What is the average VIP Tour day like?
Our goal is to keep you away from crowds and lines at every opportunity. Your VIP Private Guide dislikes waiting more than you do because it's their job to know how not to, and they have a lot of pride in their quality of service. He or she uses their knowledge to visit all of the best attractions for your family at the least crowded times, and they also arrange for your party to enjoy the best seats at the most entertaining stage shows and entertainment events. Sounds good, doesn't it?
We at Michael's VIPs firmly believe that "Tired guests cannot make happy vacation memories." We want you to experience a genuine "Resort" experience, not a bunch of amusement parks. In other words, providing a comfortable 'vacation pace' is important to us. We prefer to have our VIPs at the parks when they open, stay for a while past lunch, return to their hotel for genuine rest & relaxation, and then return to a park for evening dinner and an 'entertainment event' like the Main Street Electrical Parade, IllumiNations, Fantasmic, fireworks, etc.
We realize some of our guests will not want to stay out late, or don't care about the evening entertainment, etc. so we simply stay in the parks later into the afternoon. As with everything we do, the final result is whatever is best for your party.
Do we receive 'head of the line' privileges while on the VIP Tour?
No, but it may sometimes feel that way because our VIP Private Guides know the least crowded times to visit the attractions to avoid the infamous lines, and we maximize Disney's FastPass+ system to its full advantage (which very few guests actually know 'how' to use wisely). The average wait time for our VIP Tour guests is 0-10 minutes, regardless of how busy the season. If you follow our advice with your arrival times, and allow us to visit the parks the “right way,” lines and crowds are never an issue.
We often point out that the parks do not open up crowded. That's a simple statement, but think about it and it makes sense. The thickest crowds these parks are famous for are not there until later in the day. By then we have already experienced the “best of the best” choices and are ready to move on. The simple formula of knowing what “they”, the masses, will do and then doing the opposite works just as successfully in the theme parks as it does everywhere else. We zag when they zig!
How many hours per day do most guests employ the VIP Private Guide service? How much does this cost? Do you have a cancellation policy?
On average, most of our VIP Private Guides spend approximately 6 to 8 hours per day with their guests. This usually depends on how much of a midday break is used and the operating hours of the visited park. Some parks require less hours to see everything; others more.
Our VIP Private Guide service is $150 per hour for parties up to 9 guests, and the amount of gratuity you would like to add for thanking your Private Guide is at your discretion. The industry standard is 20% for excellent service. We also require that he or she be used for a minimum of six consecutive hours per day. There are a few exceptions, as well as peak season holiday rates, however. Please visit our Service Rates page for all the details.
Cancellation Policy: Should you cancel your VIP Tour with less than 24-hours notice you will be charged 4 VIP Tour hours, whichever rate is applicable, plus an applicable standard gratuity of 20% for your Private Guide. Certain exceptions apply, as always.
Do we need a VIP Private Guide at the Universal parks?
Both Universal Studios and the Islands of Adventure are very large parks and their attendance figures are way up compared to just a few years ago. Our past VIPs have answered this with, "Most definitely!" especially with the exciting Harry Potter additions that now connect the two parks. Your VIP Private Guide knows where everything is, what to point out, which attractions are the most appropriate for your family members, which ones should be experienced vs. skipped, and will still provide the best possible experience for everyone.
Universal does offer an extra-cost Express Pass that we highly recommend for most visits, depending on the travel season. It is not a head-of-the-line pass, but is instead an alternate entry that provides a shorter wait time compared to the standby queue. As with any theme park, your Private Guide knows where to be when to avoid the long lines, and he or she will make the most of your Express Pass opportunities.
We prefer to not be 'tied down' to itineraries and set times for everything on vacation. Is all this planning necessary?
Firstly, your itinerary is not a "rule book" and you are certainly not bound to it. Think of it as a very helpful plan for the most optimal experience. There will only be certain places we might reserve for you that are not as flexible as everything else. For example, if we have you going to the Cirque du Soleil, their tickets can be difficult to reschedule because of its popularity and past a certain point they are non-refundable.
Secondly, please realize that Central Florida's collection of Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld is THE #1 vacation destination in the world. Our guests reserve us for our experience because they realize we know a lot more about the Resorts' theme parks and attractions than they do. Our years of experience have proven that guests with a planned itinerary see much more, have more fun, and enjoy a more restful vacation overall.
Another Michael's VIPs service philosophy: "Smart vacation planning requires planned flexibility." This is your vacation, not ours. We always advise what is most optimal, it's our responsibility to you, and then all parties agree on what's best. Your VIP Private Guide will certainly make the most of his or her time with you.
We're not morning people. Is that going to be a problem?
The best and least crowded times to visit the parks are in the morning because so few guests get up early. They have often been in the parks all day the day before and are too tired. (That's why we push the 'split day' itinerary like we do!) We whisk through entire sections quickly (much more fun!) and it frees up more of the day for other things.
Note that it's not always about the lines for the attractions either. It can be as simple as getting from Point A to Point B in a crowded park with limited space for people. No matter the time of year, the most crowded time to be in a park is in the middle of the afternoon, and regardless, during the warmest months you don't want to be out in the intense heat and humidity. It simply becomes less and less of an enjoyable vacation experience for everyone.
The short response to your question is that 100% of our guests who thought they wouldn't want to be in a park that early have thanked their VIP Private Guide by lunch on their first day for politely insisting. It never fails ... "When do you want us ready tomorrow?" If you cannot even consider our 'plan' as an option, your Private Guide will do everything he or she can to make the most of your time. We urge you to at least try our way first, however.
Is our VIP Private Guide with us during the entire vacation?
He or she can be with you for any hours that are of service to your family. The definition of "hours that are of service" is entirely up to you. For example, more than one VIP Private Guide has stayed with their family's children during the daily break to take them to the pool. Where are the parents? Getting a massage or something else enjoyable and relaxing! Otherwise, expect to see him or her in the mornings and evenings.
It is understandable to perhaps feel apprehensive about spending your precious vacation time with someone you have never met. However, our VIP Private Guides have been selected and trained by Michael's VIPs because they are professional, polite, very friendly, and enjoy meeting new people. He or she is the one making sure that everyone has the best possible day. Trust us from experience, your Private Guide will become a very popular, honorary member of the family in no time at all. The kids always latch onto their Private Guide within a few hours!
You also have the opportunity to communicate with your VIP Private Guide as much as you like before arriving. One of the principles important to Michael when he founded the company was that his VIPs should feel like they are greeted by an 'old friend' and not a stranger when they arrive.
Can our VIP Private Guide host us outside the theme parks?
We are here to provide The Ultimate Vacation Experience. If you prefer to have your VIP Private Guide with you everywhere you visit in Central Florida, there is no one more qualified to suggest your best and most entertaining options. We enjoy taking our guests to any fun location they wish to explore, day or night.
Do you work with travel agents?
Yes! We are not a travel agency, and are happy to provide our personal advice and recommendations if it will help you in any way to assist your important clients (i.e. hotel choice, vacation options, transportation, etc).
We are grateful to you for sharing our VIP service opportunities with others and provide an appropriate 'thank you' commission. For more details, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.