I was 7 years old the first time I rode the Magic Kingdom's Jungle Cruise attraction.
I was smitten! These funny Jungle Skippers got to ride through the jungles of the world and look at the animals all day. How cool was that?
I remember wishing then to be a Jungle Cruise Skipper some day.
My wish was granted many years later during my first summer break from college. (And honestly, this was by chance and not some lifelong personal quest.) Now I too cruised through the jungles of the world all day! I too looked at the audio-animatronic animals over and over again! I too told the same "entertaining" jokes for every boatload of guests!
Michael's Life Lesson #909: "Be careful what you wish for." :>)
The Michael's VIPs Difference
I began working at the Walt Disney World Resort in the Magic Kingdom during my first summer break from college. I enjoyed it so much that year, I returned every winter and summer break until I graduated in 1994 from The Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (Go CC Tigers!)
During these periods I worked as an attractions host and new cast member trainer at the Jungle Cruise, the Haunted Mansion, the Hall of Presidents, Splash Mountain and Thunder Mountain. In 1995 I was accepted into the Magic Kingdom Guest Relations department.
These are the hosts and hostesses that solve guest challenges, answer their questions on every possible topic, help with daily plans, make dining and dinner show reservations, sell and advise ticket options, and provide spieled guided tours for adults and families.
It is from the four theme park guest relations departments that the Disney Special Activities (DSA) office auditions their VIP tour guides. I was selected to be one of the VIP Hosts for the Resort later that same year.
During my years with Disney I hosted an extensive variety of guests, both ultra-famous and not, and enjoyed each and every one of them. However, I often caught myself reviewing aspects of our service I wished to change or provide differently and I wasn't in a position to do anything about it. These thoughts and opinions, as well as a personal desire to challenge my abilities, lead to the development of my own company, Michael's VIPs.
The Disney Special Activities office provides a good and much needed service, and many of their tour guides specifically audition for guest relations to have an opportunity to work for them. (I know, I was one of them!) My positive feelings towards the people at Walt Disney World, including the people in that office, have never changed. I certainly would not have based my entire future on their Resort amenities if I did not have the highest regard for the company and its cast members.
My personal quest for the highest possible standards of service led to this unique company.
I learned and experienced a lot as a Walt Disney World VIP tour guide, guest relations host, and cast member trainer, and continue to expand my knowledge on a daily basis.
Michael's VIPs opened in 1999 and was the first independent VIP Tour service for guests visiting Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld. We are certainly not the least expensive option, but that has never been a concern to our guests.
We have grown a lot since my first days as a one-man operation, and not without the help from old and new friends at the Central Florida resorts and parks. No matter how many friendly VIP Private Guides we add to our team, and no matter how many guests we serve, the following 'differences' will always remain true:
- Pre-Arrival Communication:
- Our ability to communicate and prearrange every necessary detail before our guests arrive results in the best possible and memorable vacation for them. It also gives our guests a chance to communicate with the person they are about to spend so many hours with.
- Vacation Experience 'Ownership':
- We 100% understand that you live a very busy life, and the last thing you want to worry about is planning your vacation. We obviously know what we're doing, and base our itinerary and park touring suggestions on years of experience with countless VIP families. We'll recommend what's best for you and 'take charge' once you're here. You only have to show up each day and have a blast!
- We truly understand what's important to you:
- We expect our new Private Guides to know a lot about Walt Disney World and the other Central Florida attractions. Whatever they do not know is thoroughly reviewed before assisting their first guests. Having the right attitude is THE most important quality of a Michael's VIPs Private Guide! We then expand that knowledge with our time-tested techniques of minimizing their guests' exposure to crowds and lines.
- The 'Right' Attitude:
- Most importantly, our VIPs know that they will never hear the word 'no' when making a request during their vacation. There are only two answers permissible at Michael's VIPs: "Yes, I will be happy to do that for you!" or "I will do my very best to make it happen!" (Many of our guests compliment us for not having to request anything.)
- There are FUN opportunities available outside Disney World:
- We are able to host our guests at any fun location in Central Florida. Walt Disney World remains the most popular vacation destination in the world, but we also enjoy hosting them at the ever-expanding Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure parks, SeaWorld, the Kennedy Space Center, water parks, the beaches, and even on shopping excursions.
I know how very important your family's vacation is to you. I hope the information on this page and our sample list of sincere Endorsements will assure you that you are in capable, trusted hands.