Disneyland VIP Tour Service Review and Guide

Updated 7/20/18. Disneyland VIP Tours provide for easy access to all of the Disneyland Resort attractions and special treatment at shows with reserved seating.

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On one day of our trip we were with a large group of close friends and family touring both Disneyland and California Adventure. We went on every single attraction that we wanted to and the most that we waited for any attraction was 20 minutes. How did we do this you are wondering? With the amazing Disneyland VIP Tour service!

Disneyland VIP Tour

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The Disneyland tour guides, often called plaids by the public, are a Disneyland staple. Walt Disney first established the tour guide program in 1958 to help welcome Disneyland park guests into what was then a revolutionary foreign idea to them. Since then the types of tours have greatly expanded and the VIP tour was introduced.

Tour Benefits

I am sure that you are thinking, “that’s great, but why should I get it?” Well here is why. The VIP tour guide will cater for your every need. You will be VIP for the day, being waited on hand and foot. Your tour guide acts as a “concierge” as many of us adoringly called our guides. Anything was possible with a phone call.

The biggest perk of the guide is the special access to the FastPass line and skipping the line all together.  When you are with a tour guide they will almost immediately escort you on every attraction. It was really cool to see them join us on the rides (I’m sure that this a huge perk to the job)…as seen above.

Another benefit of the tour program was we had our choices of reserved seats for the fireworks, World of Color, Fantastmic!, and both parades. At meal time your guide will find and reserve perfect restaurants for your family or group.

VIP tour guides are able to get access to a ride on the Lilly Belle, an exclusive train car on the Disneyland railroad that is very hard to get a spot on.

You also get unlimited PhotoPass downloads from the day! This includes any attraction photos, character dining experiences, and magic shots!

Tour guides can also show off the Disneyland Pet Cemetary located behind the Haunted Mansion. Regular Haunted Mansion Cast Members can sometimes take guests out to see it like in the video below, but it is so much nicer with your guide.

Once you book your tour (details below), your tour guide will get in touch with you to figure out the details of the day or entire trip and decide on what attractions your family should ride and where to eat.

Disneyland VIP Tour Details

Your Disneyland VIP tour includes a few perks that start before you even enter the park! Make sure you’re prepared with what you want your day to look like when you talk to the VIP Tour Coordinator. Make your reservation as far in advance as possible because these tours are quite popular!

Planning Details

  • The VIP Tour Coordinators will contact you to help you plan your day including start times,  special celebrations, specific family priorities for the day and special dining needs.
  • They will also book your Disneyland dining reservations and get your VIP reserved seating set up for the shows you select.
  • The minimum length of your VIP tour is 6 hours and allows for flexibility for any spontaneous decisions along the way.
  • Tours are available only during normal park operating hours.
  • Complimentary strollers, wheelchairs, and lockers are offered to VIP tour guests.
  • Minors must be accompanied by an adult throughout the entire tour.

Reservations 

  • Reservations are required and can be made by contacting Disney Special Activities at [email protected] or (714) 300-7710.
  • Tours in other languages besides English may be available with advance notice.

Cost

  • Starting at $2,550, this cost covers the tour for you and up to 9 other guests with a minimum of 6 hours. Additional guests past the maximum 10 will require a second tour guide at an added cost.
  • Theme park admission to either park is not included in this price. If you plan on seeing both parks on your tour then you must get Disneyland park hopper tickets.
  • Cancellation notice of 48 hours is required to avoid a cancellation fee equal to 2 hours at the booked rate per each VIP Tour Guide.

Disneyland VIP Tour Tips

While in line or walking around, the guides will provide back stories and interesting factoids about the park if you ask….make sure to ask, the stories are really fun and enhance your entire day. It is customary that if you stop for a snack to offer to buy the guide food. Often times they will refuse anything, but still offer. At meal times it is your choice to decide if you want your guide to join your or not. Also, throughout the day guides may slip away while you are on an attraction or having a meal. Don’t worry, they just went off to “clock in” and check on other pieces of your day. Final super important tip, make sure to tip about $20 person in your group. It makes sense since they just spent the day catering to your every need. 

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Our Experience

As we said above, the tour guides made our Disneyland vacation. The ability to cut lines and sit in areas with perfectly unobstructed views is simply amazing. The only problem with the experience is that it is highly addicting. It was a very special experience that I am very happy to have enjoyed.

If you end up deciding to have a Disneyland VIP tour guide make your day magical at Disneyland then you will be the envy of all of the “regular” Disneyland visitors. Remember not to gloat to much when you are cutting them in line, you have been there too. 

