Podcast Episode 221: Splurges Under $100

Splurging at Disney is one of the most fun things you can do but it can be expensive.  We’ve given you some good ideas of little extra things you can buy or do that cost less than $100 per person!

Happy listening!

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Podcast Episode 139: Jillian’s Spring Break Trip Report

Join us this week as Jillian fills is in on all the amazing things she did, saw, and ate on her most recent vacation to Walt Disney World!  With her group of 14, they ran into some challenges, but ultimately had a magical time!  Find out where they ate, what new experiences they had (there was a tour!), and how they ended up with an adults’ night out!

Happy listening!

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Fun Walt Disney World Splurges

There are plenty of ways to spend your hard earned dollars at Walt Disney World, but you don’t have to spend them all on your park tickets or resort room.   Here are some ways to try out something a little different on your Walt Disney World vacation.

Club Level rooms- This splurge come with great views, continental breakfast, snacks, beverages (including alcoholic beverages), desserts and cordials.  Plus if you need itinerary, dining, childcare, transportation services, or golf time set up concierge services can do that. See our series here.

Theme Park View rooms- If you really want to make your family feel special choose a theme park view at select resorts. You cannot beat waking up this type of view or watching fireworks from your bed! 

VIP Tour Services-This is an amazing experience but comes with a big price tag.  So this is a good splurge to share with friends.  Groups are limited to 10 people and must me a minimum of 7 continuous hours.

A VIP Tour Guide smiles as he delivers an excited family to a Walt Disney World Resort destination

Photo via disney.com

Spa Services- There are a few spas to choose from at the Grand Floridian, Dolphin, and Saratoga Springs. Some services offered are massages, facials, nails and hair.

Epcot Seas Adventures- There are a few choices such as Dolphins in Depth, a 3 hour encounter for those 13 and up. There is also the Aqua Tour which is snorkeling in the 5.7 million gallon tank for a 2.5 hour experience for those 8 and up.  If you are SCUBA certified and 10 years and older you can do the DiveQuest experience. During this 3 hour experience you can swim with over 6,000 sea creatures.

Guests clad in SCUBA diving equipment swim beneath a rock arch in a tropical underwater environment

Photo via disney.com

Afternoon Tea at the Grand Floridian- high tea is served every day in the afternoon features specially blended teas, sandwiches and desserts.  What a fun and fancy way to add a little splurge to your vacation.

Victoria & Albert’s- This AAA five diamond restaurant experience located in the Grand Floridian is the ultimate splurge, particularly the Chef’s Table with is a 13 course dinner created  just for your party.

A Chef greets a table of Guests dining at Victoria and Albert's restaurant

Photo via disney.com

 

 

Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue is a zany vaudeville comedy show and served with all you care to eat fired chicken, BBQ ribs, salad, and strawberry shortcake.  Drinks include unlimited draft beer, wine and sangria for those over 21.  This two hour event takes place in Pioneer Hall at Fort Wilderness.  Check out Tara’s review here.

Have you ever splurged for something really unique at Walt Disney World?  If so what has been your favorite splurge, we’d love to hear!

Disney Visa Perks

You have maybe heard about the Disney Visa before, particularly when promotions are released.  On occasion Disney Visa cardholder have been granted early access to these discounts for booking a Walt Disney World vacation.

Disney visa

So what do you get with your Disney Visa?  How much does it cost?

There are two types of Disney Visa cards a free one and the Premier which is an annual fee applied directly to your card of $49.

One of the perks of having either card is the 10% off any purchase of $50 or more at Disney stores and Disneystore.com.  Which as we know doesn’t take long to get past that $50 price tag. 

A 10% discount is also available at dining locations in Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort.

Points can also be earned on purchases made with the Disney Visa.  These points can then be turned into a Disney Visa Rewards redemption card. You can earn up to 2% in rewards dollars at gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, and Disney locations.  Also you can earn 1% everywhere else. These points can be used for booking Disney vacations, spending at Disney parks, and Disney stores.  You earn points after you have paid on the card.  The points never expire but your card can be inactive so be sure to check on this before leaving home and making purchases.

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Disney Vacation discounts are also available at times with this card.  It will be similar to the discounts and promotions that Disney offers to the general public such as a room only discounts or dining promotions.  On occasion these promotions are offered prior to general public sales allowing the cardholders a couple of days head start.

