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This past trip, we signed up for the Marceline to Magic Kingdom Tour. This tour is a 3.5 hour long tour in Magic Kingdom that takes you through the history of Walt Disney, how his life impacted the creation of Disneyland and Walt Disney World, and the history of some of the imagineers. This post will have some spoilers at the end, but they’ll come with a warning before! If you don’t want to find out all the details of the tour, stop before you see “Spoilers Ahead”. Don’t worry, we won’t give away the best surprises of the tour!
Tips: the park is empty when you first start the tour, so take the time to take pictures! We got some empty shots of the castle, Liberty Square, and the Haunted Mansion! Just don’t take pictures in the backstage areas.
This tour is a 3.5 hour long walking tour through Magic Kingdom. It starts at City Hall and ends in Tomorrowland. The tour costs between $35-$50, and there are AP and DVC discounts available. It’s definitely one of the cheaper tours, which was a big draw to us! If you’re looking for another tour, we highly recommend the Keys to the Kingdom tour, it’s amazing.
The Marceline to Magic Kingdom tour is open to anyone 12 and over. Those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. You also need a ticket to the park for this day.
Our tour group was small, with only six people and the tour guide. We loved the size of our group, but we don’t think a bigger group would detract from the tour at all! You get a pin to wear with your name on it, and a listening device to better hear the tour guide.
This tour starts off walking down Main Street U.S.A. The tour guide began talking about Walt’s life in Marceline, Missouri. We walked over to the Hub and continued to discuss Walt, his animation studio, and the history of how he started designing Disneyland. Next, we walked over to Liberty Square. The park was not yet open, so we were able to get some great pictures of the empty lands. We heard more about the original Imagineers, and Walt’s dream to create a realistic animatronic. He started with a bird and focusing on making it breathe, and then worked up to creating an animatronic of Abraham Lincoln!
We then walked to the Haunted Mansion. As we walked through the stand-by queue, our tour guide spoke to us about the “plusing” of the queue. There were many Easter eggs hidden in the queue that we had not seen before, since we usually get a fastpass!
Many of the details in the line play music when you touch them, making the queue interactive. The gravestones commemorate the Imagineers who made the attraction possible. But, our absolute favorite part was the murder mystery hidden in the five busts! We had never noticed this before, and it definitely is a great way to pass the time in a long line!
We were first in line for the ride when the park opened at 9. During the ride, our tour guide spoke to us through our headsets about details on the ride and some of its history.
Next, we headed to our favorite part of the tour. First, we took a 15 minute break at the Tangled Rest Area. Next, we headed through the gates to a backstage area. Here, our tour guide asked us if we knew how the ghost ballroom scene worked. She explained that it was “Pepper’s Ghost”. Then, to our surprise, she took us backstage and under the Haunted Mansion. We were on the first floor of the ballroom scene and learned how Pepper’s Ghost worked. It was absolutely amazing to see it in person, and without a doubt our favorite part of the tour!
Fantasyland and Tomorrowland
Next, we headed over to the back of the castle. We went underneath and looked at the mosaics, and she showed us a few hidden details in the art! It was thunderstorming, so we stayed under there a little while longer while we learned more about the making of Fantasyland, and the Imagineers and Walt’s role.
To wrap up the tour, we headed over to Tomorrowland. We walked over to the Carousel of Progress and got our own auditorium! While the show was going on, our tour guide showed us some details of the ride we have never noticed. One of our favorites was the leftover references in the scenes from when GE was a sponsor. Next time you’re on the attraction, look out for the backside of the vacuum!
Wrapping It Up
We absolutely loved this tour! We ended in Tomorrowland due to the storm, but the tour usually ends at Main Street. Overall, we would rate this tour a 10/10 and recommend it to anyone, especially someone who loves Disney history, Walt, or Imagineers! Have you been on this tour? Let us know in the comments!