Thrifty Thursday: Happy Thanksgiving Behind the Scenes!

Happy Thanksgiving! 

The holidays are upon us and Disney trips are more exciting when something new and different is added to the “gotta do” favorites.    Several of our writers have been discussing some tours we want to try.  Behind the scene tours are a great addition to scheduled activities at Disney World. 

Each park and even some of the resorts offer tours; some free, some not so free.  Three of the four parks offer behind the scene tours and some of the resort restaurants also offer tours and programs.  Currently, Hollywood Studios does not offer behind the scene tours except Backstage Magic, Disney’s Holiday D-Lights, and Yuletide Fantasy.  A behind the scene tour gives new and exciting edge to the Disney experience while showing you just how the Disney wonders are brought to life.

Some tours can be quite expensive ranging from $16.00 – $243.00 per person depending on the particular tour and its duration. Tour times range between 1 hour and all day.  Park admission is required for some but not others.  Park admission is not included in any tour fee.  Reservations are required for most tours. Various discounts are available for most of the tours.  Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club members, AAA Diamond, Disney Visa holders, and Siemens/Josten employees have discounts of 15% up to 20% on most tours.  Some tours have no discounts available, particularly those involving Animal Kingdom safari tours. 

One of our favorite walking tours is the Behind the Seeds tour of the Disney greenhouses.    This tour is about an hour walking through the greenhouses while learning how Disney is using hydroponics and hi-technology to provide food and vegetation  throughout Disney World!  If you are a gardener at heart, this is a tour not to miss! 

A new-to-me tour is the Animal Kingdom Restaurant tour.  I haven’t gotten to do this tour yet but it is definitely on my list of tours to do since Boma is one of my all-time favorite restaurants in all Disney World!   
One of my favorite self-tours is to visit all the on-site Disney resorts while they are dressed in their Christmas splendor!  No one decorates like Disney!  Don’t miss hopping a boat, the tram, or a bus to all the Disney resorts!  It is a sight to behold and it is free!  Another don’t miss that is free once you are in the park is Disney’s Hollywood Studio’s Osborne Lights!  It is truly breathtaking to walk through!  Steve and I will be back at Walt Disney World the week after thanksgiving and can hardly wait!

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Leigh Anne, originally from Mississippi, lives in North Alabama with her husband and a menagerie of furry kids (FIDS), including dogs, cats, exotic birds, fish and a lionhead rabbit. Figment, her African Grey parrot, is named after Disney’s small purple dragon, Figment. She works as a motivational speaker and pastoral counselor. In 1974, Leigh Anne marched with the Enka High Marching Band in the Magic Kingdom daytime parade. Leigh Anne fell in love with Disney while on her Disney honeymoon with her husband in 2002. They have made an annual trip back to Disney to celebrate their anniversary every year since. Since they own a piece of the mouse with their Disney Vacation Club (DVC), some years they go twice! She also plans to be the grandmother that introduces all her grandchildren to Disney World first. She has a great start ~ 2 out of 3 so far! As a DVC member married to the best Disney shopper in the world, Leigh Anne has lots of experience in finding the most frugal way to have the most fun in the parks and resorts! Leigh Anne admits to being spoiled as a DVC member but is always on the lookout to keep their WDW vacations fun and frugal! She blogs at Queen of Hysteria and tweets @la_haygood

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