We recently visited Disneyland Resort Anaheim as part of our west coast wedding anniversary trip and as a surprise present from Robyn, she had booked us both onto the “Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps” Tour which promises to take you back in time to see Disneyland the way Walt Disney had envisioned. With Disneyland being the only park that Walt had walked in, it looks to give you a means to connect closer to the legend with behind the scenes access and fascinating narration hosted by a very knowledgable Guest relations tour guide.
The Main Park Tour
We headed on the day to check in at the ‘tour gardens’ kiosk to the left of city hall on Main Street. We Arrived promptly and collected our headsets and name tags as well as making our selections for lunch. Selections are made from the jolly holiday bakery and feature a selection of sandwiches and a small dessert option with a choice of soft drink.
Once everyone was ready to go Carlos, our guide for the day, proceeded to lead us to the first stop outside the fire station on Main Street to kick off the tour. A short description was given on splitting the groups in two for the later part of the tour. From here the tour then takes you on a wide and expansive route around Disneyland between all the significant and original lands of the park with fascinating background and insight into their development and their link to the great man.
We made the following stops on the tour:
• Main Street USA Plaza & Hub
• Fantasyland center court
• Tomorrowland entrance
• Frontierland waterfront
• Royal Street (New Orleans Square)
• Adventureland walkway
• It’s A Small World Plaza
• Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln foyer
Also in addition to the stops above we had front of line access onto two attractions – It’s a small world and Alice in wonderland.
Interspersed between the guide narration and pre-recorded audio clips played through the headsets, the tour gave a cohesive story of the Disneyland Park with a focus on Walt Disney culminating with the end of the guided tour at the great moments with mr Lincoln Attraction. The time absolutely flew by!
Once this first part of the tour was over we again returned to the Tour gardens location where we were then separated into two groups indicated earlier. We were in the second group and took our seats on the patio for our lunch selection which was delivered and set on the tables with our name tags accordingly.
Simon had chosen a roast beef sandwich with potato chips, a diet soda and the amazing Matterhorn macaroon. Robyn had chosen the turkey sandwich with the flourless chocolate cake and a diet soda.
Accompanying the lunch sitting, Carlos circulated the tables to hand out a souvenir pin attached to a postcard to commemorate our attendance on the tour. A very nice Keepsake referencing the park opening and dedication speech and plaque for us to take away.
Disney Family Fire-station apartment
The second and most anticipated part of the tour is to visit the Disney family apartment located above the Main Street fire-station. Rising up through the rear staircase to the apartment you truly felt like it was a step back in time and gave a real insight into the Disney family life and how they would have used the apartment for their relaxation space.
Given the surprisingly compact dimensions of the apartment, there wasn’t much of a tour needed besides viewing the 1950’s styled bathroom and kitchenette and to gaze at the turn of the century decor and numerous family artefacts which adorned the main room. The guide for the apartment had Some really interesting facts around the original fire station pole to the ground floor and the need to remove due to some nosey park guests! And the rather dated grilled cheese sandwich press which was apparently used to make one Of Walt’s favourite comfort foods!
The sense that you were really in the footsteps of Walt Disney was ever present in this Personal family space and definitely worth being on the tour to witness.
Photography is restricted in the apartment however they did allow one posed photograph per couple as a memento!
This is a very in depth and fun tour and really does give a great overview for those interested in the original park vision and more specifically about Walt Disney. Even though we are regular visitors to Disney parks and have read a myriad of books on the subject, there were certainly still plenty of new facts learnt along the way. It does occupy quite a niche market for real Disney fans and I would say it’s not a tour for those with only a passing interest in the history of the parks or no interest in Walt Disney himself, and perhaps if visitors have been on any backstage tours at Walt Disney world they may find the lack of back stage access slightly disappointing. Those on short visits may also find this a somewhat time consuming tour as it takes approximately half a day of your visit.
However if are a returning Visitor to Disneyland resort or have a long stay I would highly recommend this, and with the crowning glory of the access to the fire station apartment (only accessible on this tour) you will get a very unique peak at a coveted part of Walt Disney family and parks history and would make a great addition to your Disneyland stay!
• Can be booked 30 days in advance
• Disneyland park access ticket access is required to attend the tour
• 15% Discounts are available for DVC members or AP holders when booking.
• Involves quite a lot of walking so advised to wear appropriate footwear
Do you have any experiences of any tours at Disneyland or other Disney parks?
We would love to hear your opinions and stories!
Thanks for reading!