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Old 01-27-2013, 08:59 AM   #1
WDW1102
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Thumbs down Somewhat disappointed with Keys to the Kingdom tour

I took the Keys to the Kingdom tour last week. I will not share the tour guide's name because I don't think she did a very good job. She did not have a lot of Disney "pep", just many facts that were delivered in a not so Disney way.
When we got to the Haunted Mansion, we stood and heard about everything we should look for on the ride (many, many things that no one could possibly remember) and then took the ride. We must have listened to her for about 10 minutes. I think I was able to pick out one or two of the facts she threw at us.
The part I was most disappointed in was the utilidor part of the tour. All we did was walk down 2 hallways and look/stop at each picture on the wall while she went on and on about the picture. We walked by the cafeteria, and hearing about that would have been better than what she offered!
A few days later we took the back lot tour at HS. I felt that parts of that were better than the KTTK tour.
The beginning of the tour was nice. She gave us the history of MK and I learned a lot about how detailed the planning was in building this park. It is amazing to me that some people are so creative!
For those of you who have taken this tour, please tell me that your experience was different. I would love to hear about other tour guides who were better at giving the tour goers the "magic" this tour deserves.
I am thinking about sending a letter to WDW to let them know about my experience.
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:33 AM   #2
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So sorry that you had that experience. I would seriously write to Disney and share your thoughts with them, as I'm sure they'd want to know. I know most people who go on it really enjoy it and it's such a shame you didn't.
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:45 AM   #3
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Sorry to hear it wasn't a magical experience. I would definitely let them know!!!
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:33 AM   #4
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This may have been a tour guide who finds details fascinating and hadn't the experience to realize that too much detail can be overwhelming for an audience hearing it for the first time.

I would write to Disney, too, and suggest that she be advised to balance out her presentation more, perhaps with some humor, so as to keep people's interest and attention better.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:58 AM   #5
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I would definitely send a letter with feedback. The only way the powers that be will know the castmemeber needs to be retrained in Disney magic is if they hear it from the people paying to take the tour!
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:42 PM   #6
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That's to bad. My parents loved their tour last year!
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:56 PM   #7
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The guide can definitely make all the difference.

On my tour, I had a very tall CM named Jonathan. I will never forget how "the Disney Magic" practically bubbled up out of him. He was full of interesting facts, was personable, "read" the group for our energy level and interest, and constantly adjusted his approach to make the experience excellent for all of us.

Did you not have earpieces? On our tour, we had ear pieces to hear Jonathan without him having to yell to us. In the rides, he was able to whisper interesting bits of information into our ears. It did break up a little, but we could still hear him inside the ride. (It's possible the cell phone jammers they installed in many rides have now made the earpieces inactive.)

As for the utilidors, we only did the two corridors. It was the least interesting part of the tour, though it was the part I thought I'd look most forward to when I signed up. Afterwards, I realized it was sort of like having the curtain drawn to reveal the Wizard of Oz. It took all the magic out of the park for me, and I ended up being glad that part was quite short.
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Old 01-27-2013, 03:38 PM   #8
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We did the tour in 2003, it was a lot of information I think I remembered the part about looking for Donald Duck and hidden mickey in parts of haunted mansion. The utilator part was dissapointing I thought it would be much more than it was. It did introduce us to harbor house where up until then we had never gone in. It was longer than my Dad was able to handle but he so wanted to see the utilator part he hung in there, it was his last trip so we wanted to do it special for him. We did have a great CM though. I dont know that we would do it again, I would love the one at Animal Kingdom though.
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caldercup View Post
The guide can definitely make all the difference.

On my tour, I had a very tall CM named Jonathan. I will never forget how "the Disney Magic" practically bubbled up out of him. He was full of interesting facts, was personable, "read" the group for our energy level and interest, and constantly adjusted his approach to make the experience excellent for all of us.
This sounds like a born-communicator who just plain has a knack for gearing his presentation to the audience's response or perhaps a drama, broadcast or public speaking major.

Some people simply haven't the ability to "read" the audience's facial expressions and body language to gauge how interesting what's being said is and when enough is enough.

Also, to some extent, being able to do that can come from training and more experience.

