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Disney Confronts Park Tour Guides With Police, Threaten Arrests

third party Disney tour guides banned
Credit: Disney

Last month, we reported that Disney was taking a turn and banning third-party tour guides who come to its parks. Disney offers its own guided tours, but they can get really pricey. In order to save money, but still properly maneuver the parks, guests would hire outside companies. For years, Disney would turn a blind eye to the tour guides, but now, they have decided to crack down.

Disney World Tour Guide

Credit: Disney

One third-party guide learned about Disney’s change of heart when he tried to enter one of the parks with guests. The guide stated that he was taken aside by a Disney park manager and then issued a trespass notice.

Nicholas Deniz shared his story with Business Insider. He said that he had never had a problem entering Walt Disney World as a third-party tour guide before. Deniz said that when he was escorted away from his guests by the park manager, he was also greeted by two officers from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

Nicholas Deniz tour guide

Credit: Nicholas Deniz

Per Business Insider:

Corinne, one of Deniz’s clients who was present at the time, said she “felt horrible” as she watched the scene unfold.

“It felt like he had done something terribly wrong, the way that they pulled him aside and spoke to him,” said Corinne, whose last name is known to Insider and has been withheld for privacy concerns.

After speaking with park staff, Deniz said a police officer handed him a trespass notice and told him he was indefinitely banned from all Walt Disney World properties. He said the officer told him the ban could be appealed via a handwritten letter addressed to Disney’s security director after one year. Insider has reviewed a copy of the trespass notice.

Disney banning unauthorized tour guides

Credit: Disney

Related: January 9 Is a BIG Day For Disney World Guests, Here’s Why!

Deniz is not the only third-party guide or company to receive indefinite bans from Disney parks. Business Insider spoke to nearly a dozen third-party companies, and over half of them had received the same notice as Deniz. One of the companies had successfully been working with Walt Disney World Resort guests for nearly thirty years.

Guest VIP Tour Walt Disney World

Credit: Disney

These companies are not associated with Disney, but help guests make theme park and dining reservations, book hotel stays, create personalized itineraries, and even guide them around the theme parks. Disney does offer private VIP tours in its theme parks, but they can cost up to $900 PER HOUR. Most of these non-Disney-affiliated companies charge a lot less for their services.

However, it should be noted that private tours offered by Disney get guests to the front of the line and into areas that third-party companies cannot.

Wild Africa Trek

Credit: Disney

Several of the tour guides who spoke to Insider said that they were shocked by Disney’s decision and want to work with them to come to a solution that works for both sides. The company owners said that they have never shown Disney in a negative light.

Ramón Rodriguez has run his business, Theme Park Concierges, for 12 years. He received a trespass notice, which was reviewed by Insider, on October 4.

“We provide a service to Disney itself by bringing clients, high-end clients,” Rodriguez said. “My clients aren’t eating hamburgers and hot dogs and popcorn. They go to Disney’s high-end restaurants. They stay at Disney’s luxury hotels.”

Be Our Guest Magic Kingdom

Credit: Disney

It should be noted that Disney has never allowed third-party tours to operate on its properties, however, they have typically turned a blind eye to those guides who come to the parks.

A Disney spokesperson spoke with Insider, and said that these guides and companies were knowingly breaking the rules — which are clearly listed on the Walt Disney World Resort website. The spokesperson also said that the recent crackdown happened because the company was noticing “an uptick in abuses of the Disability Access Service and other services, which impede park operations.”

Disney Wheelchair disability

Credit: Disney

Several third-party companies’ Insider interviewed did agree that not every third-party company acted ethically while in the parks. One guide said that there are companies that are “widely known” to abuse the rules that Disney has in place. They admit that some guides will encourage guests to lie, so they can get a Disability pass.

It is most likely because of those companies that all of them are paying the price.

Disney World VIP Tour

Credit: Disney

These companies and guides are now worried about how they will continue to make money. They said that they would like to work with Disney in order to come to an amicable solution. They even suggested creating an association of guides who don’t work for Disney, but work with Disney’s approval.

Have you ever used a third-party tour guide when visiting Disney? Do you think Disney should allow them? Let us know in the comments!

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

5 comments

  1. Having a guide company like Create a Dream is a huge stress relief for first time visitors. Melinda and her team knew where every bathroom water fountain and trick in the book to make our first visit to the parks as magical as possible. It was like having a friend who knew all the parks inside and out make sure we didn’t get stuck in the crazy that can be the crowds.

  2. We have used your guides and loved and appreciated every minute of it!!! Tips, park navigation, and an itinerary in the park allowed us to maximize our one day at the magic kingdom! A disney led private tour was not available, too expensive, and not at our level of need to move through the park in an efficient manner to see all of the major attractions and book reservations in higher end dining all in one day. We stayed on resort, and normally we would have stayed off property as the WDW system can be just too overwhelming to navigate and find reasonable pricing. Plus the unknown perks of staying on resort property… and given an organized outline of positive draws. We would do it again in a heartbeat ? this family of five is in full support!!!

  3. Having a guide is a huge stress relief and even for families who can’t afford to dish out $900 an hour for a guide.. I’d love to have a guide service to fit all ranges of income. If Disney doesn’t plan to offer a lower end package to guests, they should let the guides who aren’t abusing the rules or manipulating things that are unethical (like DAS) continue to operate.

    If they’re not hurting anyone, and making Disney sales, what’s the harm? I would never pay for Disneys VIP package.

  4. Christopher Kennedy

    Disney has taken a turn for the particular greedy lately. Attacking personal shoppers, tour guides. But not influencers who are by definition filming for commercial purposes. It is disgusting. I grew up a massive Disney fan and seeing what they have become over the last few years breaks my heart.

  5. Many of these third-party guides provide an invaluable service for Disney guests, in a manner no different than the countless theme park guides and web sites. While some abuse this opportunity, most maintain utmost respect for not only the guest experience, but Walt Disney’s legacy, as well. There is no need for Disney to “attack” these fellow citizens and neighbors, but instead they should work with them just as they do with “Good Neighbor Hotels”.

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