We love Walt Disney World Florida, it’s one of our very favourite holiday destinations with the kids. However have you ever wondered how you can combine luxury with Disney?
When we were lucky enough to experience Four Seasons Orlando and during our stay at the presidential suite at Disneyland Paris we got a taste of how the other half enjoy Disney.
In this article we will show you how you can travel to Walt Disney World Florida like a VIP, enjoying the best accommodation and dining to unique experiences and guided tours.
Skip the lines with VIP Tours
Yes you can skip the queues at Disney and I am not talking about using your Fastpass+.
The ultimate way to skip the lines in Disney is to purchase their VIP tour packages especially when visiting Magic Kingdom.
Having to try to navigate Disney especially on hot, crowded days is not one of my favourite things to do especially when wait times for rides are 1-2 hours+ often for your ride to be all over within minutes.
However a VIP Tour is much more than just bypassing the queue – they allow you to pack into one day what could typically take you 2-3 days plus you get to learn loads about Disney in the process.
There are lots of third party companies who offer VIP tours but the highlight is the Private Premium Tour offered by Disney.
Your day begins when your personal tour guide collects you from your hotel in Orlando and whisks you into the parks of your choice – so no lines for buses, trams or car parking to worry about, giving you more time to enjoy the Disney experience.
Up to 10 guests can be part of the group and along with special reserved areas for parades, selected stage shows and the fireworks with your guides invaluable knowledge of the parks, the attractions and an unlimited supply of fastpasses – this is how you can enjoy Disney without needing another holiday.
Price – Varies between $425 and $625 per hour depending on season (minimum seven hours) and does not include your park tickets.
World of Dreams Tour
However for those visitors where money is no object then the recently announced “World of Dreams Tour” is the ultimate way to experience Walt Disney World.
For $12,000 a day you and up to six guests can enjoy access to all four theme parks for up to 12 hours but with lots of VIP benefits.
Like other Disney VIP tours skipping to the front of all of rides (no need for a Fastpass+) and reserved areas for shows are included but the “World of Dreams Tour” takes things further.
You get two VIP tour guides, double what you get on typical Disney VIP tours who customise your visit to any of the parks based on your requirements.
Backstage areas are made available to your tour which is typically provided to high profile guests. This also allows you to move between parks much easier. Want to meet that rare Disney character that can have really long queues – this can also be arranged on this tour.
You can eat at any restaurant you want without a reservation – if it’s full Disney will make a table available for you and your party. Three meals are included and for adults a selection of alcoholic drinks are provided.
The big bonus of this tour is that you will be one of the very few who get the chance to see the Castle Suite located in Cinderella Castle. This is typically reserved for the stars that have been in some of Disney’s biggest movies.
Price $12,000 – park tickets are included – additional days are $10,000
Learn to surf at Typhoon Lagoon
Who knew that you could surf in Orlando? Well you can at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon. You can pay for private lessons where you and 11 others can practice on riding your first wave in the park’s surf pool before the park opens to the public.
If you are an experienced surfer you can reserve the pool after hours for a group of up to 25 for your 4-hour private session – you can even choose which direction you want some of the 100+ waves to break.
Price – from $165 per person or rent the entire wave pool for $1,100
Luxury at the Four Seasons
Nestled away in the grounds of Walt Disney World is the luxurious five-star Four Seasons Orlando hotel. We loved our visit here and it’s the most luxurious of all the Disney hotels and the perfect place to relax after a day at the parks, it can be difficult to leave.
As soon as you arrive at this sprawling 26-acre resort you enter a world of luxury with touches of Disney magic.
This five star hotel is home to luxurious accommodation with views of the fireworks from the comfort of your balcony, a Disney concierge service, 18 hole golf course, impressive spa and all the benefits you would expect at other Disney hotels including extra magic hours and Disney Fastpass+ benefits.
Kids will love the lazy river and amazing 5 acres pool complex ‘Explorer Island’ which even has its own volcano which erupts on demand and dine –in movies at the family pool.
Price – from $599 per night
The Four Seasons Orlando also has the best Character Breakfast experience that you will find at Walt Disney World. The Good Morning breakfast with Goofy and his pals at Ravello really is a hidden gem.
Price – $46 per adult and $24 per child
Luxury Disney Accommodation
Want to stay closer to the Disney action? Then check out the amazing Bora Bora bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas, which make you feel that you are in the South Pacific and not central Florida.
On the shoreline of the Seven Seas Lagoon these beautiful two bedroom bungalows can sleep up to 8 people and come with private plunge pools and decks and views that can include the Cinderella Castle.
The decks also come in handy for the Electrical Water Pageant on Seven Seas Lagoon and the nightly fireworks at Magic Kingdom.
The fireworks soundtrack can be enjoyed through your own sound system so it’s like being on Main Street USA minus the crowds. Getting to Magic Kingdom the next morning is just as stress free via a short water taxi across the lake.
Price – Rooms start at $500 per night
If your budget doesn’t stretch to the amazing suites at the various Walt Disney World hotels like the Bora Bora bungalows, then it’s well worth checking out “Club Level” offered at the hotels (the best of which are found at the Grand Floridian, Contemporary or Polynesian) to make your stay a little bit more comfortable.
