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A vacation to the happiest place on earth comes with a big price tag, and unless you win a free trip, there aren’t many ways to vacation at Disney for free. There are so many ways you can save money, get great deals, and ways to stretch every dollar on things to do in Disney World.

No matter what you do to try and save money, you will be faced with hundreds of opportunities to upgrade or spend a little more to make your trip “magical.”

If you are already on a tight budget for this trip, then skip all the frills. But if you have some wiggle room, I do feel there are a few things to do in Disney World that are worth the extra money.

Here are the things I think are worth the extra money at Disney World.

Moderate Or Deluxe Resorts

If you are trying to save money while staying onsite at Disney, value resorts are by far the way to go. If you are looking for a truly magical experience, and are going to spend time at your resort, I highly suggest splurging for a moderate or deluxe resort instead.

These hotels can provide experiences you won’t find at a value resort. You can enjoy more dining options, larger rooms, and an atmosphere that will take your breath away. Plus the pools usually have a slide!

We always plan to spend at least half a day at the pool and just exploring the resort.

{The photo above is my daughter Annabelle sitting on the marble second floor with the Chandelier from Disney’s Grand Floridian’s Lobby behind her. We went to Disney to take her Senior High School Photos and this was one of the stops the photographer wanted to take because that was the dress Annabelle wore to her Senior Prom.}

Character Dining

I will be the first to say character dining is a luxury, but…especially if you are traveling with children, it’s one of the things to do in Disney World that I feel you should go for!

Character dining is such a unique experience, and you get the opportunity to meet so many characters. You can find character dining in some of the hotels and at multiple opportunities in every park.

Pay close attention to the time of day you are dining if you are looking for the least expensive meal. Lunch is usually the least expensive option, but you’ll still get to meet all the characters!

Staying Multiple Days

One day trips can still be magical, but every time we’d go to the parks I’d be left wishing I had just one more day.

If you buy multiple day tickets, you end up saving on both tickets. But it will be more money out of your pocket in hotels, transportation, and of course the added ticket cost.

Unless you live close to the parks, I would say to splurge and go for the extra day to take in all the magic.

Don’t forget, for no extra cost to you, you can get a no-obligation quote on your Disney Vacation from my friend Jeffrey Merola at Mouse Vacation Planning! He’s taken care of all the details for me multiple times. Taking off stress and adding in a little bit of extra magic!

Go During The Holidays (At Least Once)

Disney has special events around the holidays including Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. These events happen on select nights during early fall through winter and are an experience unlike any other.

There are no words to describe the magic of trick or treating alongside Mickey and Minnie, or enjoying a hot cocoa under the Christmas lights and decorations inside the Magic Kingdom.

These events require additional tickets, and hotel accommodation prices will be higher during these peak times, but I think it’s worth the extra cost to do at least once.

Behind The Scenes Tours

Disney World offers tours at most of the theme parks as well as other areas for an additional cost. These tours are focused on the backstage areas and the behind the scenes themes.

You can get a peek behind the scenes of rides and other magical experiences in the parks. You can see the tunnels at the Magic Kingdom, the aquarium at The Seas in Epcot, the walking safari in the Animal Kingdom, and so many other neat sites.

If you are looking for things to do in Disney World with that ‘something extra’ that you can’t get with a regular admission, this is a way to gain a whole new perspective.

A Unique Souvenir

I know I keep harping on the fact that if you are going to get souvenirs you should not get them inside the park.

But there is one thing that I would encourage you is worth the splurge that can only be found at two places on Disney Property. While the coffee mugs, oven mitts, and stuffed animals can be found anywhere, you can’t always get the Mickey Kitchen Sink Sundae. It’s found only at the Ice Cream Shop inside the Magic Kingdom or at the Beaches & Cream Ice Cream Restaurant at Disney’s Beach Club resort.

That is my kind of souvenir! You could make Sundae’s at home and reminisce about how much fun you had together on vacation at Disney!

Photos from your trip, especially when on the rides, are not something you can take yourself. If you have the money and the picture is good, feel free to splurge and maybe even get a fun frame for it.

Disney World is already an expensive vacation without all these extras. However, despite the added price tag, I feel that these things to do in Disney World add to your Disney experience and are indeed worth the extra cost.

 

YOUR TURN: What Disney Character would your family want to dine with most? Let me know in the comments below!

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