You probably know that Disney resort hotels offer plenty of perks: detailed themes; no-cost extras like Disney’s Magical Express to get you from the Orlando Airport to Disney’s property; free bus, boat, and monorail transportation around Disney World; and the ever-popular Extra Magic Hours that gives you early or late access to selected parks on selected days.
But did you know that two Disney Resort Hotels offer special tours that give you access to some extra information and details? And that both of these tours are free?
Let’s look at these two little known tours:
Culinary Tour At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
This tour is relatively short at 30 minutes, but it is free and involves food. Let me restate that important fact in case you missed it: it offers you free food. Free. Food. Now that isn’t something you see every day.
A Disney Cast Member who came from Africa to work at Disney for a year will be your guide. He or she will first provide a tour of the Boma dining room, explaining décor and culture that inspired the restaurant. He will then show you all the food being prepared for the day, giving you a chance to see what Disney will offer on the buffet. The guide will likely offer you a free sample of soup (the particular flavor varies by day) and one of the famous Zebra Dome desserts, which is a combination of cake, cream, and ganache.
Next you will head to the Boma’s next door neighbor, Jiko. You will again get a quick tour of the facility, likely followed by an appetizer tasting.
Since the focus of this tour is culture and food, little kids might not be so excited to try it out. Also, the Animal Kingdom Lodge is pretty far removed from most everything at Disney. It might not be worth a special trip, especially if your time is limited, but it is something fun and free try if you are looking for something new.
This tour takes place each day at 4pm and finishes just before the restaurants open for business at 4:30. This tour is open to anyone; you don’t have to be a guest staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. You do not need a reservation – simply show up at the Boma reception podium.
The Wonders of the Wilderness Lodge Tour
This tour lasts for about an hour, and it is also free. The tour gives you a chance to learn about the back story of the Wilderness Lodge and the neighboring Disney Vacation Club property the Wilderness Lodge Villas.
You will learn about how the lodge was inspired by the great National Parks of the west. You will take a tour of the Carolwood Pacific Room in the Villas building, where you can see memorabilia representing Walt Disney’s love of trains. Your guide will also take you on a tour of the Territory Lounge and Artist Point restaurant
This tour takes place Wednesday through Saturday at 9am. The tour is open to anyone; you do not need to be a guest staying at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. You do not need a reservation – simply show up at the Grand Canyon Fireplace in the lobby.
Do you like the free tours at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and the Wilderness Lodge?