unDISCOVERed Future World Tour Review
The unDISCOVERed Future World Tour Review
Disney World offers a variety of tours for adults. The unDISCOVERed Future World tour, as indicated by the name, takes place throughout the Future World portion of the Epcot theme park. We both really enjoyed the Future World tour. However, it is not a tour that we would recommend to do as your first-ever Disney World tour.
This post covers the basics of what to expect on the unDISCOVERed Future World tour. The tour does have a fair amount of behind the scenes time. There are also a few Disney surprises that take place. We include all spoilers (including photos) at the bottom of the post. That way, if you want to keep the extra Disney magic as a surprise, all you have to do is keep an eye out for the Spoilers section header.
Is This Tour Fun For Adults?
The unDISCOVERed Future World tour exceeded our expectations! We found it to be really fun and interesting. As a disclaimer, we are big-time Disney nerds and have done almost every Disney World tour available. Given that aspect, we would only recommend this tour to those adult fans that really love learning about Walt Disney and the Disney parks.
We would also only recommend this tour to people that have first done at least Marceline to Magic Kingdom. For our full review of the Marceline tour, click here. If you want to do a tour of Epcot, the choice is between this tour and DestiNations Discovered which goes through the World Showcase at Epcot. Our review of that tour is here.
Which Epcot tour is better? We think DestiNations Discovered was more interesting overall. However, if you want a lot of backstage time and if you care about seeing the VIP lounges (more on this below), then then unDISCOVERed Future World tour is for you.
What To Expect
The unDISCOVERed Future World Tour is a 4-hour walking tour. The tour focuses on the Future World portion of the Epcot theme park, but it also includes a fair amount of behind the scenes activities. This part of the review covers our experience with all of the aspects detailed on the Disney tour description page. At the end of the post, we will include details about some of the bonus magic that occurred on our tour (Spoiler section at the bottom of the post).
Before the Tour and Checking In
This tour is typically offered at 8:30am. With no extra magic hours, Epcot normally opens at 9am. On extra magic hour mornings, the park opens at 8am. We highly recommend taking the tour on a day when the park opens at 9am. Since the tour starts at 8:30am, guests going on the tour are able to enter the park prior to official open. The only other people in the park will be other tour guests and guests going to early breakfast reservations.
We did the unDISCOVERed Future World tour in March 2019. We stayed at the Swan and Dolphin hotel, so we entered Epcot through the international gateway entrance. The process would be similar if you used the main park entrance. We walked to the international gateway from our hotel and arrived around 7:35am. We got to the entrance extra early because Jeff was hoping to get into the park before the crowds to take some early morning, empty park photos. At 7:45am, security checked our tour confirmation and let us enter the park. We were able to slowly walk through the park and enjoy all of the empty areas.
Currently, check-in for the tour is the back part of Pin Central located between Spaceship Earth and the Fountain of Nations. I checked us in at 8:10am while Jeff took pictures. The cast members gave each person a bottle of water, name tag, and headset for the tour. The headsets are common on Disney tours and you shouldn’t have a problem on the tour because you have the headset. The cast members offered to take photos at check in. Since we were early, the tour guide said we could continue enjoying the empty park and meet at the Electric Umbrella at 8:30am to start.
The tour lasts for 4 hours. We felt that the tour could be classified into 3 parts: Walt Disney, Cast Member Services, and Future World. The first part of the tour is spent inside the guest services building covering the Walt Disney portion. The majority of the tour is spent exploring future world with a portion on cast member services at the end.
While in guest services, the tour guide provides a lot of background about Walt Disney. While we really enjoyed the information about Walt, we thought it was a bit odd given that the tour was about future world. Much of the information felt like it belonged with the Marceline tour. One suggestion we have for Disney in regards to this tour is to spend less time on Walt and more time on his vision for Epcot and why he cared so much about Epcot. We felt the tour guide discussed these factors, but it would have been better if the tour led with them and focused less on Walt’s general life history.
After the time in guest services, the tour moves outside and covers Spaceship Earth. As the focal point for Epcot, it was really interesting learning about how Spaceship Earth was built. The guide also detailed what Spaceship Earth represents and how Disney maintains the ride inside. Our tour guide had an example of the material that Spaceship Earth is made out of for guests to look at as well as photos of its construction.
After learning about Spaceship Earth, the next portion of the tour covers the various lounges located in the Future World pavilions and the history of the various pavilions in Future World. Disney’s website about this tour has as one of the bullet points as: “Visit one of many VIP lounges at a location like The Seas with Nemo & Friends pavilion, Spaceship Earth or Mission: SPACE.” The number of lounges that you visit is not guaranteed. The tour guide said each tour will do at least one VIP lounge. For our tour, we got to visit 3 lounges.
Prior to this tour, we didn’t know that each pavilion had a lounge located in it. We knew the imagination pavilion had the DVC lounge, but we never knew they existed in all of the other future world pavilions too. As a general rule of thumb, the lounge size is related to the size of the pavilion. The pavilions were originally meant as a private space in the park for the corporation that sponsored the pavilion. The corporation could share the space with its employees or simply use it as they saw fit. Today, some corporations still sponsor pavilions, others are waiting to be sponsored, and others have been converted to other purposes, such as the DVC lounge.
