How to do Walt Disney World like a rock star
If you're a Disney fan, you've done your share of spinning teacup rides, Dumbo flights and Haunted Mansion tours at Walt Disney World in Orlando.Posted — Updated
Perhaps it's time to kick things up a notch.
Here are seven personalized packages that will make you feel like you own the place. Think: going behind the scenes, viewing fireworks from a yacht (while chowing down on a five-course meal) and snoozing in an overwater bungalow.
1. Score yourself a private boat
The Grand 1 Yacht on the Seven Seas Lagoon will have you feeling like an A-lister from the get-go. For starters, you'll be boarding a 52-foot yacht at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and you can bring up to 17 friends along (16 if you decide to splurge for the private butler).
Evening cruises include an epic view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks, minus the crowds. And in true Disney style, it's all about the details. The same tunes you hear on Main Street USA play on speakers in the boat.
Pricing starts at $399 per hour plus tax and may vary based on whether you cruise during the day or in the evening. A five-course meal, butler service and other additions are available for an extra fee.
Grand 1 Yacht, 407-939-7529
2. Sleep in an overwater bungalow
A stay at the Bora Bora Bungalows at Disney's Polynesian Villas & Bungalows may have guests feeling like they are smack dab in the South Pacific. Except that bungalow views may include Space Mountain and Cinderella Castle.
Dotting the shoreline of the Seven Seas Lagoon, each two-bedroom abode sleeps up to eight guests. All come with private decks and plunge pools, which happen to be another prime spot to enjoy the nightly fireworks. Thanks to an individual sound system, you won't miss out on the fireworks soundtrack.
Room rates start around $500 per night.
Bora Bora Bungalows at Disney's Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, 407- 939-7639
3. Take a tour, VIP-style
Any diva-style vacation should include an exclusive tour. The Private Premium VIP Tour does not disappoint.
It's one way to squeeze a heck of a lot into your day while learning loads about Disney. The fun begins when your personal guide picks you up at your Orlando-area hotel and whisks you away to the parks of your choice.
Up to 10 guests can be part of the group, and you can score special viewing areas for parades, select stage shows and nighttime spectaculars.
Pricing starts at $425 per hour including tax. Park admission is not included in the tour price.
Private Premium VIP Tour, 407-939-7777
4. Surf the waves at Typhoon Lagoon
Being inside a Disney park before it opens is cool in itself. Add surfing to the mix, and it's that much cooler.
Signing up for surf lessons at Typhoon Lagoon Water Park means you and up to 11 others get the heated wave pool all to yourself before the park opens. With perfect waves pumping out every 90 seconds, chances are you will catch at least a few.
Pros teach newbies proper paddling techniques and even help push you into the waves once your arms are weary.
Surfers who are more experienced can rent the entire wave pool for up to 25 guests starting at $1,100. Lessons are $165 a person, tax included.
Learn to surf class and private surf parties at Typhoon Lagoon, 407-939-7873
5. Speed up your Pandora visit
This new four-hour, group-guided tour gives guests expedited access to a handful of rides at Disney's Animal Kingdom via FastPass+, a service that allows guests to reserve access to attractions ahead of time.
As an everyday parkgoer, you can book up to three FastPass+ selections per park per day. However, due to high demand, guests are not able to secure FastPass+ selections for Avatar Flight of Passage and Na'vi River Journey on the same day.
Signing up for the Ultimate Nights of Adventure VIP Tour changes all of that. Guests on this tour get to see Expedition Everest, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Avatar Flight of Passage, Na'vi River Journey, Dinosaur and the impressive sound and light show, Rivers of Light, all in a half day.
Signature snacks and a specialty beverage are included along with a souvenir lanyard. Tour price is $249 and does not include park admission.
Ultimate Nights of Adventure VIP Tour, 407-939-7529
6. Go beyond turkey legs and burgers
You know those dinners that are so memorable that you talk about them years later? This is one of those.
Dining at the chef's table at Victoria & Albert is something special. Located at Disney's Grand Floridian, this swanky restaurant is a 15-year recipient of the AAA Five Diamond award.
The chef's tasting menu changes seasonally, but during the three-hour, 10-course affair, guests can expect dishes such as cauliflower pana cotta with caviar; seared duck breast with farro and Asian pears; and Australian Kobe beef with roasted garlic potatoes.
Wine lovers will appreciate the option to add a wine pairing where a sommelier chooses vintages to compliment each portion of the meal.
Only one party per evening is treated to this over-the-top meal. Prices start at $250 per person plus tax with wine pairings available for an addition $150 per guest plus tax.
Victoria & Albert Chef's Table Dinner, 407-939-3862
7. Score some quality time with hippos
The Wild Africa Trek at Animal Kingdom takes parkgoers behind the scenes of the popular Kilimanjaro Safari attraction.
During the private three-and-a-half-hour tour, guests donning safari vests have the chance to view hippos up close and trek across a suspension bridge above dozens of crocodiles.
Afterward, you'll dine on the deck of a savannah hut where it's not uncommon to see giraffes strolling by and lions snoozing away on Pride Rock. To add to the VIP feel, a professional photographer follows along to document it all.
Tours start at $189 per person plus tax and do not include an admission ticket to Animal Kingdom.
Wild Africa Trek, 407-939-8687
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