Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps Tour

During our Disneyland “Racecation” this past August, my husband and I too the “Walk In Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps” Tour and we absolutely loved every moment.

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In fact, we loved it so much we both agreed that we would take this tour again if we had the chance.

Yes, this tour is the one that brings guests inside the lobby of Club 33 AND behind the scenes into Walt’s Main Street apartment…but apart from that, this tour is so much more. Come along and you’ll see what I mean…

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Jason and I arrived at Disneyland Park 15 minutes prior to our scheduled tour time as instructed. The check-in kiosk was a small white gazebo, located before City Hall, right after crossing under the train station on the left. 

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Upon check-in, we were each given a button to wear with our names on them. We were also shown a menu and asked to choose items for our post-tour meal.  Choices included a small variety of sandwiches or salads with chips and fruit as sides. While waiting for the tour to begin, we were seated at a table and were each given a bottle of water as well as a headset for use during the tour.

This tour is set up so guests see Disneyland Park through Walt’s eyes. Along with the tour guide, we also heard various “story-telling” clips through our headsets. I recognized several clips from the documentary, “Walt: The Man Behind The Myth”.

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We began our tour at the train station flag pole, where we heard Walt’s Disneyland dedication speech through our headset. Our tour guide also shared a few stories of the opening day of Disneyland.

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The tour continued down Mainstreet, through the castle into Fantasyland.

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Once we arrived in Fantasyland, took a side entrance (aka we skipped the crowds) and hopped onto Peter Pan’s Flight for a ride through Neverland.

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As we continued our journey through the park, we were told several facts about Walt and several “hidden treasures” of Disneyland.

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One particular treasure is this Petrified Tree located along the River’s of America. Walt purchased the remains of the tree and gave it to Lillian as a gift for their 31st Wedding Anniversary. Lillian was unsure of what to do with the gift (also known as “Lillian’s Rock”) so she donated it to Disneyland…and it’s been there ever since!

A highlight of this tour is the glimpse inside of Club 33, named because of it’s location on Royal Street in New Orleans Square…33 Royal Street.

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The lobby of Club 33 is beautiful and accented with dark wood and deep tones.

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Although I’ve seen several versions online, our tour guide informed us that the lift inside of Club 33’s lobby was spotted by Walt at a hotel in France. He asked to purchase the lift and was told no. We know that Walt never liked being told no, so he sent his imagineers to France to take dimensions and photos of the lift – he wanted an exact replica for Disneyland, and that’s what he got in turn!

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Our time in the lobby of Club 33 was brief, just long enough for everyone to soak it all in, take pictures, check-in on Facebook/Four Square…. Yeah, I might have done that, too.

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Gorgeous stained glass above the door.

After saying goodbye to the Club 33 lobby, we were led to the Adventureland for our own special viewing of the Tiki Room, a Walt original. 

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Once the Tiki Room attraction was complete, we walked back towards Main Street and into the Disney Gallery.

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This is where the tour became a little emotional for me, as our tour guide told a few stories of the end of Walt’s life. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room as he shared Roy’s final words to Walt, “Well kid, this is the end, I guess…”

The final highlight of our tour was a walk through Walt’s Mainstreet apartment. We were taken behind a wooden gate next to the fire station. Once “backstage”, we were not allowed to take any photographs or recordings. As a matter of fact, we weren’t allowed to take any photos inside Walt’s apartment except one…

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Being inside Walt’s apartment was definitely a highlight of the tour for me. I couldn’t believe I was treading on a piece of Disneyland history, one that so few guests get to see!

A story that was told inside Walt’s apartment was one of the opening day of Disneyland park. Sharon, the Mousketeer was with Walt in his apartment that day. As the gates opened and people began flooding into Disneyland, Sharon noticed a tear rolling down Walt’s cheek. It was in that moment where she truly grasped, she was standing before a man who was watching his dreams come true, right before his very eyes.

Believe it or not, I began crying…yes, again.

After leaving Walt’s apartment, we were seated outside of the gazebo area – our food was ready and waiting on us. Jason and I each ordered the turkey sandwich and chips and were given Mickey sugar cookies for dessert.

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As a final thank you, our tour guide gave each guest a special “tour” commemorative pin.

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The pin unfolds like a story book, similar to the format of the tour! 

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Inside is a replica of the dedication plaque of Disneyland and an image of the partners statue.

Overall, I give this tour a 10 out of 10! It was a great tour full of facts and information, we had an awesome tour guide, and we got to see parts of the park we wouldn’t have been able to see otherwise. As a Walt fan, I found the stories insightful and I loved envisioning the park through his eyes.

Interested in taking the “Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps” Tour?

  • This tour operates 2 times per day most days of the week, 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Check the website for times/dates.
  • This tour lasts approximately 3 hours.
  • Annual Passholders and Disney Visa Card members receive a discounted rate - 20% off the price of this tour!
  • Wear comfortable shoes – this is a walking tour.
  • Separate theme park admission tickets are required for this tour.
  • Tours may be booked 30 days in advance. This is a very popular tour, I highly recommend calling in advance to book.

Thanks for coming along with us! I enjoyed reliving special moments of this tour and really enjoyed sharing them with you!

Have you ever taken a Disney Parks tour? What was your favorite part of the tour?


  1. Ok I may have teared up a bit reading your report too. Wow that sounds like a MUST when we go to DL!

    1. I'll admit, I teared up writing it last night, too...Hah!
      Yes! This tour is definitely a must-do! :0)

  2. That sounds like an amazing tour, Karen! I have never been on a Disney parks tour...yet... ;) I think you just sold me on my first!

  3. That sounds amazing! I'm tearing up just reading about it!

  4. That looks like fun. It's always interesting to get a different perspective on a place you see all the time.

  5. I think you are the biggest Disney fan ever! How cool that you got to do that tour; and thank you for sharing it with us!

  6. We need to take this tour on our next trip to Disneyland. That looked like an amazing opportunity to really see so much behind the scenes at Disneyland.

  7. Sounds like a great exprience! The stories of Walt are legendary. You and your husband need to make it out to the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco.

    By the way, did they tell you on the tour how long the Sherman Brothers had to compose the music for the Tiki Room? If they didn't, let me tell you it wasn't very long. If I remember correctly, it was less than a day.

    1. I would love to see San Fransisco and the museum! I loved your blog posts about it!! Crazy about the time frame for the song! Those two sure are talented!

  8. I took the Keys to the Kingdom tour in WDW when I was 14. I think the age minimum is 15, but my dad bumped my age up since I knew all the Disney secrets.

    1. His cool!! Would love to take that tour as well!

  9. I totally teared up reading your description!! I definitely need to do this tour!!

  10. The behind the seeds one is AWESOME at Epcot!

  11. I've never taken a tour at Disney, but this one sounds really nice.

  12. Sounds like a great experience. The stories of Walt are legendary. You and your husband need to make it out to the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco.


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