If you are used to the benefits offered at executive lounge level at major hotel chains then this is Disney’s equivalent – so you get lounge access and concierge service to help you booking restaurants etc.
Other benefits of “Club Level” include enhanced VIP services including 3 extra Fastpass+ options bookable 90 days in advance and with no park restrictions, so you can use them on the latest attractions to open along with VIP viewing for the night time shows.
Price – Starts from $450 per night at Club Level at Wilderness Lodge
Live at Disney World
Yes you can even live in Disney if you have enough money. Golden Oak at Walt Disney World is a luxury community of some of the most beautiful houses you will see and the best bit is they come with some great Disney benefits.
Residents can enjoy perks such as personal visits from their favourite Disney characters, exclusive ride access at the parks on-demand door to door transportation to the parks and private parties.
Also part of this community are the Four Seasons private residences which come with Four Seasons butler pantry, allowing residents to take advantage of in-home concierge services plus you have unlimited access to the amazing recreation facilities offered at the Four Seasons hotel.
Prices at Golden Oak can climb as high as $7.5 million.
Swim with the Sharks
Whilst Seaworld’s Discovery Cove is well known to visitors to Orlando, did you know that Disney offer their own aqua adventures at Epcot.
You can snorkel with thousands of sea creatures including sea turtles, rays and even sharks in the massive aquarium at Epcot.
This is a snorkelling experience like no other as you have amazing views of the marine life below you along with backstage tours of the habitat, and complimentary photos of yourself in your diving gear.
Experienced scuba divers will love DiveQuest where you can explore the depths and marine life of the 5.7-million-gallon saltwater aquarium at Epcot. Friends and family can view the scuba dive through the aquariums giant windows
Prices from $145 ages 10+
Prices from $179 ages 10+ and have a SCUBA certification.
Chat with the dolphins
Love dolphins? You can meet them during the dolphin encounter at Epcot, where up to no more than 8 guests can interact with the dolphins in waist deep water. You also get to see how the dolphins are cared for, view backstage areas and learn about their complex undersea behaviour and chat with their trainers.
Prices – from $199 ages 13+
Wild Africa Trek at Animal Kingdom
The Kilimanjaro Safari’s are one of our favourite attractions at Disney, being able to get so close to the animals is always a highlight for us as every experience is different.
However Disney also offer a private safari tour called the Wild Africa Trek which takes guests behind the scenes during this 3 ½ hour adventure.
If you thought that viewing the animals from the jeep was exciting then think again – during this walk through you get the chance to see animals up close and personal with your personal guide who spends time educating you about the animals you are seeing. You can expect everything from hippos up close to trekking across a suspension bridge above crocodiles.
Lunch is provided as you dine on the deck of a Savannah hut where it’s quite typical to see giraffes strolling by in front of you.
To capture all these magical memories Disney provides a private photographer who follows you around your trek and all photos and downloads are included in the price.
Price – Tour start from $189 per person plus tax and you will also need to purchase a ticket to Animal Kingdom.
Experience Pandora in Style
Pandora is one of our favourite areas of any Disney Park. As soon as you enter this amazing world you really do feel like you are walking on another planet, but it can be a very busy planet as it’s one of the most popular areas of Walt Disney World.
To get around this Disney offer a four-hour guided tour you can breeze onto the most popular attractions at Animal Kingdom with expedited Fastpass+ access.
The most popular attractions – Expedition Everest, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Avatar Flight of Passage, Na’vi River Journey, Dinosaur and the amazing Rivers of Light spectacle can be enjoyed within half a day.
As part of the package you also get signature snacks, a special drink and souvenir lanyard.
Price – Tours start at $249 and does not include your park ticket.
Have afternoon tea with Princess Aurora
Children will love the chance to be able to become princesses and princes for the day as they enjoy tea in the Garden View Lounge with Princess Aurora at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort Hotel.
Princesses will love receiving their tiara, bracelet, fresh rose, princess bag and Princess Aurora doll. Princes will get a sword and shield, souvenir pin and a Disney bear.
Here they can enjoy a child friendly afternoon tea along with songs, stories and a parade plus having the chance to meet and chat with Princess Aurora herself.
Princesses between 3 and 12 year old will also love the Bibbidi Bobbidi Makeover and their Castle Package to get ready for meeting their favourite princesses. This includes hairstyling, nail polish, wand and a Disney Princess gown of their choice.
Dine at Central Florida’s only AAA five diamond restaurant
The only AAA five diamond restaurant in Central Florida is also found at the Grand Floridian Resort Hotel. Children need to be 10 and up to experience the chef’s table at Victoria & Albert’s where you can enjoy the multiple courses each tailored to your tastes during the 3 hour sitting.
Price – From $250 per person plus tax
Set Sail in true Disney Style
Moored on the Seven Seas Lagoon at the Grand Floridian is the 52ft long Grand 1 yacht.
Once on board, you and up to 17 friends can enjoy breathtaking views of the Magic Kingdom fireworks away from the hustle and bustle of the crowds in the park, which during peak periods can be very overcrowded.
As you would expect from Disney, the same music that is played on Main Street USA is played on the speakers of the yacht, allowing you to experience the spectacle in style.
To enhance your experience even further you can splurge to enjoy a five-course meal on board and butler service
Price – Prices start from $399 per hour plus tax