When you’re at Disney World, you’re already (hopefully!) having a pretty good time. So, it doesn’t take much more to take your trip from ordinary to extraordinary!
You may think you need to spring for a deluxe hotel room, eat at the most popular (and pricey!) restaurants, or go all out on princess dresses and limited edition merch to make your trip extra magical, but there are TONS of ways to UPGRADE your trip for less than $5!
Don’t believe it’s possible? Check out these amazing Disney World upgrades that cost a FEW bucks at most!
If you know us, you know we LOVE cheese!
And, at various spots around Disney World, you can get the good stuff for $1! Casey’s Corner at Magic Kingdom has its cheese sauce available as a side for a buck, which we highly recommend getting to dip your corn dog nuggets into.
Backlot Express at Disney’s Hollywood Studios has the same deal!
Some spots have this cheesy upgrade listed on their menus, and others don’t. So, when in doubt, just ASK if you can add some PLASTIC CHEESE to your meal!
More of a guac person than a cheese person? That’s just fine too! You already know we LOVE Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Cafe at the Magic Kingdom. But we reeeeally love that you can add guacamole to your nachos, rice bowl, or fajitas for just $2!
Some sides come free at Pecos, and guac used to be one of them, but hey, $2 ain’t so bad, especially when this side costs WAY more elsewhere at Disney! Peep their side of $1 queso too!
Chicken Guy Sauces
Chicken Guy! at Disney Springs is a GREAT spot for a budget-friendly meal, and you can upgrade your lunch or dinner here by adding fries, pickle chips, or slaw to your sandwich or tenders for just $2.99.
But our FAVORITE WAY to indulge at this spot is by raiding the sauce section of the menu and adding additional sauces to our plate for just 50 cents each!
Real people “in the know” also know you can join the Sauce Squad and get TWO additional sauces with every meal for FREE!
Gideon’s Frosting Cups
What can we say?! We love a good dip sitch! And while you may not think you can make the HALF POUND cookies from Gideon’s Bakehouse at Disney Springs even more indulgent, well, you can by getting a FROSTING CUP!
This little cup of DELICIOUSNESS if just $1.50 and is perfect for, well, ANYTHING!
Donut Instead of Bread at Everglazed
Honestly, there are so many decadent upgrades you can make while at Disney Springs, and one of this shopping and dining district’s newest spots, Everglazed Donuts and Cold Brew, has one too!
This sweet spot has savory sandwiches, like burgers, breakfast sandwiches, and grilled cheese available. Not feeling bread or a bun? Get your sandwich on a DONUT for just $1 more!
Dole Whip Floats (and Floaters!)
NO Disney trip is complete without a Dole Whip! And there’s no way to make this ICONIC snack even better, right? Wrong! You can always get a Dole Whip Float instead of a classic Dole Whip for $5.99. The pineapple juice REALLY makes this snack complete.
Looking for a DIFFERENT kind of float? You can get your Dole Whip with a rum float at Pineapple Lanai at the Polynesian Village Resort for $7 more, which is more than our $5 topper, but come on! This is a DOLE WHIP with RUM! Pineapple Lanai also has Souvenir Tiki Bowls for $5 on top of your $4.99 Dole Whip!
There are SO many ways to enjoy this treat!
We LOVE a good food upgrade, obviously, but there are little things you can buy on your vacation that make it more fun! And during EPCOT festival season, that means getting your SPORK on!
The Spike the Bee Spork has been a staple at the Flower and Garden Festival for a while, but he’s also popped up at Food and Wine, Festival of the Holidays, and Festival of the Arts!
This trinket is just $2.50 and makes for a fun souvenir and earth-friendly eating around the World!
Wanna take your drink from zero to 100? Make it GLOW!
Glow cubes vary in price, but tend to cost around $5. Not a glowing person? How about a FUN STRAW?!
Who wouldn’t want to share a drink with Simba or Timon and Pumba?! Like the sporks, these reusable straws are good for the planet, and SO incredibly fun!
Light Up Balloons
Disney World balloons are one of those things we kinda regret purchasing from time to time, but they are a TOTAL classic and not a bad way to spot your stroller from afar.
But, if you’re a balloon fan, you can take your classic balloon to the NEXT level by purchasing a light-up balloon!
If you can find them (they don’t typically come out til dusk), light-up balloons are just a few dollars more than a classic balloon, and they’re definitely magical!
Designer Popcorn Buckets
Disney has SO MANY cute popcorn buckets these days!
So, that makes us ask: Why would you buy a standard popcorn bucket?! For example, consider Halloween. You could have purchased a standard popcorn bucket for $12...
…OR you could have gotten this super cool Poison Cauldron Popcorn Bucket for $17!
That’s only $5 more for all this pizzazz!
Reusable Shopping Bags
Speaking of a little money for extra style, we LOVE the reusable shopping bags from Disney World’s theme parks and Disney Springs!
The small bag is $2, the medium bag is $2.50, and the large bag is $3!
These super cute bags help you save the planet by reducing single-use plastic products AND they make for a budget-friendly additional souvenir. Just think: the next time you go to the grocery store, you can carry your food home in a MAGIC KINGDOM bag!
If you want to make your Disney souvenir TOTALLY yours, you can get items personalized for a small price! Let’s start with a classic: Mickey Mouse ear hats! Embroidery costs $4.99 for a basic font!
Not an ear hat person? How about ornaments?
Personalized ornaments start at just $3 for a name, year, or number. You can get words or additional artwork as well for $3, and this is a fun way to upgrade your holiday decor!
There are TONS of personalized gifts you can get at Disney World, but we’re also partial to the glassware from Arribas Bros at various locations or Glaskunst in the Germany Pavilion.
For the year or a short word, this customization is $3.95!
Want to learn to draw like a Disney animator AND get a cool, unique souvenir at Disney World?! Consider one of the Drawing Classes across the resort! The Animation Experience at Conservation Station happens multiple times a day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!
And right now, during EPCOT’s Festival of the Arts, there’s an Animation Academy class at the American Adventure pavilion!
The best part?! These classes are FREE!
We LOVE a good hunt — a scavenger hunt that is! These free activities can be found at various Disney World resorts, and there’s a FIN-TASTIC one at EPCOT right now, Finding Dory’s Friends!
These hunts come with booklets or paper guides and are TOTALLY FREE! They’re a different way to explore Disney World, and a great way for your kiddos to burn off extra energy. You never know what you might find you’ve never noticed before!
You’re already spending a LOT to visit Disney World, and these are just small ways to make your trip EXTRA magical without breaking the bank!
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What are your favorite $5 buys at Disney World?! Let us know in the comments!