Feature Article
Original article at:

Dreaming of Disney World: Imagining The Ultimate Disney Splurge Trip

by Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 3/5/2009

We all know that it's nice to dream and never is that truer than at times like this when, let's face it, the news on the economy seems to become more depressing by the day.

Let's imagine that money isn't an issue. On its own, that would be a nice enough dream, but just imagine what you could do at Walt Disney World? I have to be honest that, when I see posts along these lines on the PassPorter boards it always make me smile to think of the wonderful experiences that you could enjoy if you had the cash, so let's whisk ourselves away to our happy place and imagine together!

Everyone's got their own ideas of which is their favorite Disney resort, but if money's no object, then for me it has to be a deluxe one at the very least. You'd probably want to go concierge, offering you all those extra planning services and the availability of the concierge lounge, with all its wonderful goodies to eat and drink. Then there are the suites. I'll say here that I've never seen a suite at a Disney resort in person, but I have been lucky enough to tour the Roy O. Disney suite on board the Disney Magic. Having seen some of the wonderful touches in there and having salivated for many happy hours at online photos and descriptions of the Walt Disney World resort suites, I can tell you that they all look truly sumptuous, as you'd expect. The amount of square footage given over to the suites is quite something!

I don't doubt that a lot of people would say they'd go for the Grand Floridian and preferably ensure that they have a view of the Magic Kingdom. As a one-off treat, I can't help but agree, although it's not the resort I hold most dear. That title will always belong to my beloved Beach Club and I'm sure there are others who would argue that, for an ultimate trip of luxury, you should opt for the Contemporary (I would say a Magic Kingdom view at the very least!), the Polynesian, Wilderness Lodge, or Animal Kingdom Lodge. Again, at the latter, surely it would have to be a savannah view?

That's just finding a place to stay while you're at Walt Disney World. If there's one thing that Disney is very good at, it's finding ways for you to part with your money and the more money you come with, the more options they have for you! Of course, there's upscale dining and, for an amazing once in a lifetime experience, that we've been lucky enough to sample twice now, you can't beat Victoria and Albert's. The ultimate indulgence there has to be the Chef's Table, where you can interact with the chefs, although that's an indulgence that we haven't experienced yet. One day, maybe...

If you want a bit of privacy and fine dining, then Disney can cater to that, too. The California Grill has three private dining rooms that can be hired out, while Citrico's has its own private dining room, the Chef's domain, as does Jiko, known as the Wine Room. Other superb choices for dining on Disney property that likely to come with a hefty price tag -- and a very good meal -- are the signature restaurants the Flying Fish Cafe, Yachtsman Steakhouse, Narcoosee's, and Artist Point.

For a superb end to your night, how about a specialty cruise out to see either Wishes at the Magic Kingdom or IllumiNations at Epcot? You'll get a VIP view of the fireworks, but it won't come cheap, although it is worth every penny and will be a magical end to any day. You can even take some of the boats – with their drivers – out during the day. If you want to feel really special, then the Grand 1, a 45-foot yacht sailing from the Grand Floridian is the way to go. Your money will buy you time on the yacht, along with private dining, butler service, and a captain to look after your every need while you're out on the Seven Seas Lagoon.

One of the biggest treats at any Disney park for kids of all ages has to be seeing the characters, and here's another area where money talks. If you want to invest cash into spending some true one-to-one time with your favorite, then you can do that, although the minimum amount of time you can spend with them is half an hour. It's something I did look into, but no matter how much I dream, I don't have the cash to live out the dreams and, let's be honest, there's only so much you can say to a character who can't answer you back. I certainly can't think of enough things to last for 30 minutes!

The truth is, like most things in life, if you have the money, you can have pretty much whatever you want, but the beauty about Disney is that you can go on the tightest budget possible and still have a wonderful time. Don't forget, no matter how much money you do – or you don't – have, magic can be found around every corner in Walt Disney World.

About the Author: Cheryl is the author of the e-book, PassPorter's Walt Disney World for British Holidaymakers, and is the co-author of PassPorter's Disney Vacation Club Guide: For Members and Members-To-Be. Cheryl and husband Mark live in England and love to travel, particularly to Disney, and they have travelled around the world, taking in a number of Disney cruises, Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Aulani in Hawai'i, Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disney and Hong Kong Disneyland on the way. Click here to view more of Cheryl's articles!

This article originally appeared in the PassPorter newsletter -- subscribe to our popular newsletter today for free at

Updated 3/5/2009

Check for a more updated version at