Discounts on tours are another great perk.  You can save 15%!  At Disneyland you can try out Welcome to Disneyland, A Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps, Discover the Magic, Cultivating the Magic and Disney California Story.  At Walt Disney World you can try out: Disney’s Family Magic, Keys the Kingdom, The Magic Behind our Steam Trains, Walt Disney: Marceline to Magic Kingdom, Gardens of the World, Undiscovered Future World, Behind the Seeds, DiveQuest, Seas Aqua Tour, Backstage Tales, Ultimate Day of Thrills VIP, Day for Young Families VIP, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, Backstage Magic, Holiday D-Lights, Yuletide Fantasy, Wilderness Back Trail Adventure.

seeds

In Disneyland and Walt Disney World you can present your card for a private meet and greet with Disney characters.  At Walt Disney World it is located in Epcot, Innoventions West daily from 1-7pm.  You will receive downloads of the pictures onto your MagicBand.  In Disneyland Resort go to Disney’s California Adventure Park next to Monster’s Inc. Mike and Sully to the rescue, daily from 10:30am-1:30pm.  Downloads are also available here.

For Food and Wine at Epcot there is the Chase Visa lounge with free soft drinks, water and a place to have a break and charge your phone.

10% off select recreation experiences at Walt Disney World are available such as carriage rides or horseback trail rides.

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For those that want pampering there is a 15% discount for salon treatments valued at $45 or greater or any 50 minutes or longer spa treatments at Walt Disney World.

For Disney Cruise Line you can get at $50 onboard credit when you pay for your Disney Cruise Line vacation in full with your Disney Visa card.

You can also check out the full printable guide here https://disneydebit.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2014/07/9392_WDW_Debit_ThemeParkPerks_PocketGuide_02.pdf

If you are like me, you probably learned a little bit about a card you already hold!  I didn’t know about many of these discounts, which means my Disney Visa may get a workout next time I am at Disney, for the perks of course!

 

Behind The Scenes Tours at Walt Disney World

Are you the inquisitive type that wants to know how Disney does what they do?  If so, then you’re the perfect candidate for a behind the scenes tour at Disney!

Tours at Walt Disney World are very popular and do require an extra fee, but they are so worth it if you want to see how the every day becomes magic.  Here are some of the ones they offer:

Backstage Magic

This is the longest tour that WDW offers – 7 hours!  This tour is a behind the scenes look at all four parks.  You get to look at how the animatronics work, get a peek at costuming and the Magic Kingdom “utilidors” (the underground tunnels used by Cast Members), the workshops where sets are designed, the landscaping nursery, and even how to become a Wild Africa Trek guide!  This tour includes a barbecue lunch at Whispering Canyon Cafe and a free gift.

Prices start at $249 per person plus tax.

Keys To The Kingdom

This is a fairly detailed 5 hour tour of Magic Kingdom.  You’ll get to see the backstage area of lots of the classic Magic Kingdom attractions, plus the utilidors.  You’ll also hear lots of fun facts and trivia about Magic Kingdom.  Lunch is also included as well as a tour keepsake.

Price is $79 per person

Behind The Seeds

If you’re a gardener, this tour of Epcot’s The Land Pavilion is sure to be what you’re after.  This is a one hour tour of the fish farm and greenhouses inside The Land.  You get to interact with the ladybugs that help protect the plants and check out the hydroponics, as well as see the alligators during feeding time.

Prices are $16 for children and $20 for adults.

Backstage Tales

If you’ve ever wondered how Disney cares for the animals at Animal Kingdom, then do the Backstage Tales tour.  You’ll the see the backstage animal habitats as well as the feeding areas, tour the vet center, and stop by the Animal Programs Administration building to see how Disney promotes animal wildlife conservation.

Price is $90 for adults.

Walt Disney: Marceline to Magic Kingdom Tour

If you’re a Walt Disney buff, this is your tour.  Walt Disney spent a small portion of his childhood in Marceline, Missouri and based Main Street, USA upon the downtown area.  This is a 3 hour look at how that small town inspired him and how pieces of it are incorporated into Disneyland and WDW.  If Keys To The Kingdom is a little too long for you, this is the tour for you.  You’ll get backstage looks at some of the attractions as well as lots of info and trivia.  One of the big draws is that you get into Magic Kingdom before the public opening for the day so you can get some great photos and kind of feel like you have the park all to yourself.

Price starts at $30 per adult.

These are just a few of the tours Disney offers to those who want a more in-depth look at Walt Disney World.  We’d love to hear about any experiences you’ve had with tours.  Leave them in the comments below!