6 Splurges That Are Worth It at Disney Theme Parks

AaronP / Bauer-Griffin / Shutterstock.com

AaronP / Bauer-Griffin / Shutterstock.com

No trip to Disneyland or Disney World is complete without sprinkling in extra magical moments! If you’re looking for unique splurges that everyone in your family will cherish for years to come, invest in these special Disney experiences worth the cost.

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Character Dining

Character dining, which is slowly returning to Disney parks, is a splurge that gives guests quality interactions with their favorite Disney characters without waiting in line. 

Currently, character dining experiences are available at Walt Disney World’s Chef Mickey’s, Garden Grill Restaurant, Hollywood & Vine, Story Book Dining at Artist Point with Snow White, Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera and Tusker House Restaurant. 

Disneyland visitors may enjoy Minnie & Friends – Breakfast in the Park at Plaza Inn. Resort hotel character dining is also available at Goofy’s Kitchen, Disneyland Hotel, Disney Princess Breakfast Adventures at Napa Rose, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and Mickey’s Tales of Adventure at Storytellers Cafe, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. 

Prices vary for children and adults, with discounts available for Magic Key Holders. Remember to bring along your autograph book and camera to get an autograph and photo with your favorite characters!

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Disney Ears

Nothing feels more magical than walking into a Disney theme park under the iconic sign “here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy” with a pair of Disney Ears on your head. 

Disney Ears are available as hats and headbands to purchase throughout the park starting at $29.99 and online at the shopDisney website. Pick from a wide variety of styles ranging from classic Mickey Mouse, Disney princesses and characters from the Star Wars franchise!

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Visiting Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, found in the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World and at the Disneyland Resort, is where fairytales come true for kids. 

Choose from a wide variety of packages, including the Crown Package and the Castle Package, that allow a team of Fairy Godmothers-in-Training to pamper and primp children to look just like their favorite storybook characters — with hairstyles, makeup, accessories and costumes fit for a royal transformation.

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Tickets to Special In-Park Events

Michael L. Moore, owner of the Disney travel website Countdown to Magic, said every year there are must-see Disney events. Some of these events include Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party during Halloween and Disney Very Merriest After Hours in late December. These events are exciting to attend, but tickets are a separate cost from the regular park admission. 

Moore recommends splurging on these tickets, which are on sale now for $99 for ages 3-9 and $109 for ages 10 and up. The frightfully fun event will return select nights at Walt Disney World from Aug. 12 to Oct. 31, 2022.

“The Disney World cast members dress up in elaborate, colorful and frightful costumes. Kids can go trick or treating all throughout the park and there’s even a special Halloween-themed parade,” Moore said.

Tickets for Disney Very Merriest After Hours are also well worth the holiday festivities. Moore said this event is similar to the Halloween party, only Disney makes it magically snow on Main Street, serves hot chocolate and cookies for free throughout the park and puts on a holiday fireworks show and parade. Check in with the Walt Disney World website as the event gets closer to learn more about ticket pricing for 2022.

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Disney PhotoPass

You may be using your smartphone to take pictures during your Disney visit, but Disney PhotoPass ensures you receive professional photos during your trip. Always picture-perfect and never blurry!

Disney PhotoPass is available to purchase at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts. Splurging in PhotoPass ensures you capture photos and videos at select attractions, link your photos to your Disney account using your MagicBand, Disney PhotoPass card or theme park ticket or annual pass, and lets you enjoy unlimited photo downloads for just the price of the Disney Memory Maker.

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Disney Fireworks Dessert Parties

Toast the 50th anniversary of the Walt Disney World Resort by splurging on a ticket to the new fireworks spectacular — the Magic Kingdom 50th Fireworks Dessert Parties: Disney Enchantment Treats & Seats.

This is no ordinary fireworks viewing. This is fireworks with a sensational dessert party, and it’s worth the added ticket admission. 

According to the Walt Disney World website, desserts are 50th Anniversary-themed and include chocolate-dipped strawberries and butterscotch pudding. Drinks, including an assortment of beer and wine for guests ages 21 and over, are also available. Currently, admission is $114 per adult (ages 10 and up) and $69 for children ages 3-9. (Theme park admission required.) Head to the Tomorrowland Terrace and enjoy a delicious and dazzling nighttime spectacular!

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