Even though I’m a bit of a Disneyland veteran, I still find new experiences to try that give me a different perspective or view of the park. One of those recent experiences was the Walk In Walt’s Footsteps Tour, a journey through Walt’s vision of Disneyland.
Rather than focusing on the park’s full history and development, this tour really has one main focal point: Walt. You’ll learn what Walt envisioned for the park as a whole (plus each of its original lands), and what he wanted to accomplish in the future. Along the way, you’ll hear audio clips from Walt describing his vision for each land, and get to hear his opening day dedication from the spot where he delivered it.
The tour includes the following stops:
- Main Street USA Plaza & Hub
- Fantasyland center court
- Tomorrowland entrance
- Frontierland waterfront
- Royal Street (New Orleans Square)
- Adventureland walkway
- It’s A Small World Plaza
- Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln foyer
In addition to those stops, you’ll get to cut the line for two rides (these change depending on the day, but we got to ride It’s A Small World and Alice in Wonderland), plus view Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln.
But the highlight of the tour comes at the very end: a visit to the Dream Suite! (If you took this tour before 2013, the “special stop” was Walt’s firehouse apartment). Update: As of summer 2017, the apartment is once again part of the tour. Guess I’ll have to take it again sometime! Now, back to the Dream Suite.
We got to explore a beautiful glass walkway that looks like an atrium, an enclosed private patio, the Adventureland and Frontierland bedrooms, a regal Fantasyland bathroom, and of course, the New Orleans Square/Fantasyland living room. Each room had a “kiss goodnight”, a.k.a. a magical surprise with the push of a button.
- In the Adventureland bedroom, a painting of a lagoon suddenly develops a waterfall and mermaids. You hear the sound of rushing water, and shadows of palm leaves appear on the walls.
- In the Fantasyland bathroom, you hear enchanting music as the ceiling transforms into a starry night sky.
- In the Frontierland bedroom, a train comes to life and circles the crown molding.
- In the main living room, the clock strikes midnight and reveals Cinderella’s shadow, the glass slipper lights up and sparkles, and the faux fireplace shoots off fireworks.
They were adamant about the no-photo policy inside the suite, with an exception made for one photo in the living room.
However, there was no photo policy upon exiting the Suite. We left from the front balcony, above Pirates of the Caribbean, and I snapped as many photos as I could!
The view from the Suite’s doorway.
Looking down at Pirates of the Caribbean’s queue.
Enjoying the view.
My Disney obsession comes from my Mom, so of course she had to come along!
The most excited I’ve ever been to walk a flight of stairs.
The Walk In Walt’s Footsteps Tour is definitely a VIP-experience, and costs $109 per person (annual passholders get a discount). The price of your tour also includes lunch, a button with your name on it, and an amazing collectible pin with Walt’s opening day address. If you’re thinking about taking this tour, here are a few things you need to know:
- The tour is almost 4 hours long, including lunch. When you check in, you’ll order lunch from a special menu, and it will be waiting for you at the Jolly Holiday Bakery at some reserved tables. The lunches are sandwiches or salads, a drink, and a dessert (Matterhorn Macaroon is the best one, in my opinion!).
- You will walk A LOT. Our tour guide took us back and forth across the park several times. To be honest, I thought the tour could’ve been a full hour shorter if we had been more efficient with staying in one land until we finished it rather than walking back and forth.
- Guests under 16 have to be accompanied by someone 18 or older.
Overall, I really enjoyed this tour. BUT, it’s clearly for a very specific audience. If you’re a casual Disneyland visitor, first time visitor, or you don’t really care much about Walt’s original ideas/history, this tour is not for you. It’s for a history nerd, frequent visitor, or someone who cares much more about the scenery than maximizing ride time.
So to all the Disneylanders out there looking to connect the park back to its creator, this tour is a must!
For more information about the tour, please visit the official page here.