What "extras" do you do at WDW?

Discussion in 'Disney for Families' started by debdreamsofdis, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. debdreamsofdis

    debdreamsofdis DIS Veteran

    Feb 21, 2009
    I was just thinking back to my WDW honeymoon and remembering the day my DH and I decided to go ahead and rent the Sea Raycers and we had the BEST time! The next time we go, we will have added DS (8), DS (6), DD (3) and DD (1) to our family. Since, we won't really be able to do the SeaRaycers, I was thinking renting the larger Boston whalers might be really fun and worth the extra expense.

    The more I read the boards, the more I find out about all about the other neat "extras" (things/experiences not included in your vacation package that cost extra). Of course, they all sound fun--Bibbity Bobbity Boutique, Pirates cruise for the kids, Bike rentals, Characters in Flight/la Nouba/T-Rex Cafe at Downtown Disney, spa treatments, parasailing...the list goes on and on. And this doesn't even include basic souveniers and things like Photopass and refillable mugs, which I think would be a good idea to purchase.

    I'm assuming our family would stay 8-10 days in mid-October and be on the DDP. Since I unfortunately don't have all the money in the world and couldn't possibly fit everything in during one vacation, what do you think are the best extras to add on to a trip? Which extras aren't really worth the extra cost?
  2. Tricia's mom

    Tricia's mom DIS Veteran

    Mar 7, 2009
    It is Extra enough for us to BE at Disney....Character meals are about the ONLY extras. Aside from a souviner or two.
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  4. daisyduck123

    daisyduck123 <font color=green>I just love those parmesan mashe

    Aug 18, 2005
    We have done all of the following extras & felt they were well worth it:

    La Nouba
    Illuminations Celebration Cruise
    Wilderness Lodge Sleigh Ride (back when it was only $35.00)
    MVMCP :santa:
    Surrey bike rental
    Boat rental at CBR
    Boat rental at the Poly
    T-Rex dinner
    manicures at Periwig (salon at Y&BC)

    Our best tour was probably the DVC tour...we ended up purchasing ;)
  5. think-like-tink

    think-like-tink DIS Veteran

    Jan 9, 2010
    For Last years anniversary, I got my very own glass slipper and Tiara on a silver platter while at Disney World
  6. Mouse House Mama

    Mouse House Mama <font color=red>Luckiest Mommy in the World!!!<br>

    Aug 28, 2004
    we have young kids and we did the searaycers. DH went out with one child and then after a set time he came back and switched children. I don't like them as I am scared. :rolleyes1 Each child got to ride them and I took the rest swimming while they waited their turn.

    We have also done MVMCP, MNSSHP, Pirate and Princess Party, pony rides, surrey bikes, BBB, PL, Family Photosession, WL Sleighride, character meals, autograph books, etc.

    I try to plan different things when we go but the kids do have their favorites.
  7. minniebeth

    minniebeth DIS Veteran

    Feb 3, 2006
    I would look at what your kids love to do and where you could get the best use of the money you spend. Remember, litttle ones such as yours do not have the wow factor bar raised as high as adults do! You can split your family up to what works for them as well, you don't all have to do the same thing.
    I agree with Mouse House Mama that you could do the searaycers and take turns with your kids...we've done that and it worked out really well. Ususally there is a voucher in the Disney packages that would make it worth the time.

    Ditto goes for the surrey bikes around the Boardwalk and at various resorts. We did the surrey bikes at the Boardwalk at night during EPCOT fireworks, at the Polynesian and at the Wilderness Lodge. The favorite was at the Boardwalk.

    We also rented a pontoon boat when our kids were little and they still talk about it. They thought DH was THE cooloest dad for being able to drive the boat!:cool2::goodvibes

    The pirate cruise would be great for your boys, they are at the perfect age! You need to think about will there be another trip and if so, will they miss that window? If you took it from the GF, your DDs are at the perfect age to play in the sand on the beach while they are gone.

    The BBB and Pirate makovers are really awesome, but for the price, you could do that yourselves, dress the kids up in your room if you were going to prioritize.

