Royal Tea Garden Tour Review
Royal Tea Garden Tour Review
We love doing tours at Disney – we have done over a dozen of them. Sadly, the Royal Tea Garden Tour ranks the lowest for the tours we have done at Disney World. To be fair, the tour is relatively inexpensive at $20 per person. But, we would only recommend this tour for tea enthusiasts. This post provides some of the pros and cons of this tour as well as alternative tours we recommend over the Royal Tea Garden Tour.
Is This Tour Fun For Adults?
We only recommend the Royal Tea Garden Tour for adults that really love tea. We would not recommend this tour for most adults in Disney. The main pros of this tour are: it is a small time commitment (just over an hour long), it is relatively inexpensive (currently $20), and if you have mobility issues, there is not a lot of walking. The main value of the tour is the guide. Our guide was fabulous and is the only reason we recommend this tour for tea enthusiasts. The main cons of this tour are that a lot of the tour could be done on your own and it only covers one small area in the UK pavilion. Overall, there are far more interesting tours available at Disney.
What To Expect
This year, the tour starts at 9:30am. Disney requests that you check in between 9:15am and 9:30am in front of the Rose and Crown. The entire tour is in the UK pavilion in Epcot. In fact, most of the tour takes place in the tea garden which is just behind the Tea Caddy store in the UK pavilion.
The Twinings English Tea Garden is one of the areas of Epcot that is created as part of the Flower and Garden Festival. This means that you can walk through the tea garden, read the signs, and look at the tea plants any time that you visit Epcot during the festival. What you are paying for with this tour is the guide and the additional information that they provide.
Our tour guide was fabulous. He was very energetic and made all of the information very interesting. The tour includes information on the history of tea, the different types of tea, and how they create new flavors. The information the guide provides is the best part of the tour.
Unlike most of the Disney World tours, this one does not include a headset. If you have problems hearing, you may have a hard time with this tour. Also, if the group is large (we had at least 20 people when we did it), it could be hard to hear. The space is pretty small in the garden. While the guide did his best to make sure everyone could see, if you are short like me, you may have a few times where it is harder to see.
After you walk around the garden and learn about tea, the tour concludes with guest having a glass of tea and scones.
Food And Tea
At the end of the tour, you get to sample two scones and drink tea. When we did the tour, you could get a cup of hot water and pick the flavor of tea you wanted to try. If you wanted a second glass of tea, the cast members would happily let you try another flavor. They serve hot tea. Luckily, the tour is early in the morning, so even in the Florida heat, it was enjoyable. Water was also available.
In addition to the tea, there are snack boxes. Eat guest receives two different types of scones, butter and jam. For our tour, one of the butters was an earl grey which was a fun tie back to the teas. Overall, the scones and tea were okay, nothing spectacular.
We would not recommend going on the tour just because of the food and tea at the end. Instead, if you choose to do this tour, do it because you want to learn more about the history of tea and how it is made. View the scones and tea at the end as an added bonus.
The Cost Of This Tour
The tour currently costs $20 per person. For Disney prices, this is pretty reasonable. In addition to the cost of the tour, you need an admission ticket to Epcot. You can book the tour by calling Disney. Information about booking is available here.
Things To Be Aware Of
One thing to be aware of is the Royal Tea Garden Tour is not the same thing as the Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room Tea Experience or the Afternoon Tea at the Grand Floridian. We have heard people get these experiences mixed up. For a review of the Afternoon Tea at the Grand Floridian, click here.
The Royal Tea Garden Tour is one of the specialized Flower and Garden Festival tours. This means that you can only do the tour while the Flower and Garden Festival is taking place. We did this tour in March of 2018. After talking with cast members at the 2019 festival, it appears the structure is the same this year. One difference from prior years is that previously the tea and scones were served at the Rose and Crown patio at the conclusion of the tour. Now the tea and scones are provided at the Tea Caddy, directly next to the tea garden in the UK pavilion.
The tea garden is sponsored by Twinings. While it didn’t ever feel like you were in an advertisement, the tour definitely promotes Twinings. We didn’t mind this aspect, but it is something to be aware of.
Main Reasons To Avoid This Tour
You are in Disney World. Unless you really want to learn about the history of tea and tea plants, we feel that there are many better ways to spend your time. If you haven’t done a Disney tour before, we recommend taking one of the numerous tours that let you learn about Disney!
Also, you can walk through the Twinings English Tea Garden, read the signs, and look at the tea plants any time that you visit Epcot during the festival. If you are really interested in tea, you can get 70% of the experience by exploring the garden on your own. There are no behind the scenes details, surprises, or Disney magic (harsh, but true). We really enjoy drinking tea in our daily lives. But even with that factor and a great guide, we still felt the tour left much to be desired.
What We Wish Was Different
We wish that instead of letting you have a glass of tea at the end of the tour, Disney would give you samples of the teas as you learn about them. Even if they weren’t full cups, this tour would be greatly improved if Disney could treat it more like a wine or beer tasting. Give guests 3 samples of tea to try as they walk around the garden and learn about tea from their guide. This small change would make a huge difference for us.
In some ways, this tour felt like it could be turned into a beverage seminar for the Food and Wine festival. The tour is in a tea garden, but that is the main connection to the Flower and Garden Festival. Yes, they cover the tea plant in detail, but we still felt Disney could add more details about creating the garden every year or some more details that tie it into the Flower and Garden festival more.
Tours We Recommend More
Walt Disney: Marceline to Magic Kingdom Tour is an awesome tour for Disney fans. Of our top three tours at Disney World, this one is the least expensive. It currently costs $49 and is 3 hours long. So it is more of a time commitment than the Royal Tea Garden tour, but we think it is worth it. We highly recommend this tour for any Disney fan. We have a full review of the Marceline to Magic Kingdom tour here.
If you want a tour that is closer in price and you also do not want a big time commitment, we would recommend the Behind the Seeds tour in Epcot over the Royal Tea Garden tour. Behind the Seeds currently costs $25 for adults and is around an hour long. The focus of the information for this tour is gardening and the science used in Living with the Land. In fact, much of the tour is spent walking through the Living with the Land attraction.
If you like tea, we recommend the Afternoon Tea at the Grand Floridian. This is not a tour, but it is a unique dining experience at Disney. We strongly encourage tea lovers to check it out! We have a full review of this experience here.
Our Overall Recommendation
We seldom have a Disney tour that we aren’t in love with. Sadly, this tour is one of the exceptions. For most adults in Disney, we recommend passing on this tour. While our guide was excellent, we felt the tour was a bit lacking. The price of this tour is very reasonable, but we still do not think it is worth it. If you are a big tea fan and have cone a bunch of other Disney tours, go for it. Otherwise, we encourage you to check out some of the other awesome Disney tours available (like the ones we mentioned above). If you have done this tour, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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