So we are headed to WDW the first week in May for the first time since 2007 (when my kids were only 6 and 9 — they are 21 and 24 now!) although as West Coasters we have been to DL a few times in the last 15 years. When I originally planned this trip for June of 2020, to celebrate my son’s graduation from HS and my daughter’s graduation from college, I booked Keys to the Kingdom because we all love the “behind the scenes” type Disney secrets and backstories, especially my husband who does transportation planning and is fascinated by how Disney moves people on and off so many kinds of vehicles and makes it all work.
Cut to 2 years later, and it finally looks like the trip is going to happen (even if the graduation events never did ) But in the last 2 years, consuming way too much Disney content was a major strategy I used to distract myself from the real world — I’m a little embarrassed to admit how much time I have spent watching videos, watching Disney+ shows about the parks, and of course reading this great forum (which is how I feel I know you all, even though I have only recently come out of lurker-vile!) I did book KTTK for our May trip, but now I am honestly wondering — is there going to be enough “new” content in the tour to make it worthwhile? While on the one hand we have only been there once over a decade ago (and obviously I am really interested in that stuff or I wouldn’t be spending all my time watching it!) on the other hand it is really pretty rare lately that I see any backstory or Easter eggs about MK that I haven’t come across before. I’m sure it would be fun, but is this how we should spend 5 hours of one of our precious park days? Not to mention that the cost adds up for our family of 4 . . .
So, I am wondering: have any of you done Keys to the Kingdom since the re-opening? What did you think? And if you knew a lot about Disney history and stories beforehand, did you still find it interesting and fun? Thanks for any thoughts about this!
I haven’t done that one. I did Marceline to Main Street (or is it To MK??) a few years back and here’s my opinion: it matters not how much you know, you always want to know and see more. And there’s something to be said for actually seeing it and being in it vs seeing it on a screen or reading words on a page.
I think you should still do it. I’d have booked it for my family for this trip but DS still doesn’t make the age cutoff.
i also haven’t done keys to the kingdom but, like @OBNurseNH, did the marceline to magic kingdom tour (it’s temporarily unavailable now though). it was excellent. shorter than keys to the kingdom. it felt robust and full of information without as much of a time commitment. without question, a highlight of the trip!
I learned a lot of stuff I hadn’t heard before on the KTTK tour.
- who are all those people with windows dedicated to them on Main Street
- hidden animals in Adventureland
- a lot of details and meaning behind Liberty Square
- the design of Adventureland and Frontierland
- some of the tricks used in HM
- the planned “River Expedition” ride that never happened
- and a history of how MK was built
I’d say the history of MK and the River Expedition is probably “out there” to be read about fairly easily. And I believe someone did write a book / article about the windows, albeit they add to them all the time - another 4 “Disney Legends” had windows dedicated to them very recently.
But a lot of the other stuff I have never read anywhere.
KTTK is definitely much more about MK than Walt. I believe the Marceline tour is more about Walt.
To clarify: I wasn’t suggesting to change y
Tours. I was using my experience with the other tour to encourage you to do this one.
KTTK has been on my bucket list for far too long. Most of that time my kids were too young (now 20yo &16yo) and I wasn’t taking solo trips.
Now they are old enough, but no family trips are currently planned. Dd and I were there in October and she would have been game for a tour (we did Walk in Walt’s Footsteps at DLR in 2017, and it was AMAZING!!), but they weren’t running yet. Same for my January solo trip.
With another solo trip planned for the Epic Liner Meet in July I am ready for my first WDW tour, but as much as I have been looking forward to KTTK, I am opting for the Wild Africa Trek in Animal Kingdom instead!
- I want to keep my schedule flexible due to the Liner meet and KTTK takes a huge chunk of time.
- WAT has amazing reviews from everyone I know that has done it.
I definitely still want to do KTTK, and will at the earliest opportunity that makes sense. As a Disney (and Walt) geek, I get your concern that you already know too much, but for me it will be an opportunity to see it, to be behind the scenes, to soak everything in visually that I had only read about before.
Take the tour… soak in all the magic.
You don’t really get backstage other than the utildors. We did see the parade storage and some rehearsals, and we snuck in a back way to HM. That was all the backstage we did.
I have been “backstage” a couple of times already, … even a little bit is good.
I did KttK, but it was July 2016. To me, one of the biggest things is bragging rights - to have been in the legendary utilidors! You also get a nifty key pin as a souvenir.
Like you, I’ve watched and read a lot about the making of DL and WDW, but I knew it wasn’t 100%. I did learn a lot about the level of detail in Liberty Square and Frontierland. I enjoyed the backstage look at the parade storage area and the water treatment system. Our tour guide let us ask him anything. He took us on Jungle Cruise in our own boat, and acted as our Skipper (a job he’d done). He told us various details about the props and effects. He explained a lot about HM before taking us in via the chicken exit, so we had that fresh in mind when riding HM.
I did it while DH was at a conference, so it was my special treat to myself. It does take time. It did not include a visit to departments like costuming, decor, or food. But I am still very glad I did it.
I did it pre-pandemic. We really did enjoy it.
This is all really helpful and interesting, thanks so much to all of you! I am feeling a lot more excited and interested in the tour after reading all of this. I think my husband and I will definitely go, and I will double check with the kids when we get there (but before the free cancellation window closes!) if they want to spend that much time or just hear about it later. I promise to report back afterwards and let you know what we thought!
In case it is helpful to anyone to know, I was able to book this tour 1 day before my ADR day —I have no idea if I could have booked it even sooner if I had tried. I just happened to be clicking around there in preparation for my ADR day the next day, and I was very surprised when it actually offered me times and I was able to book! There was a 9:30 slot on the day I wanted, which made me happy because most of the other slots were earlier. I figure this way we can RD and do a couple of rides while the park is quiet but before the tour leaves.