We loved seeing the lounges and thought the information about them was really interesting. The lounges are a big part of this tour, so if you do not have an interest in these spaces, you may be bored for about an hour in the middle of the tour. Since we do not want to spoil any of the surprise associated with the lounges, all of our pictures and details about the 3 lounges we visited are at the bottom of this post.
Future World East and Future World West
In addition to seeing the lounges, the tour guide provides a lot of information about Future World. For example, you hear about the motivation for the designs of both the land and the sea pavilions. We got to see how they clean all of the 3-D glasses used in the park. We also learned about the various changes that have taken place over the years for the buildings that are now home to Mission Space and Test Track.
Moving from Future World to the Cast Services building, which is located behind the scenes, the tour guide takes you under Test Track. The guide explains all of the technology that goes into Test Track as well as some fun facts about the ride. One fact that we especially enjoyed was that Test Track is currently set to a max speed of 65mph, so that the ride doesn’t encourage speeding. However, the outside portion of the ride can run at 100mph (come on Disney, make that happen!).
Cast Services Area
Towards the end of the tour, the group goes to the Cast Services building located behind Test Track. This building is the primary location for cast members at Epcot. While inside the building, we got a chance to see the various awards cast members are eligible to win, we saw their lockers, a cast member only shop, and a few other amenities available to the people that make Disney magic happen.
One of the highlights of this area was the chance to see inside the wardrobe department. In this area, we saw how cast members get their uniforms for work and how those uniforms are stored based on the cast member’s work location throughout Epcot. Beyond the thousands of uniforms, we also saw how the dry cleaning services work in Epcot.
After checking out the general work uniforms, we moved on to the creative costumes, where detailed costume work takes place. In here we got a chance to see the original Figment, a few lesser known characters, and tons of special one of a kind costumes. You also get a chance to see cast members getting their hair and makeup done. Unfortunately all of these areas are behind the scenes and Disney does not permit photos of any kind.
This part of the tour felt like an add-on to make the tour longer. While it is nice to see how Disney supports cast members, it didn’t really feel like it fit in with the Future World theme. Considering that it is the final part of the tour, it is a bit underwhelming.
The Cost Of This Tour
The unDISCOVERed Future World tour currently costs $69. There are discounts available for annual passholders and DVC members. The $69 covers all aspects of the tour as well as a commemorative pin which you receive at the end of the tour.
While our tour only had 4 people on it, we still recommend making a reservation for the tour in advance. You can reserve this tour, and all other Disney World tours, by calling (407) 939-8687. All booking information can also be found here.
Things To Be Aware Of
The tour is a 4-hour walking tour. There are a couple chances for breaks to sit, but not many. A lot of the tour is also inside. There are a couple of parts that are outside, but most of the outside time is spent walking between pavilions.
The number of lounges visited on a given tour is not guaranteed. We got to see 3 lounges. We are not sure how the tour would change if we had only seen 1 lounge. Our guess is that the guide would have added more information to other parts of the tour to keep it to the 4-hours allocated for the tour. Similarly, if you visited more lounges, then some of the things that we did may not be included.
While we only had 4 people in our tour group, the tour can be much larger. One benefit of this tour is that we think it is less popular. The tour guide mentioned that the size of the group tends to be on the smaller size. However, know that there is always the chance that on the day you go there could be a large group.
Our Overall Recommendation
The facts about Future World East and West in addition to seeing the lounges were our favorite parts of the unDISCOVERed Future World tour. If you do not have an interest in seeing the lounges, then the fun information from this tour may not be enough to offset the time spent talking about and seeing the VIP lounges. Even if you have an interest in Future World, we do not recommend taking this tour as your first Disney World Tour. If you are a first-timer, we recommend taking one of our top 3 Disney tours that we review here.
If you have an interest in this tour, we would recommend taking this tour sooner rather than later. With the number of updates that are coming to Future World in Epcot, we are not sure how long Disney will continue to offer this tour.
After discussing Spaceship Earth at the start of the tour, our guide walked us in to ride Spaceship Earth. The guide gave us a few facts and things to look for while we were on the ride. Another fun part of this experience was that the guide took us through the exit of Spaceship Earth to board the ride. This was a really cool experience.
Towards the end of the tour, our guide walked us on to ride Test Track. Similar to Spaceship Earth, we entered through a special route that allowed us to skip the line completely. We ended up boarding Test Track from the exit side. It was a pretty fun experience. Sorry to the people who had to wait an extra car because our tour cut ahead!
As we mentioned above, the tour lets you see at least one of the VIP lounges. We were fortunate enough to be able to go into 3 of the VIP lounges. We visited the lounge inside Mission Space which is currently sponsored by HP. Since it is an active lounge, we didn’t take any photos inside.
We were also able to visit the lounge inside Spaceship Earth. No one currently sponsors this VIP lounge. Even though no one is sponsoring it, the tour guide requested no photos be taken of the space. However, we were allowed to take a photo from the back of the lounge looking out to Future World and where our tour started. We honestly didn’t realize how awesome the view was from this location until we were up there.
Our favorite lounge that we visited was the one inside the Sea pavilion. This VIP lounge is huge and has the most amazing views of the aquarium that is in the Sea pavilion. This space is often used for events and weddings. Since the space can be rented out, the tour guide allowed us to take photos and videos in the space.
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