How many times have you wished you could have a local show you around while on vacation? That ‘fish out of water’ feeling that you’re missing some vital knowledge that would help your day go smoother is particularly acute at big theme parks like Orlando’s Disney and Universal because there is simply so much to see.
Jennifer of Magical Edge is a Florida native who specialises in helping visitors to Orlando find their feet fast.
Originally from Tampa, Jennifer has lived in Orlando for more than twenty years and goes to the parks “a lot”.
She has the kind of insider knowledge that can help you beat the queues, find exactly the gift or snack you want without traipsing round aimlessly while the kids whine for whatever it is, and she knows exactly when to hit each ride so you can pack a whole lot more fun into your day.
And, happily, she also offers tours to share these tips with guests!
Your Tour Guide for Disney or Universal
I am super pleased to be able to promote her services to you – and all my guests – because she is a lovely person and her company offers a really valuable service.
Let me tell you, as someone who has tried to navigate Disney while balancing the competing needs of a tween and a toddler, you just can’t put a price on walking straight to what you need!
Jennifer says: “We are very familiar with the parks, so we know where everything is. We’re a bit like a human map – except we’re even better than a map because we can tell you what all the places on the map are like and how they fit with what you want.”
Beating the Lines
The real advantage of using Jennifer or one of her team as your personal VIP tour guide is her queue-beating tips. The lines can be long, especially on the most popular rides, and especially during peak season.
The Harry Potter rides at Universal are a particularly big draw and it isn’t uncommon for wait times to be as long as three hours for those rides. That’s a long time to be standing in line in the Orlando heat!
“The Harry Potter rides at Universal is one of our most popular tours. Even if you purchase a Universal Express Pass on top of your normal park admission, you can’t use it for the Forbidden Journey or Escape from Gringotts attractions. Our insider tips on how to beat those lines really come into their own on those rides.”
For me, if you want to access attractions like the Harry Potter rides where your Express Pass isn’t going to work, booking a tour with Jennifer is a no-brainer.
Jennifer and her Team
Jennifer is actually a trained book-keeper – she does my accounts for me! But she is an energetic and inspired businesswoman too. Sharing her love of Orlando’s theme parks is as much a vocation as a business for her.
“I’m showing one of my friend’s families around Universal next week – just for fun. They’ve never been there before and rather than have them wander aimlessly, I’m just going to help them enjoy their day better. It is such fun to share the joy and excitement of someone’s first time at the parks,” Jennifer enthuses. “I’m such a huge Harry Potter fan myself so I really love helping other fans visit there. Seeing their face light up as they go into Diagon Alley for the first time is really special.”
All of Jennifer’s team is trained by Jennifer personally so they can offer the same attentive and insightful service. “Between us, we must be on so many people’s vacation photos! During the day we get on so well with our guests, we all have a great time, so we are often asked to be in the group photo at the end of the day. I just wish I had a copy of them all!”
How Does the VIP Tour Guide Service Work?
Park tickets don’t come cheap (even if you buy them from our discounted tickets partner) and costs can hike sharply if you add in Express Passes too.
Instead, Jennifer’s tips about when to hit certain rides and other queue-beating techniques will help you spend less time waiting in line and helps you with orientation too.
“The parks do offer their own VIP tours,” says Jennifer, “but they are really expensive. They charge three times as much as we do. We will walk around the park with you and help you find what you want, and help you plan your day so you can get on rides sooner.”
Jennifer continues: “We can go on the rides with you or you can ride alone – different guests want different things, so we will always work around you.”
There are a few things you need to know: tours are priced at $135 per hour, which might seem expensive until you compare them against the cost of an Express Pass. Plus, your tour guide can take round up to five people (more than that and you’ll need to book a second guide at an additional $70 per hour).
How Long Do You Need?
Tours can be booked for a minimum of four hours – you’re just not going to have chance to see much otherwise.
“You can visit all the Harry Potter attractions in one eight-hour day,” says Jennifer, “But you will need to get a two-park pass if you want to do that. With Disney, we won’t do more than one park per day because it is exhausting if you try to see more than one.”
Finally, Jennifer recommends your tour starts no later than 9.30am – you need an early start if you are going to get the most out of your day!
“If you can book with us a few weeks or months in advance that’s great,” says Jennifer, “but it all comes down to availability. I’ve had first-time Disney visitors who thought they could do it alone, but have been overwhelmed and given up. They’ve called us and we’ve been able to meet them the next day. We try to keep it as flexible as possible.”
Flexible, yes, but simple too. Jennifer says: “We help you schedule your rides and find your way around so you spend less time in line and more time enjoying yourselves.”
Sounds good to me! If you’d like to know more about Jennifer’s VIP Disney or Universal Tour Guides, please get in touch:
In USA: 321 710 8779
In UK: 0333 332 1411