, they seem to be the least expensive provider with a fairly professional website. Google the name and you'll find the website.
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Oct 26th, 2010, 07:24 PM
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ad
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Nov 7th, 2010, 06:08 PM
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Thanks for your "comment", then let me expand...

There's (In order of cost):

Disney - $115 - $320 per hour - best of the best

Michael's VIP's - $100 p/h + 20% tip - great website

Elite Orlando VIP tours - $100 - $115 p/h (gratuity optional)- not so great website

VIP Theme Park Tours - $700 for 8 hours (15% - 20% gratuity requested) - website from 1999

Ear to There - $349 for 10 hours weekday, $399 weekend (gratuity optional) - nice website

If you'd like to add something substantial, go ahead, but something more helpful than "ad", please.

D!
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