Disneyland splurges can really add a certain magic to your vacation. From tiny sweets to full-blown boutique make-overs, there’s a Disneyland splurge to fit every kid (and every budget)! With four kids in our family we don’t tend to go “all out” but it certainly adds joy to our trip to surprise the kids with a few little splurges. I have some suggestions of Disneyland splurges for the kids, plus some money saving ideas that still allow for special treats!
Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Blue Loop. Today we are sharing fun ways to splurge at Disney.
Disneyland Splurges for the Kids
Yes, Disneyland is already a magical place. Throwing in a few splurges here and there on your trip will really put a twinkle in your child’s eye! These are some of the Disneyland splurges that kids will enjoy, with a range to fit any budget.
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When I think of Disneyland splurges, I think dessert! All those sweet treats to indulge in, with many of them perfectly designed for the delight of children. There are character-themed marshmallows on a stick sold all over the Park, sundaes from Gibson Girl, milk shakes from Flo’s V-8 Cafe and adorable cookies we found at Jolly Holiday Bakery & Cafe (check out the Cheshire Cat cookie! It matched my daughter’s leggings!)
And of course there are some amazing caramel apples sold throughout the Parks. We love watching them create the apples at Marceline’s in Downtown Disney District. Each apple is painstakingly dipped and decorated by hand.
*Money Saving Splurge* – Buy a caramel apple and request to have it cut into slices. Then everyone can indulge and share the treat!
Watch the video of how caramel apples are made at Disneyland on my YouTube channel.
Older kids may appreciate this more than youngers but having your portrait done (in the streets of New Orleans Square, just down from the exit of Pirates of the Caribbean) is a souvenir worth framing. Choose from silly caricatures or more serious pastel drawings.
A Splurge in Hand
Handheld goodies will put a smile on a child’s face! Items like balloons, light-up toys, spinners, Princess wands, swords and bubble blowers add to the Disney joy and are a nice souvenir too.
*Money Saving Splurge* – If you buy a balloon and it pops, return the remnants to any balloon vendor in the Park for a replacement.
A Special Meal
Looking for a dining splurge you’ll never forget? Consider a meal at The Blue Bayou Restaurant. Not only do they have a location to die for inside the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction (it’s the only restaurant at Disneyland inside of an attraction!) but they have a menu that’s kid-friendly.
There are simple dishes like mac and cheese with veggies or more sophisticated options like salmon and beef strip loin. Kids will get a kick out of watching the ride boats float by and in the decor, which looks like you’re dining outside (complete with chirping crickets!) Just be sure to a get an Advance Dining Reservation because this is a very popular dining location.
*Money Saving Splurge* – Dine for lunch instead of dinner to save on the cost of adult meals.
Splurge-Worthy Special Event
There are several special events and packages available at Disneyland if you’re wanting to splurge! Check out the World of Color Dessert Party that gives guests reserved seating as well as dessert and drinks.
Visiting Disneyland during the fall? A ticket to Mickey’s Halloween Party is a must so that kids can dress in costume and trick or treat through the Park at night!
From the themed rooms, Extra Magic Hour, and the amazing pools, staying at a Disneyland Resort hotel is a splurge worth making. I’ve stayed in all three of the Disneyland Resort hotels and each offers their own magic.
*Money Saving Splurge* – Naturally weekends, holidays and peak season dates will have higher prices. Stay mid-week and in the off-season to save on a Resort room. Sign up for offers and you may be sent a discount code in the mail or via email.
Want to give your kids a magical impression from the moment they enter the hotel room? Contact Disney Floral & Gifts for an in-room celebration that includes decorations, goodies, treats and personalized souvenirs laid out for them when they arrive.
*Money Saving Splurge* – Bring your own store-bought treats like bubbles and glow necklaces. Put them on your kid’s pillows and say that Tinker Bell delivered them!
Do your littles have a hearty appetite? Consider a character dining experience with an unlimited buffet. You’ll not only meet n’ greet with characters who come to your table for one-on-one time (photos and autographs too), you’ll also have some great options for dining that will please everyone in your group. Goofy’s Kitchen is a favorite, with an expansive buffet that includes pb & j pizza as well as freshly carved meats.
Disney’s PCH Grill is our breakfast go-to with made-to-order omelettes. The Plaza Inn hosts Minnie in the mornings with a vast breakfast spread that kids will love (in between photo ops with a wide range of characters).
