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credit: Disney
credit: Disney

Spend Money On This In Walt Disney World

We know that a trip to Walt Disney World isn’t cheap.  From park tickets, to flights and resorts the price of a vacation to the most magical place on Earth can be a lot.  When you are considering where to spend your money, we have some thoughts on what is worth spending your money on to help your vacation be that much better.

Resort

Disney World offers four main resort categories: value, moderate, deluxe and deluxe villas.  Each of these categories go up in price and amenities offer more dining, transportation options as well as bigger rooms and better pools.  One of the areas we think it is worth it to spend a little extra money on is those moderate and deluxe level Disney resorts.  Don’t get us wrong, we absolutely love Pop Century; however, for some times a slight increase in price per night can upgrade you to one of the moderate resorts giving you a bigger room, more dining options as well as a slide at the pool and so much more!  

When it comes to the deluxe resorts, we feel that the money is worth it on some occasions.  If you know you are planning a resort day or two, we highly recommend investing in one of the amazing deluxe resorts as they have fantastic pools, pool bars and provide a wonderful location for a resort day.  The other time the deluxe resorts are well worth the extra cost is when it comes to transportation to some of the parks.  If you know you are going to be visiting Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, then being able to walk from Boardwalk Inn or Beach Club and Yacht Club can save a lot of time.  Same goes for the monorail resorts and Magic Kingdom.  If you have little ones and know you will be in the Magic Kingdom a lot, being able to wheel the stroller right onto the monorail and be back in a few short stops can be well worth the price tag of the deluxe resorts.  Investing some extra money in your resort can really make a difference in your overall vacation experience.

Credit: Disney

Tours

Throughout all four theme parks Disney offers a variety of tours during normal times.  These tours are absolutely where you should invest some money as they are well worth the price.  From behind the scenes experiences to up close and personal interactions, these tours provide guests with a once in a lifetime experience that can’t be provided any other way.  

Disney does a fantastic job of providing tours for fans of all ages and interests.  If you are a Disney history fanatic, the Keys to the Kingdom tour in the Magic Kingdom is fantastic.  You learn about how the vision of Magic Kingdom came to be, get to visit some of the rides in the park as well as take a tour of the tunnels used underneath the Magic Kingdom.

For animal lovers, Animal Kingdom has a variety of tours that allow guests to get up close to some of the amazing animals that live in the park.  Caring for Giants is a tour that brings guests close to the elephants and Up Close With Rhinos does just that- brings guests closer to Rhinos.  These are wonderful options for animal lovers and when they return to Animal Kingdom are well worth the cost.

Finally, if you are looking for a special and unique experience consider the VIP Tours.  These tours take guests throughout the four parks, providing them with front of the line access to as many rides as they wish.  This experience isn’t cheap as a private tour runs anywhere from $425 to $850 per hour with a minimum of seven hours.  If you have a lot of birthday money saved up, we would highly recommend spending it on a VIP Tour.  You truly will feel like a rockstar.

Holiday Parties

Walt Disney World is known for their holiday parties and they are back, in a way, this year.  Guests are already enjoying the Boo Bash, the Halloween party at the Magic Kingdom.  Starting in November, Magic Kingdom will transition to Christmas with the new Disney Very Merriest Christmas After Hours.  These holiday parties can be well worth the extra money- IF you plan it right and have the right expectations.  These new parties are an adjustment on the old parties, but that is both good and bad.  We have seen the Boo Bash having very low crowds making it well worth the price as you can ride a variety of rides quickly during the party time.  For the Christmas after hours party, we will have to wait and see what exactly the experience will be like; however, with the Christmas Parade being offered, we think it will be well worth the price.  Being able to celebrate these holidays at Disney’s Magic Kingdom with a limited crowd can really be a magic experience and well worth the price.

After Hour Parties

Similar to the holiday parties are the After Hours parties.  These are currently not happening; however, we are hopeful they will be coming back in the future.  These events happen at select parks in the evening and are special ticket events giving your travel party access to low crowds as well as snacks!  Although they are an additional cost, we think the cost is worth it if planned out.  This would be a good event to plan on a rest day.  Instead of purchasing a park ticket for the day, enjoy the day at the resort or Disney Springs and then head to the park in the evening.  It is a great way to get a lot of rides done in a shorter amount of time.  We look forward to when these return to the parks once again and when they do, we will be participating.

Credit: Disney (Topolino’s)

Special Dining

Not all dining experiences are created equal; however, there are some in Walt Disney World that we feel are worth spending money on to experience.  When it comes to character dining there are some outstanding options that are worth the higher price tag that comes with them.  One we think is well worth the month is at Epcot in the Garden Grill.  Here you can often see the characters multiple times making even the distance interactions outstanding.  With the family-style meal you are sure to get enough food as well.  Another excellent character meal we think is well worth the price is breakfast at Topolino’s Terrace inside the beautiful Disney’s Riviera.  At this breakfast you have the chance to see Mickey, Minnie, Daisy and Donald in fun, unique costumes.  They come around often and the food here is outstanding.  We highly recommend taking time to visit the resort before or after your meal.

Disney also does have fantastic high end meals throughout the resorts that are often worth the high cost for the experience.  These signature meals are worth it for foodies as well as those that enjoy stunning views.  At California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort it is well worth it to have a meal here in the evening as the fireworks view alone is outstanding.  If you are looking for a special meal, check-out some of the signature dining options at Disney World as they are well worth the time and money investment.

Walt Disney World isn’t cheap to visit; however, if you have extra money or want to know where you should spend the money you do have, we highly recommend these experiences.  Although some aren’t back at 100% yet, we are hopeful they will be back and better than even making them even more worth the price.

About Jennifer Retzlaff

My name is Jennifer Retzlaff and I became a lifelong Disney fan during my first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of my life. I live in Iowa with my husband and two kids who are growing up too quickly for my liking. I started introducing my love for Disney early to my family with a Disney honeymoon and then trips when our youngest of 18 months. Since then, our family has been to Walt Disney World over five times and we continue to plan and dream for the next trip. I love the magic that Disney brings to people through the theme parks, cruises, adventures and movies they create. As a teacher, I try to bring that magic into my classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” I recently reached a dream of mine as I joined Magic Vacation Planner as a personal travel advisor. With this team, I can now help others plan magical vacations. As a passionate writer, I also have my own blog at magicalvacationsbyjen which is also where you can follow me on instagram for trip reviews along with tips and tricks for your next magical vacation.