    La Nouba is AWESOME but pricey and I would wait for your kids to be a little older to really appreciate it if you are going to pick and choose the extras. Same for the Hot Air Balloon ride in DTD.

    I think an extra that is so awesome that does not cost any money is going to the campfire sing along with Chip and Dale at Fort Wilderness. Maybe pony rides there too. After the singalong with marshmallows, the kids can play on the beach and watch the fireworks. It is really fun!

    As far as restaurants go, you can always walk through T-Rex and Rainforest and have the kids get a great look at it and then eat at a CS more reasonably priced.

    Your kids are at a great age to enjoy Blizzard Beach, there is something for everyone there if you are looking for a family, whole day experience.

    I've not done it, but if I were to plan another trip with an extra we have not done, it would be the Pirates and Pals Cruise, it looks awesome and a unique experience.

    Hope that helps a little, have fun deciding what you want to do! I also agree with Tricia's mom too though, that with young kids, the parks/resorts/restaurants are often enough!
  8. santa's surpriz

    santa's surpriz DIS Veteran

    May 14, 2008
    Your kids are probably at the age that they would enjoy Chip 'n Dale's Campfire Movie at Fort Wilderness. and it's free!
  9. kathy884

    kathy884 DIS Veteran

    Sep 26, 2009
    Sea Racer boats

    Water sking (boat and instructor included - not sure if they do this anymore -- was actually a pretty good deal) (last time I did this was in the 70s though

    La Nouba -- several times

    Hoop De Doo -- twice

    Polynesian Luau -- several times (We just love the Polynesian)

    Rent clay tennis court and play at Grand Floridian (several times - great courts)

    20 Trips with # 21 coming up // The boards, though, say I’m just earning my ears.
    March 1971 – KOA closest to Disney (camping)
    March 1972 – Jellystone Park (camping)
    March 1974 – Outdoor Resorts of America (camping)
    Dec. 1974 – Outdoor Resorts of American (camping)
    March 1975 – Outdoor Resorts of America (camping)
    Dec. 1975 – Fort Wilderness (camping)
    Dec. 1976 – Fort Wilderness (camping)
    Dec. 1977 -- Outdoor Resorts of America (camping)
    Dec. 1986 – Marriott Royal Palms (condo by Marriott World Center)
    May 1993 – Disney Contemporary (Garden Wing) (hotel)
    Dec. 1994 – Polynesian Isles (condo)
    May 1999 – Disney Contemporary (Main Building with high floor and Magic Kingdom view) (hotel)
    Dec. 2001 – Cypress Pointe (condo)
    March 2003 – Sheraton Vistana – Cascades section (condo)
    March 2004 – Sheraton Vistana – Cascades section (condo)
    Dec. 2004 -- Cypress Pointe (condo)
    June 2006 –Tampa relative’s condo
    June 2007 – Cypress Point Grandvillas (condo). Disney -- Port Orleans Riverside (hotel), and Sheraton Vistana – Fountains section (condo) – stayed three different places on this trip.
    Dec. 2008 – Sheraton Vistana Resort (remodeled Fountains section) (condo)
    Oct. 2009 – Hilton Garden Inn Seaworld (hotel)
    (Will be going again March 2010 – staying at the Hilton Garden Inn Seaworld again)
  10. ZPT1022

    ZPT1022 <font color=red>DIS Veteran<br><font color=blue>Dr

    May 31, 2002
    I'll agree with the sentiment that just being there is enough but that being said, here are a few we're thinking of for our upcoming trip:

    My kids will be 6,6 and 9 and 4 months when we go

    - Pirate Cruise from the GF and while the big kids are enjoying their adventure, DH and I will take the baby and go to breakfast. We're going for 11 days so I'm thinking that towards the end of the trip, a bit of space for everyone might be nice

    - We may rent a pontoon boat one afternoon and go out for a boat ride. We're staying at the Contemporary, so part of the temptation is having that marina right at our resort :)

    - Maybe a family photo session? It would be nice to have pictures of all of us for once, though maybe just making a point to seek out the photopass and take group shots would be enough.

