By Roger and Brenda.
The Disney World Backstage Tour is a wonderful way to learn some of the secrets that create the magic at Walt Disney World. You will receive Backstage Magic badges and the Backstage Magic pin, which cannot be purchased and are only rewarded to Backstage Magic Tour participants.
You tour three parks: Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and the Magic Kingdom.
Your tour begins at Epcot, where you quickly board an air conditioned tour bus. You are offered chilled bottled water , and you can even put your own drinks in the cooler to keep them icy cold. You begin learning Disney lore from your tour guides as your bus takes you “backstage” at Epcot.
There are two dimensions to Walt Disney World: The Show and Backstage.
The Show: The Show is that part of Walt Disney World you pay admission to see. It’s all the attractions, the shops, the cast members, etc. It’s everything you see while you are IN WDW.
Backstage: Backstage are all the parts you NEVER see in The Show. That includes:
- Building walls not visible in The Show (hint: they are plain and unadorned)
- Cast Member break and locker rooms
- Creative Costuming tailoring areas
- Laundry service (hint: WDW is the nation’s second largest user of uniforms–second to the U.S. Armed Forces)
- American Adventure show mechanism (you literally go “backstage”) that makes Ben Franklin the first animatronic to “climb” stairs
- Central Shops (creators and maintainers of ride cars, transportation vehicles, etc.)
- Walt Disney World Nursery & Tree Farm
- Magic Kingdom’s Utilidor “tunnel” system (actually the first floor of MK)
Hi-lights of Epcot
Photos are restricted to only a few areas, but the glimpses you get and the information you learn makes this tour memorable and valuable. For example:
Outside, you learn how forced perspective, which is normally used to make buildings appear taller or bigger than they are in reality, is used here to make the building appear smaller. Now the building’s apparent size will blend in with the rest of World Showcase (hint: Next time you visit the American Adventure Pavilion is the centerpiece of World Showcase, notice how huge the front door is!)
You see the Epcot Cast Building, where all cast members arrive to begin their work shift. There are:
- Break Areas
- Learning Centers
- Employee Computer Access
- Locker Room
- Character Makeup Area, and
- Carpet Testing.
That’s right! Before any carpet is installed in any theme park, hotel, or other Disney area, it is placed in the Epcot Cast building, where 5,000 cast members trod across it twice a day.
You view the Walt Disney World Nursery & Tree Farm, where tree walls are built. Trees in wheeled boxes make it possible to create barriers, and here, topiaries come to life.
Hi-lights of Hollywood Studios
Here, you learn how Disney Hollywood’s Aerosmith’s Rockin’ Roller Coaster travels 60 mph upside down, and the Tower of Terror drops 1.4 times the speed of gravity. cast members explain that for those kids who fail to meet the height requirement of 40 inches, they may receive a special card that will put them at the head of the line when they do grow to reach 40 inches.
Additionally, you learn that Disney openly shares it’s ride safety technology with all thrill ride creators to ensure the welfare of all riders.
You lunch at the Whispering Canyon Cafe, inside Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, a delicious and amusing respite that feeds you all you can eat.
After visiting the Utilidor in Magic Kingdom, you learn about the names adorning the windows on Main Street USA, and are escorted to a special reserved area to view the 3:00 o’clock Parade.
- Price: The current price (as listed on the website) is $229.00 per person. There may be discounts for DVC members, Annual Passholders, and others.
- Duration: The tour is 6 to 8 hours long. It starts at 9:00 AM (you need to get to Epcot between 8:30 AM and 8:45 AM), and ends around 3:30 PM to 4:00 PM.
- Restrictions: You must be at least 16 years old (no spoiling the magic for the kids!) and have a government issued ID, like a driver’s license, passport, etc.
- Park Admission: Theme Park admission is not required, nor is it included. If you with to visit a park after your tour, you will need to use a Disney admission ticket.
- Value: Priceless! This is a Must Do! for all you Disney-holics out there! The tour experience will enhance and deepen your appreciation of Walt Disney World, the Disney Company, and, well, all things Disney.
Here’s the link to the Disney World website, if you need more information about scheduling the tour.
It’s fun, educational, and you see much you could only see as a Cast Member. So, welcome aboard, and we’ll see you “Back Stage.”
By the way, if you like Disney pins as much as we do, be sure to check out our Disney trading Pin Tutorial.
Roger and Brenda
Brenda & Roger are Disney-holics who hail from Franklin, NH. Their Disney Adventures are chronicled at Back to Disney.
Roger is a professional resume writer and Brenda is a serious gardener. They are proud and excited to be part of the Mouze Kateerz staff.
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