Disney’s Keys to the Kingdom Tour takes place in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. The tour takes guests throughout the park, both on-stage (in the park) and off-stage (behind the scenes). The tour takes place over 5 hours and details stories, secrets and facts about Magic Kingdom. Keys to the Kingdom is $99 before any discounts. We recently experienced this tour and this review will cover that experience.
I should start by saying that photos are/were prohibited on this tour so any photo here is from a different time at Magic Kingdom. This review will also be spoiler-free and speak in more general terms about the tour.
Keys to the Kingdom has several start times each day, all in the morning. Our tour began at 9 AM. We checked in and met our group on Main Street, at the Chamber of Commerce building. At that point we picked out our lunch for the day (more on that later). Each person on the tour got a bottle of water and an ear piece to be able to hear our tour guide better. Before long, we were off and walking around. While the tour was undoubtedly a lot of walking, our guide did a wonderful job of finding us plenty of places to sit in the shade. This was true in every part of the park, even Main Street.
After sharing many facts and secrets about Main Street we headed over to Adventureland. While much of the tour was walking around and learning facts about Magic Kingdom, there were a few excursions on top of that. Our first little extra was riding the Jungle Cruise but instead of the typical ride, our guide was the skipper. He shared many facts about the attraction and the ride was fantastic.
We spent a little more time in Adventureland, learning about Walt Disney and a little about the area of the park. Eventually we moved behind the scenes and got a look at the parade out and the building that houses the floats. This was another one of the highlights. Seeing the organization of the operation was interesting.
We eventually came back on-stage and rode the Haunted Mansion. While this wasn’t exactly the same situation as the Jungle Cruise, there were a few fun surprises along the way. I won’t spoil them though. Needless to say, the Haunted Mansion was great. In fact, the tour throughout Liberty Square was probably my favorite part of the tour.
Shortly after that came lunch, which was the most disappointing part of the tour. We ate at the Tomorrowland Terrace, which is open seasonally for park guests. The options were pretty limited with most of them being hot dogs, a veggie burger, or caesar salad. I opted for a caesar salad and Melissa had the veggie burger. It wasn’t that the food was bad, just very average. While lunch was included with the tour, I would have much rather had the tour cost $5-10 less and then we eat somewhere more interesting afterwards. I’ve read that Columbia Harbor House is sometimes an option for lunch on this tour and that is a much better option.
Still, it felt as if the tour was full of great information and then Disney thought, “Well, we don’t want to make this too great of an experience, let’s have them eat at a place that we don’t even open to park guests regularly.” Fortunately, lunch was saved by the company. Talking more in-depth with the tour guide and other park guests was a treat and usually is no matter what tour you are on.
After lunch, we came to the most hyped aspect of the tour – the utilidors. For those that don’t know, Magic Kingdom has tunnels built underneath it that cast members use to get from place to place. There is no way for park guests to access these unless you are on select tours. The utilidors are one of the great legends of Magic Kingdom and if you are a Disney nerd then seeing them is pretty special.
To be sure, we loved going down into the tunnels and seeing how the whole system works. Frankly though, these aren’t much to look at. The utilidors are somewhat ugly and I’m not sure that anyone who isn’t interested in the whole operation of Magic Kingdom or those that don’t have an extreme interest in Disney will be that impressed. Still, we loved being down there. We eventually emerged from the utilidors and our tour shortly came to a close.
While we liked the tour overall, I didn’t think this was as much of a home run as the Wild Africa Trek that we’d done earlier in the trip. Keys to the Kingdom was at a much lower cost and longer but I didn’t think the value was nearly as high. Our tour guides on both excursions did a great job but I thought Wild Africa Trek went out of its way to make you feel special and Keys to the Kingdom didn’t.
The lunch was a big negative for me. I also thought that some of the information during the tour was readily available to most. While all of the information was interesting, I knew a decent amount of it beforehand and so did Melissa. This tour might find a sweet spot for those that like Disney but aren’t huge fans. While I don’t think $99 is a bad value (even less if you own DVC or are an Annual Passholder) for this tour, I don’t think I’d recommend this tour to people unless they did fit that sweet spot or were extremely interested in backstage areas in Magic Kingdom. We fit that latter part so we enjoyed the tour. All in all, Keys to the Kingdom was good but not quite great.
Have you done the Keys to the Kingdom Tour or any other tours at a Disney Park? Let us know in the comments! Also, if you have a question please let us know. Thank you for reading Wandering in Disney. If you like what you’re reading then please follow us on social media and subscribe to the blog. You can do both of those things on the right side of this page. Have a great day!