    - A "freebie" but still something special, DH will likely take the oldest out one night for evening EMH while the little ones and I relax at the resort.

    - My younger daughter wants to do the BBB- she hasn't come out and said that but she gasped in awe when she saw it on the planning video. Not sure if we will splurge for the whole BBB experience or just bring a costume for her and do a princess meal. I know she would love doing the BBB but I can't help but think that we would do it, pay all that money for the hairdo and whatnot, and then be in the pool a few hours later. :confused3
  11. TexasTodds

    TexasTodds Mouseketeer

    Dec 28, 2007
    We went in January of 2008 when my kids were then DS8, DS 5 1/2, and DD, almost 4. We opted to skip the Pirates and Princess party because of their ages, and for the money, didn't miss it at all. For that same reason, we didn't do La Nouba.

    However, the week still had lots of fun "extras"
    --Pirate cruise for the 2 boys (the older ones), at Yacht club, while we literally RAN over to Norway to do the Princess breakfast with DD. We brought a pink "princess type" dress and sparkly shoes for her to change into (gotta love those bigger ziplocs!). DH skipped out the last 10 minutes of breakfast to go get the boys. They had a blast, and talked about it all day.

    --We also rented one mouse racer boat, and DH took turns taking the kids for about 10 minutes each.
    --Did the surrey bike around POR

    --MIL, DD, and I went to Tea at the Grand Floridian, while the guys went to the CS place at the GF and had burgers and played in the Arcade. This was our one "meal" that we paid for, but the food was SO good!

    --lots of character meals since we were on the dining plan.

    Loved being able to get the kids those "itsakadoozie popcicles" when they wanted one with snack credits. In January, you don't always need to buy drinks with them.

    We also skipped BBB. I don't even think that DD even noticed it/missed it, and it just seemed like alot of money.

    Other "Freebies" to look for:
    --Electrical water parade. We had planned to go to the Polynesian and watch it, but it just never happened.

    Also, at that time POR had a campfire and s'mores on certain nights, but we didn't get their either.

    You will have a great time! Sometimes it is even the simple things in the park the kids love...the train at MK, the pressed penny machines, ice cream after every meal!
  12. TexasTodds

    TexasTodds Mouseketeer

    Dec 28, 2007
    I forgot another thing we bought...Mickey Ear hats! of course, it just seems wrong to go to Disney and not buy one anyway!
  13. Echo queen

    Echo queen <font color=darkcoral>I like the idea of being clo

    Feb 18, 2005
    We were at disney the last week to 2009. The most magical thing ever for me was the pirates and pals cruise to watch wishes. At the start of each disney movie they show the castle with the fireworks behind it which I love to see, that is the view of the castle that you see from the boat. My kids really could not apprieciate it but it was truly magical for me.:wizard:
  14. NHdisneylover

    NHdisneylover DIS Veteran

    Feb 26, 2007
    For the first several trips we did not do extras. There was so much included to see and do that we felt nno need to add more to the to-do list;)

    A few trips in we did as someone upthread suuggests and did the campfire at Wilderness Lodge and bought a S'more pack.

    Then we started getting water park and more passes and adding in a day at a water park and partial day at Disney Quest.

    Now that we have been so often and we are more interested in having a relaxing trip and mixing it up then making sure we see all the shows and ride all of the rides we try to do one special thing each trip.
    We have done the following:

    Mini golf day (did all 4 courses on the same day. We love mini golf and had a blast)
    Hoop De Doo (it was fun but we do not need to do it again)
    MNSSHP (loved it--will always go if it is running when we are there in the future)
    MVMCP (twice. First time the kids were too little to stay up and really enjoy it and this year it was totally oversold. Doubtful we will do it again).
    Pirate cruise for the kids. They liked it but were not overjoyed.
    Behind the seeds tour (lots of fun for our oddball lot)
    Surrey Bike rental (fun)
    Kitchen Sink at Beach's N Cream (DS still talks about this all the time; it was 7 years ago:rotfl:)
  15. funforfive

    funforfive DIS Veteran

    Oct 30, 2008
    Is this cruise geared more toward young kids...we have 3 boys(8,9,10) while we're there...will they be the oldest kids there??:confused3
  16. Jdougherty