*Money Saving Splurge* – Choose breakfast instead of lunch or dinner to save on the cost.
Take a Tour
Older kids may enjoy the in-depth tour like “Walk in Walt’s Footsteps”. For a major splurge, reserve a “Plaid” for a VIP tour that will allow you priority access, reserved seating and a personal guide for the day.
Build-your-own light saber inside The Star Trader. There’s a large station with bits and parts to make it your own design. This area is usually crowded and you’ll be carrying around a big light saber so consider this a late stop in the day. If your kiddo is more the soft and cuddly type, they might prefer a Disney-themed teddy created at the Build-a-Bear Workshop in Downtown Disney District. Start your daughter’s first Pandora charm bracelet and purchase a Disney themed charm.
*Money Saving Splurge* - Have a teddy at home? Shop the a la carte teddy bear outfits instead of making a bear.
Do you have a sophisticated little lady who would enjoy an elegant snack of scones, tiny sandwiches and sips of tea? The afternoon tea held at the Disneyland Hotel has three options (classic, premium or kid’s tea party) and takes place in the elegant Steakhouse 55 restaurant. Dress to impress!
*Money Saving Splurge* – If this upscale experience is too much, consider a stop at the more casual Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe inside Disneyland. You can still indulge in treats, sandwiches and Very Berry Diamond Tea. You might even see Mary Poppins and Bert!
Sip and Splurge
Yes, even your beverages can be a splurge when you indulge in some of the fun that Disney offers. There are souvenir sippers, glow ice cubes and silly straws that can “upgrade” your drink. Check out the restaurant menu for other child-friendly beverage treats like mint julep at French Market, Louisiana Lemonade at Blue Bayou or Red’s Apple Freeze at the Cozy Cone Motel.
*Money Saving Splurge* – Ask for a “Shirley Temple” at some full-service restaurants. We were able to get this sweet drink (Sprite mixed with cherry juice) at the same cost as a fountain drink at the River Belle Terrace Restaurant.
No better time to splurge than for a birthday! Parents can pre-order a custom birthday cake to be served at select Disneyland Resort restaurants. Contact Disney Floral & Gifts for a birthday themed in-room celebration that includes room decoration and special gifts. The Build-a-Bear Workshop hosts birthday parties as well.
*Money Saving Splurge* – Pick up a complimentary personalized birthday button from guest services when you enter either of the Parks.
A Snack & a Splurge
Many of the snacks sold throughout the Disneyland Resort have an upgrade option. Choose to have your popcorn sold in a regular carton or splurge on a whimsical souvenir bucket. When ordering a kid’s meal at Flo’s V-8 Cafe you can opt for a Lightning McQueen keepsake. Order the “Kitchen Sink” like we did at Clarabelle’s and receive a souvenir Mickey-themed sink (mine holds desk supplies at home!)
*Money Saving Splurge* – The Kitchen Sink is definitely big enough to share. Order ice cream cones separately if you want to fill them with the sundae from the “sink”.
A Magical Make-Over
What little princess wouldn’t love a head-to-toe fairy tale make-over from Bibbidi Bobbidy Boutique? Sparkling new gown, glittered up-do, make-up, nail polish and more! Even your little prince can get in on the action with a Knight’s Package. For the over-the-top splurge, Disney PhotoPass photographers will capture the moment for you with a customized portrait package.
*Money Saving Splurge* – Purchase your own princess costume from DisneyStore online before your trip and wear it into the Park. Instead of going for the full-out make-over, you can still choose the hairstyle and make-up but save on the (very expensive) dress.
What are YOUR favorite Disneyland splurges? Share them in the comments (and be sure to check out the other Blogorail posts!)
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Blue | Disney Splurges Loop:
- 1st Stop – Cool Nouns | Specialty Apparel
- 2nd Stop – Frontierland Station | Visiting During Peak Seasons
- 3rd Stop – Saving Up for Disney | **YOU ARE HERE** Disneyland Splurges for Kids (and Where to Cut Costs)
- 4th Stop – Post 50 Rx | runDisney Splurges
- 5th Stop – Adventurer Mom | Early Morning Magic Fantasyland
- 6th Stop – Magical Memories with the Mouse | When a Disney Parks VIP Tour is Worth the Splurge