(Sorry about the mini-lecture, but I used to be a speech teacher. We always spent some time in my classes talking about how much a speaker needs to think about your audience and to be watchful for signs that you've droned on too long, the audience isn't very interested or doesn't grasp what you're saying.)
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:55 PM   #10
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I'm sorry you had this experience. We haven't done KttK, but we did the Family Magic Tour and I will tell you, I loved our tour guide so much that she could have been talking about the bathrooms in MK the whole time for all I cared and I still would have been completely hanging on her every word. She just really had that "Disney spirit"!

I think writing a letter would be a good idea. I did when we went on our tour, to praise our tour guide. Maybe your letter will either help them to teach your guide some better ways to interact with her tours, or find a position that she would be better suited for. Good luck!
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:45 PM   #11
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Some CMs are more experienced than others and some focus more on different things than another might. I love lots of details as well as question-and-answer sessions and that sort of thing. We were at WDW during Hurricane Jeanne some years ago. I had purchased a Silver plan which included a certain number of credits which could be used not only for meals but for tours. Because we lost a day and a half to the hurricane, unable to make all of our ADRs, we had extra credits so we signed up for three tours that trip. The Keys to the Kingdom tour was great, and the Steam Train Tour was even better. Both included lots of details. We also went on a tour in Epcot. The tour guide knew many details but he seemed nervous and had to ask questions of other CMs often. The tour was okay. Nothing to complain about but nothing to write home about, either. Later that day we saw our tour guide working in Future World, and he told us that morning had been his first tour ever.

Maybe your tour guide was relatively new at the role, also.
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:07 AM   #12
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We also went on a tour in Epcot. The tour guide knew many details but he seemed nervous and had to ask questions of other CMs often. The tour was okay. Nothing to complain about but nothing to write home about, either. Later that day we saw our tour guide working in Future World, and he told us that morning had been his first tour ever.

Maybe your tour guide was relatively new at the role, also.
Oh, wait a minute...I just re-read the OP and noticed that the disappointing tour was just this past week.

January is when many CM's are new to the job because it's one of the least-crowded times. We were at WDW in early January three years ago and were told when we rode the launch from Epcot to HS that a trainee pilot would be piloting with the aid of his trainer-pilot so please to be gracious if the ride was a bit unusual. There are many CM trainees on the job for the first time in January, the trainer announced.

I would guess that this tour guide might well have been giving her very first tour without a trainer accompanying her. Nervousness could well explain her packing in far more information than necessary as well as spending too long talking about various things.

If you write at all, I'd offer suggestions about how she might improve, keeping in mind that this likely was a first tour or among the very first she did.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:10 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the feedback. The CM let us know that she had been doing the KTTK tour for over a year. She also said that she had been working at WDW for a few years and told us where she had worked previously to being a tour guide.
We did have earpieces, and i wished she would have whispered to us on the Haunted Mansion, but she said she did not want to ruin the ride experience.
Although I did not enjoy this tour as much as I thought I would when I booked it, I have to say that the best part of the tour and of the trip was that I was with my daughter. It was a mother daughter trip of a lifetime and the disappointment of the tour will not take away from the fact that I had an awesome time and will always have this trip as a memory that can never be matched.
I was able to take this trip after saving up enough Disney Reward Dollars to pay for the entire trip and airfare. My wonderful husband supported us and although he would have loved to be a part of this he knew how special this trip would be for myself and my daughter.
:-)
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:58 PM   #14
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I'm sorry you had a disappointing tour. I also think it's a good idea to write Disney a letter about your experience.
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:04 PM   #15
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Your tour sounds a lot like the one I took in August 2010. I think a lot of it comes down to expectations. We didn't spend a lot of time in the utilidors although we did focus on art and pictures, plus some laundry issues. We also did not have any commentary during the Haunted Mansion tour, although we did get a bit more on the Jungle Cruise. (They turned on the lights in dark areas to show us more and I think they also gave us some insider tips on the attraction).

We had a good tour guide, but I know some of it I liked and some of it I didn't particulary care for. No one part of it stood out (other than getting a nice look at the park while it wasn't crowded), but afterwards I thought the sum was more than the parts.

Oh, detail. I think every person has a different desire for detail levels. Some remember more, some remember less. If not enough details are given some will get very bored, etc. I also support writing Disney, but as a customer service vet from the old days, please give details on what you thought was lacking and why. Management can then decide if they agree or not and it doesn't seem like an attack. Sorry, I'm a teacher - lecture over.
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