    Jdougherty Mouseketeer

    Apr 23, 2009
    There is a fireworks cruise from the Contemperary that we love I think it's called Pirates and Pals now, not sure. The other extra my DD loved she the CM, even at 9months she had a huge kick out of them. For adults a tradition is diving in the living sea. There are programs forsnorkeling and a dolphin session too, BUT we dive there for we get in the water with that shark EVERY YEAR. I love it even though that shark freaks me out.

    there are other "tour" you can take too horse back riding, segway tours, SEEDS tour tons of "extraaaaaas"

    Suggestions for CM's

    Chef Mickey
    Dinner at the land
    Pooh and Friends at crystal palace.

  17. Duckyiam71

    Duckyiam71 DIS Veteran

    Aug 8, 2009
    My first extra was the best thing...a Segway tour in EPCOT for my husband and I. But then I noticed you have children so that is out of the question. We are staying at POR and we are going to do cane fishing. I know they have other fishing things on property but not as cheap. A family of 6 is something like $15 for the half hour. With children your age, I would go with a character meal. I would also make sure you try all modes of transportation. My littlest one loved taking the boat to MK..something that is free. I would try not to spend a lot of money on any one thing because in my experience is the little one would disrupt it somehow someway. Not saying your children would, it was just my luck that he was going through the terrible two's while on vacation!:confused:
  18. 3princesses+aprince

    3princesses+aprince DIS Veteran

    Feb 24, 2006
    I haven't read through the other replys yet, but I will for some more ideas!

    We went to Disney for the first time in May:
    We played mini golf, Love it! We had 2 rooms so we had two free vouchers.
    We rented a boat in DTD, the suntracker. We also have 4 kids! This was so fun. It's one of our fondest memories! We'll remember that forever.

    For our trip in September, our extras will be:

    lots of character and sit down meals seeing how we're doing the ddp. We just did the qsdp in May.
    boat rental again
    Mini golf again
    renting surrey bikes
    wishes cruise (this is pricey, but something that I really want to do)
    disney quest (we're adding the water park and more option to our ticket)
    Possibly a photo session as well
  19. happymommy

    happymommy DIS Veteran

    Jan 8, 2006
    There is so much to see and do just at the parks and the resorts, that honestly for the kids' first visit, I can't imagine the need to add anything. Just a break in the pool and all the parks are a lot! My kids have never even gone to either water park in all their visits, and never asked to.

    If your kids like characters, they may like a character meal. I personally don't care for them, but many folks like them.

    I wouldn't worry about planning extras for a first visit. Maybe the next one or two, but the first one you are seeing it all for the first time!
  20. tlh0726

    tlh0726 DIS Veteran

    Oct 26, 2008
    We did not plan anything extra for our trip last year and I am not planning on adding any extras for our April trip.
    There is so much to see and do that is free.
    Once DH and I feel that we need a little extra something, then we will rethink our plan.

    One other thought you might consider is setting the kids up for higher expectations on future trips. If they do all the extras now, they will be expecting the same or not more the next time.
  21. debdreamsofdis

    debdreamsofdis DIS Veteran

    Feb 21, 2009
    I see you've met my child already :lmao:

    Omg, that sounds AWESOME! I would love to do that! (see, now I've added another extra to the wish list.)

    This is very true and we have stuck with this philosophy with our trips to Disneyland. However, with us living so far away from DisneyWorld and this being the only trip there for a very long time since airfare costs us an arm and a leg, I'd like to have them experience something that they wouldn't normally have a chance to. I'm thinking the Pirate cruise would be great for my boys, as people pointed out, the next time we go, they may be too old for it.

    Thank you everyone for your input and sharing your experience! It's very helpful!!

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