Backstage at Walt Disney World: A Peak Behind the Scenes to Discover the Secrets Behind the Magic

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Travel & Tours Unlimited, Inc. recently got a peak behind the scenes at Walt Disney World (referred to as “backstage” by Disney employees, known as “cast members”). And regular guests on vacation at the theme parks can get a similar inside look by taking one or more of the 16 tours currently being offered at Walt Disney World. A synopsis of what is available and some tips on what to expect follows.

Walt Disney...his vision that is still evident today, 46 years after his death.

Many guests wish they could peak behind the scenes at Walt Disney World. They wonder what inspired Main Street in the Magic Kingdom, or the significance of Planet Earth (otherwise known as the “big golf ball”) in EPCOT, or how they take care of all of the animals in Animal Kingdom. And how do those ghosts “fly” through the air in the banquet room of the Haunted Mansion?

A little known, but very unique and interesting option is to take one or more of the park tours offered by Disney, most of which include a behind-the-scenes peak at the Disney magic. A total of 15 tours are available this summer, from the popular “Keys to the Kingdom” tour in the Magic Kingdom to a “Backstage Safari” tour in Animal Kingdom to Dive Quest, a scuba dive experience, in the aquarium at EPCOT.

Disney currently lists four tours in the Magic Kingdom, six tours at EPCOT and three tours in Animal Kingdom. In addition, there is a seven and one-half hour tour called “Backstage Magic” that takes guests to all four of the Walt Disney World theme parks. Another tour takes the guests in and around Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. And finally, “Yuletide Fantasy”, offered only during the holiday season, features holiday stories, folklore and décor found throughout the resorts and theme parks. (There are no tours exclusively in the Hollywood Studios theme park.)

Each tour is led by a knowledgeable guide that lends his or her unique perspective to the details. Many of the tours focus at least a portion of the time on things that inspired or influenced Walt Disney in the planning and design of the theme parks, and his vision that is still evident today, 46 years after his death.

As a final treat, a special pin - coveted by pin traders – is usually given at the end of most of the tours.

Travel & Tours Unlimited, Inc. has taken a number of the tours offered, and recently took a tour in each of the three theme parks offering tours.

Some general tips:

  •     Plan to arrive early – it takes a while to negotiate the Disney transportation and or parking lots
  •     Since those taking tours generally get into the park before the general public, this affords the opportunity to roam around a bit and take pictures before the park is flooded with people
  •     Wear comfortable clothing, especially shoes
  •     Tour prices currently range from $31.95 to $243.89
  •     Tour times currently range from one hour to seven and one-half hours
  •     Current tour offerings, format and prices are subject to change at any time

Travel & Tours Unlimited, Inc. specializes in all types of cruises, tours and vacation packages. Its goal is to “help their clients’ plan their best week of the year – their vacation!” The agency has been designated as an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner by Disney, a gold level Certified Sandals Specialist by Sandals and a Master Cruise Counselor by the Cruise Line International Association. Visit them at

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