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Backstage Magic

Tour Thoughts and Observations:

  • Seven hour tour, costing $200 a person
  • Large Group 25 people
  • Note: We had a wheelchair and ECV in the group and everyone got around just fine, I think we were slightly behind schedule due to this but do not think we missed anything
  • Plenty of opportunities for questions
  • Knowledgeable and entertaining tour guide
  • The two highlights for me were backstage at the American Adventure and then the Holiday Warehouse/ Central Shop stop. Those were both really entertaining and interesting to me.
  • I thought we spent way too much time on Cast Services and Costuming. I could have done with those two points combined and a stop somewhere else, Animal Kingdom somehow would be a great addition, but the schedule is already tight.
  • Plenty of water on board bus
  • Lunch consisted of: Drink, Salad, Pizza, Seafood Pasta, a Chicken Dish, another Pasta, then Dessert was a sampler platter. All food was family style with more than enough to go around. The service was great and they kept coming around with more to drink (think I drank 4 or 5 cokes, way toooo much). Others said the same for the food. Also they asked for special dietary needs and brought food around as needed.
  • Would I recommend it: Of course, I really enjoy Disney Tours. I do think it covers some ground that the other tours do, but not a substantial portion. I wish they could tweak it so there is little to no overlap. For example Cast Services at EPCOT I think I have seen on three or four difference tours over the years.



Tour Log (5/2005)
Our tour departed Guest Relations at EPCOT and we walked over to the turnstyles to enter the park, after going through the bag check. Walked up to the restrooms and then backstage to board our bus for the day, which was a Disney Cruise Line Bus. We drove past the Living Seas and the Land and the other pavilions on our way out to the American Adventure. We watched a short intro clip from the Disneyland TV show of the 50s then “debussed” (a term our tour guide Maddie is trying to coin), and walked into World Showcase via the large gate next to the American Adventure. Force perspective was discussed then we headed backstage on the other side of the pavilion and into a back door and into the huge back of house facility for the show. The moved the main set piece truck back for us to look at and you could walk around a bit and see the computer systems used to drive the show. We were given a brief look at an autoanimatronic head and underlyings, then back outside and to our bus. We finished the loop on the EPCOT perimeter road and then doubled back to the Cast Services building. We learned about the many services and stopped in the Wardrobe room for a while before going back out to our bus. We took a short drive over to the Studios, entering through the back gate by Tower of Terror. Drove along the perimeter road of this park and pulled up behind the costuming building. We walked through several rooms to learn about Creative Costuming and design. Also walked through the working rooms, which you see from the tram. Walked back outside and then beelined through the park to Mama Melroses (via both onstage and backstage walkways). Ate lunch then walked past Star Tours and through the parade gate to get backstage and onto our bus again. This time we took a longer drive our past Port Orleans to where the Flower shop is, also the day care, and several other services are located in this far part of the property. We were given a tour of the facility including the freezer and the basket rooms. Then back onto the bus for a ride over to the Magic Kingdom area and the North Facility. Our first stop was outside a series of warehouses. We entered one and it was the holiday facility. From floor to ceiling were ornaments, trees, and other decorations. We were able to walk through an aisle and into the workroom where we had to dawn glasses, but were able to spend some time looking around. Then back outside and across the street to the central shop facility. We spent a good amount of time walking this building and seeing most of the rooms including the metal shop, the assembly alley, the paint shop, the fiberglass area, the wood shop and more. Then back outside and onto the bus for a short ride to the Magic Kingdom. Pulled up right behind Main Street and popped out an entrance right near Tonys Town Square Café, caught the parade the walked down Main Street and to the restrooms on the Tomorrowland side. Walked backstage and then entered the Utilidor complex. Walked through a series of hallways in a “small circle” learning about the systems and then back up and onto the bus. We exited the tour at the TTC, with about half the group. The other half road back to EPCOT to end the tour.



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