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VIP Tours and why a paid FP+ is coming

TTLUTS

Active Member
Original Poster
I have a trip planned in 3 weeks (still undecided if we are going to go, would be flying from Mass.) and I called to inquire about a VIP tour just for S&^%* and giggles to see what all the hype was about (we could never afford it). We are concerned during this Easter/Spring Break season that the parks will be too busy and lines too long for us to enjoy a trip with all the limited offerings (no FP+, EMH, fireworks, shows, DDP, restaurants, etc., etc., etc.). I was very surprised what I learned.

I was told that there are no VIP Tours available through the month of May. The CM told me that since FP+ is not available, they have been completely sold out at the 60 day window for VIP Tours (can begin booking at 60 days out like dining).

I asked a hypothetical for Saturday April 17th as an example and the CM told me it sold out on the first day. The rate was $550 per hour, 7 hour minimum for a total cost of $3,850. Depending on the date, the range of cost is a minimum of $2,975 ($425 per hour x7 hr min.) to $5,250 ($750 per hour x 7 hr min.) In case you are not familiar, this does not include Park tickets. You also need to have a park pass reservation (and go to that park first). It does not guarantee ROTR (you must get a BG like everyone else). It does not include reservations to restaurants (needs to have availability for them to help with booking). Basically, this is just paying for unlimited Fast Passes. THAT IS INSANE! People are willing to pay that much just to skip lines and its completely sold out on the first day of availability.

If this doesn't guarantee that WDW will be eliminating FP+ and going to a paid Fast Pass system then I would be completely shocked.
 

Manny Calavera

Well-Known Member
Yeah but most guests aren't going to pay for $3,850 to avoid waiting in lines. Disney doesn't want people waiting in lines because people waiting in line aren't spending money. There is probably going to still be a financial incentive for Disney to do whatever it takes to minimize line time -- even if that means making some FPs free.

I think your anecdote just proves that rich people are willing to beaucoups to avoid lines eve during pandemic times.
 

TTLUTS

Active Member
Original Poster
Yeah but most guests aren't going to pay for $3,850 to avoid waiting in lines. Disney doesn't want people waiting in lines because people waiting in line aren't spending money. There is probably going to still be a financial incentive for Disney to do whatever it takes to minimize line time -- even if that means making some FPs free.

I think your anecdote just proves that rich people are willing to beaucoups to avoid lines eve during pandemic times.
Yeah but if they have an additional revenue source then that will be worth it.....Theres no way VIP tours ever sold outlike this before
 

PolynesianPrincess

Well-Known Member
I have a trip planned in 3 weeks (still undecided if we are going to go, would be flying from Mass.) and I called to inquire about a VIP tour just for S&^%* and giggles to see what all the hype was about (we could never afford it). We are concerned during this Easter/Spring Break season that the parks will be too busy and lines too long for us to enjoy a trip with all the limited offerings (no FP+, EMH, fireworks, shows, DDP, restaurants, etc., etc., etc.). I was very surprised what I learned.

I was told that there are no VIP Tours available through the month of May. The CM told me that since FP+ is not available, they have been completely sold out at the 60 day window for VIP Tours (can begin booking at 60 days out like dining).

I asked a hypothetical for Saturday April 17th as an example and the CM told me it sold out on the first day. The rate was $550 per hour, 7 hour minimum for a total cost of $3,850. Depending on the date, the range of cost is a minimum of $2,975 ($425 per hour x7 hr min.) to $5,250 ($750 per hour x 7 hr min.) In case you are not familiar, this does not include Park tickets. You also need to have a park pass reservation (and go to that park first). It does not guarantee ROTR (you must get a BG like everyone else). It does not include reservations to restaurants (needs to have availability for them to help with booking). Basically, this is just paying for unlimited Fast Passes. THAT IS INSANE! People are willing to pay that much just to skip lines and its completely sold out on the first day of availability.

If this doesn't guarantee that WDW will be eliminating FP+ and going to a paid Fast Pass system then I would be completely shocked.

