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Ask It: Best Splurges at Walt Disney World

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It’s Wednesday again, and we’re putting you in the driver’s seat for another round of Ask It!

Last week we asked you:

Which of the following WDW Splurges is the best use of money?

Truthfully, any would have been a great Valentine’s Surprise, but here’s how more than 700 of you voted (in order from least to greatest):

Senses Spa Day (9%)

Victoria & Albert’s (24%)

Private Tour Guide (30%)

Staying Club Level (37%)

Spa Day

In general, I’ve found that people either love spa days or don’t see the point or enjoyment in a spa day. For me, I enjoy spending time in the Rainforest Room on a Disney cruise, but I’m not as fond of interaction with estheticians, so spa days would be a waste of money for me. Many people who were fans of spa days commented that you can get a spa treatment anywhere–the experience at Disney isn’t all that unique at any of the Senses Spa locations at Walt Disney World.

Victoria & Albert’s

Victoria & Albert's
Victoria and Albert’s offers an elegant dining experience. Photo Courtesy of Disney.


For my husband’s birthday one year, we did the splurge at Victoria and Albert’s, and it is something that I’ll gladly roll pennies for a few years to save up and have another experience there. More than any other meal that we’ve had anywhere, we still talk about some of the unique parts of our meal there. (On Living with the Land, they are growing fiddlehead ferns, so every time our boat passes by, I remind everyone with me that I tried fiddlehead ferns for the first time at Victoria and Albert’s. Not sure how that rates in the world of humblebrags.) Hands down, the food is excellent, and although the price tag is steep, somehow it ends up feeling like you got your money’s worth at the end. Moreover, beyond the food, the intimate setting with a lovely live musician (like the harpist playing the theme from Star Wars) and some of the unique presentations of food and drink makes it an experience that goes beyond “just a meal”. One down side for some people is the required dress code–not everyone wants to dress up in their Sunday finest on a hot and humid August night on their vacation in Florida.

Private Tour Guide

Whether you look at a private tour guide as “renting a Plaid” (the tongue-in-cheek phrase many people used to refer to hiring official Disney VIP tour guides who often wear plaid) or taking one of Disney’s exclusive behind-the-scenes tours such as Keys to the Kingdom or Wild Africa Trek, the consensus of people who have spent the money on this type of splurge is that it is well worth the price tag. For the VIP tour guide, you not only get someone who truly knows the ins and outs of the parks, but the ability to bypass lines and ride favorite attractions multiple times. The behind-the-scenes tours offer unique experiences outside of a “normal” day in the parks.

Staying Club Level

Staying Club Level provides many little extras, like food and beverage offerings throughout the day, including afternoon wine selections.

In the end, when it comes to splurge, there is something about saying that you are staying Club Level at a Disney resort that really feels like a splurge. My first time staying Club Level, I loved pulling out that gold Key to the World card any time I could. (Yes, I was staying on DVC points, but no one needed to know that! Maybe that is DVC’s best kept secret?) Each Club Level lounge offers food throughout the day, including a sampling of foods in the evening from the signature restaurants at that resort. And while you could probably dine at one of those restaurants for the price difference that you pay for the Club Level room, there’s a level of attentiveness from the concierge staff that really can make this a grand experience. It really is the definition of a splurge–doing something for yourself that makes you feel like you’re experiencing the better things in life–and that may be why it took the top slot in this week’s votes.

Ready for another poll? As Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts wraps up and the plants start popping up for Flower and Garden, we’re curious about what is your favorite event at Epcot. This week’s poll is:

My favorite special event at Epcot is:

  1. Festival of the Arts
  2. Flower and Garden
  3. Food and Wine
  4. Holidays Around the World

Head over to Twitter to vote, or leave your thoughts in the comments here or on Facebook. And in the meantime, share with us your favorite Walt Disney World splurge.

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Julia Mascardo

Former writer, editor, and social media manager of TouringPlans. Embarking on new adventures with husband, kid, and cats.

9 thoughts on “Ask It: Best Splurges at Walt Disney World

  • It’s a very close call between F&G and Holidays around the World, but I think I have to go with F&G. The topiaries and gardens blow me away!

    • Holidays Around the World and I think you talked me into V&A next January. Thanks.

  • Hi Julia! I am really enjoying this new series – so fun to see what people pick! I would have to choose Flower and Garden for this one, although I haven’t yet been to Festival of the Arts or Holidays Around the World.

  • We did the Keys to the Kingdom tour and it was great! As soon as my youngest turns 16, we are doing it again with him. It was not too expensive and definitely worth it.

  • Club level food can be good if you play it right. Take stuff back to your room for the mini fridge. I’m not talking a 6 pack of beer or coke. Although they probably wouldn’t mind that. But a few beers, soda, etc.
    And a plate of cheeses and snacks for the late night 3am mini fridge raid.
    They toss a bunch of food at each cycle..and taking some back to your room isn’t a problem. Also, I like late night balcony snacks.

  • I have only had experience with Food & Wine and Flower and Garden. That said, Festival of Arts sounds fantastic and is more lane; eager to visit next year at that time! Even without sampling it personally yet, I can say definitively Arts is my favorite.

  • My personal favorite event is Festival of the Arts. Lower crowds, interactive experiences, art, and the Broadway singers were just great! Food allergies limit Food and Wine for me, and aside from Garden Rocks concerts, I dont really enjoy Flower and Garden as much as Festival of the Arts. Holidays around the world is magical, but usually very crowded! So festival of the arts it is!

  • V&A hands down. It is the reason behind at least one of our trips to WDW. It is definitely a splurge, and the check hits you like a ton of bricks, but it is one of the most memorable experiences in my life, and definitely worth doing again.

    The best moment I’ve had at V&A was discussing Publix fried chicken with our waiter. It was a very everyday conversation in our very upscale environment.

  • Food and Wine!

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