6 Incredibly Expensive Extras at Disney World That Are Worth the Price

by | Apr 8, 2024 | Walt Disney World Events, Walt Disney World Merch, WDW Blog

Your guide to the (incredibly expensive) Disney World extras that are very much worth the cost for your next trip to the Resort.

So, you’ve secured your Disney World Resort hotel and theme park tickets and started planning out how much you will spend on food and souvenirs while you’re visiting. But, those aren’t the only expenses that you need to consider! At Walt Disney World, there are so many ways to make your vacation more convenient, flexible, and even a little extra special. But how do you know which add-ons are worth it?

Disney World Extras Worth the Cost

While there are certainly ways to make your Walt Disney World vacation more affordable, there are also quite a few extras that can add up if you’re not careful. And, just because there’s a hefty price tag associated with something doesn’t mean that you’re going to feel like you’ve got your money’s worth when it’s done. So, we’re here to help you decide which extras are worth the splurge for you and your family!

Special Ticketed Events

Let’s face it…it’s not cheap to visit any of Disney World’s theme parks. With prices starting at $109 per person per day and going well past $200 per person per day for certain ticket types, the thought of purchasing another ticket on top of that for a few extra hours in the parks might sound like a tall order. However, for some, these special ticketed events offer so much bang for your buck that they’ve become a must-do.

Christmas at Walt Disney World, Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, disney world extras

Photo by CJ Ayd

Currently, Disney offers several special ticketed events throughout the year, including Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, and Disney After Hours. These events are typically priced between $120 to $200 per person and give you an extra 2-4 hours in select parks on select nights. There’s usually some sort of free food available for guests in the park (like trick-or-treating candy, holiday cookies, or popcorn and ice cream bars) and the extra time in the park with lower crowd levels means you can ride more in less time. Plus, Disney’s holiday events even feature exclusive parades and fireworks shows.

Staying at a Deluxe Resort

Disney World Resort hotels have a huge range of pricing from Value Resorts all the way up to Deluxe Villas. And, as you might expect, nightly rates can be pretty high if you’re opting to stay at a Disney Deluxe Resort. We’re talking $400 to well beyond $1,000+ per night, depending on when and where you’re staying.

These deluxe resorts offer the most amenities with upgraded rooms and awesome perks, including Extended Evening Theme Park Hours (which gives you TWO extra hours in select parks on select nights). And, if you’re someone who loves visiting Disney for the food, you’ll not only be treated to the most dining options of any Disney hotel…but also the best restaurants, including Disney’s signature dining restaurants.

Now, we generally recommend only considering a Disney Deluxe Resort if you plan to spend some quality time at the hotel to enjoy all the extra amenities you’re paying for, however, these hotels are still great options if you want to get the most out of your park time. While Disney buses are still one of the main transportation options offered at these hotels, you’ll have more options at a Deluxe Resort. This includes things like the monorail, Disney Skyliner, water taxi, and even walking paths that can get you to the parks with less hassle and ensure that you waste less time on the way to and from the parks.

Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes

If you don’t like waiting in long lines for attractions at the Disney Parks, then you’re likely already considering whether Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes are worth it. These two systems replaced FastPass+ back in 2021 and are the new paid way to skip the lines at the most popular attractions in Disney World. Here’s what you need to know before you buy:

  • Disney Genie+ includes the ability to skip the lines at most attractions throughout all four Disney World parks. Pricing ranges between $15-$39 per person, per day depending on when you’re visiting and what parks you’re headed to. Once you purchase Genie+ on the day of your visit, you’ll be able to select the first available 1-hour Lightning Lane return window based on availability to skip the line. Once you use that Lightning Lane, you can then select your next one, and so on.
  • Individual Lightning Lanes, on the other hand, are a separate purchase from Disney Genie+ and are only available at 1-2 of the most popular rides in each park. Unlike Genie+, you’ll select a 1-hour Lightning Lane return window from all the available time slots when you make your purchase.

While $15-$39 per person might not seem like a massive hurdle when it comes to the cost…when you add it up between a family of four over a five-day vacation, you’re basically paying for an extra park ticket every day if you opt to purchase it. However, this pricey add-on can save you a lot of time throughout your park day, especially if you’re visiting during a busy time of the year. And, if you have little kids it can even be your saving grace for rides that only have a 20-minute wait because…well…that’s a long wait with a 2-year-old in tow!

