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Adventures by Disney: Backstage Magic

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating


The Bottom Line

Adventures by Disney's Backstage Magic tour offers participants rare opportunities to go behind the scenes and backstage in places they couldn't get into on their own. Excellent guides, organization and accommodation make it a carefree vacation.

Backstage Magic is best for those who love Disney and Disney theme parks or for anyone who wonders how things are done. Minimum age is four with a suggested minimum of six, but we think it's better for those ten and older. You know your kids best, but this is not a trip for children with a short attention span or for little ones who wouldn't understand what they're seeing.


  • Visits dozens of places not open to the public
  • No worries and no planning - just show up
  • Helpful, friendly tour guides
  • First in the parks (even before Magic Mornings), first in line for some rides
  • Excellent hotels


  • It all comes at a price (see our comments in the review)
  • For this late sleeper, early starts were hard (7:00 a.m. several days)


  • Six day, five night tour (effectively four full days with travel before and after making six total)
  • Visits Hollywood and the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim
  • Behind the scenes in Hollywood: El Capitan Theater, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Henson Studios
  • Behind the scenes with Disney: Disney Imagineering, Disney Studios
  • At Disneyland: Early entry, Indiana Jones Adventure, "back lot," Walt Disney's apartment, VIP parade viewing and fastpasses
  • At California Adventure: Early entry, behind stage at Soarin' Over California, private Turtle Talk

Guide Review - Adventures by Disney: Backstage Magic

First and most important: Resist temptation to read other blogs and discussion boards about this tour. I'm not trying to keep you captive, but other writers want to tell all, ruining surprises not mentioned in your advance itinerary. These spoilers diminish the adventure and you'll just have a lot more fun if you don't know every little thing.

I've been writing about California travel for more than 10 years, logging dozens of trips to Hollywood and Disneyland, but Backstage Magic was unlike any other trip I've ever taken. Any one of several experiences would be enough to make a person want to go back again, but taken as a package, this is one extraordinary trip that you'll never forget.

Read our day-by-day diary to find out more about the experience. We promise - we won't ruin a single surprise!

About the price: It seems high at first glance (check it here), but much is included: 5 nights in top-notch hotels, Disneyland park tickets, some meals (including 3 character breakfasts) and airport transfers if you fly in. Most important: No matter how much money we spent, most of us mere mortals simply couldn't arrange this trip on our own, visiting nearly a dozen places that aren't open to the general public.

Tips for Backstage Magic

  • You'll be doing lots of walking. Forget about looking cute, you need to be comfortable. Dress is California casual everywhere.
  • Don't be shy. If you speak up and volunteer, you get to do more fun things.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary travel for the purpose of reviewing the Backstage Magic tour. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.

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