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Most people can picture what a Disney vacation entails: days in the parks, relaxing by the pool, and perhaps a little shopping in Disney Springs. However, it is possible to add so much more to your Disney vacation with various Disney add-ons. And I am all about making Disney World extra special.
What are Disney Add Ons?
Disney add ons are a vast array of extra experiences you can add to your Disney vacation. The “official” Disney add ons are also known as “Disney Enchanting Extras”. These experiences can range from tours, to parties, to cruises, to so much more. There really is a dizzying array of options.
However, I’m going to be a little looser in my definition of a Disney add on. I want to take a look at an array of the best Disney World extras which can make your vacation even better.
These Disney add on opportunities can be found in all facets of a Disney vacation. Some of these are great options to enhance your non-park days, while others are the perfect way to make a park day even more fun.
Of course, these experiences come at a cost. Some of these experiences can be accomplished relatively inexpensively, while others are quite pricey. Because of the higher price tag attached to some of these Enchanting Extras, they make great additions to your Disney Bucket List. One of the top items on my ultimate Disney Bucket List is the Wild Africa Trek!
In addition to listing my favorites (so far!), I asked some other Disney bloggers about their favorite Disney add-ons.
I Think You Will Also Enjoy Reading About:
- 75 Things to do Outside of the Disney Parks (and some of them are free!)
- Planning your Disney World Itinerary
10 Best Disney World Add Ons
Seriously, for right now I have 10 on this list, but it will likely just keep growing! There really are so many different Disney World add on experiences. I predict that some day this post will be quite long!
1. Bippidi Boppidi Boutique
Who doesn’t want to get the royal treatment? The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is ready to make every little Princess or Prince feel like they are a part of their favorite Disney movie. With two locations, inside Cinderella’s Castle or in Disney Springs, the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique experience starts with selecting your package to include everything from hair and makeup, to a full princess dress and crystal tiara. For the princes, they can choose from different knightly costumes and shields/swords.
Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother meets you in a royal dressing room, and you are whisked away to a Fairy Godmother-In-Training. Your child will get to choose their hairstyle, even including pink and purple extensions if they want! After hair, makeup, and nails, every style is finished off with some pixie dust glitter. The knights can choose to get dragon scales sprinkled in their hair too.
After your child’s head-to-toe transformation, they enjoy a photo-shoot all their own! There really is no better way to make your child feel like they are living in a storybook than to treat them to a magnificent makeover at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique!
-Sarah from Moment Mom
2. Early Morning Magic
Early Morning Magic is hands-down the best add-on we have purchased at Disney World. If you want a chance to explore some of the most popular parts of the park without ANY lines, early morning magic is worth the splurge.
We purchased early morning magic for Toy Story Land in October, just a few months after this part of the park had opened. We arrived at the park nice and early at 7:30 am. Even though it seemed like there were a lot of people there, there were absolutely NO lineups for any of the rides. We walked on Slinky Dog Dash and had no waits for the other rides at Toy Story Land.
Most people were riding the rides multiple times and enjoying their full experience! My son and I were happy with one ride each and then we headed to breakfast which was included in the price of the early morning magic pass. As soon as the park opened up for regular guests the line up for Slinky Dog Dash was 135 minutes or longer!! In my opinion, this was WELL worth the cost!
-Kate from Tear Free Travel
Tip from Nicole: Extra Morning Magic is not just available at Toy Story Land in Hollywood Studios. There is also a version of Extra Morning Magic at Magic Kingdom. Extra Morning Magic at Magic Kingdom focuses on the Fantasyland rides like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Peter Pan’s Flight.
3. Caring for Giants
Caring for Giants is a behind the scenes experience at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Because it takes place inside the park, a park ticket for the day is required. This tour is considered one of the best experiences for the money, coming in at only $30 per person for a 60 minute tour.
