I love learning about the history of Disneyland! I’ve wanted to take a Guided Tour for a while and specifically the “Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps” tour to learn more about Walt Disney and the early days of the park. Back in December the opportunity presented itself and I said YES! A sweet follower on Instagram gifted me a tour. This gift and experience I will cherish always. THANK YOU sweet friend!
Guided Tour options
There are a few Guided Tours to choose from. Each one is a unique experience with a Tour Guide from Disneyland leading the way. I chose the “Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps” which is available all year long. Disneyland also offers The Grand Circle Tour, Disney’s Happiest Haunts Tour and Holiday Time at the Disneyland Resort Guided Tour.
Before the tour begins
Guests need to check in 15 minutes before the tour starts at the Tour Gardens booth just left of City Hall. You will receive your personalized button and then make your lunch/dinner choice from Jolly Holiday. The menu to choose from is a shortened version of offerings at the Jolly Holiday which includes your main dish, a drink and yummy dessert! Tours are audio-enhanced and equipment is provided, but you may bring your own headphones.
About the guided tour
Each tour has a designated Tour Guide that escorts your group around the parks. The tour is a combination of your Tour Guide sharing stories plus details along the way. Then you also listen to Walt and other voices telling you stories of the past through your head phones. You make many stops along the walking tour. (*Side note I was still recovering from bilateral knee replacement. So I followed along on my scooter and got out as needed with no problems.) But wear good walking shoes because the entire tour is walking, stopping to listen, observe and see the park in a whole new light.
Our tour started at the flag pole listening to Walt’s Opening Day speech to the guests. As I stood there and listened to the audio I thought about what it must have felt like to be there in all the excitement and anticipation of Disneyland opening day. I was overcome with emotion and joy. There were actually several times throughout the tour that I felt this way. I loved hearing the stories about Walt, construction of the park, opening day disasters, progress over the years and so much more. This Guided Tour is highly recommended for anyone who appreciates and wants to learn more about the history of the park and Walt the man.
Part of the tour includes a ride on Alice in Wonderland. As guests on the tour we didn’t have to wait in line. We were escorted through the exit and loaded right on the attraction, yet another perk of a Guided Tour.
Throughout the tour our Tour Guide would throw out fun facts, hidden gems plus answer any questions. Our guide shared a fun piece of history at the Alice in Wonderland ride. Today where the cast member sits and tells you to enter the ride is at the mushroom. Well this mushroom building back in the day used to be a ticket booth. It is one of several still remaining booths at Disneyland where guests used to purchase ticket books to ride on attractions.
We visited every land within Disneyland. We heard stories about the early days and Walt’s involvement in each land of the park. We made a big circle around the park and ended where we started. Another stop along the tour was inside the Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln building. I hadn’t seen this show in years.
And they saved the BEST for last on our tour. We were escorted upstairs and went back in time to Walt’s apartment above the Fire Station. (*Special note: this part of the tour is not always guaranteed.) We were not allowed to have out our phones or take any pictures. While inside two Tour Guides shared stories about Walt and Lillian. The room looked like time had stood still and we were back in the 1960’s from the furniture to the decorations, old telephone, dishes and everything it was fascinating. And the view from that window, where as guests we look up and see the lamp, was breath taking. I stood there and thought I’m in the same apartment where Walt entertained, dined, slept, met with family and friends. As I looked out the window at guests enjoying the park with their families I knew that’s exactly what Walt did from that very same window. What a dream come true. I will remember that moment always as one of my favorite memories to date at Disneyland. I am so happy that one of the Tour Guides took a photo for us so we could at least have one photo of that special moment.
The tour concluded with lunch inside the patio area by the Tour Gardens kiosk. We enjoyed our food from Jolly Holiday and visited with the other guests on the tour. The cherry on top of the whole experience was the parting gift we received. We got an exclusive to the tour Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps pin. The souvenir pin opens and shows the plaque from opening day along with the Partner Statue. The gift is included with your tour price.
Like I’ve mentioned above I’ve been wanting to do this tour for a while because of my love for Disney history. As a fan and Disneyland lover this tour hit the spot for me. I learned so much and gained a greater appreciation for Walt Disney. I felt like the length of the tour was just right. It was just under 4 hours. The length could be shorter depending on how fast the group takes at each stop. Our Tour Guide was very knowledgable and shared so many great facts that you can only get on a tour of this sort. If you’re looking for a great way to learn more and see the parks from a new perspective then I highly recommend this tour. Just know that your tour may look a little different or include another ride. This was my experience and the opinions here are mine as a participant of the tour. Now I want to go on another Guided Tour, maybe the Grand Circle Tour which includes a ride on the Lilly Belle train car!
How much is the tour?
The “Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps” tour pricing is in addition to your park entrance. Current pricing for guests is $115 and guests with an annual pass cost $98. The tour lasts about 4 hours and includes lunch or dinner from Jolly Holiday depending on the time of year. Plus you receive an exclusive Walk in Walt’s Footsteps Tour pin. To schedule a tour or for more information call 714-781-8687 More details can be found on the Disneyland website.
Pin this to your favorite Disney board!