With the lower crowd capacity, I'm sure there are fewer tours, too. Spring break is a big travel time and would make those tours very appealing especially with shorter park hours.
I definitely they will bring back some sort of paid FP, much like Universal does with their express pass. I would also think they would add it complimentary (or for a smaller fee) at deluxe and deluxe villa resorts, also like Uni does. That would definitely be incentive to have people paying those big bucks for the deluxe resorts.
 

DisneyJoe

Well-Known Member
With the lower crowd capacity, I'm sure there are fewer tours, too. Spring break is a big travel time and would make those tours very appealing especially with shorter park hours.
I definitely they will bring back some sort of paid FP, much like Universal does with their express pass. I would also think they would add it complimentary (or for a smaller fee) at deluxe and deluxe villa resorts, also like Uni does. That would definitely be incentive to have people paying those big bucks for the deluxe resorts.
Many VIP tour guides were furloughed, I am not sure how many they have brought back.
 

uncle jimmy

Premium Member
Many VIP tour guides were furloughed, I am not sure how many they have brought back.
I was thinking the same thing. Also, hearing sell out I'm thinking how many tours could they offer a day in each park? This is exclusive so we rarely see that many, which is the special point...
 

lentesta

Well-Known Member
With the lower crowd capacity, I'm sure there are fewer tours, too. Spring break is a big travel time and would make those tours very appealing especially with shorter park hours.

Many VIP tour guides were furloughed, I am not sure how many they have brought back.

I'm told that in the next few days, Disney's VIP tour services will be back at pre-pandemic employment levels. Every guide that was furloughed has been called back. There's that much demand.

I was thinking the same thing. Also, hearing sell out I'm thinking how many tours could they offer a day in each park? This is exclusive so we rarely see that many, which is the special point...

My understanding is the record is a little above 150 tours in one day, in December 2019.

I'm sure Disney is looking at the impact that paid FP will have on VIP tours. If I can buy 20 sets of FPs for my family at, say, $100 per set, over the course of my trip, then I don't need to spend $4000 plus gratuity on a one-day VIP tour to beat the lines and I've still saved $2,000.

I mean, many folks will still want the entire VIP experience, and the VIP guides are a wealth of park knowledge too, so there'll always be a market for that. But for people who use VIP tours to skip lines? I think paid FP will cannibalize some of that.
 

uncle jimmy

Premium Member
I'm told that in the next few days, Disney's VIP tour services will be back at pre-pandemic employment levels. Every guide that was furloughed has been called back. There's that much demand.



My understanding is the record is a little above 150 tours in one day, in December 2019.

I'm sure Disney is looking at the impact that paid FP will have on VIP tours. If I can buy 20 sets of FPs for my family at, say, $100 per set, over the course of my trip, then I don't need to spend $4000 plus gratuity on a one-day VIP tour to beat the lines and I've still saved $2,000.

I mean, many folks will still want the entire VIP experience, and the VIP guides are a wealth of park knowledge too, so there'll always be a market for that. But for people who use VIP tours to skip lines? I think paid FP will cannibalize some of that.
Thanks Len for the info, I didn't realize how many tours were given a day.
Even if they lose some tours to paid FP, thats still more $$ WDW is making off of free fp.
 

TTLUTS

Active Member
Original Poster
I'm told that in the next few days, Disney's VIP tour services will be back at pre-pandemic employment levels. Every guide that was furloughed has been called back. There's that much demand.



My understanding is the record is a little above 150 tours in one day, in December 2019.

I'm sure Disney is looking at the impact that paid FP will have on VIP tours. If I can buy 20 sets of FPs for my family at, say, $100 per set, over the course of my trip, then I don't need to spend $4000 plus gratuity on a one-day VIP tour to beat the lines and I've still saved $2,000.