Universal Studios Hollywood VIP Experience

Universal Studios Hollywood offers a VIP Experience that rivals the Disneyland VIP tours in both cost and content. At Universal Studios you’ll pay less than $400 for the entire day and receive tons of great extras with the experience.

Everyone has been raving about this new tour. You can learn more and get a discount on my discount Universal Studios tickets page.

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20 comments add yours

  1. I wonder what guests would pay WED Graduates and ITF Veterans for an Inside Knowledge Tour of attractions they have worked on? One way to employee our Disney Seniors and Veterans. I remember my first Tour Guide in 1958, on my 3rd visit to Disneyland. The price was much lower back then, as was everything else.

    • I don’t know, but boy would that be awesome. I have friends in the VIP Tour/Guest Services department who have received special tours of the Haunted Mansion and other attractions. They have a chance to win these tours by winning raffles in their department.

  2. I think 355 per hour is way too much. Then you ask for a20$ per hour tip. Who gets the 355 per hour? Disney will not get my season pass money next year wither. Shiesters

  3. Hi

    Kindly contact me to arrange conceirge services at Disneyland from the 13th to 17th August 2014

    Regards
    Farzana

    • Sorry for the late reply, but we aren’t the people to ask about that. Contact Disney directly as said above.

  4. I was pretty much horror stricken while reading this review. Had my former beloved overlords at the Mouse House finally taken one shortcut too many and gone to the Dark Side? Of course profit is important, but the guest (all guests rich or not) should enjoy the parks in equal fashion.
    See, back in the late 80s early 90s I worked in Guest Relations as a V.I.p. tour guide and so much of this article was contrary to Disney S.O.P. (standard operating procedure). Tips??? No Disney theme park employee is allowed to accept tips. The exception: if a guest offers 3 times despite your refusal, you can accept the tip, if you explain it will be donated to the United Way.
    But that’s a minor detail. I knew it has been over 20 years. A lot can happen in that time. I was hoping that Disney hasn’t gone through a huge shift in policy since the early 90s, but I’d learned from my Grandmother, to expect the worst and be pleasantly surprised if/when it doesn’t happen. So I called Disneyland Guest Relations to find out what in the name of Walt was going on! Guess what I learned?
    Disney policy hadn’t changed at all. You can rent a V.I.P. Tour Guide, but that doesn’t entitle you to backdating attractions! EVERY tour I had thought a guide could backdoor them onto rides and thought the person booking the tour was not bein

    • Darren,

      Thanks for the comment. We never “backdoored” any attraction except for Toy Story Midway Mania if I remember correctly.

      • Thanks for clarifying Gavin! Disneyland and WDW offer very different guided tours and I was very nervous that Disney had finally fallen to allowing guests to buy their way to the front of the line. I hope you read the continued comment. I hope its clear that I didn’t think there was.any intent to misinform readers (I can’t say that about all sites).
        I wish I hadn’t used my Kindle to post the comment. Some of.the autocorrect words are laughable and worse, it posted the portion you commented on before it was completed. My own fault for not writing in a traditional format. That premature posting meant that I wrote the 2nd half was a mad dash to clarify not only my initial point but explain my own intent as well as express my admiration for the work done on this site. I had hoped to have it posted before it was read by the editors. I know that typos abound, but it was a calculated risk as I hoped that if read as a whole my comments wouldn’t sound too snarky and I especially hoped it wouldn’t sound like I was scolding you. If I did, I hope you’ll accept my apology. I’ll be writing in external word processing programs and pasting the completed text from now on!

