Dinner shows worth the money?????


Earning My Ears
Mar 4, 2001
I keep thinking about the dinner shows, like maybe the Pirates or Medieval Times, For 5 tickets (2A, 3 CH) about $125 or so. My dilemma is this. How should we best spend our about $200 or so of "fun" money. Should we do a dinner show, a character meal, or maybe break it up for things like boats, bike rentals. Another thought is gatorland, Airboat rental/tours, mini golf. Or, should I just give the kids about $50 and keep my mouth shut and let them "blow it" as they seem fit. We are for sure going to do Blizzard B, probably TL, and DH, DS, and DD-age 7 are going to do Disneyquest. It just amazes me when I read these boards how much money people seem to spend on EVERYTHING, food, snacks, shows, their rooms. I guess I still have that "poor farmer's daughter mentality", it seems like an awful lot of money... Please don't get me wrong, if money weren't an object, we'd be doing it all,...but it is!! How many of you think the "extras" make the vacation, versus just doing the parks, drinking water and eating snacks we packed and getting fast food after leaving the park??
Go to a character meal :) It's a great couple hours and you have to eat anyway. We did the Pirates Dinner show a couple years a go, we all loved it, I would recommend, but not over something on Disney property.

On the other hand, my kids love to have their own spending money. As mom, I can't keep my mouth shut and always have advice. But it's way easier to say, spend your own money, than to say no all the time.

We never felt we got our money's worth with bike rentals or boat rentals and the like. But your family might be different.

Don't forget to take advantage of free fun, like all the offerings at Fort Wilderness.

Finally, my best advice is to poll your family and see what they would like best.
We love the dinner shows! We went to Pirates 2 years ago and it was the highlight of the trip! My kids (9 and 5 at the time) and husband loved it! My husband was talking about opening one here for months afterward!

This time we are going to Arabian Nights. They had a coupon on their site for $10 off each meal! that is a great deal (all other coupons are 4 or 6 $). This is a great thing to do on the night you get there. That is our plan this time and last time.

We leave in 2 days!!!! Whoo hooo!!!

I haven't done any shows on my recent trips to WDW because I've paid for those trips myself. But about 8 or 9 years ago when my family and I took our first BIG trip to Disney we did a character breakfast, Hoop de Doo and the Luau at the Polynesian. If I had a child I think I would choose to do the Luau. It was great food, a great show and when we went my little sister got to go dance with the characters. If I was going back with only adults I would choose the Hoop de Doo. I'm a sucker for musicals and the food was awesome!
I think that a good show/dinner will be well worth your money. I have good memories of my experiences and they were a long time ago.
Every kid needs to get a couple souvenirs, but I think that just passing on ALL of your "fun" money might not be the best idea.
You've got to remember that although kids love to spend money....they will most likely spend all of it on things that they will outgrow or end up throwing out. The memories and photos you get at a special event will last longer.

I would recommend the Hoop--it's a must-see on each and every yearly trip. We have small children and they love it just as much as we do. An added bonus--the food is AWESOME! If you can work it into the schedule, try going at a time when you can get a discount...even with small children, you can work around their tummies' schedules if you know in advance.
Cindy's (MK) princesses & friends
outstanding atmosphere and character interaction; plated breakfast which is pretty good
and refilled at your request

Crystal Palace (MK) pooh & friends
very nice atmosphere and great character interaction; humonguous buffet (even one for kids) with delicious selections

Land Grill (Epcot) Mickey, Minnie & friends
cute atmosphere(but not for those prone to motion sickness) and great character interaction; family-style dining which means entrees are brought out in good-sized containers to the table and diners help themselves and said containers are refilled as necessary; fairly good food

hope this helps... :)
IMHO, If money is an issue (like for my family)
I feel that the disney parks and the shows in them are enough entertainment. We are planning on 2 charactor meals (hopefully) and those aint cheap! I know we will not do hoop de doo or pirates etc. because I can't/won't pay $150 for 1 dinner and 1-2 hours of "entertainment". It doesnt make "cents" (pun intended). A friend recommended Gatorland so we may visit on an off park day.
Whatever you decide....just have fun.

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thanks curly, that is what I've been thinking too. I think I just needed to hear someone else say that, I've been feeling a little left out when I read about everyone's itenary's and all the places they go and pay extra for. I think there are quite a few "free" shows at Disney, isn't there? Diamond Horseshoe, or something like that, Fantastic, or course the parades and the fireworks. I think we will just do that and one character meal, probably Crystal Palace. One thing I really want to do is enjoy this trip. I think when I was younger, (in the twenty-something group!) I was always driven to race from attraction to attraction, literally running and trying to pack in every minute. I would really like this to be more of a stroll...this time, just sitting down and watching, not studying that blasted map quite so much!! (although I know I will end up doing that!)

When are you going savannah? and where are you staying?

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<marquee direction ="right" align="middle" behavior="alternate">can't wait, can't wait, CAN'T WAIT!!</marquee>

<font face="comic sans MS">"It's disney, it's crowded. Get over it!"</font>
we get into Orlando late, like 930pm on Friday, May 4th and fly out the following Sat in the late afternoon. I'm sure I look like a "whiner" about worrying about the cost of everything, but this was an unplanned, (thus no savings built up!!) trip. Some friends called out of the blue and said that their work had a special perk, FREE disney passes. They got twentysix 4 day hoppers completely free. They are giving us ten, so we have 8 full days at disney, I'm not sure if we'll even use them all. We are staying with my best friend from nursing school, she lives, according to her, "10 minutes to Dinsey". I'm a little worried if it is actually 10 minutes, but they are a great family and we'll feel so at home there and we'll get breakfast each morning and she'll pack us full of snacks for the day, I think it will be great. I'm thinking of taking her to Cirque De Sol, is that how you spell it? for a thankyou present. She has been there once and insists that is absolutely the BEST thing, Disney included, of anything in Orlando. So, are tickets are paid for and our lodging, how could we not go?? (I just wish DH was a little more excited, everytime I mention doing something, like a character meal, he's like, "too much money".) Does anyone else have conflicts over how to spend the vacation money?? (He wants a big screen TV instead!!) I keep telling him, these are memories we are making!! ...I just love vacations!!!
For me MONEY is a big issue. I can do 'Mideval Times' or other things at home. But never do that because of justifying the $$$.

I even pack breakfast food and such and take it with us to WDW.

I have never feelt 'cheated' that I didn't do a character meal. One day I will. But for me it would ALMOST make the difference of being able to go at all. Now what do I do??? EASY!

However I think your taking your friend out for a thank you is the RIGHT THING TO DO!!! They are being very genorous, as well as the people that gave you the tickets!!!

And even if I could afford it, I am not sure that is what I would spend the money on. Its a personal decision I guess.
We have been to Disney 7 times now and have never been to a dinner show or rented anything. I think just being in the parks is awesome enough, and really can't afford all those extras. My kids have a blast every time we go. Free tickets, excellent deal. Just go, have fun, and don't worry about all that other stuff.

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