UnDISCOVERed Future World Tour

Walt Disney World offers a myriad of backstage tour options. While perennial favorites "Keys to the Kingdom", "Marceline to Magic Kingdom", and "Wild Africa Trek" sell out regularly, one oft overlooked option to learn some new insider information is the UnDISCOVERed Future World Tour. This tour is great is you are interested in the minutia of Disney's daily operations.

UnDISCOVERed Future World is a 4-hour tour of the front half of Epcot that typically includes two front-of-the-line-access attractions. On our tour, the attractions were Spaceship Earth and Soarin'. The tour also included an in-depth explanation of the construction of Spaceship Earth and the special design elements that were necessary to produce a functional spherical building.

Spaceship Earth At The Heart of Future WorldSpaceship Earth At The Heart of Future World

After the two on-ride experiences, our tour moved on to five key backstage experiences. As with all Disney tours, no photos are permitted backstage. The first experience was a visit to a VIP lounge. Most of the pavilions in Epcot contain a private lounge on an upper floor designed to entice the original sponsors into backing the park financially. Many of these spaces are now available to rent for private parties or receptions. On our tour, we visited the lounge above The Seas pavilion, which is complete with a private aquarium backdrop.

The Seas With Nemo and FriendsThe Seas With Nemo and Friends

Our next stop backstage was a visit to the 3-D glasses cleaning facility. While it might not sound like a thrilling stop, it was a great visual representation of the volume of guests that Disney entertains on a daily basis and the amount of manual labor that is still required behind the scenes in order to keep even the smallest function at the park moving smoothly.

Crossing the park, we headed backstage at Ellen's Energy Adventure, where we were permitted to take our only backstage photo. Each member of the tour group took turns posing with a pterodactyl from the show.

Find Out How the 3D Glasses Get Cleaned: [bodyFind Out How the 3D Glasses Get Cleaned: [body
A Glimpse Back StageA Glimpse Back Stage

Our visit to the Cast Member center where costumes for non-entertainment job functions are dispersed was probably the most interesting part of the tour. Picture for a moment all of the various shapes and sizes that Cast Members might take. Then picture how many different Cast Member costumes there are for all of the different areas, job functions, etc. throughout the parks. Now picture the warehouse that would launder, stock, and process checkout for all of these articles of clothing. What a phenomenal operation!

The last stop on the official tour was backstage at the IllumiNations barges where our guide once again broke down the logistical procedures necessary to pull off this amazing show every night. At the conclusion of the tour, we received an option to visit Nine Dragons and receive 20% off on our lunch. We also received a pin for participating in the tour and we were invited to the Italy pavilion for a reserved viewing location for IllumiNations that evening.

IllumiNations: Reflections of EarthIllumiNations: Reflections of Earth
Lunch Time!Lunch Time!

This tour is a must for anyone who is interested in Disney's day-to-day operations and logistics. It doesn't come close to being a comprehensive tour, but the segments are extremely interesting and at $69.00 per person, it is reasonably priced for the experience it provides relative to other Disney tours.

A big thanks goes out regular WDWFG Guest Author Holly L. for sharing a little bit of her knowledge of Disney with us. If you'd like to read more about Holly's Disney Adventures, you can find her sharing on our member forum.

Kristen K. wrote on Tue, 08/30/2016 - 13:29:

Kristen K.'s picture

Great article Holly! I think I would really enjoy this tour.

Tina wrote on Tue, 08/30/2016 - 21:48:

Tina's picture

Is this, and other tours, accessible to someone using an electric scooter?

JanJ wrote on Tue, 08/30/2016 - 23:32:

JanJ's picture

Great article!

Just curious when you went on the tour Holly? We experienced the tour in November 2012 and we didn't get to see the illumination barges or get a 20% off coupon for the Nine Dragons. Everything else was similar. We still enjoyed it immensely. I'm wondering if it was just our tour guide as we had read about both perks before we had booked the tour.

JoAnn C wrote on Sat, 09/03/2016 - 14:12:

JoAnn C's picture

Great article. I'll have to look into this tour.

JMed wrote on Mon, 09/05/2016 - 01:23:

JMed's picture

I'm all about the tours after our trip last month, this one is on the list for sure!

Rach wrote on Mon, 09/12/2016 - 23:49:

Rach's picture

Tina, I don't know about this tour but when I took the Backstage Magic Tour it was mostly ECV accessible. But there were parts that I still had to walk. For example backstage areas of The American Adventure. But I was able to drive my scooter while in the Utilidors, the greenhouses, & central shops.

Now for tours that take place all in 1 park this wouldn't be an issue, but if the tour includes getting on a bus it's a bit trickier. My scooter got stored in the luggage bay under the bus & I still had to climb stairs up to my seat on a Magical Express type bus.

The Disney website used to say if a tour was accessible or not, but I'm not seeing that information now. The best thing to do would be to call (407) WDW-TOUR and ask if the tour you are interested in can accommodate you.

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