  5. Continued….
    Truthful when they were told so over the phone. I had a White House Press coordinator and her family that had to stand in line with the unwashed masses. Ironically, Jamie Lee Curtis refused a guide and any other perks her celebrity status would afford her. She explained (turning a truly horrible day into a magical one for a jaded tour guide whose pixie dust was way past its expiration date) that she wanted to have a “normal everyday guest experience in the park” with her daughter. She assured me that she could blend into the crowd, I asked her jokingly to prove it, she put on sunglasses and her entire look changed. I could’nt stop smiling and agreed she could blend. I said something about having a lot of experience considering her father is Tony Curtis and she was raised in the spotlight… (why use one.word when 50 will do just as well). She smiled.and said simply, “actress”. Btw-when I saw the pirates movies, I wondered if someone I told the story to .was on the cast of writers when Jack Sparrow simply says “pirate” when Elizabeth Swan gets angry when he behaves piratical – lying, stealing etc.
    See, celebrities get a VIP Guide who can backdoor them onto a ride, but it’s
    NOT for the celebrities benefit, it’s for the safety of the guests in line. Imagine Michael Jackson standing in line for the Haunted Mansion for a moment. No, imagine him standing in line when he was still alive! I saw him walk through the utilidors next to the cast member’s cafeteria. He was with body guards, Disney execs, record company execs and there was a mad dash to get to him! By Disney employees who are taught to never approach celebrities and never ask for autographs etc..if that had been in the park itself, I’d be concerned for his safety and.the other guests. It was that moment that MJ went from freakishly to tragic figure. He was a man trapped.in a prison of fame, a tower of isolation created not by him, but by Joe Jackson and Barry Gordy. Anyhow… Ive distressed enough…
    So back.to the.article.- I called Disneyland Guest Relations and asked about this article and the nice host I spoke to.assured me that Disneyland had not gone.through a change.of philosophy regarding guest experience. He assured me that no amount of money will buy a backdoor pass. HOWEVER, they offer a guided.tour called Walking in Walt’s Footsteps. The tour includes some backstage experiences. It sounds like the reviewer simply misidentified the tour as being a VIP Tour. While it may seem to be a minor error, it’s one.of.those errors that make cast members cringe when told “…but I read on the internet/in the newspaper/in my guidebook that..”.
    As a Guest Relations host, one of the main duties was distributing information and correcting misinformation the guests had gathered when planning their trip. I’d never heard of us being called Plaids, but had heard the term “Grounded Sky Witches” more than once. I was told that the term came from the fact that the G.R. costume resembles a flight attendant uniform. Some of us had a reputation for being “cranky” which was caused by our inability to fly.
    I’m sorry to tell you that a great deal of this review is incorrect, however I’m pleased to say the rest of the site is fantastic! I’ve read many of the other articles which seem to be examples of solid reporting, fact collection and summation/conclusion. This article’s errors seem to be an anomaly in an otherwise fantastic website. I can’t imagine that the author was motivated by malicious intenet or desire to mislead readers. It seems that the site is maintained by kindred spirits, and even located in The City I call home.
    I’m sorry rather selfishly because I had hoped to approach the web masters about writing some articles for this blog. I don’t know how receptive they will be to the idea of me contributing articles after I assaulted one of their posts.
    I wrote this directly in the comments box on the site, using a kindle and the on-screen keyboard so it’s not as polished as I would like.. it’s in two parts because I accidentally submitted the article before I intended.
    I really love this site. I visit several on a regular basis and this site often has material I haven’t seen elsewhere. More than anything, I enjoy the passion for the parks.and.all things Disney. It’s infectious and it really does deliver my doctor’s recommended Disney Dose.

  6. I was at Disneyland for the 4th of July weekend and I just want to tip my hat off to Andrew, our guide for doing such an excellent job. He covered everything and kept a smile on his face the entire time.

    • Wow Lonnie, that is worth mentioning. The 4th of July Weekend was crazy in the parks this year.

  7. You need to update the costs…

    The cost of Disney’s VIP Premium Tour Service varies between $360-500 per hour depending on the season. Please call Disney Special Activities at 714-300-7710 for the current pricing.

  8. DISNEY VIP Tour Guide Service

    For all those wondering about the Disney’s VIP Premium Tour, I searched endlessly and found very limited up to date or recent info and chose to write this informal but informative review for those considering it. This post will focus on the Disney Owned and Operated VIP Premium tour that only they offer. This is not referencing the many knock off tour companies in Orlando and California that use “VIP tour” in their titles but can NOT offer direct unlimited priority access to attractions, shows, and Disney reserved seating. Please forgive spelling typos and grammatical errors (not proofreading) as this is not meant to be fine poetry but useful information for those interested. My goal will be to provide info on what to expect and what not to expect as well as make comparisons between VIP Premium tours at Disneyland (Anaheim) as well as Walt Disney World (Orlando). I have participated in both of these and recently completed my first Disneyland trip this Christmas 2015 for which I booked a Premium VIP tour. I have gone to WDW in Orlando over 100 times with my family since we have family in Orlando and did the premium VIP tour there approximately 2 years ago so some procedures may have changed at WDW but the Disneyland VIP tour info is as recent as it gets! We also chose to stay on property even though we have family in Orlando and for those with family and in-laws know why! I will try to address certain topics and compare the two when appropriate. The first thing to remember is this review is referencing the Disney VIP Premium Tour Only and not the other hundreds of tours Disney offers. This is the ultimate premium VIP experience and as you can imagine is NOT CHEAP but is convenient and every person who reads this review will need to determine if the experience is worth the money. This info is not meant to be gospel but the info presented here is based on my personal recent experiences and may not reflect current offerings but is current for me. Here we go…

