Most worthwhile splurges at DLR?

Discussion in 'Disneyland (California)' started by smiles33, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. smiles33

    smiles33 DIS Veteran

    May 4, 2011
    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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  3. whoever

    whoever DIS Veteran

    Apr 7, 2013
    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)
  4. DizMe

    DizMe <font color=darkorchid>Here we gooooo...<br><font

    Jun 4, 2007
    *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!!! :)
  5. crystal1313

    crystal1313 DIS Veteran

    Sep 25, 2012
    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!
  6. kP72

    kP72 Mouseketeer

    Jan 17, 2014
    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!):cloud9:

    Limo service to and from DL

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

    gerilyne Mouseketeer

    May 14, 2013
    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
  8. julesann

    julesann Mouseketeer

    Jan 11, 2013
    Oh this was fun to think about :tink:
    * 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)
  9. NiceOneSimba

    NiceOneSimba DIS Veteran

    Jul 24, 2011
    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!
  10. lucysmom

    lucysmom DIS Veteran

    Oct 3, 2004
    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
  11. GeneralTso

    GeneralTso DIS Veteran

    Aug 28, 2009
    Worth the splurge--getting a room in Concierge level at DLH or GC. Worth every penny in my opinion!
  12. ajrwdwgirl

    ajrwdwgirl Mouseketeer

    Apr 15, 2012
    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
  13. awdsmama

    awdsmama DIS Veteran

    Nov 9, 2011
    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
  14. mystic95

    mystic95 Mouseketeer

    May 9, 2013
    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...
  15. sandysue

    sandysue Mouseketeer

    Aug 22, 2010
    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.
  16. YukonMommy

    YukonMommy Mouseketeer

    Feb 28, 2013
    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
  17. FFerret

    FFerret <font color=336699>Will do a Happy Ferret Dance fo

    Jan 28, 2000
    I'm loving this thread! Just now purchased the RideMax program... No one tell Mr. FFerret. I kind of went over budget last month buying ebates' vouchers...
  18. mystic95

    mystic95 Mouseketeer

    May 9, 2013
    Your secret is safe with me :) Hope you enjoy RideMax as much as I did.... Going to get it again for my May trip.
  19. FFerret

    FFerret <font color=336699>Will do a Happy Ferret Dance fo

    Jan 28, 2000
    Too funny :)
    I think it'll be just what I need since we go inJuly. Family has never been to CA and the last time I went to DL was'78 in the summer. My mom did NOT enjoy the whole crowd and E ticket thing so we never went back.
  20. Kristina4109

    Kristina4109 Rocking my Disney side since 1976

    Jan 25, 2014
    Our DL trip this past June was the most expensive one we've done because we celebrated my birthday and I told family "No presents, just Disneyland!" Here are some of our splurges:

    - For $200 my husband arranged to have a celebration surprise package delivered to the Disneyland Hotel room. A lot of decorations (which we got to keep) plus a gift basket.

    - Dinner at Goofy's Kitchen. Our favorite splurge.

    - Dinner the next day at Ariel's Grotto. We did the Princess meal, so technically it was a late lunch, but it was dinner for us.

    - Lunch at Blue Bayou. I know a lot of people don't like this place but I love it. Plus, on a hot day it is so refreshing to eat inside, air conditioned, in the dark!
  21. JadeDarkstar

    JadeDarkstar Dis Veteran Pirate dragon mom

    Jun 2, 2007
    This trip
    Holiday tour for me is my number one splurge
    Id love to do F or woc, and seeing WOC is 60 bucks cheaper than F is we do one it will probable be woc but we aren't sure we will do it but i so want to splurge on it.
    Standing in line for Lilly bell Free but fun time
    PP+ good times less money lots of pictures
    chr breakfast at plaza inn always good food and good chr interaction.
    Pin trading. get a bag where ever you want cheap pins trade them in the park just for some family fun.

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