Walt Disney World is a magical place—unless you visit during high season and spend the majority of your time waiting in line. You may have heard rumors about how to cut the lines, and while there are a fair number of scams, there is a legitimate solution for those looking to experience a luxe side of Disney: an official Disney VIP Guide. After all, Disney wouldn't be Disney if it couldn't make every dream come true. Here are five reasons it's worth the investment.
Experience Disney Frustration-Free
The biggest perk of this package is simple: Because your VIP tour guide functions like an unlimited FastPass, you get to skip the lines. While you can't go directly to the first spot in line, your guides can walk you right to the FastPass line for every ride, essentially guaranteeing you won't wait longer than 15 minutes, even for rides that sometimes have a three-hour wait. What's more, you can do this over and over on your favorite rides.
Magic Carpet Ride
While Disney World has an extensive and efficient public transportation system, who wouldn't prefer a private car that takes you in through backdoor entrances? With no lines for buses or trams or searching for your car in a crowded parking lot, you'll save lots of time. Typically, it takes at least 45 minutes to transfer from one park to another when all is said and done; with your trusty VIP guide, you can make the switch in less than half that time, giving you more time in the parks.
True VIP Status & Insider Knowledge
Ever wonder how you can to sit in the front row for shows? The last row on rides? The VIP guides know all the tips and tricks for helping you get the most out of your experience. If you're looking to learn about Disney beyond the rides, don't hesitate to pick their brains. The guides have extensive training about all of the theme parks, as well as Disney's history (they have to pass a test before they become certified). You'll be amazed at the information they are privy to. The guides can also point out some hidden Mickeys that even the most seasoned Disney-phile may not know about.
Cover More Ground
If you're only in town for a short time, you can cram nearly every major attraction into a couple of days if you're with a VIP Guide. If you move quickly and keep mealtimes to a minimum, you'll be surprised how much you can see. Without stopping for lunch, it's possible to visit three parks in about six hours.
Time Is Money
Although Disney VIP Guides are expensive, it pays to hire a guide and minimize the days you need to spend in the parks. Guests of Walt Disney World Resorts can hire a VIP Guide for $315/hour for a minimum of six hours. That means the minimum cost for a VIP guide is $1890 (not including the cost of tickets). You can, however, bring up to 10 people with one VIP Guide. Though not cheap, it is more economical than you may think, as you'll likely be able to squeeze more than one park into one day.
Katie Goldstein is a freelance travel journalist based in New York City. In addition toFodor's, her writing and photographs have appeared on The Huffington Post, Fox News, Forbes and CBS.com. Keep up with Katie's adventures on her travel blog Travelingpanties, Twitter, and Instagram.