    COST: This will vary depending on the time of year you visit and obviously the holiday times are the most expensive and you do pay by the hour (6 hr minimum at both DL and WDW). I paid $550/hr on our recent Disneyland (DL) Christmas trip and about $400/hr on our past WDW Christmas trip. However, like all things at Disney, prices change and usually if not always go UP!. The WDW website now lists the cost to vary between $400-$600/ hr. This buys you and your group of up to 10 people a private VIP guide (wearing plaid) . If you have more than 10, a separate guide will be required and same costs apply for each guide! So if you like someone enough to share a tour guide that may average out cheaper per person but you may not get as much done having a full group of ten or separate families who may not agree on what to do next. Either way it’s beyond EXPENSIVE, but to me worth it for my family of 5 to do alone. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said standing in a 2hr line for a 2 min ride “Oh what I would pay to get priority access”, but it has to make sense for you.

    SEPARATE ADMISSION REQUIRED?: YES, in both DL and WDW separate admission is required and is in addition to the cost of the tour, so buy those park tickets. If you plan on park hopping you better buy park hopper tickets and not single park, single day tix or you will be stuck in that one park. Be aware.

    RIDE ACCESS: Be aware this is not instant “front of line” access despite the cost. As a general rule, most if not all attractions that offer Fastpass (FP) access allow you priority access. This means your guide can get you through the fast pass line as many times as you want to go. Know however, there may still be a short wait, but my recent experience at DL took a 110 minute standby wait to 5 min with our VIP guide.
    Ride access also varies between DL and WDW. In DL, most of Fantasyland is not available for premium access due to size of exits we were told and for $550/hr this was disappointing. (we could not get premium access to some of our favorites like Peterpan, Snow white, Mr. Toads, Winnie the pooh, Dumbo etc. mostly the small kiddie rides. ) At WDW, most of Fantasyland was accessible) This was a big difference between the two parks. All of the big rides at DL and WDW (FP access) are included and save a ton of time. Some rides you just enter the FP line with your guide where other rides you and your guide enter through the exit (even faster access) It really depends on the particular attraction.

    RESERVED SEATING: This is another nice feature which is included in the VIP tours at both DL and WDW. There are special reserve seating areas for the Nightime Fireworks and other BIG shows specific to each park as well as the Parades. The key to this is to remember you have to arrange this seating for the specific shows you want to see when you call the Disney VIP number to book your tour. The reserved seating of the VIP tour is a nice perk for several reasons…first- since it is reserved seating you don’t have to start finding a viewing spot along the parade route or in front of castle for fireworks an hour and a half or longer before the show!! This gives you a ton more time to continue to ride attractions with your guide… second- in many cases the Disney cast members and characters know where the VIP sections are and tend to acknowledge you and make an effort to wave or smile at your kids or party. third… if certain shows involve picking someone out of the crowd to help or participate in a show, you can bet it usually is a VIP tour party individual that is selected. (coincidence? I think not)This may not always be the case but still another great photo opportunity if it happens. REMEMBER to book or at least request this reserved seating at the time you book the tour.

    WHEN TO BOOK: As with Dining reservations or FP reservations, it pays to call or reserve as much in advance as possible to ensure availability. DL books VIP tours 90 days in advance and last I knew WDW books 6 months in advance. Confirm these dates on the websites as this may have changed. I called exactly 90 days out to book our Christmas DL VIP tour since Christmas can be so crazy. Also reserve seating is on a first come first serve basis so you don’t want to book a tour a week before Christmas and then act surprised or worse get upset that all reserved seatings are booked! PLAN AHEAD.

    HOW LONG IS TOUR? There is no set time as far as a maximum number of hours but there is a minimum for each day. Current minimum is 6 hrs at both DL and WDW.

    IS FOOD INCLUDED? No, food and beverages are NOT included with the VIP Premium tour. It is also up to you whether you want your guide to join you or not while eating. If they do, you are not expected to pay for their meals but we chose to do that since we considered them more a part of the family for the day rather than just a human FastPass ticket. One thing to keep in mind, especially during the busier times of year and holidays is that even with Dining reservations it can take at least an hour to an hour and a half to eat a sit down meal. Keep this in mind if rides are your priority. It can wind up being the most expensive sit down meal you’ve ever had at $550/hr plus the cost of your food and the meter keeps running while you eat. I’m lucky in that our kids are picky with food and one has a Gluten allergy so we usually hit the quick service or counter ordering locations to avoid wasting time sitting for a long meal on the clock. I’m not suggesting to NOT make dining reservations and if the princess dinner or lunch in the castle is a must for you then by all means, do it…after all, you dictate the pace and priority of the day. It’s your tour and you’re paying a lot of good money for it.

