Marceline to Magic Kingdom Tour Review and How It Compares to Keys to the Kingdom Tour
If touring various places around the world is your way of keeping things fresh and exciting, then taking the Marceline to Magic Kingdom tour at the Walt Disney World Resort won’t certainly disappoint. For close to 3 hours, you’ll take a guided adventure through this Magic Kingdom and get an in-depth insight, knowledge and a unique Disney experience as you’ve never encountered it anywhere else.
Just like many tourists take to the Wild Africa Trek to get up close with exotic African wildlife in their native habitat or a tour to the Epcot World to learn more about various countries and their cultures, taking the Marceline to Magic Kingdom tour offers a detailed look at Walt Disney, the man and his vision for this magical kingdom. It’s through this guided tour that you will learn that Walt Disney’s boyhood home was in Marceline, Missouri. Through this tour, you’ll – without doubt – learn how this small town of Marceline made a tremendous impact on Walt and how he carried the inspirations over to the parks.
In other words, this tour will make you see through Walt’s eyes, his inspirations, the people he surrounded himself with and how his meticulousness, perseverance, perfectionist mindset, and vision led to the creation of a real Kingdom (the Walt Disney World Resort) back in the 1950s, but is still worthwhile in 2018, as well as his great input in animatronics, animation and the art of storytelling in general.
Even though you might have read lots of books and articles about the history of Walt Disney and how he created Disneyland, this tour will leave you in excitement and awe of Walt and his team of Imagineers as your guide will infectiously point out details you likely haven’t noticed.
The Tour Itself
As with most tours in the Magic Kingdom, you’ll check in at the Chamber of Commerce where you’ll receive souvenir name tag pins, listening devices and a bottle of water. The tour will begin in the courtyard off the Town Square Theater where the tour guide will introduce himself/herself and give out some general rules.
Together with the group, you’ll then proceed to the Main Street U.S.A. Here, you’ll learn about Walt’s family and his early life in Marceline. While you’ll learn just how important Marceline was in influencing the design of Main Street, you’ll probably be surprised to discover it’s not an exact replica of Marceline, but rather a depiction of how Walt felt about his hometown and how he loved it dearly.
It’s during this part of the tour that you’ll hear lots of interesting anecdotes about Walt’s childhood such as the amazing tales of his sister or the fact that Walt and his mother were in cahoots, albeit in indiscretion, that Walt would go and fully serve the country he loved so much. For the better part of the 3 hours, you’ll walk through 5 attractions where you’ll learn a lot of secrets, technology, history on each attraction and of course, Walt’s personal tales, as well as those of his family and Imagineers.
For instance, in the Liberty Square you’ll open your eyes to interesting perspectives on various lands around the Magic Kingdom and details about the Hall of Presidents attraction. As with many other tourists, your favorite part of the tour will likely be at The Haunted Mansion.
Here, the guide will point a lot of details that even the most ardent fans of The Haunted Mansion may admit to not knowing. By the time the tour ends at the Carousel of Progress, you shall have learned a lot more about Walt Disney than you ever did and you’ll probably be more in love with him and his immense work to make the world a better place through Disneyland.
Comparing the Marceline to Magic Kingdom Tour to Keys to the Kingdom Tour
While the Marceline to Magic Kingdom tour will give you a rare glimpse to how amazingly Walt Disney’s early life in Marceline and later life influenced the creation of the Magic Kingdom, the Keys to the Kingdom tour is a detailed tour to the famed elusive backstage areas.
It is offered not just to satisfy your inner Disney curiosity about what goes on behind the scenes, but also to give you a rare glimpse of the Utilidor (tunnel system) beneath the park. And for clarity, here are some of the differences and similarities between the Marceline to Magic Kingdom tour and Keys to the Kingdom tour.
Topic – The Marceline to Magic Kingdom tour concentrates more on Walt Disney, the man, events, and inspirations that led to the creation of Disneyland. In short, it’s about looking at the park through Walt’s eyes. On the other hand, Keys to the Kingdom tour is more of a guided behind the scenes tour of the Magic Kingdom. Simply put, Keys to the Kingdom tour is about how the magic happens and how the Magic Kingdom operates.
Cost – Costing from $35 to $49 dollars per head depending on the time of booking, the Marceline to Magic Kingdom tour is less expensive compared to the Keys to the Kingdom tour, which costs up to $79 per head. Note that there may be discounts to Annual Pass holders and for Disney Vacation Club members.
Age Requirements – As far as age is concerned, the Marceline to Magic Kingdom tour allows 12 year old kids and older unlike the Keys to the Kingdom tour that allow 16 year old kids and older. In fact, this is one of the main reasons why the Marceline to Magic Kingdom tour is always booked and requires you to start early so as to secure a spot. Remember, persons below the age of 18 are expected to be in the company of an adult.
Length of the Tour – The Marceline to Magic Kingdom tour is a three-hour walking tour while the Keys to the Kingdom tour is a five-hour walking tour.
Food – In terms of food, you’ll not be offered any food during the Marceline to Magic Kingdom tour apart from a bottle of water that you’ll be given at the start of the tour. It’s therefore advisable to carry with you some snacks to keep you going during the tour. On the other hand, you’ll be offered lunch during the Keys to the Kingdom tour. Your order will be taken in the morning and will be ready by the time you reach Columbia Harbor House.
Time Schedules – The Marceline to Magic Kingdom tour begins at around 9:00 AM while the Keys to the Kingdom tour starts at 8:00 AM typically before the park opens.
Tour Routes – Marceline to Magic Kingdom tour will follow this route: Chamber of Commerce, Town Square Theater, Main Street USA, Liberty Square, Hall of Presidents, and The Haunted Mansion before ending at the Carousel of Progress.
Conversely, the Keys to the Kingdom tour will follow this route: Chamber of Commerce (for check in), Town Square Theater, Main Street USA, Adventureland (a ride on The Jungle Cruise), and Liberty Square before the grand finale at the Utilidor.
Check-In – Arrive at entrance no later than 7:30 AM for both tours. Bring your photo ID to confirm any discount or membership if available. And remember to bring your confirmation number as it may not be listed.
Cancellation Policy – You can cancel both tours three or more days earlier to receive a full refund.
Dress – Both tours are walking tours so remember to wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather. A poncho and sunscreen are highly recommended.
Disclaimer – Both tours are subject to change, but will occur rain or shine.
Photos – Cameras and mobile phones are not permitted for both tours.
As you can imagine, both tours are truly mesmerizing and amazing. They may be different in their own ways and similar in little ways but are both excellent. For those interested in Walt Disney’s life and his influence on the park, as well as to the big fans of The Haunted Mansion, the Marceline to Magic Kingdom tour is a great option and a unique experience. On the contrary, if you want to satisfy your curiosity with a behind-the-scenes look at the Magic Kingdom and want to meet cast members up close and personal, the Keys to the Kingdom tour might just quench that thirst. Whichever one you choose, both will be a great option to experience.
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