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Old 03-01-2014, 10:10 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Just a road trip from Disneyland!
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Most worthwhile splurges at DLR?

I assume many folks will say that staying on-site is a worthwhile splurge, but I'm primarily looking for smaller splurges that are worth the money and time! Some things may not cost much (or anything), but time is valuable on a DLR trip, too, so please include your thoughts about activities/stuff that's worth the time, too.

Off the top of my head, based on our two family trips so far, I think my list of worthwhile splurges are:

- Character meal dining at Goofy's Kitchen, which offered the best value for the number of characters we met, the level of interaction, and the quality of the food (we did not think Ariel's Grotto or Plaza Inn were worthwhile and we plan to try Surf's Up on our next trip)

- Standing in the LONG line at the Little Red Cart for the giant corn dogs (delicious and worth the wait!)

- Standing in the even LONGER line for RSR FP (which is totally worth it when you can't single rider it with young kids!)

- Setting aside the time to arrive early for WOC to get good viewing positions--the show is incredible when you've got a good perspective

- PhotoPass+ was awesome despite our short 2.5 day trip, because we got a ton of ride photos and stopped for many of the PP magic shots and regular shots

I can't wait to hear about other people's worthwhile "splurges" at DLR!
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:21 AM   #2
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C33 Dining
Staying at the GCH
F! reserved seating (have yet to do this, but will probably on next trip)
Walk in Walt's Footsteps (have yet to do this, but will probably on next trip)
Disney Dooneys to keep the wife happy.
VIP tour (will never be able to afford this but on busy park days, would be a game changer)
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:37 AM   #3
Here we gooooo...
It's amazing how that happens
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Location: Chico, CA
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*Concierge at DLH or GCH when our whole family of 5-6 goes (oldest dd--#6--is adult so doesn't always go with us)
*For a super special visit, a night or 2 in the Fairy Tale Suite at DLH
*Blue Bayou once/visit
*Getting my name engraved on a glass mug from the Crystal Shop
*Holiday Tour
*Warm chocolate bread pudding from Jazz Kitchen
*Beignets from Jazz Kitchen (I much prefer them to the ones in DL)
*Port and chocolate tasting in DCA
*Having a drink in the Hearthstone Lounge
*Uh Oa at Trader Sam's
*Buying some really special item for my kids because they treasure them. They don't even have to be expensive, just something that strikes each individual's fancy
*I used to say the Halloween Party, but I don't really enjoy it as much anymore because it's too crowded.

ETA: I probably shouldn't have composed my list when I was hungry!!!

DizHe and DizMe DizWees DizHe & Our 4 Princesses

Last edited by DizMe; 03-01-2014 at 04:50 PM.
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:49 AM   #4
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Location: Martinez, CA
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Club 33 (incredible experience!)

Walk in Walt's footsteps tour (totally worth it)

One day splurge for suite or concierge at PPH or DLH -most likely when kids are older and eat more

Fantasmic dessert (not until kids are older and can stay awake, lol)

Somehow win a stay in the dream suite

Napa rose. Gotta try it once at some point

Love doing anything my kids want to do-even if it's buzz lightyear ten times in a row

Getting a traditional family photo somewhere so I can prove I was on the trip too. Lol.

The long 6 hour drive filled with whining and asking if we are there yet. Lol. Worth it once we arrive.

I would love one day to have a photographer follow us around so I don't have to worry about it and can be in more than a couple photos.

And as a pp said, the private tour would be amazing! But I think we would have to hit the lotto or be in a big group to afford it. Ah, one can dream!
Our Mickey's Halloween Trip Report 10/11/13 dressed as TRON: http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3186334
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Old 03-01-2014, 11:13 AM   #5
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 384

The 2 bedroom suite at DLH

Collectors gold/silver Disney coins for my kids

Gold charms for DD's bracelet

Pearls from Pearl Factory in DTD for DD

Studio 365 make-over for DD

Ridemakerz for DS

Eclairs every morning for DS (he loves them!)

