I’m so excited to write today’s post because it’s something completely new and different for us! Today I’m talking about the time we took the Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps Tour!!
Okay, so it’s still SORT OF related to our wedding since we did it on our honeymoon… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
The Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps Tour is a guided tour through Disneyland that teaches you all about the history of the park and Walt himself. The tour is about 3-3.5 hours (ours ran a little long) and I believe the full price cost is a little over $100 per person, however we did get a discount as cast members! (Also, since we were on our honeymoon we also received this as a gift from our honeymoon registry – thank you Sarah, Grant, and Danny for being our benefactors for this activity 😉) We did the 9:30am tour on February 4, 2018.
Since we are “Walt Disney World people”, we are always super interested in learning about Disneyland and how things are done differently over there. We knew we wanted to do this tour on our next visit to Disneyland and it worked out really well that we were able to do it on our honeymoon! (On our first trip to Disneyland we had previously done the Welcome to Disneyland guided tour which is unfortunately no longer offered, but I did write about it in my posts from that trip here if you’re interested.)
Since the tour started at 9:30 with a 9am park opening, we were able to grab some breakfast before it started and headed to check in around 9:15, Mickey beignets in hand. The check in location is on the left side right after you enter Disneyland.
There we were greeted by the friendly Guest Relations cast members, and I gushed to them about how I worked at GR in Walt Disney World! It was fun to connect with them about that and they were super excited and welcoming to us. They gave us our spiffy name tags and also took our lunch orders – lunch would be provided by Jolly Holiday Cafe! If I remember right there was a choice of a few different sandwiches and desserts, plus some special options for guests with dietary restrictions. After that they directed us to have a seat at the reserved tables and our guide would be around to greet us. We ate our breakfast beignets while we waited!
Shortly after we sat down our guide came around to introduce herself! Our tour guide for the day was Paola, and we absolutely LOVED her. She gave us our audio equipment and made sure we were all settled with our lunch order, and we waited for the rest of our group to arrive. I felt like such a tourist with my ears, name tag, all my buttons, and my earpiece!
We had a pretty big group, over 20 people – once everyone arrived we were off!
We started on Main Street where Paola pointed out Walt’s apartment above the fire station that we would be able to visit at the end of the tour! Obviously everyone was super excited about this, but we had a lot of other things to do before that. We walked down Main Street and towards the castle into Fantasyland. The whole time Paola was telling us facts about what Walt wanted for each part of the park, and some interesting secrets about the history of how it all came to be.
In Fantasyland we were supposed to go on Alice in Wonderland, but the attraction was down! No worries though – the cast members loaded on a fastpass for us to come back later in the day to ride it. We had to leave directly after the tour so we didn’t end up using it anyway but oh well.
After Fantasyland it was into Frontierland, where we learned all about some of the inspiration behind the land. Then we headed to New Orleans Square where we looked at the iconic Club 33 and Pirates of the Caribbean – two of my favorite places in the park!! Chris and I quietly smiled at each other as she was talking about Club 33, since we had just dined there the night before!
At New Orleans Square we hopped on to the Disneyland Railroad! We rode it around to Tomorrowland, where we had a quick break for restrooms and snacks. On this break we had a chance to chat with some of the other tour guests and found two other groups who were also cast members at Walt Disney World, and we even had some mutual friends! It really is a small world 🙂
After our break we headed back into Fantasyland toward the Matterhorn. I hoped that we would ride Small World but we were actually only there for a brief stop while Paola told us about some other Fantasyland attractions and segued into talking about the World’s Fair. She played a recording of Walt speaking about the World’s Fair while we walked back towards Main Street again, which was very cool to listen to – she mentioned that it was a rarely heard recording so it was really neat.
On Main Street we headed into another attraction, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. We had a brief pause before the next show during which I took some photos:
Gotta represent my home park!
That’s Walt on the right, dressed as his hero Abraham Lincoln!
