Planning a trip to Walt Disney World is about creating a memory that you’ll remember forever! From planning your dining reservations to picking the right FastPass attractions – decisions are everywhere.
KEYS TO THE KINGDOM
Getting a chance to tour the Magic Kingdom with a VIP Tour Guide is awesome, but then getting a chance to learn about the history and hidden gems while experiencing on-stage and backstage locations…it’s awesome! We’ve done an article for the Keys to the Kingdom Tour and what to expect here, but the selling point is definitely checking out the Utilidors!
In addition to the Keys to the Kingdom Tour, Disney offers a number of experiences that can definitely add to the magic! From the Behind the Seeds at EPCOT, Caring for Giants & Wild Africa Trek at Disney’s Animal Kingdom…and many seasonal tours!
Reservations are required by calling 407-WDW-TOUR (407-939-8687)
EXTRA TICKETED PARTY
Halloween and Christmas are two of the best times to visit Walt Disney World, so getting your tickets for the adjoining parties is a splurge that will increase your exposure to the magic that only Disney can create.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP) and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) are the special events that you’re aiming to plan your trip around, as they aren’t available each night. With limited admission available, there are times that the parties sell out and you don’t want to miss your chance!
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VICTORIA & ALBERTS
When this topic was suggested, my first thought was Victoria & Alberts restaurant at the Grand Floridian Resort. My excitement for this dining experience is compounded by searching through my photos from our two visits in 2017 (Queen Victoria Room) & 2018 (Regular Dining Room)…both of which were incredible and still come up in day-to-day conversation when comparing high-end dining when planning future vacations.
This is by far a splurge that you’ll have to budget around, but it’s worth it! That being said, even if you have the funds to experience it, the biggest hurdle is getting your reservation:) My tip – make sure that you’re online 180 days out and search for a regular reservation to the dining room. As your vacation gets closer, you’re able to reach out and put your name on the cancellation list for things like the Queen Victoria Room or Chefs Table.
We’ve done a review (of sorts) on the Queen Victoria Room. The reason why it’s not a true ‘Dining Review’ is because food is subjective and with their menu being customizable and seasonal, you wouldn’t get the same options that we did. Just know that the experience is well worth it and we wouldn’t have done it a second time within 6 months if it wasn’t memorable:)
Prior to getting our Annual Passes, the first item on my purchase list was the Memory Maker. As an AP holder, it’s included in our tickets:) #Bonus
Memory Maker gives you unlimited downloads of the photos that you take with Photopass Photographers while on Disney property. This includes your on-ride photos, magic photos, special event experiences and the Photopass experience at Disney Springs. Always purchase in advance, as you save more than 10% on the price. The Photopass Photographers are listed on the My Disney Experience app, so even if you see a huge line for one…there’s always another experience to take advantage of.
Please keep in mind that this splurge isn’t for everyone, as depending on your preference for being in photos…it may turn up to be a lot of money for something that you may not use. Just know that Photopass Photographers will ALWAYS be available to take a photo with your personal camera in order for you to get those precious memories that aren’t selfies.
Another note: Photopass Photographers are not available during Character Meals due to the abundance of background families and other issues. Best way to get photos from these meals are to make friends with the table next to you and they take your photos while you take theirs. #MakeFriends #MakeMemories
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I’ll be adding more splurges to this article as I think of them, but the concept is less about giving you a huge list of every single add-on available and more about ones that I actually think are worth it. Some of the additions that could count are:
DISNEY DINING PLAN
Depending on how you use it and the level that you purchase, it could be seen as a splurge. This is a personal decision depending on your situation, but I’ve done the “Pro Disney Dining Plan” and “Anti Disney Dining Plan” articles to give you more insights.
A splurge could include the bed that you sleep in during your vacation, but since I don’t go to WDW for a relaxing trip…a pillow is a pillow to me:) That being said, spending as much time at the Deluxe resorts for dining reservations or shopping experiences are completely worth it!
SPECIFIC SIGNATURE DINING EXPERIENCES
Jill and I have dined at many restaurants over the years, including Cinderella’s Royal Table. Because each culinary adventure is highly personal, I can’t say that a splurge at CRT or any of the other Signature restaurants will be a memorable experience.
We really enjoyed dining in the castle and saw it as a “once in a lifetime” meal, but that may be inclusive of the specific day and time that we were there. Plus…I kept it a secret until we were checking in:)
Mickey ears, clothing, art or anything that you can purchase are all splurges that can either belong on the “Things we regret buying” list or the “Things we regret NOT buying”. The best way of tackling merchandise is quite simple…you do you!
I hope this helped with your vacation planning! There is so much to take into account while looking at a trip to Walt Disney World, and adding that extra splurge to the itinerary is always fun:)