I mean, many folks will still want the entire VIP experience, and the VIP guides are a wealth of park knowledge too, so there'll always be a market for that. But for people who use VIP tours to skip lines? I think paid FP will cannibalize some of that.
Hey Len....I wonder if the VIP Tours will change and add additional amenities that it hasn't in the past (guaranteed dining reservations, Day pass to Water park, additional park hours, guaranteed ride on ROTR, etc) to include offerings that you don't get just by buying FastPasses
 

Think Tink

Premium Member
In the Parks
No
Hey Len....I wonder if the VIP Tours will change and add additional amenities that it hasn't in the past (guaranteed dining reservations, Day pass to Water park, additional park hours, guaranteed ride on ROTR, etc) to include offerings that you don't get just by buying FastPasses
If I had to guess, the ROTR could be part of the tour in the future, just with the high demand at the moment they haven't been offering. Honestly, I've been thinking of doing a private tour in September. I'd love to see the Star Wars ride being a part of it, but I'm not holding my breath. It is crazy how much these tour cost, but my husband isn't a HUGE Disney guy and so sometimes we splurge to make the trip a little better for him. Still aren't sure if we will, but we didn't go anywhere in 2020 so we want to go all out in September.

To your original statement, I could totally see paid fast passes in the future. I had purchased the club level FP+ back in 2018 and found it was worth the extra cost. But I am probably in the minority. I truly think Disney is pricing out a lot of people and I'm not sure how I feel about it. I grew up going to Cedar Point and and Kings Island paying about a one day ticket to Disney for a season pass.
 

mergatroid

Well-Known Member
I don't think booking the VIP tour is done with just the intention of skipping the lines. The majority I'd guess want the feeling of exclusivity of being shown around the park and just made to feel different (or better) than the likes of 'normal guests' like myself? Put it this way, if Disney offered a paid FP service then I doubt their VIP bookings would reduce. But what do I know, it's just my guess :)
 

nickys

Premium Member
I don't think booking the VIP tour is done with just the intention of skipping the lines. The majority I'd guess want the feeling of exclusivity of being shown around the park and just made to feel different (or better) than the likes of 'normal guests' like myself? Put it this way, if Disney offered a paid FP service then I doubt their VIP bookings would reduce. But what do I know, it's just my guess :)
I actually think that VIP tours are now seen as a way to ride what you want without having to worry about lines and FPs. It’s very much unlimited FPs. Definitely a trend towards considering them by people who otherwise wouldn’t do so.

Especially for people staying offsite, the savings they can make on accommodation will help towards the cost. And if you can get together with another family or group who want to do similar things, that’s another way to reduce the cost.
 

Think Tink

Premium Member
In the Parks
No
I actually think that VIP tours are now seen as a way to ride what you want without having to worry about lines and FPs. It’s very much unlimited FPs. Definitely a trend towards considering them by people who otherwise wouldn’t do so.

Especially for people staying offsite, the savings they can make on accommodation will help towards the cost. And if you can get together with another family or group who want to do similar things, that’s another way to reduce the cost.
Agreed. That’s 100% how my husband agreed for us to try it this year. When I told him about the private tours he responded with “So fast passes all day?!”. I want to see some back stage areas and really get the whole experience but for my husband, it really is the fast passes that sold him. That and I promised the day after the tour we’d rent a cabana at Stormalong Bay and do nothing the whole day 😂
 

TTLUTS

Active Member
Original Poster
I don't think booking the VIP tour is done with just the intention of skipping the lines. The majority I'd guess want the feeling of exclusivity of being shown around the park and just made to feel different (or better) than the likes of 'normal guests' like myself? Put it this way, if Disney offered a paid FP service then I doubt their VIP bookings would reduce. But what do I know, it's just my guess :)
Possibly. But my point is, the only benefit of a VIP tour right now is skipping the lines. So if people are willing to pay $4,000 to just skip the lines, I’m sure they will be willing to pay a lot less for paid FP
 

mergatroid

Well-Known Member
Possibly. But my point is, the only benefit of a VIP tour right now is skipping the lines. So if people are willing to pay $4,000 to just skip the lines, I’m sure they will be willing to pay a lot less for paid FP

Possibly yes. It's hardly a new idea though and has been discussed many times on here over the years with people saying it will happen before we know it. Obviously Universal have been doing it for years with charging for their 'Express Pass' which is a 'beat the queue' system with some restrictions. Disney have even made certain public comments having a bit of a dig at Universal's Express Pass saying things like "At Disney all our guests are treated the same" (or similar words).

