Walk In Walt’s Footsteps Tour Review
Walk in Walt’s Footsteps Tour Review
We have done more than a dozen different Disney park tours. Most of the tours have been at Walt Disney World, with one being in Disneyland Paris. The Walk in Walt’s Footsteps tour in Disneyland is the first tour we have taken in Disneyland, CA. Being the original Disney park and having so much of Walt in the park, we had high hopes for this tour. While seeing Walt’s apartment was a huge highlight, overall we were let down by the Walk In Walt’s Footsteps tour. This post provides details about what the tour costs, what to expect, as well as our pros and cons about the tour.
Should Adults Do This Tour?
As we mentioned above, we had high hopes for this tour. Unfortunately, our answer for if adults should do this tour is “probably not.” The one exception is if you want to see Walt’s apartment in Disneyland. If you want to visit the apartment and learn about the history that goes along with it, then this tour is really your only option. But, access to the apartment isn’t 100% guaranteed (more on this below).
We go over each aspect of the tour in this post, highlighting the good and bad. The main reason that this tour didn’t rank high for us is because there is a lot of time with no real information. There were several points when we felt the tour guide could be sharing the history of the park, but instead it was just us walking or riding on a ride with no bonus information. Also, for us, the 45 minutes before lunch were a complete waste of time.
We love Disney tours and they are usually the first thing we recommend when someone asks for something unique to do at the Disney parks. Sadly, this isn’t a tour we would recommend (unless you really want to see Walt’s apartment).
The Walk in Walt’s Footsteps Tour currently costs $115. This does not include admission to the Disneyland theme park. Disneyland admission is required and the tour is an additional cost. Disneyland annual passholders receive 15% off the cost of the tour. (Disney Rewards Visa card holders and Disney Vacation Club members may also receive 15% off, ask when booking.) The tour does include lunch/dinner. The option of lunch versus dinner depends on the start time of the tour. We believe the food menu is the same for both options.
To reserve the tour, Disney recommends calling 30 days in advance. The reservation is nontransferable and it is not refundable. Given this, be sure that you have the time set aside in your trip to do this tour. For the phone number and other reservation information, visit the Walk In Walt’s Disneyland Footstep Tour website.
If you are okay if you miss the tour because it is booked, you can book the tour the day of or the day before. One benefit of booking the day of is that you can confirm that you will be able to go into Walt’s apartment. But remember, this tour does sell out so you run the risk of not being able to do it at all.
What To Expect
There is typically one or two tours offered a day. When we visited, there was a 9:30am tour and an 11:30am tour. We chose the 11:30am tour because we wanted to do rides at park open when the lines are a bit shorter. It was pretty hot for our visit in August, so in hindsight, we wish we had done the 9:30am tour. The tour is said to lasts for 3-4 hours. Our tour lasted 4 hours.
Check-In for the tour takes place at the Tour Gardens. This is the white gazebo located to the far left side as you enter Disneyland. If you look at City Hall, Tour Gardens is on the left. Disney recommends checking in 15 minutes before the tour start time. This was more than enough time to place your lunch order and get a headset from the tour guide. The headset allows tour guests to be able to hear the Disney tour guide throughout the tour.
Photos are allowed on the tour, but video recording is not allowed. The only time when photos are restricted is when in Walt’s apartment (more on this in the Walt’s Apartment section below).
We had 17 adults in our group for our Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps tour. The cast member mentioned that they try to not go over 15 adults. We aren’t sure if we just had bad luck or if it is common for the tours to be over the recommended 15 people. Guests under 18 are allowed and must be accompanied by an adult. Our tout was only adults. We strongly do not recommend this tour for anyone under 18. (We also don’t recommend this tour for most people over 18 haha.)
The tour starts on Main Street. The Disney tour guide share information about Walt and walks the group up Main Street. The guide would only talk if the group was stopped. Maybe this is a Disneyland rule, but for us it equals a ton of wasted tour time. While our guide was very nice, right from the start we felt like the amount of information that was being shared was lacking.
For example, as we walked up Main Street, the guide didn’t share information. At one point the guide did stop to point out a two names on Main Street windows. The guide mentioned that as Disney fans we probably already knew about the windows, but here are a couple of their favorite ones. We are big Disney nerds and know about the window meanings. However, it still would have been nice to have some information shared about what the windows represent, why the windows are there, and their connection to Walt. I guess if you want this information, take a tour at Disney World haha.
Walking Between Lands
The tour covers Main Street, Fantasyland, Frontierland, New Orleans Square, and Tomorrowland. Any time we were walking, the guide would talk with the guests closest to the front of the group. While we felt the guide did make an effort to talk with everyone on the tour, this was the time we wanted fun Disney facts.
The tours that we have done at Disney World had nonstop information. We love that borderline information overload. The information that we got out of this tour was lacking. (Big problem for us because you’re paying money and taking time out of your vacation to learn about Walt.)
There were a couple of times during the tour where the guide would play recordings of Walt talking. We enjoyed this addition to the tour. A couple of the recordings were played while walking between points. This was the only information we got while walking and it wasn’t often. If Disneyland insists on the guide not talking to the group while walking, filling in a the gaps with historical recordings would be better than nothing.
