We are budget people. Our Disney World vacations are planned out in spreadsheets before we go. We have an idea of how much we are going to spend on many different levels and have that money in the bank ready to roll as needed. At the same time, we work hard and deserve a splurge every now and then! So, what splurges make the top of our list? Well, we could tell you to buy a home in Golden Oak – Disney’s pristine neighborhood, get married in front of Cinderella Castle, or rent Tower of Terror for a party of a lifetime… BUT, we are all about realistic splurges for those of us that are living on a budget. Save up and splurge away Disney fan!
15 – Golf
Let’s kick off this splurge list with a round of golf! Many people miss or don’t know about the opportunity to golf at one of Disney World’s four champion golf courses. You can book a tee time in advance to ensure your requested course, date and time is available. The cost for 18 holes of golf can range between $29 and $75 per player, all depending on which day, course, and time you are seeking. Golf cart and club rentals are an additional fee. Go ahead and spend a little green, then take to the “green” for some golf rest and relaxation.
14 – Water Parks
“Splash” that money pot just a little with a Water Park ticket purchase. Walt Disney World has two fun-filled water parks including Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. Blizzard Beach is known for their frosty atmosphere and the very intense body slide called Summit Plummet. Typhoon Lagoon is themed with the tropics in mind and boasts a massive wave pool among many other refreshing experiences. You can purchase a 1-day water park ticket starting around $69 plus tax. Break out of the four-theme park routine and try a day at one of Disney’s Water Parks!
13 – Senses Spa and Salon
Vacation should be all about relaxing after all! What better way to spend your hard-earned money than by treating yourself? Senses Spa and Salon has two locations at Walt Disney World including Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort. Both locations offer paramount spa and salon services that will leave you resting easy! You can spend as little as $15 for a Beard/Mustache trim, in the middle around $135 on a 50-minute Swedish Massage, or as much as $425 on a Couple’s Spa Treatment. From manicures to massages, haircuts and body treatments, and everything in between – Senses Spa and Salon is an ultimate splurge-worthy activity for anyone who needs a little rest and relaxation.
12 – Signature/Fine Dining
There are SO many places to dine at Disney that making the decision on which one can be difficult! If you’re looking to taste an impeccable meal and want the atmosphere to match, we’d suggest spending a little extra to dine at one of Disney’s Signature/Fine Dining Restaurants. Try the AAA Five Diamond Award-winning restaurant, Victoria and Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. Want an intimate night watching the sunset or the Magic Kingdom nighttime fireworks while you dine? Make a reservation at California Grill located in Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Your taste buds will appreciate this splurge!
11 – Highway in the Sky Dine Around
Let’s combine a couple of our favorite things at Disney World, shall we? The Monorail (aka “Highway in the Sky”) and Disney’s delish food! Spend an evening with a progressive dinner that will take you resort hopping in the most VIP way. 5 courses spread out through 3 resorts including Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Resort, and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. Food and beverage (including alcohol) is included in the price, as is an exclusive viewing area at Disney’s Contemporary Resort for Magic Kingdom’s fireworks. Keep in mind, this experience is for ages 12 years and older. For this VIP extra, you can expect to pay around $170 (includes gratuity) per person, plus tax. Let’s take to the sky!
10 – runDisney Events
If you’re not a runner, you may scroll right by this paragraph as fast as possible – but slow your scroll! While running might not be our favorite thing in the world, when it’s done with Disney, something magical happens! RunDisney hosts run/walk races for all ages and all body types. With family events, 5K, 10K, half-marathon and marathons, you’ll find a race that works best for you. Not only are you doing something wonderful for your body, but Disney truly makes these themed races FUN! Pick a theme like Star Wars, Princess, or Food and Wine and have a blast getting that blood flowing, some fresh air, and memories that last a lifetime. Admission for the races can be around $25 for the kids’ races, $85 5k races, all the way up to the Dopey Challenge (conquering all the races!) for $590. If you’re going to splurge, make it count with admission to one of the runDisney events.
9 – In-Room Celebrations
As if staying at a Disney Resort isn’t incredible enough, did you know you can add an “In-Room Celebration” to the mix? Check out Disney’s Floral and Gifts to find items that can be placed in your room at check-in whether it be a surprise for a family/friend or to pamper yourself. They offer items like balloons, chocolates and snack packs, Mickey bags, flowers, room decorations, champagne, and more. Packages typically start around $60 and can go all the up to $550 depending on what you are looking for. This is that extra pixie dust that makes a magical moment even more memorable.
