I was provided tour guide services free of charge to facilitate this review. As always, all opinions are mine alone and I will only promote services I truly enjoy and recommend.
Since I don’t want to overwhelm y’all with a zillion posts from my incredible trip to Florida, I’ll be spreading them out over the next couple months because there’s SO MUCH to share with you! For now, I’m thrilled to let you Meet Michael’s VIPs, the amazing private tour guide company that I had the privilege of working with and trying out their services. Guys, they were PHENOMENAL, and made the trip a million times less stressful – plus we got to experience a lot more – than if we’d tackled the parks by ourselves.
So what exactly is Michael’s VIPs? They’re a private tour guide company in Central Florida you can hire for your trip to Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World – or even other locations in the area! They’ve learned the ins and outs of all these parks, and I was astonished all the knowledge they have of the history, operations and happenings. So why choose Michael’s VIPs?
Michael’s was founded by a former Walt Disney World VIP Tour Guide in 1999, and they’ve grown like crazy from the amazing recommendations they receive from happy clients. Once people experience the parks with such a valuable guide, they learn that it’s the best way to vacation! Now, normally they try to put you with the same guide for the duration of your trip, but since we wanted to get to know a few of their guides and see what each of them had to offer, we were joined by a new guide each day for a different park. Without further ado, let me introduce you to the great staff we got to enjoy for our trip!
Renee – Magic Kingdom
You know those people that are so sweet, full of sunshine and energy, and you can’t help but absolutely adore? That would be Renee! She was so much fun, and her bubbly personality made the Magic Kingdom that much more magical – it was almost contagious. We loved hearing about her previous jobs at Disney, and got to ride everything we wanted that day. When our Jungle Cruise fast passes were going to make us late for our reservation at Cinderella’s Royal Table for lunch, she worked some magic and fit it in afterwards without much of a wait. She knew where all the fun play areas for kids were around the park, as well as some entertaining cue lines.
She talked about the families she’s worked with before (many repeats, because you can’t help but love Renee!) with such fondness, you could tell she really loves her job. We called her our ‘walking, talking guide map‘ because she knew exactly where to go, including some shortcuts, so we didn’t waste time wandering lost. Since she’d worked for Disney before, she was able to tell us a lot about the changes made in the past, how certain things are done, how the shows and entertainment has evolved, and much more. Oh, and we had a great time chatting everything Star Wars!!!
With her excitement for all the magic of Disney, plus how much she got into the spirit of it and totally adored the kids all around, I highly recommend her for families with kids. Or just a girls day – since it was just my mom and I, it was a great start to the trip! She even checked in on us later in the week to make sure we were having a great time. Thank you Renee!
Jason – Universal Studios
While there’s rules in Disney that their employees can’t also do an outside guide service, Universal doesn’t – so Jason does Michael’s VIPS AND works in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Needless to say, this made him super knowledgeable and perfect for these parks. I lost count of how many people working said ‘hi’ to him as we were there. Like all the guides, Jason knew exactly where to go, the best order/ways to do rides, and when shows were happening. He was also full of information so we could learn more about the history and operations of Universal.
Jason was sure to show us all the kid areas, too, since Universal does lean more towards older kids. I hadn’t realized there were some really fun places for the younger group, too! He was great to not tell us if a ride was ‘good’ or not beforehand, letting us judge for ourselves. And since my mom was worried about getting sick on Forbidden Journey – the ride he actually works as Lead on – he had tips to help keep the motion sickness at bay. When Hogwarts Express was down for the day for repairs, he smoothly adjusted our plans and schedule without missing a beat. Amazing!
It was such a fun day, and we had a blast talking with Jason! It’s one thing to look around the parks and ride the rides, but it was even better because we were learning about it all, as well. I think Jason’s the perfect guide for Universal & the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and think he’d do great with a family with teens – they’d love chatting with him and going on the bigger rides! Oh, and he was such a gentleman, helping us carry our ridiculous amount of bags 😀 Thank you Jason!
Chris – Animal Kingdom
Chris is a former entertainer/stuntman for Disney, and you can tell he has the entertainer personality! Just super friendly, easy to chat with, and as with all of Michael’s VIPs he knows all the ins and outs of the parks. He joined us for breakfast to start off the day, and helped us take photos with characters and throughout the park (the Tree of Life was incredible, y’all!). He talked with us throughout the day on how WE wanted to spend out time, when we were ready to call it a day, and what we thought of the rides and shows we did. He even knew the best spots for each of the shows, so we had a great view.
He was even prepared with ponchos for Kali River Rapids – check out how ‘cute’ my mom and I are in this picture he snapped for us from the bridge…
Chris is the perfect private tour guide for a high-energy group looking for a stress-free, fun-filled time with lots of entertainment and stories! Thanks Chris!
Rob – Hollywood Studios
You know those people who can spout out amazing facts about pretty much everything? Yup, that’s Rob when it comes to Disney World things, including Walt Disney himself! We learned so much, and had a great time touring Hollywood Studios. When we went longer than expected at lunch, Rob took care of switching fast passes (during lunch, without anyone noticing – these guys have such a knowledge of the My Disney Experience App and can fix things on the go!) so our afternoon wasn’t thrown completely off. We got to try every ride and show we wanted, and even though the layout of this particular park is wacky, he knew right where to go.
He knew I was a Star Wars fan, just like him, so he made sure to wear his Millennium Falcon shirt for our day together! Kylo Ren wasn’t too fond of it though – haha! Rob would be especially great for those groups looking to not only have an exciting time in the parks, but also learn more about their history AND future plans (Toy Story Land & Star Wars Land – can’t wait!). Oh, and he takes GREAT ride photos 😉 Thanks Rob!
Adam – Manager of Michael’s VIPs
For the past 7-8 months of planning (remember, you have to do dining 180 days prior, and fast passes 30-60 days), I’ve been in contact with Adam, the head guy now over at Michael’s VIPs. He was super helpful when we were deciding plans, recommending things and answering my million and one questions with ease. Once we agreed on a plan, he took care of the fast passes and meal reservations for me so I didn’t have to figure out the system or wake up super early for those hard-to-get dining times!
He stopped in a couple of times during our visit to check on things, and was ‘That Guy’ in the Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor show, which was hilarious for us. Not only was Adam professional and helpful with all the planning – and patiently dealt with any changes I needed – but also is just a downright friendly and easy to talk to guy. The guides had nothing but amazing things to say about him – and you know someone’s a great person if their employees think highly of them! You rock, Adam!
Thank you so much Adam & the rest of the team at Michael’s VIPs for an unforgettable trip! Hopefully we’ll see you again soon!
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