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Why You Should Choose the Magic Kingdom’s Keys to the Kingdom Tour

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For those of us looking to learn more about the Disney magic, or for a whole new way to experience the parks, Disney offers a variety of tours to enjoy. For example, there’s Epcot’s Behind the Seeds Tour, Animal Kingdom’s Wild Africa Trek, and the big favorite, Backstage Magic, where you enjoy a backstage look of all four parks! However, my personal favorite tour has to be the Magic Kingdom‘s Keys to the Kingdom Tour, a five hour behind-the-scenes peek of the most magical park of them all; and for anyone looking to splurge on a tour, it’s my top pick. Why? Read on to see why you should choose the Magic Kingdom’s Keys to the Kingdom Tour.

Keys to the Kingdom Tour - A Glass Slipper Vacation
Earpiece guests use during the tour in order to hear even in crowded places

1. Utilidors

So this is one of the Keys to the Kingdom’s biggest draws, so I’m starting with it! Yes, the Keys to the Kingdom Tour allows you the opportunity to check out the legendary Utilidors, the Magic Kingdom’s tunnels that run underneath the park. Now before your imagination runs off, let me be clear. These tunnels are not something you would see in an Indiana Jones film. These tunnels are technically the first floor of the park, as the Magic Kingdom is actually built on the second level; and these tunnels are where offices and utilities are located, as well as wardrobe for Cast Members. Also, the purpose of the Utilidors is to allow Cast Members to get from one side of the park to the other without breaking theme. You see, Disney is all about the details and putting on a show, and having a Cast Member dressed in Liberty Square garb wouldn’t look right in Tomorrowland, would it? Also, you should know that you only get to see a small portion of the Utilidors during the tour; but even so, it’s still awesome! Also during the tour, you will get a chance to venture backstage to see some park attractions and buildings from behind the scenes. During my tour, my guide took our group to see the warehouse where they store the parade floats. It was just as memorable as the Utilidors!

Keys to the Kingdom Tour Guide
Keys to the Kingdom Tour Guide

2. In-Depth Tour Experience

A tour that takes place at the Magic Kingdom alone is a big plus for several reasons. First of all, the Magic Kingdom’s variety of themed lands, and the fact that it has the most attractions, means you’re going to see and learn a lot of different things in one convenient location. Secondly, the Magic Kingdom is the oldest park and its original design came from the mind of Walt Disney himself. If you’re a Disney historian, rest assured that there’s an abundance of interesting Disney history to learn while touring the Magic Kingdom and you will gain a greater appreciation for Walt and Roy as well. Lastly, unlike the Backstage Magic Tour (which is awesome in its own right), where you visit four parks in a day, you get so much more than just an overview of information when you experience the Keys to the Kingdom Tour. You also don’t have to take into encounter travel time from park to park.


3. Secrets

Who doesn’t like a good secret? Well, on the Keys to the Kingdom Tour, you learn a lot of Disney secrets, such as what Cast Members really go through, how different attractions came to be and how they are maintained, how Disney handles all of the trash accumulated during the day, and that what you see in the park looks very different when behind the scenes. I would tell you more, but that would ruin some of the best moments of the tour and some may not want the magic ruined for them. If you take this tour, I encourage you to keep some of these Disney secrets to yourself and encourage others to take the tour if they really want to know what goes on behind the scenes.

Keys to the Kingdom Tour - A Glass Slipper Vacation
Our tour group’s own private Jungle Cruise ride!

4. Bang for Your Buck

The Keys to the Kingdom Tour is currently offered at 8:30 AM, 9:00 AM, and 9:30 AM every morning at $79.00 per person, plus the cost of park admission. While this may sound a little pricey, it’s actually pretty reasonable for a five hour tour at the resort’s most popular park, plus lunch at a Magic Kingdom counter service restaurant. A little souvenir exclusive to the tour is included as well!

5. Skip the Lines

The Keys to the Kingdom Tour grants guests the chance to experience a few classic attractions without waiting in line! Not only was that cool, but armed with new knowledge from my tour guide, I experienced my wait-free attractions with new eyes!

