I’m sure we all have a budget in mind when we plan our trips to Walt Disney World. While I’m a big believer in the fact that you can have an amazing time there without spending the earth, I think unless you are particularly blessed, we all have to make compromises about what we can and can’t do while we’re there, purely based on cost. And that got me thinking about what I’d do if I could plan my trip to Disney when money was no object.
1. Upgrade the flight
Coming from the UK, we have a 9 hour flight, which we always do economy class as the flights these days are just so expensive. If I had a little more money to spend, I’d upgrade to premium economy for the flight out and business for the flight back home again. I get no sleep on the overnight flight back and have no chance to stop when we get home, meaning we’re up for a long time. That business class flight might mean some much needed sleep on the way home! And if money really was no object, I’d do first class both ways baby!
2. Deluxe resort
Our holiday is usually 14 nights, and the cost for a deluxe hotel for this length of time is usually prohibitive. So, if I could I would definitely upgrade to a deluxe hotel. We have looked into splitting the holiday and maybe just upgrading for a few days, but with the free dining that we’d ‘lose’ if we split, it is still too expensive. I think I’d go for Club level (why not, hey?) but my problem would come down to which hotel to choose! I absolutely love Animal Kingdom Lodge, it is just beautiful and I’d love to get a room over looking the Arusha Savannah. But it is quite far out and many of the restaurants we like are in the World Showcase, so the Beach Club definitely appeals thanks to its proximity to the International Gateway. It would be so romantic to wander back to the hotel along the Boardwalk each evening. But then, ever since I was little I’ve wanted to fall asleep with a view of Cinderella Castle from my window, having watched Wishes from my room. The Grand Floridian has never appealed so either the Contemporary or the Polynesian would fit the bill nicely. Oh, there’s just too many great choices! Maybe I’d split it to do a week at two, although I still don’t know which!
The only tour we’ve done so far is Keys to the Kingdom, which I would thoroughly recommend to anyone. I also think its pretty good value for money. At $74 per person, it is pricey but affordable for us as a couple and lasts all morning and into the early afternoon.
The other tours that Disney offer are either out of our price range, or don’t quite seem worth the cost. There are three that I would love to do. The first is the new Wild Africa trek. The safari is my favourite ride at Animal Kingdom and I’d love to take this tour and experience the animals from a different view point. It costs $189+ per person (varying throughout the year).
Around the World at Epcot also sounds pretty cool, and if I had money to burn, I’d like to do it – I’ve done the short Segway experience in Innoventions and that was fun and I’d like to take this tour early so we can be flying round World Showcase with only the tour around. The reason we’ve not done the tour is that it seems quite pricey for what it is – $99 each for two hours, and even if I had money to burn I still don’t think this would be good value. However, as I’m not meant to be considering the cash at all here, I’d definitely do it!
Backstage Magic is a 7 hour tour that covers all four parks and includes lunch at Whispering Canyon Cafe at Wilderness Lodge. At $224 per person, it is costly, but I would really love to take this tour. Having done Keys to the Kingdom and loved it, I see it as a longer, wider spread version of that. If I could only choose one tour to do, this would be it!
4. Have a drink or two
As a rule, even though Disney is expensive, I don’t find the individual costs of things too bad. It might be pricey compared to elsewhere in the States, but when the exchange rate’s in our favour, and bearing in mind the UK is quite expensive anyway, Disney actually comes out comparatively well to over here. There is one exception we’ve found and that is the alcohol. We’re not big drinkers anyway and its been a while since I’ve had to pay London prices for drinks, but the cost of drinks around Disney always seems really high. If money was no object I would like to sample more of the alcoholic drinks on offer – not think twice about having wine with a meal and also try and few of the drinks from around the world in World Showcase.
5. Fireworks Cruise
I can’t think of anything better than experiencing either Wishes or Illuminations from a boat sailing along the Seven Seas Lagoon under the International Gateway Bridge. As I’m really pushing the boat out, I might select the Grand 1 Yacht and request private dining.
6. Speciality Dining
Dining is one of the many things we enjoy at Disney World and because of that, its one of the few things that we already pay ‘extra’ for. For instance this time round we plan to eat a a number of signature restaurants and pay out of pocket for the extra meals. However, even so, there’ s still a few extra things I’d love to do if money really were no object. Number 1 on that list would have to be the Chef’s Table at Victoria and Albert’s. 7 courses and 3 hours of dining while interacting with the chefs – sounds like an amazing evening to me! Even without the chef’s table, I’d love to dine at Victoria and Albert’s, it sounds divine. I’d also like to do afternoon tea at the Grand Floridian. I’m a big tea fan and I’ve been lucky enough to have had Afternoon Tea at the Ritz in London, so I’d love to see how it compares.
7. Cirque Du Soleil
I have actually seen La Nouba three times. Having seen it twice and loved it, I insisted my husband should see it too. Unfortunately we went towards the end of our trip, when we’d been walking around non stop for 10 days and it was boiling hot outside and unfortunately a comfy seat and air conditioning were just too much for him and he slept through the entire show. I must have woken up a dozen times but he just couldn’t stay awake. Personally, I’m just glad he didn’t snore. With me having already seen it, and him having literally slept through it, it never makes the top of the list of things to spend our Disney money on, but with money being no object, I’d definitely do this show again!
Like any time I have ‘what if’ thoughts, I can think of plenty of ways to enhance my Disney holiday. But what I really love about Disney, is that when we go later this year, I know we are going to have an amazing and incredible time, even without a single thing on my ‘money is no object’ list.
BRiTMiCK is a blog aimed at British visitors to Walt Disney World, helping you to make the most of your holiday. Follow @Britmickuk for the latest on whats going on at BRiTMiCK and other Disney sites.