So it could happen and with the money they've lost through the pandemic then it could be sooner rather than later, however they've thought about it before and so far have always resisted.
 

helenabear

Well-Known Member
I don't think booking the VIP tour is done with just the intention of skipping the lines. The majority I'd guess want the feeling of exclusivity of being shown around the park and just made to feel different (or better) than the likes of 'normal guests' like myself? Put it this way, if Disney offered a paid FP service then I doubt their VIP bookings would reduce. But what do I know, it's just my guess :)
We just booked one and honestly, it's a little bit of both for us. We will get to blow through AK in a fast amount of time compared to usual and then we hope to hop over to DHS to get through a couple of non SW rides. Am I looking forward to being picked up at the lobby and heading over to the parks privately? Yes. Am I looking forward to help getting our food figured out and all that? yep. Am I looking forward to skipping lines? Yep. So a little of a lot.

When I called they didn't have as many openings as usual but all the days I wanted were available without any issue.

If they offered a paid FP and not a free one, I might be a bit annoyed. I'd likely dish out for paid if it really was a good value because with some of my issues, I'm willing to pay for less worry and fighting for places in line.
 

mergatroid

Well-Known Member
We just booked one and honestly, it's a little bit of both for us. We will get to blow through AK in a fast amount of time compared to usual and then we hope to hop over to DHS to get through a couple of non SW rides. Am I looking forward to being picked up at the lobby and heading over to the parks privately? Yes. Am I looking forward to help getting our food figured out and all that? yep. Am I looking forward to skipping lines? Yep. So a little of a lot.

When I called they didn't have as many openings as usual but all the days I wanted were available without any issue.

If they offered a paid FP and not a free one, I might be a bit annoyed. I'd likely dish out for paid if it really was a good value because with some of my issues, I'm willing to pay for less worry and fighting for places in line.

Wow, sounds fun. Hope you have a great time and please come back to tell us how great it was.
 

helenabear

Well-Known Member
Wow, sounds fun. Hope you have a great time and please come back to tell us how great it was.
Thanks! We're looking forward to it for sure. I've been wanting to try one for a while honestly and we figured after a stressful year due to the pandemic, we had a good reason to do one. Given we're DVC owners and our food costs are less every year as we eat in the room more, I'd love to add one in on a kind of regular basis.
 

Think Tink

Premium Member
In the Parks
No
Thanks! We're looking forward to it for sure. I've been wanting to try one for a while honestly and we figured after a stressful year due to the pandemic, we had a good reason to do one. Given we're DVC owners and our food costs are less every year as we eat in the room more, I'd love to add one in on a kind of regular basis.
You sound just like me and my husband! Enjoy the tour! Exited to hear how awesome it was!
 

TTLUTS

Active Member
Original Poster
We just booked one and honestly, it's a little bit of both for us. We will get to blow through AK in a fast amount of time compared to usual and then we hope to hop over to DHS to get through a couple of non SW rides. Am I looking forward to being picked up at the lobby and heading over to the parks privately? Yes. Am I looking forward to help getting our food figured out and all that? yep. Am I looking forward to skipping lines? Yep. So a little of a lot.

When I called they didn't have as many openings as usual but all the days I wanted were available without any issue.

If they offered a paid FP and not a free one, I might be a bit annoyed. I'd likely dish out for paid if it really was a good value because with some of my issues, I'm willing to pay for less worry and fighting for places in line.
I called and tried to get one and they told me they were sold out for the next 45 days.......They said you can book at the 60 day window and they were selling out on the first day within hours......crazy that theres that much demand in light of the cost (reason for my OP)
 

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