Top 9 Walt Disney World Splurges

Let’s face it, a trip to Walt Disney World is going to be expensive. You will need to get there somehow. You will need a place to stay. Your family will need to eat while on vacation. Things have already added up and you haven’t bought your theme park tickets yet! There are still some extras that you might want to consider. The things on this list are not covered in your theme park admission. You will still have a wonderful time if you don’t do anything on this list. If you do decide to give one or more item a try, your vacation will be even more magical.

Sometimes it is the extras that will make a vacation the best one ever. Those are what this list is all about. There are plenty of other splurges that you could also try, Disney is known for creating once in a lifetime vacations. Not everyone can try everything on this list. Some of the activities are limited by age, others would be great for the entire family. Several of them require reservations, you will want to make those as soon as you can.

9. Mickey’s Parties

Magic Kingdom

Two seasons a year Mickey throws a special celebration at the Magic Kingdom. The park will close early to the public on select nights and will reopen as a separate ticketed event. In the fall you can enjoy Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Right after that the park quickly switches to Mickey’s Christmas Party. The number of tickets sold to the parties is limited so the lines for favorite rides as much shorter than they might be during the day. There is a special parade each evening and the classic Disney characters are dressed up in seasonal attire. Attending one of Mickey’s parties is a splurge that your whole family can enjoy.

8. Aerophile

Disney Springs

If you’ve spent any time in Central Florida you’ve probably seen a giant colorful balloon in the air over Disney Springs. It is visible from many places on Walt Disney World property and even from I-4 near mile marker 68. That is Aerophile (formerly known as Characters in Flightt). Up to 29 passengers can climb aboard and get a great aerial view of the parks and the surrounding area. The tethered balloon climbs 400 feet into the air and the thrill lasts for about eight minutes. It operated only if weather is permitting, including low winds. The cost is $20 for adults and $15 for children.

7. Atlanta Braves Spring Training

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

You may not think that catching a baseball game is a splurge, but think again. These games don’t count for anything! You’re there just to have a good time, and that is exactly what will happen. You’ll have a chance to see what the team looks like before the season starts. You’ll also be able to check out another competing team. You might also be surprised if Mickey or one of his friends attends the game as well. The games start in late February and run through the end of March. Most are played in the afternoon. Ticket prices vary.

6. Buy Something Extravagant

Various locations

The shops at Walt Disney World are filled with typical souvenirs. You can also find something unique that you never expected to see on vacation. Visit the shops at Epcot’s World Showcase for household items, clothing, jewelry and other things that you never thought you could buy at a theme park. Head to Disney Springs and buy that perfect one of a kind painting for your home. Purchase a rare signed photo or other movie memorabilia at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. You could even buy an enchanted rose at the Magic Kingdom. Sometimes the best souvenir from a vacation is the one thing that you never expected to find. There are thousands of extravagant and unexpected items for sale at Disney, you just need to look.

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5. Stay at a Deluxe Resort

Various Locations

If you’re looking for the ultimate splurge for your entire family you are going to want to think a great deal about where you plan to stay. The value resorts are nice but the rooms are also a bit crowded. Staying at a deluxe resort will elevate your vacation to a whole new level. If you visit Florida often you might want to pick a different resort each time, or you could decide upon a favorite and always book there. Imagine the excitement on your children’s faces when they see the giraffes up close at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Enjoy the nightly entertainment outside of Disney’s BoardWalk Inn. You will truly feel like you are staying on a tropical paradise if you choose Disney’s Polynesian Resort. All of the deluxe resorts have been designed with every detail in mind. Your entire family will enjoy the large rooms and the luxury around every turn.

4. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique/The Pirates League

Disney Springs, Grand Floridian Resort, and Magic Kingdom

Your kids will like for you to splurge on them on their vacation as well! Disney offers children a chance to transform. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique has three locations, one in Disney Springs, the other in Magic Kingdom, and in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.. The Fairy Godmothers will help little girls to transform into their favorite princesses. There are several packages available, which include anything everything from hair, glitter and nails to a complete package with costume. The Knight Package is available for boys. Reservations can be made by calling 407-WDW-STYLE (407-939-7895).

If turning into a pirate is your child’s idea of fun, Disney has that covered as well. The Pirates League at the Magic Kingdom will transform your little one into a scurvy sea dog. It all ends with a parade around Adventureland. Reservations are suggested and can be made by calling 407-WDW-CREW (407-939-2739)

3. Specialty Cruises

Various Locations

There are several different options available for a specialty cruise at Walt Disney World. If you would like to celebrate your birthday or anniversary they know what it takes to make it special. A fireworks cruise will give you and your party a view of Happily Ever After or Epcot fireworks that you will never forget. For something really special, consider hiring the Grand Yacht 1 and trying with the private dining option. There is even a specialty cruise designed with children in mind. Pirate Adventure Cruises are for kids 4-12 and will take them on a journey to look for hidden treasure. For more information or to book a specialty cruise call 407-WDW-PLAY (407-939-7529).

2. Behind the Scenes Tours

Various Locations

Want to see the dolphins at Epcot up close? Would you like to find out about the food that is grown at Walt Disney World? Do you love trains? Do you want to get a closer look at the animals in Disney’s Africa than Kilimanjaro Safaris will allow? How curious are you about the behind-the-scenes operations at the Magic Kingdom? Disney offers tours that will take you behind the scenes for these things and more. The ages for the tours vary. Many of them last several hours and there is usually a lot of walking. You will have a great time learning and will end up with a new appreciation for the way that things run behind the scenes. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 407-WDW-TOUR (407-939-8687).

1. Spas

Various Disney Deluxe Resorts

What better way to splurge than to be pampered for a day? You are never too far from a spa if you are on Disney property. There are many different spa packages available. Enjoy massage therapies and have the stress of your vacation melt away. Try hand and foot treatments. Focus on your skin and walk away with a healthy new glow. Try a body therapy or a soak treatment. You can sign up for a traditional massage or try something totally different, the choice is yours. The spas at Walt Disney World will re-energize you and make you feel like a new person. Call 407-WDW-SPAS (407-939-7727) to schedule an appointment or for more information.

About PaulaK

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. When I was nine my family went to Disneyland and I was hooked. I grew up, attended New England College in Henniker, NH and eventually moved to Virginia. I worked as a disc jockey, married and became a full time mom when our daughter was born. Fast forward several years. In 2010 we moved to Central Florida and my Disney obsession grew. I now work as a freelance writer and spend my spare time in the parks. Under the name Paula Brown I penned the novels Dream Wanderers and The Coffee Cruiser. I also am a co-author of Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide. I'm obsessed with Star Wars, so this is a good time to live in Central Florida. I've been a vegetarian for well over a decade, a choice that my daughter eventually made as well. While my husband still hasn't joined us fully he has given up most meats except for seafood. I was relieved to find that vegetarian dining is not difficult at Walt Disney World.