Here at Touring Plans, we’re all about finding ways to save money during Disney vacations. But we also know that once in a while it’s time to throw caution to the wind and splurge on something spectacular enough to turn the vacation into a celebration. Here are ten of our favorite ways to indulge at Walt Disney World. Bucket list anyone?
1. Victoria & Albert’s. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, a meal at V&A’s is simply one of the best dining experiences you’ll have any time, any where. And if the best meal in town isn’t enough for you, then you can bump it up a notch by trying the even more indulgent Chef’s Table or Queen Victoria room. Price: At least $150 per person, more if you’re including cocktails or wine, and more if you’re in one of the specialty rooms.
2. Backstage Magic Tour. This 7-hour tour takes you to backstage areas at all four WDW theme parks plus some centralized behind-the-scenes areas, and you’ll get a stick-to-your-ribs lunch at the Whispering Canyon Cafe to keep you fuelled up during your big adventure. For the Disney geek, this is the ultimate in education. Price: About $250 per person. Discounts may be available for DVC owners, annual pass holders or other special categories of guests. Be sure to ask.
3. VIP Tour Guide. Guests who want their hand held during every step of their Disney experience can hire a VIP tour guide to escort them through the parks. They’ll pick you up at your resort and take you exactly where you want to go at Walt Disney World. They’ll get you special viewing areas at parades and some shows, and they’ll use their detailed park knowledge to speed you through touring. Price: Prices vary, starting at $315 per hour for a group of up to 10 people. Six hour minimum.
4. Grand Suite at the Grand Floridian. Concierge service in the poshest room at the poshest resort. Need I say more? Price: Prices start at about $2,400 per night in the off season, up to about $3,300 per night during the Christmas holiday season. You could pretend to rationalize this by thinking about this on a cost-per-person basis, but in my fantasy world, I’m staying there all by myself.
5. Disney themed Dooney & Bourke Weekender bag. Disney print Dooney & Bourke bags have been all the rage for several years now. I’ve outed several closet Disney geeks in my hometown when I spied them carrying the common Disney Dooney wristlet or crossbody bags. But the holy grail of this genre is the giant weekender tote, which is big enough to double as luggage. Price: $360.
6. Fireworks cruise on the Grand I. The Grand I is a 52-foot yacht which sails the waters of Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon. The epitome of style is to book the Grand to view the Wishes fireworks presentation at the Magic Kingdom. The show’s audio is piped to speakers on the boat. Price: $450 per hour, plus more for food and beverage.
7. Richard Petty Driving Experience, Experience of a Lifetime. Get behind the wheel of a genuine NASCAR race vehicle and cruise the track at the Walt Disney World Speedway at speeds of 120 to 140 mph. Price: Basic packages start at about $450, but the ultimate 50 lap race experience will run you about $2,600.
8. Saratoga Springs Senses Spa Getaway Package. The newly renovated Senses Spa is perfect place to escape the theme park buzz and dissolve into relaxation bliss. The Getaway Package includes three services, an 80-minute massage and body wrap, an 80-minute facial, and an 80-minute pedicure. Pure bliss. Price: $435, plus tip.
9. Platinum Dining Plan. Eat whatever you want at any Disney World restaurant, get the services of a personal itinerary planner, AND have access included to a Richard Petty experience, a fireworks cruise, a spa treatment, and much, much more. Price: About $250 per adult, per night of stay.
10. A Disney Wedding. The sky is the limit when you’re planning your custom Disney wedding. Want to have Minnie as your maid of honor? Want to come to the service in a horse-drawn carriage? Want to take over a theme park for the night? All this and more can happen at your Disney wedding, if you’re able to pay the bill. Price: How deep are your pockets?
Are these items on YOUR Disney to-do list? Have you done any of them? Do you want to do them again – and take me with you? Or does all this seem silly when you can spend your Disney time going on all the rides for just the cost of your admission ticket? Let us know what you think in the comments below.