First, you get to walk behind the scenes at Animal Kingdom on your way to the tour bus. The Cast Member with us was full of humor and information during this short walk. While the bus ride wasn’t overly exciting, it was very informative. The Cast Member did a great job of keep us all entertained on the short bus ride to the back of the safari.
But let’s face it, the real stars of the show are the elephants. You are taken to a couple of different viewing spots within Kilimanjaro Safari that give you much closer access than typical safari guests. It was wonderful to hear the names and stories of some of the elephants, and to watch baby Stella explore her surroundings.
We learned so much about the elephants themselves and their personalities, but also about elephant behavior in general. And of course, we learned about the plight of elephants in the wild and the importance of conservation and education to help them thriving. Overall, a wonderful experience my family will not forget.
4. Happily Ever After Fireworks Cruise
Happily Ever After fireworks at Magic Kingdom is one of my favourite night time shows at Disney World. We had the chance to experience a speciality fireworks cruise, and I can highly recommend it should you want to see the fireworks from a different perspective.
We enjoyed a two hour cruise setting sail from the Contemporary resort, around Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon. Our skipper was full of Disney knowledge and we were able to see sights that we may not ordinarily have the chance to experience.
Just before the fireworks are due to start, we found our spot in front of Magic Kingdom with a lovely view of the castle. The music was piped into our ten seater tracker pontoon vessel, which just made the experience so magical.
Our whole experience cost around $350 but also includes snacks and drinks, which were more than enough for everyone to share. When you split the cost between ten people, this is a great value way to see the fireworks without the crowds.
-Angela at The Life of Spicers
5. MNSSHP and/or MVMCP
What do those acronyms stand for, you ask? Why those refer to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP). These are both extremely popular seasonal parties held at Magic Kingdom during their respective seasons each year.
I am a huge fan of both of these parties, and highly recommend them to anyone planning a Disney vacation during these holiday seasons. Both MNSSHP and MVMCP are filled with exclusive character meet and greets, treats, special parades, and significantly shorter lines for all of the rides.
The best part of the parties is the phenomenal job Disney does with creating the perfect atmosphere to immerse the guests into the spirit of the holiday. That combined with having access to Magic Kingdom with smaller crowds is an automatic win-win situation.
If you want to know more about the details of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, make sure you check out my others posts. They really are two of my favorite things to do at Disney World.
6. Memory Maker
Part of the wonder of Disney is seeing so many amazing things in a very short period time. Planning can take months or even years beforehand, and ironing out every detail can be anxiety ridden. Enjoying every minute of the experience is key, but what about preserving the memories?
Taking your own photos is a great thing, and the easiest way is to do so is to keep a cell phone handy. But there are areas where it might be difficult or impossible to take photos. That’s where the Disney Memory Maker comes in. It’s a fantastic add on and provides an unlimited amount of digital Photopass photos that are captured in various places throughout the park.
Photographers are at attractions and dining venues, and there are photo places on rides as well. Whenever you see a photographer, you can pose and capture your family at that moment without the hassle of dealing with a large camera. The Memory Maker is logged to your MagicBand or Disney Card and is scanned under your unique code.
After your visit, you can access all the photos within a 45-day period from the day the photo was taken. If you are a premium Disney member you have up to 1 year to access and download your photos. The Memory Maker does allow for the purchase for an expiration extension to allow you more time to download your photos.
The Memory Maker is one of the best add ons at Disney, as it truly captures some of the most amazing moments during your Disney experience.
-Diana at The Elusive Family
Tip from Nicole: If you are always the one behind the camera, like me, then Memory Maker is a great way to finally include yourself in your vacation pictures!
7. Candlelight Processional Dining Package
Candlelight Processional is a nightly event within Epcot’s International Festival of the Holidays. If you are at Disney during the Christmas season, it really should not be missed.
One of the ways to guarantee yourself a seat at the experience is with the Candlelight Processional Dining Package. This event is in high demand, with people lining up well in advance. The Candlelight Processional Dining Package is the only way to avoid the long wait.
