Published: July 21, 2008 at 1:36 PM
We've done quite a few VIP tours/backstage experiences over the years, some that have changed or no longer exist.
On our last trip to Orlando in November, we did the Sundowner Safari at Busch Gardens Tampa, which requires all guests to be over 21. The experience includes a quickie version of the popular Brewmaster's Club in a small room in the Crown Colony Restaurant. After that, guests board a truck and head out onto the savanah to feww giraffes and other African wildlife. In addition, each guest gets two more 16 oz bottles of beer to enjoy on the safari. With our platinum passes, I think the total was $70 for 2 people.
We also did the Shamu Rocks dinner show at Sea World Orlando, which is an all-you-can-eat buffet. The food is pretty high end with numerous seafood dishes, chicken, and a special food area for the kids. The diner also includes drinks (including beer) and a specially reserved seating area for a Shamu show. With our passes, the total was somewhere around $50 for two.
In previous trips over the years, we've also done:
Around the World in a Segway Tour at EPCOT--This tour has changed a bit since we took it a couple of years ago, but when we did it, the tour was a one hour lesson in a room in Innoventions to learn how to use the two wheeled gizmos. The second hour was a tour around the World Showcase before it open to guests on the segways, and a chance to get pictures around the park without other guests in the way. I seem to recall this tour was around $140 for two.
Virtual Magic Kingdom (VMK) Tour--This tour doesn't exist anymore, but was a little over an hour with a VIP tour guide through the Magic Kingdom, and how the VMK environment was created to resemble the real park. The best part of this tour was this it was FREE, and included backdoor access to Pirates.
Save a Species Tour at Sea World Orlando--This tour includes a tour of the resue tanks with a highlight of the manatees, and about 20 minutes in the backstage aviary and oportinities to feed the animals. With our passes 3 years ago, I think this tour was $17 for 2.
Wild Artic Tour at Sea World Orlando--This backstage tour includes a backstage view of the polar bear exhibit and beluga whale tank. The highlight of the tour is an oportunity to pet a penguin in a backstage area. With our passes 5 years ago, I think this was around $15 for 2.
Predators tour at Sea World Orlando--This tour included an educational discussion of sharks and killer whales. The tour also included what was a special view of the shark tank from a large backstage window that is now the main window of the Sharks Restaurant. We also got a chance to touch a small shark in an aquarium, and a chance to view the killer whales from a backstage window, that is now longer a backstage area. This tour I think was around $15 for 2.
One of these days, we'll do the Keys to the Kingdom Tour at Disney World, but the price (over $100 per person including lunch) and the length (8 hours) always keeps us from booking it.