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Yuletide Fantasy

This tour was nothing like I expected. I was under the impression it spent a majority of the time talking about how Disney decorates (physically that is), but instead it was a lot of the stories behind the decorations and the why things are done the way they are. You do get to go behind the scenes and jump from location to location, which is pretty cool, but this is a tour that I would say is a once in a lifetime experience. Not something you want to take over and over again. I do not know if I could do it again, it was a little too touchy, feely, for me. I was extremely impressed by the Disney holiday decorations and I loved hearing the various stories about how/why things are done the way they are, but I thought the stories seemed to go on too long. I would have really enjoyed seeing the warehouse or videos of what actually happens to decorated the parks and resorts.

Tour Log (12/2000)
  • Tour met out front of EPCOT at 8:45am (which was a little tricky for us because the park opens at 9:00am and we were at the Yacht Club so we had to walk through EPCOT to get to where the tour met, they open EPCOT International Gateway at 8:30, so it was a brisk walk, but we made it with time to spare).
  • We boarded a Disney Co. Van and were driven around EPCOT to backstage behind Germany. We exited the van and walked right onstage next to Germany.
  • The tour walked by Germany, Italy, American Adventure, and Japan telling brief stories about different traditions and pointing out what Disney does in its decorations.
  • At Japan we went backstage again and boarded our waiting van.
  • We drove over to the Studios, drove through backstage and were let off right next to New York Street. The tour talked about the Osborne Lights and then we walked toward Hollywood Blvd. and the parks main tree. Along the way we encountered some streetmosphere characters on New York Street that briefly detained (joined) our group.
  • After reaching Hollywood Blvd. we learned about the main tree and viewed the train setup near the tree.
  • Then we walked down Sunset Blvd. and went backstage to our waiting Van again.
  • Next stop was the Magic Kingdom. We pulled up right behind Main Street and walked onstage right by Town Square.
  • After talking about the main Christmas tree and Main Street Decorations we walked down the block to center street for a few more stories.
  • Went backstage and back into our van there.
  • Drove over to the Wilderness Lodge
  • Went up to the fourth floor and looked over the lobby. There we heard a few more stories and explanations about the decorations. We also received a small Mickey Ornament here.
  • Then it was back to EPCOT and the end of our tour.


Guest Review

Steve (Main Street Magic) Simmons (12/2000):

I'd like to add a few comments about the backstage tour called YuleTide Fantasy. My wife and I took this tour in December 2000 and here are a few of our comments:

We read about this and decided that we would take this as our first "backstage" tour. I was surprised to see that there were several other tours gathering at the same time. It can get a little confusing for a "newbie". Our tour guide, Amy, and our driver, who gave out nametags, met us and then we were ushered off to the "magic sleigh" for the tour. There were twelve of us on this tour, all seasoned Disney visitors. We first headed off to the back of Epcot and entered through the CM (Cast Member)entrance to the back lot. I should let anyone who intends to take any of these "behind the scenes" tours know that picture taking is allowed ONLY in the parks. There should be no photographs taken in the back lots or behind the scenes. It was rather difficult for me to keep from taking pictures, but then who wants to see a bunch of old buildings anyway? (Right!) Amy took us out into the World exhibits, prior to anyone else (that portion of Epcot had yet to open). We traveled through 4 or 5 of the lands discussing how the holidays are celebrated in each country and how Disney decorates the areas. We ended up in Japan and exited through the back lot to our "magic sleigh" and headed off to Disney Studios. There we again entered through the CM (cast member) back entrance and after parking, walked through the back lot and out onto New York street near the Osborne Lights. Now it was daytime and the lights weren't on yet, but you could see how large the exhibit was. We then wandered down past the Commissary, where we had a small break for restrooms and refreshments and then down towards the Tower of Terror. We once again entered the back lot near the Tower of Terror and again were swept away to our next park, the Magic Kingdom. There we entered on Main Street and walked about half way up, observing the decorations. Again after a small break we mounted the "Magic Sleigh" and were off to the Wilderness Lodge, our final stop on the tour. We were shown the decoration there and while we were there several of us were able to convince the CM's there to show us one of the hidden Mickey's in the fireplace. From there we were returned to the guest relations at Epcot where our tour ended. It was a pleasurable three hours and very enjoyable. .

I should mention that our driver asked us if we thought that a lunch at the Wilderness Lodge would be enjoyed as part of the tour if they were to add it and we all agreed that the lunch would be a welcome addition. So if anyone with the "powers to be" is reading this, please, add a lunch at the Wilderness Lodge.

I agree that this trip is probably a "once-in-a-lifetime" happening. We will do one of the other behind the scenes tours on our next trip.



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