8 – Keys to the Kingdom Tour
If you’re a Walt Disney World fan and you aren’t afraid to see a little behind the scenes, Disney’s Keys to the Kingdom Tour at Magic Kingdom is the ideal splurge for you. Tour goers (16 years and up) experience 5 hours with a guide for an in-depth look at the park. You’ll even have a chance to access Disney’s underground Cast Member area called the Utilidors. The cost includes a quick-service lunch and is $99 plus tax per person. The true Disney fan’s splurge!
7 – Dinner Shows
We mentioned Fine/Signature Dining above but let us not forget to mention Disney’s Dinner Shows. While you’ll pay a little extra for this meal, there is exceptional entertainment that goes along with it. Over at Disney’s Fort Wilderness is a hilariously fun show called Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue. At Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, feel like you’ve been whisked away to the tropics of Hawaii with the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show. Prices for these shows can ranges from $38 to $72 depending on age and seating category. Music, dancing, and superb food await!
6 – Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
Here’s a chance for your princess, prince, or knight to have the ultimate dress up experience. There are currently two locations for “BBB” including one at Magic Kingdom inside the Cinderella Caste and the second at Disney Springs where no park ticket is required. Soon enough, a third BBB will be available at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort! If your child is between the ages of 3 and 12, the can have a royal makeover with packages ranging from $20 (Knights Package) to $450 (Princess Signature Dress Collection). Whether it’s hair, nails, makeup, outfits or all of the above, BBB can make it happen.
5 – Dessert Parties
Yes! We said DESSERT! All four of Disney’s theme parks have extraordinary nighttime spectaculars that should really be on your must-see list. Why not experience these nighttime spectaculars with VIP treatment? No fighting the crowds and reserved viewing areas is a fantastic experience – but add in desserts and we are sold! Magic Kingdom has three different dessert parties for Happily Ever After. Epcot’s nighttime firework and projection show has their own dessert party featuring Frozenelements. Disney’s Hollywood Studios dessert party is Star Wars themed or you can do a Fantastmic Dessert Party. While there are no fireworks at Animal Kingdom, there is an extraordinary Rivers of Light Dessert Party. Expect to pay anywhere between $40 to $90 per person depending on age and night selected. This is one delicious splurge!
4 – Go Deluxe
Is this a once in a lifetime Disney vacation that you’ve been saving up for? If at all possible, go deluxe! Disney has eight deluxe resorts and each one of them has exceptional theming, views, transportation, location, dining, services, and more. It’s really the best of the best and worth the extra money if it’s workable in the budget. The cost for an average night at a deluxe resort in right around $650. While staying at the other Disney Resorts is fantastic, once you experience Deluxe, you’ll understand why people spend the money they do to stay there.
3 – Early Morning Magic
If you’re a morning person and you want to experience attractions without the typically Disney crowds surrounding you, then we have the splurge for you! Disney offers what is called Early Morning Magic in Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland and in Hollywood Studios Toy Story Land. Access these areas before the park officially opens to the public! You’ll get to ride all the big attractions without the big waits. And chances are you’ll get to ride them much more than once! Early Morning Magic is on select days and offers breakfast following your early magic fun. The cost is $69 per child (ages 3-9) and $79 per adult. Is riding with no lines worth the extra to you?
2 – Disney After Hours
If you’re not a morning person as mentioned above and want even more time in the parks with a limited number of guests, check out Disney After Hours! Experience 3 extra hours in the park after it closes to the public. After Hours is available on select nights at three of Disney’s parks including Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. The cost is right around $125 per person. That may seem like a lot, but it’s full park experience unlike the Early Morning Magic above. The rides will have little to no wait time which is a rarity. This one is hands down, well worth the splurge in our opinion!
1 – Magic Kingdom Parties
Our number one splurge goes to two special-ticketed events for the party of a lifetime at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) is held on select days in the fall and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP) is on select days in late fall and early winter. Both parties feature treats throughout Magic Kingdom, short attraction waits, unique character meet and greets, and special entertainment like stage shows, a parade and fireworks. We’ve splurged on these parties numerous times and will keep doing so as long as they are offered!
What’s the splurge worthy Disney experience you’re planning for your next Disney World vacation?
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