Let’s be honest…Disney World vacations can cost a LOT of money.
There are so many upgrades and bonus experiences that you can pay for in the parks and resorts, and some of them are not worth the cost! But which ones ARE? Today, we’re sharing our list of the most expensive things in Disney World that are actually worth it — as long as you have the room in your budget!
If you want to dine with Disney characters, be prepared to pay around $50 per person (and even more if you visit Cinderella’s Royal Table or Be Our Guest Restaurant!). However, at most locations you’ll get a TON of food and you’ll get the chance to interact with some of your favorite pals!
If your kids have particular Disney friends that they love, this could be a really fun experience for them. But it’s not just for kids — many adults enjoy this experience as well. And some of these meals are home to some truly delicious food. At this time, most character meals are either plated meals or served family-style (meaning no buffets) and we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the quality! Some favorites have been the family-style breakfast and lunch at Tusker House Restaurant in Animal Kingdom (with Donald and friends in safari gear) and Topolino’s Terrace at the Riviera Resort for breakfast! If you’re looking for a really memorable meal, this may need to make the top of your list!
And speaking of delicious dinners, let’s talk signature restaurants! There are some restaurants around Disney World that will cost much more than what you’re probably expecting to pay for food, but they’re great for a special occasion or a date night.
Places like California Grill, Le Cellier, Victoria & Albert’s, and others offer a true fine dining experience — something that you may not expect to find at a theme park! These restaurants have higher caliber ingredients and intricate menus, plus very talented chefs and top-notch service, so you may walk away having eaten the best meal of your life.
Deluxe Resort Stays
Staying at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, or even Disney’s Riviera Resort may be worth it if you’re looking to splurge. You can enjoy a room with nicer amenities and more space, plus maybe even a special theme park view!
Your resort will have more features and nicer restaurants to choose from (often multiple sit-down locations and lounges are found at Deluxe resorts), and you’ll often be closer to a park. You likely won’t be limited to just taking the bus everywhere (unless you’re staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge but in that case, you have loads of animals surrounding your resort so there’s a big positive!). And on top of it all, the Deluxe Resorts just feel like a relaxing getaway — the perfect place to come home to at the end of a long day in the parks!
These hotels don’t come cheap though. At the time of writing (AKA dead of summer!), standard rooms at these resorts range from around $400-700 minimum per night, depending on the resort.
Guided VIP tours may be worth it if you can afford the cost. You’ll get to skip lines for select rides, go behind the scenes, and you’ll have a knowledgeable guide with you throughout the day! These tours are not for the faint of wallet — private guided tours run between $425-750 per HOUR for a minimum of 7 hours with up to 10 guests (admission not included!).
There ARE more affordable tours though (when available). If you’re visiting Animal Kingdom, make sure to check out the Wild Africa Trek. This tour is particularly unique because you’ll travel through the exhibits of Kilimanjaro Safaris and get a backstage look at animal care. You can do all that for $139-249 per person for the 3-hour tour.
Backstage/history tours at Magic Kingdom are also very fun for big Disney fans because you get a look at how things work in the areas that guests don’t typically get to visit and you’ll probably learn some fun facts about park history and design that you didn’t know before. Depending on which tour you take, you may have to shell out the big bucks, but it’ll definitely be a park day unlike any other!
Fireworks dessert parties can be worth it if you really want that special view or you REALLY love dessert. You’ll get an all-you-can-eat dessert buffet including alcohol at most, which just sounds like the perfect way to end the night!
We also really enjoyed the Circle of Flavors: Harambe at Night event at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It was a progressive meal-type experience with special entertainment and activities, and the food was spectacular all for $125 per person.
Food events like this will pop up from time to time, and if you have the room in your budget to try one out, we often recommend it!
There you have it — 5 things that are often actually worth the splurge in Disney World! We’ve tried a lot of expensive things over the years, but these take the cake for some of the experiences we don’t mind pulling out our wallet to try. Stay tuned to DFB for more tips on how to plan the best vacation ever!
Join the DFB Newsletter to get all the breaking news right in your inbox! Click here to Subscribe!
What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever done in Disney World?