Our Keys to the Kingdom Experience

Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by CanadianPaco, Sep 1, 2015.

  1. CanadianPaco

    CanadianPaco I miss my tags!

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    DH and I treated ourselves to a "Keys to the Kingdom" Tour on our recent WDW trip. Our full 20-person tour took place last Tues at 8:30am with Dana. We were very excited about this tour and when it is was over, we both felt the same way. Blah.

    Neither happy we did nor disappointed. Simply beige about the whole thing and it came down to our guide. She spoke as if she was reading a script. Even her smiles seemed timed and placed within that script. She asked only one question of the group: "who here is ready to get started?" That's it. Not "where are you from? how are you doing? are we having fun?" Nothing.

    When she spoke to the group, she didn't look at anyone. I do a lot of public speaking for my work and watched her look past people, even when they asked her a question. She said she had been a guide for 1.5 years but there was room for improvement in her ability to engage people.

    When we went to the back lot behind Splash, she gave a stern warning about cameras/phones and not wanting to having to go through anyone's phone to check is a photo was taken. She was very clear. No prob. When we we leaving that area we crossed paths with the 8:45am tour. That guide had her group raised their right hand and do an oath " I promise that if I take a picture, I will have to sit through Country Bear Jamboree 10 times...." Cute! Funny! Engaging! Everyone was laughing. Sigh, onward.

    After Haunted Mansion, we were waiting for our group to re-assemble. One of the woman in the group was about to ask the guide a question. Dana said "Not now" - I was shocked. She was shocked too! I couldn't believe it! Turns out she was watching one of our group get into their wheel chair but the tome she used was harsh and made me feel uncomfortable. And she did not go back to the guest and offer to answer her question. At lunch, our guide sat at the table next to ours with the 2 single-party guests. She barely spoke to them. Awkward.

    I had read so many reviews/posts about this Tour but was so looking forward to the experience. From what I read, there have been many great tour experiences!!!

    What we got was a script delivered with little enthusiasm and energy. I was surprised how much of a difference who your guide is, can be! It makes me hesitant to consider booking another tour.
     
  2. Quellman

    Quellman Donald Duck

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    Sounds like a very sad tour indeed. I hope you stopped by guest relations, but it doesn't sound like you did.
    As for the content of the tour, how was it?
     
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  4. Mitzicat

    Mitzicat DIS Veteran

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    I think some people are cut out for public speaking and others are not. My family and I (mom, dad, sis) did the really expensive 8 hour tour through the Disney Institute and we felt the same way. The tour was amazing, but the guide was lack luster. Seeing the American Adventure from behind the screen was totally worth it, but when the lady referred to Susan B. Anthony as Betsy Ross I thought my Dad was going to lose it. We did write Disney and state that we felt the guides weren't professional enough and that it just missed that Disney magic. We did have a cool unexpected interaction with Snow White behind the scenes. We were behind Main Street and she was walking somewhere. Never missed a beat, commented on my sisters Snow White Tee and was really wonderful to all the tour guests.

    I would write to Disney and explain that the young lady wasn't awful but could use some additional training on public speaking.

    Man would I love to be a Disney Tour guide.
     
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  5. magicaldisney

    magicaldisney DIS Veteran

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    I'm so torn on whether to try this tour. We are WDW vets and I'm also curious about the content. I know a guide can make or break the experience.
     
  6. Micca

    Micca SAHG: Stay At Home Grandfather

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    I'm sorry to hear you had such a lackluster guide CanadianPaco. I think this is the first negative comment I've ever seen regarding any of the tours. We've been WDW fans since the late 70s with dozens of trips under our belts, and we learned a lot on the two very enjoyable tours we've taken (KTTK & Marceline To MK.)
     
  7. larissawbb

    larissawbb Mouseketeer

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    Should I avoid the 8 am tour this November ? We were going to book it.
     
  8. MrPTato

    MrPTato DIS Veteran

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    Sorry you had such a bad experience. I did the Magic Behind our Steam Trains tour in May. This was my second time doing it. He was very personable and willing to answer any and all questions. He told us near the beginning that he was never a fan of trains, but he had been a fan of Walt and his passion for what he loved, including his trains. As we neared the end of our tour, another person on our tour went to the address the crowd. He introduced himself, as I believe, as the director or tours for WDW. He wanted to let us know that even though the CM that was giving us the tour had been working for WDW for about 10 years, he wanted to ask us how many times he thought he had given the tour. Several thought hundreds of times. Comes to find out that was his very first tour!! I was very impressed. He nailed everything and it seemed to have followed the same tour I had taken two years prior. Amazing in my mind. He was able to answer questions and promote thought.

    Sounds like you just had a bad guide. I would highly recommend on doing another tour. IMG_0624.jpg IMG_0629.jpg
     
  9. cyndiella

    cyndiella Here we go!!!