Limo service to and from DL

Room gifts from Disney Florists (surprising kids with the Mickey's Welcome package this time!)

DLR:1984,2010,2014; WDW:1994,2004,2006,2008; DCL: 2009
DLR TR 2014
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Old 03-01-2014, 11:52 AM   #6
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Location: Oregon
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Photo Pass+ (if for nothing but all the ride photos)
Blue Bayou (once per visit)
Dooney and Burke purse (sure you can get them online but at the park just seems special)
In room celebrations (on site) or a Dream Makers celebration basket
Fantasmic Dessert Package (not every trip but at least one)
Premium View at the GCH
Disneyland Trips
February 1978, February 1982, August 2012, August 2013, August 2014

Disney World Trips
twice in the 1970s, once in the 1980s, July 1991
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Old 03-01-2014, 12:05 PM   #7
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Location: Northern California
Posts: 311

Oh this was fun to think about
* WOC Dinner at WCT early enough to fully enjoy it AND get a front railing view
* Staying at the GCH (first time last week and LOVED it)
* Hot Fudge Sundae in a waffle bowl at Ghirardelli's
* Late lunch at the Cove Bar with a cocktail
* Getting a 4 day PH and using it on arrival day
* Standing in line (as an adult) to meet a character
* Slowing down to see the small details: Snow White singing; walk through in Sleeping Beauty's Castle; Queen peering through castle window
* Riding RSR at night with SR
* I've never done character dining, but your (Smiles33) post has me considering it for next trip
* Riding GRR at night right before closing more than once!
* Getting up early enough to be first at the gates
* Night cap in the GCH listening to the piano
* Getting to the Fireworks early enough to get a viewing spot with unobstructed view of castle
* Waiting in line to get into Pixie Hollow (haven't done this yet)
* Watching parade through the eyes of nephew (in Dec)
Disneyland is my happy place
Upcoming : One more AP trip in the nick of time with my db
Past magic : 1964, 1970, 1976 (grad), 1978, 1981, 1999; Feb, 2007; Oct, 2008; Nov, 2009; Oct, 2011; Feb, 2013; Feb, 2014; Sept, 2014, Dec, 2014.
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Old 03-01-2014, 12:15 PM   #8
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We are generally low-budget folks, so many of our "splurges" arent really that splurg-ey! But those things have helped us enjoy our trips and make wonderful memories!

*BBB makeover for my DD. She loved it!
*The cookie skillet sundae at the Big Thunder BBQ. So delicious!
*Photopass+. Totally worth it! We definitely got some great shots we wouldn't have had otherwise.
*Eating lunch and dinner in the parks. We've had so many great meals and enjoyed the atmosphere so much!
*Character meals. We just loved Surf's Up on this last trip, and Ariel's was perfect on out first trip.
*Snacks. Lots and lots of snacks. Churros and Dole Whips, mostly, but also mint juleps, the boysen apple freeze...
*Lunch at the BB after I ran the Tink half marathon. Those sweet potato biscuits were amazing, as we're the short ribs. Loved every minute of it!
Me , DH , DD (5)
WDW Trips: 11/1978 DLR Trips: 7/1988 (first visit!), 7/1991, 4/2008 (with students) Anabella, 4/2011 (with students) Anabella, 9/2011 (DD's first trip!) BWPPI, 8/2012 Tropicana, 1/18-20/2014 (Tink Half Marathon) BWPPI, 1/29-2/2/2014 (DD's 5th birthday surprise!) DI&S
Upcoming: Innaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend (Rebel Challenge) DI&S
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Old 03-01-2014, 12:21 PM   #9
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Staying at the GCH
The Holiday Tour (can't beat those parade seats!)
The Fantasmic Dessert Seating (although I wish they would assign seats when you book it)
Getting a Harvey's Disney handbag with the 20 percent off coupon on the receipt
Eating at Storytellers
Ordering room service
Character meals
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Old 03-01-2014, 12:30 PM   #10
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Worth the splurge--getting a room in Concierge level at DLH or GC. Worth every penny in my opinion!
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Old 03-01-2014, 12:32 PM   #11
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 276

The Fantasmic dessert seating (will never do Fantamsic without it again)

WOC lunch at Carthay Circle & splurge to order the cheddar jalapeno biscuits ( really wish I had a recipe for these!)

