5 Things Worth Splurging on in Walt Disney World 

5 Things Worth Splurging on in Walt Disney World 

The indulgences that can be added to any trip that bring a touch of the unforgettable

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Walt Disney World is an experience, and it can be quite an expensive one. Even a short trip with a budget in mind can add up quickly, which is why we advocate doing Disney your way, every time. Tailoring your trip to your interests is the best way to ensure your money is well spent. Sometimes that will mean a quick trip on a budget, and sometimes that will mean a longer, more spendy vacation.  

But what about the in-between? What about the indulgences that can be added to any trip, no matter the length or cost, that bring a touch of the unforgettable to your Walt Disney World memories? At PTM, we believe real magic exists when you prioritize what you love. 

Join us as we explore five things worth splurging on in Walt Disney World.  

Disney’s VIP Tours 

We’re starting our list of recommendations with a splurge that feels out of reach at first glance—a private VIP tour. But hear us out. While pricing ranges from $425-$850 an hour, and there’s a booking minimum of seven continuous hours built-in, going during the ‘slow’ season with a group of 10 (the maximum number allowed) makes a private Walt Disney World VIP tour far more doable than it initially appears. Especially if you choose to cut corners in other areas of your trip. If you have a group of 10 friends, family, or both, you can pay less than $300 per person for the tour, which feels like a bargain once you realize it sets your group up for an ideal day in the parks.  

VIP Tours require advance reservations and are subject to availability, but offer a lot of perks. These include pre-arrival planning, VIP transport to and from your hotel, the ability to visit multiple parks in a day, an expert tour guide, premiere show and fireworks viewing, and prioritized access to attractions. While a Disney VIP tour is expensive, we think it’s worth the splurge, especially if you’re celebrating something special or only have a few days to experience Walt Disney World. That way, you can maximize your time and truly enjoy WDW like a VIP. 

It’s important to remember that you can pick and choose which splurges you indulge in, if any. If you want to take a VIP tour and are budget conscious, consider staying at a moderately priced hotel. If your focus is spending time in the parks and you’re not a resort person, it makes sense to prioritize a tour over other parts of your trip. The best WDW trips are the ones that create unforgettable memories, and that’s something we think is always worth splurging on! 

Walt Disney World Dining 

Walt Disney World offers exceptional dining options if you know where to look. To help you find them, we’re discussing three of our favorites. Our picks are consistently good, and two of the three don’t get the attention we think they deserve.  

Jaleo by José Andrés in Disney Springs brings rich and diverse Spanish cuisine to Orlando with flavors you’ll want to keep returning to. While the menu offers many more affordable options, we think the Chef’s Tasting Menu is worth indulging in. The menu changes all the time and features tapas and original dishes for $95 per person, and it’s worth checking out. Add on drinks from the Spanish Sips menu for $40, and you’ll have an evening to remember! 

Shula’s Steak House at the Swan and Dolphin Resort is a sleeper hit. When we think Walt Disney World and steak houses, we don’t jump to the Swan and Dolphin, but thanks to Shula’s, we’re beginning to rethink that. You can get as spendy as you want here, as entrees range from $38 for the chicken to $155 for a (very sharable) 42 oz tomahawk ribeye. If you’d prefer a steak that’s smaller than your head, we suggest the filet for $68. Sides are extra and will run you about $14 for everything from veggies to macaroni and cheese. Dessert is not to be missed—seriously, check out the apple crisp—and get back to us! It’s perfect. 

Cítricos at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is anything but a sleeper hit, but it’s incredible just the same. Team PTM recently dined there and loved the Smoked Duck first course for $18 and the Roulade of Chicken for $38. While we haven’t tried the $50 Guava Short Ribs, they get rave reviews, and we’re excited to try them soon. If you time your dinner reservation right (think around 7:50pm) you can often see the Magic Kingdom’s fireworks display. It’s a lovely bonus that really adds to the value of your meal and experience and worth requesting a table for! 

Disney dining isn’t always worth the splurge, but when it is, like with our above recommendations, it really is. We think adding one of these meals to your next trip will make it all the better. 

Holiday Parties at Walt Disney World 

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party can be polarizing. They’re undoubtedly expensive and have limited hours. Still, we think holiday parties at Walt Disney World are worth the money. For us, we can’t get enough. With special shows, parades, performances, live actors, seasonal overlays and treats, late-night hours, and endless vibes, they will always get our recommendation.  

While we dream of a trip where we skip regular park hours to focus solely on Holiday parties, it’s important to note that you can still enjoy plenty of seasonal décor (and even some treats) during regular park hours in the holiday season. Like any indulgence, it’s worth weighing the benefits for yourself to see if the splurge feels right to you. 

Disney Spa Days 

Walt Disney World vacations are fun, but are they relaxing? They can be! While it can be tempting to squeeze out every last second of your trip in the parks, taking time to slow down and relax can make your trip so much better, and allow you to go home feeling like you were on vacation rather than a mission (to space or otherwise). Enter spa days. The world-class spa treatments available at WDW fly under the radar for most travelers, and we think that should change. Taking time to unwind is a splurge worth indulging in at Disney, and we think you’ll love the spas at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and the Four Seasons Resort Orlando.  

The Grand Floridian Spa has a decidedly Victorian feel, and its relaxation rooms provide the perfect transition between a busy day and the spa treatments that await you. The Grand Massage will run you $175 for 50 minutes, and an organic facial will cost the same. If you’re looking to really indulge, consider their Nature’s Renewal Hydrating Treatment, which includes a full body exfoliation and massage for $250. For a more affordable option that’s still splurge-worthy, look into booking a manicure for $70. No matter what you choose, make a day of it. Have lunch at the café, stroll the grounds, take a ferry over to the Polynesian for a Dole Whip, and let your body unwind.  

If you prefer a spa with modern touches, the spa at the Four Seasons Orlando is an ideal choice. Their relaxation spaces allow you to totally unwind in thermal tubs, steam rooms, and even a solarium! Offering everything from an 80-minute Ayurvedic Full Body Ritual for $295 to an exclusive 50-minute Sticks and Stones Massage ($195), which incorporates basalt stones and birchwood sticks to release the tension from your body, the spa is an experience in itself. It helps that the grounds of the Four Seasons are so beautiful, too. Make a lunch reservation at one of their many restaurants, grab some gelato from their Lickity Split Café, and take time to walk the gorgeous grounds that feel worlds away from the chaos of the parks.  

Spa days at Walt Disney World are an indulgence for sure, but the splurge is worth it if you leave feeling relaxed and ready to take on anything that comes your way! If it’s something you enjoy, we highly recommend it.  

Building Lightsabers at Savi’s 

Building a lightsaber at Savi’s Workshop in Hollywood Studios is an experience we hope all Star Wars fans can partake in at least once; it’s a unique, albeit pricy experience worth splurging on.  

A 31” lightsaber will cost you $220 (plus tax), and you’ll need a park ticket to build it, but once you do, the spire is your oyster. To create your piece, you’ll be instructed to select your kyber crystal, available in violet, blue, red, or green, then you’ll begin to build your lightsaber in accordance with your theme and kit. The experience goes by faster than we would like, but there’s nothing quite like owning your very own lightsaber. For Star Wars fans, we think it’s a must! 

Subjective Splurge  

A splurge is a subjective thing that’s dependent on the person. What is (and isn’t) worth the splurge is even more subjective still, but there are memorable experiences at Walt Disney World that shouldn’t be skipped. We hope we’ve inspired you to try something new. You might find something you love. 

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