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Disney World: 4 Things Worth The Extra Splurge

By daniellesmith |

You and I both know that a Disney World vacation isn’t free.  There are lots of ways to save money, many deals to be had and a ton of research you can do before you go that insures you are maximizing both your time and your dollars.

But despite the dollars you spend to GET there, you will still be faced with dozens of opportunities to spend MORE once you arrive. It is both tempting and painful…. and your small people will go wide-eyed at the options as you woefully turn your pockets inside out.

However, there are a few items worth that extra splurge.

Character Dining.  Whether you choose to include a Disney Dining Plan in your vacation, booking at least one Charcter meal while you are at the Parks is more than worth the price of the food.  Breakfast with Minnie and Mickey, lunch with Winnie the Pooh and Friends, or any number of meals in Cinderella’s castle.  There are so many to choose from and my kids were in awe.  As you eat, the charcters make their way to every single table. If we were going for a week again soon, I would carve out time for more than one meal.  They are THAT special.

Ice Cream from Main Street Ice Cream Parlor – this is on my family’s ‘must-do’ list every time we visit the Magic Kingdom. The vintage style parlour is fun, a welcome break from the heat during the summer, and the ice cream is divine.

One Souvenier We have a family policy on this… our small people can choose ONE souvenier.  If we allowed more than that, we wouldn’t be able to afford to take our luggage home.  We never let them choose on the first day and it has to be something they really set their mind to.  This year – it was these hats.  And, I will tell you, even now,  they wear them all the time.

Park Hopper Pass – If you are going to Disney World, choose the Park Hopper tickets that allow you to go to more than one park in a day.  If you spend the morning at Animal Kingdom, see everything your kids want to see, you can still make it to the Magic Kingdom that afternoon or evening for the parades and firework displays.  Having the option allows you to be flexible, relaxed and truly enjoy each park.

Bonus: (This is a bonus because you need to have it – but it is FREE!)  The Verizon Disney Mobile Magic app, guides your family through the MAGIC with all of the latest tips and tricks for navigating the park – including the times characters are available and how long lines are for Fast Pass Rides. Download it now!

A big thanks to Verizon for sponsoring this campaign. Data rates may apply for app download/use. Click here to see more of the discussion.

Read more from Danielle on Strollerderby and her personal sites ExtraordinaryMommy and DanielleSmithMedia.

You can also follow her on Twitter.

More from Danielle on Strollerderby:

Pinterest Is Making Money from Your Posts: Sneaky or Genius?
Will You Teach Your Kids to Give Like the Anonymous K-mart Donors?
McDonald’s Outsmarts San Francisco Happy Meal Ban
Sticks and Stones: My Son Cut His Hair So Another Child Would Stop Calling Him a Girl

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About daniellesmith



A decorated public speaker and a masterful listener, Danielle Smith can engage and entertain both online and live audiences alike. She is the founder of Extraordinary Mommy, the author of Mom, Incorporated: A Guide to Business + Baby , and a lover of all things video. Read bio and latest posts → Read daniellesmith's latest posts →

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16 thoughts on “Disney World: 4 Things Worth The Extra Splurge

  1. Laura says:

    I disagree on the park hopper pass option – we have had those before but did not feel the need to use it. There is so much to do at one park who wants to waste time on a tram or bus to another park? I did not get this fairly expensive option the last time we went to Disney World and not once did I wish we had it.

  2. Diana says:

    The app sounds like one of the best ideas. I’ve heard how long Disney lines can be – and the disappointment of waiting in one so long you can’t get to much else.

  3. Eliza says:

    Character dining is so so worth it! And it takes some of the stress our of finding your favorite characters during the day!

  4. Michaela says:

    Park hopper pass is definitely worth it! Especially if you are trying to get any dinner reservations and can only get them on a day you planned to be in a different park!

  5. Traci says:

    I really like your one souvenir policy! I even when my kids offer to pay for things with their own money I don’t want to drag everything home and then have it laying around

  6. Vera says:

    Character dinning is so cool! My family ate at the Garden Grill in Epcot on our last trip and it was soo good and so much fun!

  7. kathryn says:

    character dining was always my favorite childhood memory of disney trips, so i definitely made it a point to have my kids experience it too!

  8. laurenjimeson says:

    Character dining is my absolute favorite. I remember doing it as a kid and I can’t wait to bring my girls to do it as well!

  9. Moose says:

    I hate to be contrary… but these aren’t great suggestions. Ice Cream on Main Street? I don’t consider buying kids ice cream at Disney World a “splurge….”.

    The park hopping thing is just wrong, too. Everyone loves the “idea” of Park Hopping, but guests who park-hop see fewer attractions, wait in longer lines, and spend time in transit that they could have spent enjoying a park. I was thrilled when Disney stopped focusing on “park hoppers” and moved to their focus on longer length tickets. Don’t hop; immerse yourself in *ONE* experience… stop trying to do it all.

  10. Janice Croze says:

    I could totally go for Ice Cream on Main Street right now. It is the best.

  11. Mary Anne says:

    Character dining is *definitely* worth the splurge. I have never seen my kids so excited!!

  12. lucy says:

    I need to start following your One Souvenir rule… for me AND the kids! My problem is I get as excited as they do and I ALWAYS buy too early in the trip and end up finding something else we have to have. Definitely going to work on this on our next trip (and possibly enlist some tough love from my husband)

  13. Kristy says:

    Mmm.. that little mickey-shaped ice cream treat looks delicious. We always visit that place when we’re at Disney – it’s the perfect way to have a bit of a rest and a yummy snack!

  14. marinka says:

    Wait, do they scoop the ice cream so that it has EARS? Because I don’t see how anyone can settle for ear-less Van Gogh ice cream after that!

  15. Just Heather says:

    We don’t do park hoppers and have never wished we did, but I do agree some things are worth a little extra. I have once regretted spending buckets of money on Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique followed by Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party!

  16. icon clipart says:

    It was my error.

    P.S. Please review deviantART: xcubic’s Journal

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