Wednesday, July 15, 2020 Edition: U.S. & World | Regional

Don’t Waste Your Money on These Disney Extras

Disney World trips are the best! You get to chill with Mickey Mouse, get your selfies with those princesses, and watch little kids scream their heads off on the Dumbo ride. Disney World is pretty much synonymous with “fun,” and it never gets old. These days, there are endless Disney extras you can purchase to make your trip even more magical! Some of them, however, aren’t worth the price. Before you buy, check this list to see which Disney World extras you’re better off skipping.

1    Park Hopper Plus

Unless you’ve already been to Disney World eight or ten times, this extra isn’t really worth the money. The ticket allows you access to all four Disney parks in Orlando, plus admission to both water parks and a round of golf. This may sound cool, but think about how much there is to do when you get the traditional Disney experience. If you’re staying a few days, you may have time to take advantage of the regular Park Hopper tickets, which give you access to all four Disney parks. However, you’d have to stay a long time in order to get bored with all four parks and need a trip to the water parks and golf! If you’ve already done the traditional Disney thing and want to do the water parks, why not skip the amusement parks this time and just go for the water parks and golf? All of it at once is too much to do – not to mention a whole lot of money.
Park Hopper Plus
2    Disney Dining Plan

While the quick-service dining plan can be awesome, the Disney Dining Plan probably won’t save you money. Many people find that they have a lot of snack or even meal vouchers left at the end of their trip, so you’ll likely spend less if you just buy food as you go and skip the meal plan cost.
Disney Dining Plan

3    A Boat on the Seven Seas Lagoon

This sounds like a lot of fun, but it’s not likely to be the highlight of your trip. It’s also not a kid favorite, especially when there are magical roller coasters and character meetings calling their names. Skip the Seven Seas Lagoon boat and just enjoy the park!
A Boat On The Seven Seas Lagoon
4    Character autograph books

Personally, I think this one is a waste of money. I had one of these books as a kid, and do you know how many times I’ve looked at it in the past decade? Exactly zero. However, I love going through the old photos of me hugging Minnie Mouse and Ariel! Skip the autograph book and go for photos – your kids are going to know something’s fishy when they see the differences in Saturday Mickey and Thursday Mickey’s signatures anyway.
Character Autograph Books
5    Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party

While chocolate mousse and ice cream may sound like a good way to end the day, you can get these things for a lot cheaper outside the park. Enjoy the free fireworks show and then indulge your sweet tooth later. Everything on the menu is easily had for a fraction of the price elsewhere!
Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party
6    In-Park Cabanas

First of all, these cost almost $700. Almost seven hundred bucks, people! If you want to sit under a shelter so bad, head back to the hotel. There’s nothing magical about these cabanas, and they can easily double your Disney day cost. In fact, I have a hard time thinking of a good reason to get one of these, even for large groups! If the rides aren’t thrilling you, you’re better off hanging out in one of the restaurants or chilling as someone’s placeholder in line.
 In Park Cabanas
7    Early Morning Magic

As a recent Disney visitor, my feet beg to testify against Early Morning Magic. Your poor toenails are barely going to last the regular day walking around the park. Don’t be cruel to them and tack on extra time in the morning!

There are other reasons to skip this, too. For one thing, sleeping in on vacation is nice. For another, it costs kids $60 and adults $70 for the extra couple hours in the park. Now, there are benefits, so I was hesitant to put this item in the “don’t bother” category. This is the only time of day you travel bloggers can get pictures without about seven thousand strangers in them. You can also ride the attractions that are open over and over again with practically no line. That, my friends, is pure delight. However, you can get a shorter wait all day long with a Fast Pass. Plus, the cost of Early Morning Magic adds up quickly for families. Is it worth it? Maybe. But I doubt it.
Early Morning Magic
8    The Ultimate Day for Young Families

This is actually a pretty fun Disney World extra. You and your family get to experience a perfectly magical park tour, including quick entry to favorite rides, a table-service meal, and trips to Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. However, this is not one I’d be willing to spend money on. For one thing, it’s a steep $300 per person. While tours for families with older children might be worth this price, the Ultimate Disney Day for Young Families is designed for families with children under ten. At that age, your kids are going to be perfectly happy doing the basic Disney day. They probably won’t remember much about the special tour a year from now, anyway! Plus, if you set aside that money for a special Disney behind the scenes tour when the kids are older, they’ll appreciate it more and realize that high-cost extras aren’t a given.
The Ultimate Day For Young Families
That about wraps it up! If you’re disappointed with all this negativity in light of the color, magic and fun of Disney World, you’ll be happy to know that I can also be a bit more cheerful when it comes to Disney. Check out my article on great Disney World extras to see which packages really are worth the cost! Whatever you decide to do, have fun and make the most of it. Happy vacationing!

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