VIP Tours are no secret at Disneyland Resort. Any Guest willing to pay can have a top-of-the-line Disney Parks experience, skipping lines and enjoying almost any dining experience they desire.
Celebrities often employ this pricey service for convenience and to avoid getting mobbed by other Disney Park Guests. Fans have spotted dozens of celebrities with VIP Tour Guide Cast Members, including Kylie Jenner and TikTok star Charlie D’Amelio.
However, a trend has emerged over the past few months suggesting that Disneyland offers a unique new service to certain celebrities – shutting down an entire ride for a private experience.
The Kardashians at Disneyland Park
The first viral incident occurred in April when Kim Kardashian and Khloe Kardashian were spotted not only skipping the line for Mad Tea Party at Disneyland Park but enjoying the ride all to themselves:
Guests waiting in line were furious that their already-long wait time was increased because the famous celebrity family wanted the attraction all to themselves.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have celebrated North West’s birthday at Disneyland Resort in the past with multiple VIP Tours, but never shut down an entire attraction prior to April of 2022. Additionally, Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker are spotted regularly at the Theme Parks.
In 2021, Kylie Jennier and Travis Scott received backlash after a visit to Walt Disney World Resort in which they shut down “it’s a small world” for a private experience.
The Kardashian family (Keeping Up With the Kardashians) are still big Disneyland fans. However, they haven’t shut down a ride since the Mad Tea Party incident and never issued a public statement on the viral video.
Black Panther’s Sterling K. Brown At Disney California Adventure
More recently, in June 2022, a frustrated Disney California Adventure Guest took to Reddit to complain about Sterling K. Brown, star of NBC’s This is Us and Marvel’s Black Panther (2018).
According to the Guest, Brown not only enjoyed a private experience on Grizzly River Run but also kicked waiting Guests out of line for the infamous water ride:
Last month my kids, 5 and 10, and I waited for about 30 mins for the Grizzly River Run and we were told to leave the line. We found shade over by soaring eagles to reassess what we were going to do. As I stood there talking to my wife, I caught a look at this guy who seemed very familiar. I stared at him as much as I could without being a jerk. And while his son and him passed an arms length from me I could hear him say “all to yourself”.
I then half jokingly turned to my wife and said I think that was so and so and he said that the ride would be all to themselves and were walking towards Grizzly. She didn’t believe me and I told her through the rest of the day that is what happened and she briefly saw him too and started to be convinced.
Though the Guest claims to have been at Disneyland Resort the same day as Jeff Bezos, it was not the Amazon titan that kicked them off Grizzly River Run.
Brown, who played N’Jobu in Black Panther and lent his vocal talents to Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Frozen II (2019) as Lieutenant Destin Mattias, was, in fact, at Disneyland Resort in June. Disney Parks shared this photo on Instagram from Avengers Campus:
Disneyland Resort and Sterling K. Brown haven’t commented on the allegation that he and his family kicked Guests out of line for Grizzly River Run.
Disney Parks Fan Response
Overall, Disney Parks fans understand that VIP Tours allow Guests the ability to skip the queue at Disneyland Resort. Typically, these Guests are escorted through the DAS or Lightning Lane and Genie+ Line to the front of the ride.
However, most fans feel celebrities shouldn’t be able to have rides all to themselves, especially not if it means waiting Guests get kicked out of line. Reddit user u/jetstobrazil wrote:
As for my thoughts on the matter? If you’re so amazing and important that you shouldn’t have to wait, why don’t you build your own Disneyland? Especially Someone as grotesque as bezos. I’d probably lob some nachos at him if I ever saw that loser in Disney. It would be worth the ban.
I will say that celebrities who have appeared in Disney movies or shows, I can kinda get allowing them a little special privilege and im alright with it.
But, the celebrities who get my respect are the one who don’t care to wait in line with us normies.
u/XxDellixX suggested that this might be a safety measure, but agreed that they would be frustrated if a celebrity kicked them out of line or increased their wait time at Disneyland:
I mean I heard from a former face cast member that it’s actually Disney management and security that shuts out everyone from the ride for a celebrity. They do it for “safety” purposes? Not because they pay for it. Maybe that wrong information though. Not sure, either way I certainly wouldn’t be happy about it myself.
Another Disneyland fan said that the only time they can think this would be acceptable is when filming for an advertisement that they didn’t want any other Guests in.
This secondclass treatment has happened to me at Universal Hollywood as well (couldn’t leave guest services because the celebrity wanted the only elevator/stairway for her and her groupies first). It’s annoying, but we really are peasants in the eyes of the corporation. More money = more power.
A former Walt Disney World Resort Cast Member said that the only time they’ve shut down a ride for a Guest was when members of the British Royal Family wanted to ride Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios:
This was forever ago but back when I worked at the tower of terror in Florida, we had British royalty want to ride. We had to clear the entire building for them.
u/theaccountnat said that while they agree sometimes it is necessary to shut down rides for the safety of notable Guests, Disneyland should do something to make it up to other Guests:
I have a likely unpopular opinion here in that I somewhat understand it. You never know who is going to be insane and try to jump out of their boat to get to whatever famous person it is – which is a gigantic safety risk, especially since this is a ride that you could unclip the seatbelt yourself like an airplane. So I can understand the person riding alone…
HOWEVER – what I don’t get is why they didn’t give out a recovery pass (as if the ride broke down) to you and people in line. If you have to clear the line because there’s not a solo way for the celebrity to get on through the exit (been a while since I did GRR so I think that’s the case?), why not issue a recovery pass to the guests who have been inconvenienced? I’m not saying it’s the individual CMs’ faults for not doing that. Just that it would be a fairer trade off if the policy was to issue a recovery pass when this needs to happen.
Have you ever seen a celebrity shut down an attraction at Disneyland Resort or Walt Disney World Resort? Let us know in the comments.