Once you have seen the parks a few times, the question often arises, how did they do that? Disney Imagineering is well-known for testing limits, stretching reality, and forging new ground. For many years, the question of “how” was a carefully guarded secret. Eventually the decision was made to expose Disney magic to the masses. Although you will not get to see the ideas that are still on the drawing board, Disney now offers the chance to go behind the scenes at a variety of attractions and shows.
The Backstage Magic Tour is Disney’s most comprehensive overview. This tour covers the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Disney-MGM Studios. It is a full six to seven-hour day, and includes lunch.
Tour details vary from day to day depending on the day’s scheduled events, maintenance, and so forth. However, the basics generally remain the same. The tour normally meets at 8:45 am at the Guest Relations office outside of Epcot’s main entrance. Group size is extremely limited, which allows for a good deal of personalized interaction with your guide.
Your tour will visit a mix of onstage and backstage locations. In order to preserve the magic for children, all tour participants must be age 16 or over. If you are the type of person who wants to preserve the fantasy unspoiled, then this tour is not for you. However, if you like to know how things work, then you will find the tour absolutely fascinating.
One stop you will likely make is at Costume Central and the Scenic Workshops. Your guide in conjunction with a Cast Member from that department will explain some of the process that goes into designing a show. From fabrics to paint colors, every bit of detail is carefully researched to develop the perfect blend of historical accuracy and real-world durability. Costume Central may bring your first jarring glimpse of reality, as Princesses arrive in sweatpants and T-shirts to pick up their dresses.
In the afternoon, your group will go to the Magic Kingdom to see the parade, before heading to the most anticipated portion of the tour—the Utilidors. This series of tunnels, located deep below the ground of the Magic Kingdom, is the stuff of many legends. Prior to the commencement of this tour, no guest was ever allowed inside. The Utilidor system provides Cast Members with a means to travel between sections of the park without being seen by guests. This is an important part of preserving the show, as it ensures that a Cast Member in futuristic Tomorrowland dress will not suddenly appear in the Old West setting of Frontierland.
In this insightful 3-hour tour, Disney fans will experience a touching acknowledgement of the contributions made by Walt Disney and how his vision and dedication made him an American icon. Learn about the pivotal moments in which the smallest details in his daily life became Walt’s point of departure for creating everything from never-before-seen techniques in animation to new worlds in family entertainment.
Your tour host will share stories that reveal how Walt Disney was inspired to pursue his dreams, and how his desire to succeed influenced those around him. As you walk along glamorous Sunset Boulevard, you’ll be reminded that his innovation as a filmmaker earned Walt a record number of Academy Awards, including 59 nominations and 26 Oscars. Later, travel backstage at Event & Decorating Support to see how this talented team continues his legacy by ensuring that each grand-scale signature event is staged with expert detail.
You may not know that Walt Disney’s own idyllic childhood memories became the focal point for developing Main Street, U.S.A. Discover how his concepts became reality through Disney Imagineers’ “language of vision.” Just steps from this famous street, enter the almost-legendary Utilidoor system and be introduced to the hidden corridors that originated from
Walt Disney’s vision of a multi-layered city.