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Top Ten (Practical) Disney Splurges

When I first started writing this, I tried to think of all the really expensive things I’d like to do at Disney World, but the truth is, some of them made me uncomfortable because they seemed like a huge waste of money. Take the deluxe dining plan. Sure, I’d love to spend a few days just eating my way around Disney World, but besides the obvious discomfort that I’d probably experience at some point, to say nothing of how my pants might fit, it just seems like throwing money away. This got me thinking about what I would personally define as a splurge. It had to be something out of the ordinary, but it also had to have “value,” in the sense that even though I may have paid a lot for it, I felt that I got my money’s worth. With that in mind, I asked my followers on Facebook what they thought.

Here are our top ten practical Disney splurges.

1. Dinner at a signature restaurant. Yes, it costs about twice as much as a regular table-service restaurant, but the food is fantastic, the service some of the best you’ll encounter anywhere, and the surroundings are gorgeous.

2. Take a child to Bibbity Bobbity Boutique. I resisted this for as long as I could, but the look on my daughter’s face when she saw her hair and makeup was priceless.

3. Stay in a deluxe resort. Okay, we all agree that it’s only a place to lay your head at night, but just once, every Disney fan deserves to lay their head on a pillow in a really, really nice room.

4. Hire a sitter or check out a kids’ club. Parents, it’s your vacation too. Go to dinner or sneak off to the park with and ride all the attractions the kids won’t. Come back refreshed and ready for rope drop the next morning.

5. Take a backstage tour. It’s as close as you’ll get to seeing how the magic is made without getting cited for trespassing.

6. Go to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party or Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. It’s a big expense, about $60 per person, but worth it to see special parades, shows and characters. A definite must-do at least once for every Disney fan.

7. Buy a Disney watch. Or any pricier (read: not a hunk of plastic) souvenir that you’ll be proud to show off to your non-Disney friends.

8. Visit a Disney spa. Schedule some downtime and get your toes done or even just a blowout. I had the best pedicure I’ve ever had at Disney’s new Sense’s Spa at the Grand Floridian—I literally fell asleep and woke up with beautiful new toes.

9. Take a cab! You know those times when Disney transportation just doesn’t work? Indulge and take a cab. It only costs about $25 to go anywhere on property and it can save you a lot of time and frustration.

10. Go to Victoria and Albert’s. There’s a reason this sublime dining experience is on every Disney fan’s bucket list.

What about you? I’d love to hear about your practical Disney splurges, those little extras that make a trip special.

9 thoughts on “Top Ten (Practical) Disney Splurges”

  1. V&A’s is our splurge every time we go. I wouldn’t say it is for everyone, but if you like good food and good wine, it is worth it. The food and service are first class.

  2. For a backstage tour, I would highly recommend the Wild Africa Trek. It was quite pricy, but such an experience! The guides were knowledgeable and fun; crossing the suspended bridge was exhilerating; being 20 feet from crocodiles was amazing; and the viewing lodge on the savanah was relaxing!

  3. my favorite splurges include

    1. Upgrading to concierge, especially in the Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge

    2. Getting a 2 bedroom villa

    3. Getting a Cabana at typhoon or blizzard

  4. I’ve done the signature restaurant, backstage tours, the parties, the watch, the cab, and my wife’s done the spas. It’s a great list and I agree, everyone should splurge on something at least once. For me, the day long BACKSTAGE MAGIC was my favorite indulgence. And eating at the better restaurants, coz i am a certified foodie. The spurge I think you forgot was to double the length of your stay! Definitely the priciest splurge, but I did 11 days once (buying an annual pass that I did use before time was up and got a bargain) and was able to really relax and enjoy the parks at my leisure. An anti-splurge I love is to take a day off from the parks and see how far I can get using monorails, boats and walking paths. Costs nothing, great views. And I visit resorts I might never have thought to stay in, exploring shops and eating in whatever restaurants they have.

  5. Great list, a few of these (like the spa day) we hadn’t thought of.

    We usually build in an off day, save on parks tickets, and usually just spend the day either by the pool, shopping, or going to the movies. I think going to the parks too many days in a row wears on the kiddos and taking a day off saves us/them from having a meltdown.

  6. Get reserved seating for Epcot’s candle light processional at Christmas. Not a huge splurge when you consider it covers your dinner, but the music is better up close and you get to view the fireworks from a VIP area that’s really close. Plus it’s Christmas. Everything is better at Christmas!

  7. I hit 5 out of 10. I loved dinner at California Grill with the fireworks afterwards. I have done at least 7 tours, love them! MNSSHP and Christmas party are a must do.

    I also think at least one day at the water parks is a great splurge, I love water slides and Crush ‘N Gusher = awesome.

    I also like the candle light processional dinner package for better seating.

  8. Become a DVC member! Many things that were once a splurge will become the “norm”! 1-2 bedroom villas – even concierge level! Fireworks from MK at BLT, occasional amazing discounts, still everyday discounts… Major splurge at the front, but stays with you for years and years…………………………..

  9. My favorite big splurge items are:

    — Illuminations Cruise (Renting a boat to watch the fireworks from during Illuminations.) Yeah, it’s around $400 excluding tip, HOWEVER, between 10 people (I think that is the max), the price is much more reasonable for an awesome experience.
    — Party for the Senses during Food & Wine (this year running at $170) … wow. 3 hours all I could eat and drink with food industry tops? I still rave about my experience a few years ago and cannot wait to go again.
    — Scuba Diving at the Living Seas/DiveQuest (must be SCUBA certified) — This was one of the best experiences I ever had. Besides amazing fish all around you and unbreakable coral (sorry guys, that is fake in there…) you get to interact with the people in the restaurant and attraction both. I only wish we could have had cameras for this.
    — At Downtown Disney, La Nouba is always a great experience, or a concert at House of Blues, adding on the Pass the Line feature (if available) so you can wine, dine and then be entertained by your favorite artists. I also love DisneyQuest, but I don’t know if that is a splurge at only $40ish… :)
    — And of course, who can forget the sport of Drinking Around the World at Epcot. I think that usually set me back around $80, but an excellent way to slowly browse everything in a pavilion before moving on to the next country.

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