Thursday, 2 January 2020

After holidaying in Orlando and Walt Disney World numerous times, I am always on the look out for new things to try and make my trips a little different.

This last trip I was lucky enough to be gifted a touring experience from my sister for my birthday.
I have wanted to try a tour for some time and in particular the Marceline to Magic Kingdom tour as it was rumoured to show you some of the backstage areas of the Haunted Mansion. One of my favourite attractions.

the tour will currently set you back $49 plus tax and is available on numerous days of the week.
You can check an up to date schedule here

From time to time the tour has been offered a couple of times a day - for example 8am and 10am.
If you can I would recommend going for the 8am start and on a day without extra magic hours at Magic Kingdom as this will mean you get to enter the park before the public (an added perk).

The tour starts at the top of main street at the town square theatre. Here you will meet your guide and be given a bottle of water, headset and a keepsake badge.

Now I honestly believe every tour will be slightly different because it will depend on your tour guide and potentially anything happening in the parks on that day.

Our tour guide was AMAZING! Darlene, She was a little bit older than some of there guides you see around the parks, and her father was an imagineer (though I never got to ask his name). She herself had met Walt a few times before his death and had dreamed of working for Walt as a child and wearing the infamous plaid.

She had lots of little stories and was so knowledgable about Walt, the attractions and other imagineers. Some of the information I am sure is standard, maybe even scripted, but I am pretty sure we got a few other special tidbits due to her amazing knowledge and experience.

We headed down Main Street and into an empty liberty square where we started with lots of history on Walt.

We then moved onto the Haunted Mansion where we went through the details of the queue and I finally found that ring!! (wanna know where it is, Message me on Insta!)

By this point we were half an hour into our tour and people were starting to come into the parks and join the queue for the haunted mansion. We were the very first people to ride it that day.

Darlene took us on the attraction and talked at us through our headsets throughout, telling us secrets and pointing out things I had genuinely never noticed before.

Then came the part we had all been waiting for. We headed backstage to the deepest darkest depths of the haunted mansion. No photos or video was allowed but I can honestly see it in my mind clear as day! We entered through a door at the side of the tangled restrooms into a service yard and then into the HM building itself.

It literally looked like your dads garage or something, with paint and random bits everywhere. But then, through the next door... a pitch black room with luminous tape on the floor to guide you. Had we stepped out of those lines, a guest would have seen us illuminated in the ballroom scene of the haunted mansion!

Being within touching distance of those animatronics and that whole area was just mind-blowing. Hearing the doom buggies above your head. I won't spoil all the magic of how it is done. I'll save that for when you take the tour yourself, cos I know you want to now!

We then proceeded to explore more of the park, ride small world and carousel of progress, all the while darlene was telling us stories and pointing out hidden details.

The tour ended about 3 hours after it started and darlene wrapped it up as we exited the carousel of progress. I was in such a haze of excitement and interest I wasn't even ready for it.

She told us the most amazing little anecdote about Walt and her father and I would have given anything to have been filming it but I missed it.
Ah well. I have the memory.

If you would like to see a little of the tour in action and hear some of darlene's stories, you can check out my vlog here


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