Walk In Walt's Footsteps Tour (great experience)

Waiting to in line to reserve a time for the Lilly Belle

A family pack of the toffee at the candy shops

Anything at Trader Sam's
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Old 03-01-2014, 12:37 PM   #12
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Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 1,608

Splurges for us this trip:

First lunch reservation at Blue Bayou in hopes of waterside table

Fantasmic Dessert Package

Discover the Magic tour. I feel this will be worth it on a busy Sunday since we get to rise Pirates, Jungle Cruise and Buzz without waiting in line! Plus DS9 is excited for the scavenger hunt.

Non-DL splurge: doing the WB studio tour on Saturday, dinner at Medieval Times on arrival non park day. Afternoon at a beach
Trip Report: Spring Break 2014, 5 days DL, Warner Bros Tour, Huntington Beach:http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3220349

DS's Surprise 1st trip, Spring Break/March 2012 PTR: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2883877

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Old 03-01-2014, 12:52 PM   #13
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Location: Montana
Posts: 151

On my DS and I's first trip ever I splurged for the Fantasmic premium seating. SOOOOOOO WORTH IT!!! Another splurge was the Monte Cristo!!!! My DH and I are going to DL in May this year and we will definitely splurge for Monte Cristo's!!!!! I'm not going to do the Fantasmic premium seats, as I don't think DH will like it. But I'm looking into the WOC dinner, as I LOVE WOC and I think he will also..... Also he is wanting to splurge and have a nice "romantic" dinner.... So the WOC dinner is a win win... He gets the nice dinner, I get the premium WOC seating....

DS and I got the PP+ on our last visit and I don't see it as a splurge. I see it as a necessity!!! Will definite get it again for the May trip... I also see RideMax as a necessity as it saved DS and I hours of standing in line. We were able to experience more Disney magic because of it.... Best $15 bucks I ever spent...
Me: DH: DS(14):

First trip to Disneyland in June, 2013 (DS and I)
May 2014 trip to Disneyland (DH and I)
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Old 03-01-2014, 02:12 PM   #14
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Honolulu
Posts: 273

Napa Rose chef's counter and babysitter for the kids.
Ariel's Grotto character meal saves a wait at the princess faire.
BT Ranch BBQ with cookie pie.
Christmas ornaments - each child chooses one which takes time and money. I'm not a shopper but I love pulling out our ornaments from our first trip and putting them on the tree.

Aulani 3/16-18 2015

DLR 5/29-6/6 2014 GCH, DLR May 2011 GCH (children & DH’s 1st visit), Aug 1989 (Day Trip), May 1985 (Grad Night), Jan 1977 (1st visit age 10)
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Old 03-01-2014, 02:54 PM   #15
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 371

Splurges for us:

We splurge by staying at an offsite hotel so we can spend more days at the park.

Picking and buying a candy apple to sit and wait for the parade.

Staking out a spot in the sitting area for fantasmic really early.

Dole whips, mint juleps, churros, popcorn, etc to share and savor. Usually 1 special treat a day.

Eating all our meals at restaurants. I know people bring stuff in but we splurge on not having to worry about packing lunches or snacks.

Taking our time, with the extra days we take the time to go on every ride, check out every shop, meet any character we see.

Have a magical time
Buffy Passing on her Disney love to DH DD-12- DD-10- DS-8- DS-5-

Disneyland trips 1982, 1989, 2011, 2013,2014, planning March 2017
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