Guest Debunks Exclusive Disney Parks Experience, “It’s a Total Rip Off”

in Disneyland Resort

disneyland cast member walk in walts footsteps tour

Credit: Disney

Considering how pricey exclusive offerings can be, what is one to do after a less-than-magical Disney Parks experience?

Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, is home to iconic classic attractions like Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion, Peter Pan’s Flight, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, and Matterhorn Bobsleds, as well as world-class entertainment offerings — with two brand-new nighttime shows debuting in 2023 — memorable character interactions, mouth-watering snacks, and more. However, the Happiest Place on Earth was less than magical for a group of Guests who were disappointed after treating themselves to an exclusive Disney Parks experience.

group of Guests walking down main street usa during the holidays at disneyland
Credit: Disney

Guided tours returned to Disneyland earlier this year after a long absence from the Southern California theme park, allowing Guests to experience Disneyland Park with a behind-the-scenes look at some of the magic that takes place at the Park. Unfortunately, the pricey experience was less than magical for a group of Guests who recently visited Disneyland for the holidays.

Guests with a Disneyland VIP tour guide on Walt's Main Street Story Tour at Disneyland Park, disney parks exclusive experience
Credit: Disney

User u/pikaboo27 took to Reddit to share their experience while taking the “Holiday Time at the Disneyland Resort Guided Tour,” trying to warn fellow Redditors and Disney fans about this “total rip off.” Their post reads:

Don’t take the Holiday Tour. It’s a total rip off.

We’ve taken the tour in the past and had such a great time! The best part was we got to ride Haunted Mansion Holiday without a wait and got to sit in reserved chairs by It’s a Small World for the Christmas parade and enjoy hot cocoa in a take home mug and a Mickey Gingerbread cookie. That’s all gone now. Instead we get to listen to the same stories from a decade ago, stand in a crappy location, and get a disposable cup of cocoa with a gingerbread loaf (no Mickey in sight). And no Haunted Mansion. We got to ride IASW instead which has had a wait time the last couple days of about 5-20 min. Apparently you have to book the $6000 guide to get the chairs now. So thanks Disney for removing any value from the tour.

I could have sat for two hours and held seats instead of paying the $110+tax per person.

Note: yes, I have already written to Customer service and am going to go to city hall to complain. I know I won’t get a dime back, but this is terrible and I wanted to warn others.

Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, and Daisy in front of sleeping beauty castle at Disneyland Park
Credit: Disney

Unfortunately, the original poster was not alone in this feeling, as their post quickly racked up over 500 upvotes and 60 comments sharing similar experiences.

Fellow Redditor u/LilPiggyQT commented, “So my friends and I have done the tour for years as a tradition and this year was definitely disappointing. Someone had mentioned that the chairs were gone so I brought a huge picnic blanket to sit on and I was sad we didn’t get the Gingerbread Mickey this year. Also the mug was not a Christmas mug (just a Disney Parks one). Will not pay the price for the tour again unfortunately if this will be the norm.”

A family at the Disneyland Park entrance following a VIP Tour cast member, disney parks exclusive experience
Credit: Disney

User u/elainapaige52 added, “Had this exact same experience earlier this month. Had previously taken the same tour pre-pandemic and expected it to be somewhat similar. I brought my mom and she has a bad knee. I told her we’d have reserved seating for the parade (like last time) and we ended up having to stand the whole time (this after the 2 hr walking portion of the tour). We did see reserved seating, but apparently it was for dining packages? Would have gone that route had we known. There were lots of older folks on the tour that were also expecting seating for the parade. It does say ‘tour liable to change,’ but was disappointed in the quality for $$$.”

User u/Eswyft sadly commented, “Sorry you had that experience. This pretty much sums up everything now, costs way more, get way less.”

a christmas fantasy parade at disneyland, disney parks parade
Credit: Disney

The “Holiday Time at the Disneyland Resort Guided Tour” is available for a limited time at Disneyland Park while the Resort celebrates the holiday season from November 11 through January 8. The exclusive guided tour has a price of $110 (plus tax) per Guest, and a valid ticket and Park reservation are required for the same Park on the same date. Disney describes the “Holiday Time at the Disneyland Resort Guided Tour” as follows:

Discover the Merriest Place on Earth

Gather ‘round for a festive tour of both parks for a close-up look at our dazzling seasonal transformation.

Your guide for this 2.5-hour walking tour will share favorite Disneyland holiday traditions from around the world. You’ll also enjoy reserved viewing for A Christmas Fantasy Parade, delicious holiday treats, a wonderful wintry ride on “it’s a small world” Holiday and more.

Have you ever taken a guided tour at Disneyland? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comments below!

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