Character and Fine Dining Experiences

From snacks to quick service meals to buffets and more, Disney World offers more dining experiences than your traditional theme park. And, if you’re traveling with little kids or want to celebrate a special occasion, there are two dining experiences that you may want to consider paying for even though they’re on the pricier side – character dining and signature dining.

Disney’s character dining experiences are offered at select table service restaurants and entail a meal alongside some of your favorite characters. Who you get to meet will depend on what restaurant you dine at, but you can expect to meet characters like Mickey and the gang, Disney princesses, Winnie the Pooh, and more. Character meals generally begin at about $50 per adult and $30 per child and go up to about $70 per adult and $45 per child. However, this cost might be worth it for you for the chance to bypass the long wait times to meet your favorite characters in the parks.

Fine dining experiences, on the other hand, don’t have characters but they do have some of the best food at Walt Disney World. These signature restaurants offer unique experiences where the food is amazing and the service is top-notch. Plus, some even offer one-of-a-kind experiences like views of Magic Kingdom fireworks (which can be enjoyed at restaurants like California Grill or Narcooossee’s). Meals at these restaurants tend to be a lot pricier than your average Disney World restaurant, with costs going all the way up to $350 per person at select locations. But, if you’re celebrating a special occasion or want to enjoy a nice meal with your partner, these are often well worth the cost.

Behind-the-Scenes Tours

If you’ve ever walked around Disney World and seen a group of guests being led around the park by a VIP Tour Cast Member, you’ve likely raised your eyebrows a bit and wondered, “how much does that cost?” And, well, it really is quite expensive. These VIP tours give you and a group of up to 10 guests an entirely customized day with your own personal tour guide for the price of $450 to $900 per hour. While these tours tend to be regarded as worth the price (if you can afford it), that’s not the only type of tour offered at Disney World.

Throughout Disney, you can do things like scuba dive with all the wildlife living in the EPCOT aquarium, go on a wild African trek for a behind the scenes look at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and even find out what’s under Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom. All of these (and more) are part of Disney’s collection of behind-the-scenes tours and they range in price from as little as $35 to upwards of $150+ per person. These can be a one-of-a-kind experience that you talk about with your family for years and years because – after all – it’s cool to see what goes on at Disney World from a new perspective!

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

If you’re traveling to Disney with a 3-12-year-old child, you might be trying to hide the fact that Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique exists. But you may not want to! The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Magic Kingdom transforms kids into the Disney Princesses of their dreams with everything from a hair-do fit for a crown to a princess dress and lots of glitter. 

There are five different packages available for purchase, with the most expensive being the Princess Signature Dress Package ($450, plus tax) that includes a signature Disney Princess gown, a crystal tiara with box, an organza garment bag, and satin hanger, hairstyling, makeup, a princess sash and cinch bag, face gem, and nail polish. Now, that might sound like a lot of money to play dress up, but the Cast Members make the experience truly magical for your child. And, can you really put a price on your kids happiness?

Now, what about all the expensive Disney World extras that aren’t on this list? Are Fantasmic! dining packages worth the money? Should you buy a MagicBand or MagicBand+? Will you get your money’s worth if you book a Magic Kingdom fireworks dessert package? And, should you be considering purchasing a Disney World Annual Pass to save money on park tickets? Check out more of our Disney World vacation tips here!

Posts by Jenna Saxton

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Jenna is a contributing writer at WDW Magazine and stay at home mom. When she's not chasing her toddler around the parks, you can find her out for a run or curled up with a book. She has contributed to multiple Disney and travel blogs including Eat Sleep Cruise, 365 Atlanta Traveler, Disney Food Blog, and AllEars.
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Authored by
Jenna Saxton

Jenna is a contributing writer at WDW Magazine and stay at home mom. When she's not chasing her toddler around the parks, you can find her out for a run or curled up with a book. She has contributed to multiple Disney and travel blogs including Eat Sleep Cruise, 365 Atlanta Traveler, Disney Food Blog, and AllEars.
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