Rides are not guaranteed on this tour. However, it seems that at least one ride is commonly included. For our tour, we rode Alice in Wonderland. The benefit of this is that we entered the ride through the exit line, so that our tour group got to skip the wait for the ride. The wait time was around 20-30 minutes – we were on in about 5-10 minutes. The downside is that we had to wait for the entire group to go through the ride. This one ride probably took about 30 minutes of the tour.
Our tour also included a train ride from New Orleans Square to Tomorrowland. The guide walked us on the train through the exit ramp and made sure that everyone in the group had a seat. The train was a nice way to change lands instead of walking. Again, while on the train, the guide did not share any bonus information.
Pointless Part of the Tour
The last 45 minutes before lunch, for us, were a complete waste of time. The walking part of the tour ended in the building that houses Disneyland Story presenting Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. This is located at the end of Main Street and just across from the tour check-in and City Hall. When we arrived, our guide gave us a 15 minute break. Given that next was lunch, we thought that a 5 minute restroom break would have been more than enough.
After the break, our guide instructed the group that we would be watching Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. There is a short preshow and then you go into the theater for the full 23 minute show. We felt that this was included solely as an attempt to make the tour longer. The tour guide did not talk during the show or provide any additional bonus information. For us, it was a complete waste of time.
After Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, the guide ended the tour with some information about Walt. This part of the tour was short, but heartfelt. Disney needs to add more of this. With the “tour” part complete, it was time for lunch and visiting Walt’s apartment.
Because our group was so large, the group was split into two at this point. Half went up to the apartment while half had lunch. When the first group was done seeing Walt’s apartment, the second group got to go up. We got the unlucky draw and had lunch first and the apartment tour second. The reason we would have preferred to go to the apartment first is we finished our lunch and then had about 10 minutes for first group to be back and have it be our turn to go up to the apartment.
The food provided for lunch was really good. All tour guests eat in the Tour Gardens area which is well shaded. The food is from Jolly Holiday and includes an entrée, drink, and dessert. We ordered our food when we checked in for the tour. The menu from our tour is below. We each got a salad that came with a breadstick and cookie. We selected the Matterhorn macaroon and strongly recommend it if you like coconut. The food was delicious.
As you can probably guess from our introduction, seeing Walt’s apartment is our only highlight from this tour. Two separate cast members gave the tour of Walt’s apartment. Both were extremely knowledgeable about the apartment and Walt. They shared amazing information about the items in the apartment and what the apartment meant to Walt.
If you are not familiar with Walt’s apartment, it is located on the second floor of the Fire Dept. on Main Street. Walt and Lillian spent many nights in this apartment inside Disneyland, especially before and just after the opening of Disneyland. The main living space has 2 couches, where each of them slept. There is a small counter which served as the kitchen. Lastly there is a bathroom and closet area in the back. The apartment is small, but it is filled with a lot of details.
Photos are not allowed in the apartment except one photo at the end. This photo is taken by the guide in a specific direction. It captures part of the main living space as well as the light that Walt would leave on when he was in the park. Now Disney leaves the light on as a symbol that Walt is always there.
Walt’s Apartment Not Guaranteed
While most of the Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps tours include his Disneyland apartment, it is not guaranteed. Disney does note that “All offerings and experiences are subject to change without notice.” If we had done the tour and not been able to get into Walt’s apartment that day, we would have been really sad. If you want to do the tour in order to see the apartment, know that this is a risk to consider.
At the end of the tour you are given a Disney pin as a souvenir. The pin is actually really impressive. It has a photo of Walt on the front. Inside it has Walt’s speech from the opening day of Disneyland. The pin is a nice bonus, especially if you are a pin collector.
Main Downsides Of This Tour
This tour is a tough sell. As big Disney fans, we felt that there wasn’t enough interesting and unique Disneyland information. If you know very little about Walt Disney, we still don’t feel this is the best tour because a lot of the basic information wasn’t covered. Our best recommendation to Disney, is add way more history and facts to this tour. The Marceline tour in Disney World is a perfect example of sharing a lot of interesting Walt Disney information.
Relatedly, there is too much blank time. When on the train, share information about what you’re seeing. While walking, point out interesting facts. And lastly, take out the Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. We recommend the guide shares Walt’s love for Lincoln and animatronics, but leave seeing the show as an option for guests to do after the tour is over.
While we do not recommend the Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps tour, we do love a bunch of Disney tours that are offered. Sadly, most of them are at Disney World. For our top 3 Disney World tours, click here.
Our Overall Recommendation
This tour is one of the only ways that the general public is able to visit Walt’s apartment in Disneyland. As we mentioned above, the apartment is an amazing experience for any Disney fan. If you really want to see Walt’s apartment, then we recommend taking the tour. But, while access to the apartment is included most of the time, it is not 100% guaranteed. If you do not care about seeing Walt’s apartment, then we would pass on this tour. For Disney’s website with tour information and booking, click here. If you have any questions about the tour or if you have taken the tour and had a different experience, please leave a comment below!
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