Disneyland's VIPs: Five Things You Didn't Know About Disney's Star Treatment
Celebrities get the star treatment everywhere they go and Disneyland is no exception. For years now, Disney has offered VIP guides (usually seen walking throughout the parks donning their red and blue plaid vests) to the families of film, television and sports stars.
But one might be surprised by how unglamorous the star treatment can be at the Happiest Place on Earth. Sure, certain celebs might be able to finagle a discounted turkey leg or churro, but the VIP treatment isn't really much different from what any average Joe/Jane might be able to experience. . . for the right price, of course.
Learn five things you might not have known about Disneyland's VIP tours for celebs after the jump.
1. Jump in the line
Just like the cool kids in a high school cafeteria, celeb VIPs get to skip everyone in line. But to be honest, so does anyone sitting in a wheelchair or hobbling around on crutches, and we all know how easily that can be faked, right? What, am I the only one who owns a fake cast?
Anyway, you don't need to be a celebrity to get to the front of the line; you just have to know someone with a broken leg, or be willing to break your own leg. Of course, if you're willing to break a bone just so you can get a quick entry onto Mr. Toad's Wild Ride you have more serious problems than waiting in long lines at Disneyland.
2. Nothing's free
Celebrities get everything for free, right? Most times, yes, but not at Disneyland. When it comes to the almighty dollar, Disney is the great equalizer. They'll take your weak, your rich, your hungry, your famous... and charge them all accordingly.
You don't even have to be a celebrity to receive your own private guide in the park, you just have to be willing to pay the hourly rate (estimated between $125 and $150 per hour) for one! (NOTE: Non-celeb VIPs do not get front-of-the-line privileges.) And if you're not a celebrity on Disney's payroll (i.e. starring in a show that airs on ABC or the Disney Channel, appearing in a Marvel movie, etc.) you still pay! So if you see a celeb in the park being given the star treatment, just remember that they probably paid a couple grand for that honor. The guide is still only getting paid their hourly wage, of course, but tipping is both encouraged and appreciated.
3. Table for two... or not
Don't think that just because you're a celebrity that you're going to get special treatment when it comes to making dinner reservations.
If you didn't plan ahead and call to reserve a table in the morning, sorry, you're out of luck. Unless you're Johnny Depp, Tom Hanks or one of the few Disney elite who have made the Mouse a killing over the years, there will be no squeezing you in or getting a special table set aside for you and your entourage.
Disney doesn't care that you're a millionaire who is willing to fork over $50 per person for a meal at Blue Bayou. You know why? Because the park is filled with middle-class folks who are willing to do the same exact thing. And don't even think about asking for a table at Club 33 if you're not a member! They have rules you know!
4. Mickey will see you now
Your $125+ per hour has to get you something celeb-centric. Tour guides have been known to arrange one-on-one meet and greets with characters for celebs.
In California Adventure, stars might get a private turtle talk with Crush, or an intimate crash course on drawing the Disney way at the Animation Academy. But probably the coolest perk is being allowed to ride in the Lilly Belle Presidential Train Car. Debuting in 1976, the Lilly Belle (which rides in place of the caboose on the C.K. Holiday train) was created so VIPs could tour the park in a private setting. Among its first passengers were Japanese Emperor Hirohito and Empress Nagako. Learn more about the Lilly Belle Presidential Train Car here.
5. Nobody goes there
You're rich, famous and powerful. At work, you have a team of nine-to-five minions who do your bidding. At home, your family kisses your royal behind because you provide them with whatever they desire, whenever they desire it.
But you're not the king of this castle, my friend.
At Disneyland, nearly 45 years after his death, Walt still rules, and almost no one (again, save for the Disney elite) gets to see Walt's private apartment above the fire station. And yes, Mr./Mrs. Celebrity, that means you.
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