Paola was around during this time to answer any questions we had about anything in the exhibit or the tour in general. She was a great guide – super informative and full of knowledge. It was obvious that she had a passion for this tour, the park, and Walt.
After watching the show we headed back through the Hall of Achievement to the foyer just before you exit the attraction.
This part of the tour was sad because it was the part where she talked about how Walt died. Many people on our tour including me cried at this part! That’s something else that was cool about this tour – everyone there seemed to be very into it and really big Disney fans, and it was nice to be among people who were as interested in the subject as we were. That might seem like a given since this tour is $100 per person, but it was still something we appreciated.
Once we were finished with Mr. Lincoln, it was finally time for the big moment! We went back over towards Walt’s Apartment, where they split us into two groups since our tour was so large. Our group went to eat lunch while the other group got to go upstairs first. I actually preferred to eat lunch first – we didn’t feel rushed in any way when we went up, and we were able to just leave once we were finished in the apartment.
Our lunches were labelled with cute little name tags, each featuring a Disneyland attraction! My lunch was a turkey sandwich with chips, and for dessert I had this super cute Matterhorn macaroon, which I saved for our ride to the airport later on.
Once the first group was done it was finally time for us to head up to the apartment! Two other tour guides escorted us up – it was so exciting!! I was honestly a little surprised that the entrance backstage is literally just a staircase with a little chain across the front…seems not very secure but I guess it works haha
The inside was seriously SO magical. I won’t spoil all the secrets in case anyone reading this wants to take this tour someday, but it was SO cool to be inside! As you might expect, the whole place is very small! They started off by letting us all just walk around and take it all in, and told us stories of how Walt would use the apartment and stay there with his family. Honestly, the whole thing was just surreal – again, several members of our group cried just from being up there and thinking about how Walt was ACTUALLY here, in this space. There were photos out of Walt and his family sitting in the very places where we were standing at the time. It was truly unbelievable. We weren’t allowed to take photos, but they did take a photo of us so we could have a memory of this awesome experience!
The two guides answered all our questions and told us lots of cool facts about the apartment, like that those red couches you see actually folded out into beds! They told us all about the decor and how it’s full of flowers because Walt’s wife Lillian loved roses – same, Lillian. They also took us individually over to the bathroom – the space was really small and we actually weren’t allowed to go into the bathroom because the tile in there is so delicate that it would get messed up if we were to step on it! They were very careful to ensure that everything remained in as perfect condition as it could, and of course all the tour guests were very respectful about it.
The coolest part about the room though was probably something that many Disney fans already know about – the lamp on the right side of the photo up there. When Walt was alive whenever he was in the apartment he would leave that light on so all the cast members knew he was watching over the park. Since he died, the Disneyland cast leaves that light on all the time so it’s like Walt is always watching over. I’m honestly getting teary eyed typing this again right now haha – listening to these tour guides talk about this made it obvious again that they were so passionate about this park, and it was really amazing to see.
And before we knew it, it was over and we were heading back downstairs! We also got a SUPER cool souvenir pin:
Before we left we thanked our guides profusely for such a great experience, and got some photos with our girl Paola before we left too.
Overall our experience with the Walk in Walt’s Footsteps tour was amazing! I think it was an interesting and informative look into the history of the park, and we learned a TON of cool things about Walt and Disneyland. But of course, going in Walt’s apartment was far and away the obvious highlight of the day. I truly think that any Disney fan would love this tour just for that. Especially as cast members ourselves, it was a very special experience that we will never forget. I would happily take this tour again and I think it’s well worth the cost! I would recommend it to any serious Disney fans looking for a more in-depth look at the history behind this magical place 🙂
And that’s my review of the Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps Tour! We had so much fun on our tour and it was the perfect way to end our honeymoon visit to Disneyland. I hope you enjoyed this review and if you’ve taken this tour before, let me know what you thought!! Stay tuned for more honeymoon posts – there are a lot to come – and be sure to check out my other reviews, wedding posts, and Disneyland posts if you liked this one 🙂 thanks for reading!!