With offerings like $600 meals, $1200 yacht rentals, and $3000/night suites, it’s definitely possible to indulge at Disney. Most people I know can’t afford all that luxury, but they still want to include some fun stuff to make their trip extra special. How can a family decide what is worth the money? Perhaps asking the following questions will help narrow down what’s right for you.
1. Can I do it elsewhere? – In my opinion, a Disney vacation should be all Disney, all the time. Or at least most of the time. So if you’re trying to decide what to splurge on, an easy “no” might be something that you can do on another vacation. For instance, parasailing over Bay Lake would be incredible (I’ve done it – it is!), but if you are going to the beach next year maybe your splurge money would be better spent on something else this time. You know those parasail guys at the beach will always be there for you next year.
2. Will it add value to our trip? – By asking this question, I mean – is it important to you or your family specifically? For example – golf. You can obviously golf elsewhere, so by the first question’s standards this may get thrown off the list. But don’t be too hasty. If golf is your thing, if it gets your heart beating, if a vacation is incomplete without it, then by all means DO IT! For you, golf adds value to your trip. Another example – food. If food is your jam, if entrees intrigue you, if you are Anton Ego in the making, then please, make a reservation to Victoria and Alberts! Yes, you can eat food elsewhere, but if you’re a foodie you may feel like you’ve missed out on something wonderful by doing counter service the whole time.
3. Can I compromise in other areas? – Perhaps you know exactly what you want to do. You want your entire family to scuba dive in the Living Seas; you’ve dreamt of it for years. But at $180 each, that’s not exactly gonna be easy on the wallet. What if you could save money on another part of your vacation though? The easiest way I’ve found is in lodging. Staying on-property is dreamy, I’m sure. But when your dream scuba session is on the line, it might make more sense for you to save some money on the hotel room. I have found amazing deals on off-property condos, making more indulgent Disney activities possible.
4. Will it create memories? – A Disney vacation should be about making memories. The smiles on your family’s faces are priceless, and you will cherish those happy times forever. Sometimes it really is worth the indulgent cost to make a life-long memory. Take, for instance, a Perfectly Princess Tea Party at the Grand Floridian. You can drink tea elsewhere, and parents may not feel a vacation is incomplete without it. But, oh my gosh, the happy memories for your little princess! That may just be the splurge for you. However, keep in mind that most kids are satisfied – actually thrilled – with just being at Disney. Memories are priceless, but sometimes the best memories are made for free. Which brings me to the last question…
5. Can I still pay the bills? – Any true fan will tell you that a Disney vacation is worth it’s weight in gold. Well not actual gold, unfortunately. If you get home after indulging in decadent meals and fantastic experiences and wonder how you’re going to pay the mortgage…well, the magic fades pretty quickly. Set a realistic budget and stick to it. If you want to indulge in something, plan for it ahead of time. No amount of splurging is worth being stressed out over finances when you get home. Yes, a Disney vacation is meant to be fun, but not fun at any cost. Doing Disney without regrets also means making choices you won’t regret later.
Enjoy Disney for all it’s worth, and indulge responsibly! 😉
BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like MickeyTravels. They’ll help you get the best Walt Disney World deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!