6. An Empty Magic Kingdom

The tour is currently offered at 8:30 AM, 9:00 AM, and 9:30 AM and participating guests are encouraged to arrive at the Main Street, U.S.A. Chamber of Commerce at least 15 minutes before the tour begins. If you choose to take the tour at 8:30 AM or 9:00 AM, you have the unique opportunity of walking into a completely empty Magic Kingdom park! On the date of my tour, I arrived a little earlier than required and ventured up Main Street, U.S.A. for some rare, crowd-free photos of Cinderella Castle. All you have to do when you arrive at the park is locate the tour entrance at the turnstiles, let the Cast Member know you have booked a tour, and then you are free to go inside. It’s incredible!

A few other things you should know about the Keys to the Kingdom Tour…

The Magic Kingdom’s Keys to the Kingdom Tour is a five hour walking tour and takes place almost entirely outdoors, so be sure to dress accordingly. You should know that cameras, video cameras, and phones are prohibited throughout the duration of the tour, unless otherwise stated by your guide, and especially while in the Utilidors. Also, only guests 16 years and older are allowed to experience the tour and a photo ID is required. If you’re interested in taking the tour, be sure to note that only a certain number of slots are available each day so it’s best to book in advance. Lastly, when taking the tour, you will be provided with an earpiece so that you can clearly hear your tour guide and the information they are sharing at all times. It may not seem necessary at first; but trust me, when the park fills up or if you’re towards the back of the group when walking, you will be glad you have it so you can hear all that’s being said! I should also mention that Disney could change this tour anytime and without warning, so my experience could be different from yours. It’s just something to keep in mind.

So those are my reasons why you should choose the Magic Kingdom’s Keys to the Kingdom Tour. Do you agree? Have you ever experienced the Keys to the Kingdom Tour? What’s your thoughts?


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Savannah Sanders

Savannah has been visiting Disney World since she was a year old and has gone back almost every year since. In the real world, she teaches high school history and government and enjoys writing about all things Disney. Savannah can be reached on Twitter @DisneyParkSavvy.

13 thoughts on “Why You Should Choose the Magic Kingdom’s Keys to the Kingdom Tour

  • This entry is dated 2014. Has it been refreshed lately?

  • I am even more excited now! Booked this tour for my early January trip. What are some of the “classic attractions” that are generally included?

    • Larry, the last time I checked the tour included the Jungle Cruise and the Haunted Mansion; however, that could change without warning. Hope you enjoy your tour!

  • I did this tour in August with my family and would strongly recommend into any big disney fans! Not sure first timers would fully appreciate it as part of the magic for me was seeing attractions I know and love so much in a way I’d never noticed before. Honestly can’t recommend it highly enough and hope anyone that does it enjoys it as much as I did!

  • We took this tour in May and loved it! I was so into hearing all the interesting stories by the time it was time to go to the Utilidors towards the end I had almost forgotten that we hadn’t been yet (and that was the part I was looking forward to the most)! Well worth the price…how’d you get a photo of the tour on the Jungle Cruise?

    • Kelly,

      For my tour experience, the Jungle Cruise happened to be one the attractions our tour guide let us experience without waiting in line. I’ve read that cameras are not allowed, but when I took the tour, our guide was fine with cameras as long as they were put away in the backstage areas and while in the Utilidors.

  • We’re booked to do this tour Jan 26th @ 8:30am! Can’t wait 🙂

  • My family loves this tour! We have done it twice and both times were different due to the cast member running the tour. Lunch at Columbia Harbor House was delicious too. Great experience and well worth the money. If you have AAA or CAA (in Canada), there is a 10% discount for the tour.

    • Disney Visa and Annual Pass holders also get a 10% discount.

  • I loved this tour, mainly for all of the backstage things you get to do. You can actually ask questions while backstage and they can give you the direct answer, not the on stage answer. I also got to see the location where they store the floats, and I dragged the group over to where the Electrical Water Pageant is docked during the day. 🙂

  • I just wish they would create the same tour for people with kids 15 and under, they could just have one of them every day or something. My daughter is as much a Disnephile as I am and, at a very mature 12, is more than capable of being a mature participant. She would LOVE this tour, and then I’d have someone to take the tour with me while the wifey and our boys could do the park at their own speed (which is much less inclusive and frantic than ours!).

    It’s nice to know what it includes though, something to look forward to for when she turns 16!

  • There is a strong possibility I will end up going solo at the end of January, and if I do, I definitely want to book this tour. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do, but felt bad asking another person to shell out the $79.

  • We LOVED this tour that we took as a pre-wedding gift to ourselves in May 2011. It was crazy fun, had a great cast member, enjoyed lunch at the Columbia Harbour House, and sealed my love for the Disney magic. The utilidors were worth it alone!

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