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At some point, in hour five of your day at a Disney park, you’re probably tired of standing in lines. The magic of Disney theme parks is undeniable, but when the sweat sets in and your feet begin to ache, you may be wondering if there’s another way.
The Disney VIP tour allows you to skip the lines with a dedicated tour guide and a custom itinerary. But, of course, it’s pricy, so let’s take a closer look at the Walt Disney World VIP tour, how much it costs and whether it’s worth it.
What is the Walt Disney World VIP tour?
Disney offers a variety of enhanced experiences for those willing to shell out extra money. This includes group tours and behind-the-scenes expeditions; however, its most premium product is the personalized VIP tour. The VIP tour isn’t just limited to Walt Disney World — you can also book these private tours at Disneyland and other Disney parks.
The VIP tour at Disney grants you your own Disney tour guide who’ll whisk you from ride to ride without waiting in long lines. In addition to this, you’ll also get special access to restaurant reservations and entertainment seating, including fireworks.
Disney VIP tours do not include park admission. You’ll have to pay for this separately.
You’ll tell your tour guide what you’d like to see and do, and they’ll plan the day. You can even park hop with the VIP tour, which means you’ll be escorted to another park in a private vehicle.
» Learn more: How to plan a trip to Walt Disney World
Disney VIP tour cost
The Disney VIP tour is costly and doesn’t include park admission. The rate for a tour depends on the season and the crowd levels. So just how much is the Disney VIP tour? Prices range from $425 to $850 per hour, and you must book for a minimum of seven hours. The price includes up to 10 people, including infants.
Be aware that cancellation policies differ across parks.
At Walt Disney World, canceling with less than 48 hours' notice will incur a cancellation fee of two hours at your booking rate.
At Disneyland, VIP tours are nonrefundable if canceled less than four days in advance.
» Learn more: How to go to Disney World for cheap
Are Disney VIP tours worth it?
The Disney VIP tour is expensive. Although unlimited front-of-the-line access and guaranteed seating are nice, you’ll really need to budget for an expense like this. Let’s break this down using Walt Disney World as an example.
The cheapest rate you’ll pay for a Disney VIP tour will cost you $2,975. In exchange, you and up to nine of your friends will receive seven hours of unlimited front-of-the-line access, a personal tour guide, premier access to dining reservations and dedicated entertainment seating.
At this rate, the total cost of the tour will be $297.50 per person. So it’s unlikely that you’ll want to book a VIP tour for multiple days unless you’re trying to squeeze in as much activity as possible.
If you’re a large group with a relatively limited amount of time, a tour can help maximize your vacation. It’s probably best for family reunions, bachelorette parties or other family group trips for special occasions. These are the kinds of people who will be able to maximize the Disney VIP Tour.
You should probably skip the Disney VIP tour if you're on a budget, traveling in smaller groups or can afford to spend multiple days at Disney.
Disney VIP tour vs. Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane
When comparing costs in the following examples, let’s say you’re booking the VIP tour for just one day.
In October 2021, Disney introduced the paid Genie+ system, which replaced the now-defunct (and free) Fastpass Plus program. Genie+ operates similarly, with the ability to book individual return times on most Disney rides.
At Walt Disney World, this experience costs $15 per person per day.
Sadly, Genie+ doesn’t include some of the most popular rides at each Walt Disney World park, including Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Space Mountain. Instead, the fast lane for these rides is priced separately and available a la carte via Individual Lightning Lane.
You’ll need to pay per person, per ride, for attractions included in the ILL. Costs vary according to demand but can be as high as $15/person. In addition, you can only purchase ILL access once per ride, per day. So there’s no way to use the fast lane for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance continually, for example.
» Learn more: How to book the new Star Wars hotel on points
Under the old Fastpass system, a return time didn’t guarantee you a front-of-the-line spot. Instead, you’d experience a shorter, separate line from the main queue.
Now let’s say that your party of 10 has chosen to head to Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios for the day. Naturally, you want to skip as many lines as possible, so you’ll pay for Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane attractions.
Genie+ comes out to $150 for the day for all 10 of you. It’s a little more challenging to predict ILL pricing, but let’s say it’s an average of $11 per ride. Everyone rode all four ILL available, two at Magic Kingdom and two at Hollywood Studios, which means you’ve paid $440 for ILL rides.
Altogether, you paid $590 to take advantage of Genie+ and ILL, which will have granted you shorter lines at most rides.
There’s a massive difference between paying $2,975 for a VIP tour or $590 — one option is five times the price of the other. But, of course, you can also choose not to spend any additional money at all, in which case you’ll pay for park admission and elbow it out with everybody else.
» Learn more: The best travel credit cards right now
The best benefit of the Disney VIP tour? Time saved
Consider the range of benefits you’ll receive when comparing a Disney VIP tour vs. Genie+ and ILL. Disney VIP tours give you a whole host of special perks, including one that’s almost impossible to find — time.
You’ll save time moving between parks in a private car. You’ll save time waiting for a good seat for the fireworks and save time in the Lightning Lane lines because a VIP tour jumps you past those who have paid for that luxury.
In this case, the Disney VIP tour makes a compelling example for those with limited time, especially if you can max out the tour group with 10 people. If you only have a day or two to experience the parks, why would you spend it waiting in the vast lines?
This is especially true when you consider the already high costs of a Disney World vacation, which can climb into the thousands of dollars for a big family and multiple days at the parks.
» Learn more: Best Disney World hotels to book with points
How to book a Disney VIP tour
You can start booking a VIP tour up to 60 days in advance.
For Walt Disney World, bookings can only be made by phone. So you’ll need to call the VIP tour office at 407-560-4033. The office is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily.
If you’re looking to book a Disney VIP tour at Disneyland instead, you can book by email at [email protected] or call the office at 714-300-7710.
» Learn more: How to budget for a family trip to Disney
If you want to book Disney’s VIP tour
There’s no doubt that a Disney vacation can be magical, but you’ll need to pay up to experience all that pixie dust. A Disney VIP tour is undoubtedly a splurge but can make sense for those looking for as much convenience as possible.
Before you book, make sure to do the math on costs and whether it is affordable. Otherwise, stick to options such as Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes to help re-create the experience at a fraction of the cost.
Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World.
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