Let’s be honest: it’s been a rough year and then some. As we start to feel safe traveling again, I think we deserve to treat ourselves to a little something extra. While you can certainly do Walt Disney World on a budget, there are also plenty of opportunities to splurge if you so choose.
Here are 7 ways you can add some additional pixie dust to your visit that just may be worth the additional cost.
- Go Deluxe
Each category of Disney resort has its advantages, but if you are looking to up your amenities, unique resort activities, location and/or view, it may be worth splurging on a deluxe resort. Prices vary greatly depending on the resort and the season, but these resorts are the best of the best in terms of theming, dining, and amenities. If you’ve had one on your bucket list for awhile now that you want to try out (for me it’s Grand Floridian), maybe now is the perfect time to take the plunge!
- Cinderella’s Royal Table
There are quite a few splurge-worthy dining options throughout Disney. But this is the only one that takes you inside the iconic Cinderella Castle. While the food might be better at some of those other restaurants, here you are really paying for the experience. And it’s an experience every big Disney fan should have once in their lives. Advanced Dining Reservations are required, character dining is not currently operating (although Cinderella may make a socially distanced appearance), and pricing is $62 per adult, $37 per child. The first time I went to Disney when I was 10 years old, my family ate at Cinderella’s Royal Table and I just remember being in awe the entire time. The thematic décor and attention to detail are amazing – you really do feel like royalty!
- Savi’s Workshop
Become one with the Force with this awesome experience/souvenir combo. Every Star Wars fan has dreamt about what kind of lightsaber they would have – now you can make that dream a reality! The price is steep, starting at $219 plus tax, but it really is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. In this secret, hidden workshop, you get to choose your lightsaber’s theme and kyber crystal color, learn how to assemble it, and bring it to life in an awe-inspiring, chills-inducing ceremony. And then you get to take it home! Advanced reservations are highly recommended for this popular activity that brings you one step closer to becoming a Jedi knight.
- Spa Day
After the stress of the last year, we probably all need a relaxing spa day. While both Senses locations are currently closed, the Mandara Spa at the Dolphin Hotel is open. Sit back and enjoy a massage, facial, or body wrap. Look and feel your best with a manicure, pedicure, hairstyle, or makeover. Or really indulge by mixing and matching treatments for a full spa day. You deserve a little pampering, and after all, can you really put a price tag on relaxation? Advance reservations can be made here. Just think of all the joy you’ll find when you leave the world behind and bid your cares goodbye!
- Poolside Cabana
What’s better than hanging by the pool on a beautiful, sunny day? Doing so in your own private cabana! Available at Grand Floridian, Contemporary, Beach Club, Polynesian, and Yacht Club Resorts, if you decided to spring for one of these deluxe resorts, you are in luck, because only guests staying there can rent one of the cabanas. Complete with fans, padded furniture, television, mini refrigerator stocked with soda and water, and more, you will be lounging in luxury. You can rent a cabana for a full or half day, and advanced recommendations are highly recommended by calling 407-WDW-PLAY. Vacation mode: activated.
- Upscale Souvenir
You know that souvenir you’ve always wanted, but it seemed too extravagant? Maybe this is your chance to spend a little more than you normally would on something to bring home that will just make you happy. Check out these shops on the right side of Main Street, U.S.A. (if you are facing the castle): Main Street Cinema, including awesome Disney artwork, Uptown Jewelers, featuring brand name jewelry and handbags, and Crystal Arts, containing beautiful works of hand-blown glass. There are also ample upscale shopping opportunities at Disney Springs, including Ever After Jewelry Co., Kate Spade, Tommy Bahama, and many more. Why settle for yet another Disney t-shirt, when you can treat yourself to something a little more special?
- VIP Tour
Well, we’ve finally arrived at the ultimate Walt Disney World splurge. At only $425-750 per hour, with a 7-hour minimum requirement, I hope you’ve been saving money like Scrooge McDuck. What you’ll get for your entire life savings truly is the VIP treatment. Your knowledgeable tour guide will plan your entire day for you based on what you want to do, pick you up from your resort, and escort you through the parks, scoring the best locations and access to attractions, for a practically perfect day at the parks with minimal waiting and minimal stress. If you really want to go all-out, then this is the way to do it. Reservations must be made by calling (407) 560-4033.
Any trip to Walt Disney World is special, but if you want to take the magic and kick it up a few notches, these are some good options. And while most of us can’t splurge on these luxuries very often, maybe once in a while it’s okay to spend extra on an experience that will bring us joy and happy memories for years to come. It’s fun to dream about, isn’t it?
What’s your favorite Disney splurge?
First published May 27, 2021. Updated October 11, 2021.