    CHARACTER GREETINGS: Nothing eats up more time if you have young ones wanting to meet, take pictures or get autographs with the Disney Characters . Thankfully, many of the more popular characters now offer a FP meet and greets or are present at “character” meals. The character meals are nice because you kill two birds with one stone. You feed yourselves and the characters come to you!!! No waiting in a random line that suddenly appears where the character is standing. On our recent DL trip, we had a private meeting with Mickey and Elsa and Anna. This was nice and did not feel rushed through. No other characters were accessible on the tour. Thankfully my kids are getting tired of the meet and greets and have started and never finished about a dozen autograph books. Parents know what I am talking about here. WDW seem to have better access to characters and bypassing lines than DL. If there is a certain character you must meet and don’t want to wait in the endless line, ask the VIP cast member when you call to book the tour.

    OTHER VIP TOUR PERKS: Even though WDW and DL now offer a Disney Photopass service which is where their photographers take the shots and then give you a card to view them later is convenient, you are at the mercy of where these photographers are located. Plus you don’t own the pics and have to pay for them. For me, family photos and memories are priceless and the more , the better. Having a VIP guide allows me to actually be in the pics with my family rather than looking at years of photos where I only exist behind the lens and not in the picture!!! Your guides can also assist with having purchases you make in the park get stored at the exit to pick up or transported back to your hotel. Beats carrying them around all day. VIP Guides can not get you employee discounts on items and meals so don’t ask.

    CLUB 33: For those Disney Veterans and those who know about it, the highly coveted reservation or ability to eat at the exclusive private club 33 in DL is not accessible from the tour. Sorry, I tried too. I did not ask to see the Cinderella suite in WDW Cinderella castle or Walt’s private apt in DL, or the Disney Dream Suite in DL so I can’t say if the guide would have accommodated. I doubt it but it never hurts to ask.

    TIPS FOR GUIDE: This topic continues to be a confusing one. When at WDW, our VIP guide said tips could not be accepted. This was NOT the case this Christmas trip to DL. Our guide was happy to accept one and in my opinion earned it. We had him for a full day tour for 2 days back to back. What is appropriate? Up to you, but I heard a one hr rate tip is good and a 2 hr rate tip is for an excellent experience. I went between and paid a 1 1/2 hr rate tip for our guide. Yes, this can be a $500 -$1000 tip but if you’re fortunate enough to be booking the Premium VIP tour, just go with it and reward your guide..

    At the end of the day, each person has to decide if this VERY EXPENSIVE VIP experience is worth it. We were able to ride everything we wanted to in DL and had reserved seats for all the shows and parades at Peak Christmas time. This would have never been possible without our VIP guide. A prime example of this is where we completed three of the big rides and were done in 25 mins. Total wait time otherwise would have totaled over 270 minutes without our guide.!!!! Is it worth it? You decide! Hope this was helpful and informative. Walt and his creations are timeless and truly amazing. Enjoy them how you wish and Thanks for reading.

    Visited December 2015

    • Awesome addition with new information! Thank you for taking the time.

      • Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a comprehensive and informative review. It is really hard to find accurate information about the VIP tours.

        • Happy to help. This information is always changing though, so be sure to ask lots of questions at the time of your booking.

          • Say you book a VIP tour from 9 am to 3 pm. You want to watch the parade at 3:30 pm and the fireworks show later that night. Will the plaid worker still be able to make arrangements for preferred seating for these shows or must you be with the plaid worker during that time in order to enjoy that perk? TIA

          • This is a good question. You should be able to have them make the reservations for you, but this is a question better answered via their phone line.

  9. As a former Tour Guide from the 1970’s I am really disappointed in the expectations of those posting on this site. I am guessing none of you ever heard Walt’s words…”everyone is a VIP, no one should receive special treatment”. It is a sad day when dollars and cents will allow anyone to move into a position before another guest. Then again, the 10-ride ticket book (including admission) was less than $10 in my day! I do wonder how you feel when you step in front of a child or international guest standing in line for an hour to see It’s a Small World for the first time?

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