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    We are taking this tour in early November...Is there anything we can do during the tour if we get a "lackluster" tour guide?? I am so sorry CanadianPaco for your experience and do not wish to get the same guide! Any ideas?
     
  10. FireCaptMac

    FireCaptMac Earning My Ears

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    We took the Keys to the kingdom tour 2 years ago. The tour guide was fun and engaging. She was full of facts about MK and Walt himself!! I agree with an PP send WDW an email about the tour guide!!
     
  11. heywagners

    heywagners Mouseketeer

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    Wow. What a bummer. :(
     
  12. tinkfan160

    tinkfan160 Believer in Faith, Trust, & Pixie Dust

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    That's disappointing! :( We did the tour in July 2013 and it was AMAZING! We had an awesome guide, her name was Claire. She had worked at Disney in various jobs for years, but it had always been her dream to do tours. She was very personable, but still followed the info she was supposed to give. We were a group of 3 and were seated with her at a 4 seat table for lunch and it was so much fun. We talked about our families and her time at Disney. I have read other reports of lackluster guides, but also many good ones. I hope people keep this in mind and don't let that sway them on the decision to do the tour!
     
  13. albuhay

    albuhay Earning My Ears

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    That's such a pity. I did the tour recently as well, August 22nd, and had a really great experience. Our tour guide was Megan (I think, I'm awful with names!) who usually works over in HS but also acts as a tour guide. She did a great job of keeping everyone engaged (looking for examples of what she'd talked about in areas of the park, answering all questions, not pretending that the heat wasn't killing her!, etc) and was really informative. I was so impressed by her and the tour. It's so sad that you didn't get the same experience. I would definitely try to get in touch with Guest Relations if you can, it would really be worth letting them know!
     
  14. Micca

    Micca SAHG: Stay At Home Grandfather

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    Based on one lousy guide? No way to know if Dana would be your guide, whether or not Dana might improve by then, or whether Dana will still be employed there.

    Short of starting a revolt and leading the other guests in a singalong of Jolly Holiday I can't think of what that would be.;) If you thought it was just a total waste of time you could peel off from the group and complain at City Hall. They might rebook you for another tour, but honestly this can't be a common complaint with the glowing reviews about these tours. I'd risk it. :earsboy:
     
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  15. MrsDuck

    MrsDuck DIS Veteran

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    Very disappointing to hear!
     
  16. danny1649

    danny1649 <font color=green>Will be wearing some lime green< Moderator

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    Sorry this thread would be better fit in Trip Reports Board.
     
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  17. CanadianPaco

    CanadianPaco I miss my tags!

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    Thank you Danny 1649 - I wondered myself where I should post this thread!

    Thank you everyone for your comments! It didn't occur to us to go to Guest Relations - probably because that is where our Guide said she works. I will send an email though!

    As for content, this was our 9th WDW trip plus 3 to DL, so we're pretty seasoned on Disney which was one of the reasons we wanted to take the tour in the first place - to learn more. I can't say the we learned a lot more. I've read a number of Disney bio's and histories so there wasn't anything new there for us. The behind the scenes and the utiladoor parts were interesting enough, the later being a photographic tour. But an engaging guide would be able to draw in the group with stories and memories and even questions around our own experiences. Anything more than a scripted speech.

    It came down to the guide and there is no way to predict who your guide will be. I booked the 8:30am because we wanted to be out of the park by 1:30pm on a hot August afternoon. (I would recommend scheduling your tour based on your plans Larissawbb)

    We never thought of leaving the group... it wasn't that bad to give up and you never know what was coming up that you would be missing. One of the PP used the word "lackluster" - this is exactly the word to describe our tour experience.
     
  18. kathy884

    kathy884 DIS Veteran

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    A friend at work went on the tour with her daughter and was really disappointed in it too and recommended that I skip it. Another friend too told me there is way less time in the underground area (something that I was interested) than there used to be, just a quick stop. She's done it twice. Two out of two friends with so so to negative reviews, and the fact that for me it would be a $100 ticket plus the tour cost (quite expensive and more than I usually spend for experiences) are the reason I haven't gone. // I'm sorry that it was so lackluster for you. But I do appreciate your posting to give a balanced perspective. Like you, online I have only seen rave reviews.
     
  19. Micca

    Micca SAHG: Stay At Home Grandfather

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    While I respect the opinion of your friend who was disappointed, once you've laid eyes on the underground area, it's just more of the same. It's like being backstage at a concert--sounds cool in theory, but you're basically in the bowels of a gray cement structure. I'm sorry to hear another negative review. As I said, I've seen nary one negative report in many years on the Dis, maybe I just missed them.
     
  20. DanenRox

    DanenRox Disney Junkies DVC Gold

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    Just took this tour today with Dana and when asked later what we thought of it, all I could say was "meh". In full agteement with the OP. Same guide, same memorized script I'm guessing, same luke warm experience. Wouldn't recommend it.
     

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