On our last trip, Greg and I did the Keys to the Kingdom tour at the Magic Kingdom. There are 3 tours a day starting in the morning ~ we were on the 10 am tour. This tour lasts 5 hours but it is worth every penny spent for the tour and the time involved.
We checked in at town hall on Main Street, we picked out our lunch selections from the menu for later, and were issued head sets. The head set was comfortable to wear and enabled us to hear everything the tour guide talked about as we strolled through the park learning secrets about Disney.
We walked down Main Street and cut thru to Adventure Land ~ all the while our tour guide was giving us Disney trivia and answering any questions he could. We rode on a Jungle Cruise boat ~~~~ without waiting in the long line. Next time you ride that, listen to the natives chanting right before you go under the waterfall ~ on of them says "I like disco"! Weird, but true! Originally Walt Disney wanted to use real animals but that wasn't practical for that setting.
Disney reuses a lot of items and they show up in different places.Many years ago, we saw the Aladdin parade with the spitting camels....they have been repurposed to the Aladdin ride....and they still spit. Some faces on the characters you see on different rides ~ are also faces on other rides. You don't notice till you really look.
We got to go backstage where the floats are stored in Frontierland. The section we were in had mostly holiday floats. There is a line on the pavement before you hit the gate that tells the cast member that they "show" has begun ~ so they know to start waving, dancing or whatever their role is. From when they pass that line in Frontierland, all the way thru the parade route, to when they cross the line after going down Main Street and through the gates again ~ they are in a show. And I did ask about the Malificent Dragon float (it caught on fire several months ago). At the time I asked, it was still under investigation, but they are doing repairs and it should rejoin the parade line up.
Our lunch was at Peco's Bill Café in Frontierland. There was a room set aside for us with our names beside the lunches we had ordered. Greg chose nachos and I had soft taco's. They had set up a condiments bar for us in the middle of our dining room with guacamole, salsa, shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, jalapenos, etc. It was really good. The lunch was included in the price of the tour.
Next stop was at the Haunted Mansion ~ we went in the back way and bypassed the really long lines, a great perk on the tour. The guide told us the secret of the dancing figures in the ballroom scene ~ I looked closely and still couldn't tell how they did it. Disney is really good at their illusions.
Next stop was the Liberty Bell in front of the Hall of Presidents. Did you know that they were 2 castings made from the original mold of the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia? One is the bell in Philadelphia and the other is the bell at the Magic Kingdom. Pretty cool trivia!
As we were walking we made a bathroom stop at the new Tangled Rest Area in Fantasy Land. That area used to be where you got on the skylift that took you over the park. Disney is doing a new skyride at different parks to link them ~ Some of the hardware is already mounted in the parking lots. I don't know when this is going to open or what parks it will link. It will be another way to travel besides the monorail, buses, and boats.
Then came the fun part...we went down into the Utilidoors (the utility coridors) under the Magic Kingdom. This is how Mickey gets from one land to another without being seen. Its also storage for stores, has a gym, costuming departments, etc. There are motivational posters on the walls for the cast members, displays of the parks, large shadowbox type frames of the collectors pins, etc. We walked from beside the Winnie the Pooh ride in fantasyland to the end of main street underground. Fun fact ~ do you know where all the dirt went when they dug out the lake in front of the Magic Kindgom? The utilidoors were constructed first and then the dirt was used to cover it up and make the hill for Cinderellas Castle to reside on.
The tour was a lot of fun ~ our guide was amazing! It was well worth the time and money & perfect for the 2 of us to do together. There was one downside....we were not allowed to take any pictures or record any of the tour. I did take a picture of our lunch plate and our pins we received but that was it!
I don't know if Disney has set an age recommendation for this tour, but I think children would get very bored and disruptive. Definitely an adult tour.
Oh, we learned lots more secrets ~ but I don't want to spoil the magic for you!