This is just one of many dining packages available as add ons to guarantee preferred seating at a show, i.e. Fantasmic and Rivers of Light. When booking opens, you reserve a Candlelight Processional Dining Package at the Table Service restaurant of your choice. You are then assigned a corresponding show time for Candlelight Processional.
During the holidays, Epcot does its best to hit you over the head with holiday spirit, and Candlelight Processional is the pinnacle of that effort. A celebrity narrator (Neil Patrick Harris is a fan favorite) reads the Christmas story from the Bible. The readings are interspersed with corresponding Christmas songs by a large choir. All of this is accompanied by a full orchestra.
The impact of all of this is stunning and chill inducing. It really is such a wonderful holiday experience and I highly recommend Candlelight Processional.
8. Keys to the Kingdom Tour
The Keys to the Kingdom Tour is available at Magic Kingdom and requires park admission as well as a reservation and fee for the tour.
This tour gives an incredible behind-the-scenes look at Magic Kingdom. It is a walking tour and takes around five hours total. There are LOTS of breaks and resting opportunities and the cost (as well as time) includes lunch.
Even an avid Disney visitor will love this tour. In fact, it really is best suited for the fans of Walt Disney and his theme parks. First-time visitors to the park won’t have the appreciation for the facts given during the tour (and would have better use of their 5 hours to enjoy the actual park!).
Personally, I plan to take each of my children on the Keys to the Kingdom tour once they are old enough to know the secrets behind the magic at Magic Kingdom. This tour travels behind the scenes at the park…and even under the park to explore the tunnel system used by Cast Members to travel unseen throughout different areas of Magic Kingdom.
This tour is a fabulous add-on for a vacation to Disney World and will not disappoint!
-Emily from Journey of Parenthood
9. Fantasia Gardens
Disney World isn’t just about the rides and the characters. In fact, they have lots of other great activities for families and friends visiting the resort. One of my favorite things to add to our vacation is a few hours at the Fantasia Gardens Putt Putt Course. This course is located on Disney Property, but not inside the parks. It’s full of fun, and somewhat subtle, references to the popular Fantasia movie.
We love coming here for a few hours of relaxing family fun. The lines are much shorter and some trees provide intermittent shade. It’s a perfect get away on arrival or departure days. Normally, we go on our off day between parks. Typically we want to spend our off day playing putt putt, getting ice cream and then going to Disney Springs for dinner. We’ve also gone in the mornings on days that we planned to go to MVMCP or MNSSHP.
With hours typically running from 10a-10p during peak seasons, it’s easy to fit it into your Disney trip. Regardless of when you come to the park, The course is fun for toddlers through adults at any time of the year!
-Seely at Mouse Ear Memories
Tip from Nicole: If you have a vacation package booked through Disney, look for the Disney Magical Extras discount card in your Magic Band box. This will give you a discount for Fantasia Gardens!
10. Hoop Dee Doo Revue
Why just go to dinner when you can go to dinner and a show? Hoop Dee Doo Revue, located at Fort Wilderness Resort is possibly considered the best dinner show at Disney World. But don’t be intimidated by getting to that location, it’s easier than you think.
While you chow down on some down home barbecue cooking, the actors keep you well entertained. There is singing, dancing, joking, and a whole bunch of fun to be had. The actors come right out into the audience and you never know just who will be selected to participate in their act. Never fear though, they won’t force anyone to participate who is uncomfortable with the idea.
I cannot stress to you just how fun this experience is for the whole family. Pricing and some details vary depending on which category you book your table in so head on over to my full review of Hoop Dee Doo Revue to get the details.
Other Disney Add Ons to Consider
Really, this list is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many other Enchanting Extras to choose from. Here is a list of just SOME of the others to give you a taste of the possibilities.
- Fireworks Dessert Party at Tomorrowland Terrace
- Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage
- Rivers of Light Dessert Party
- Frozen Ever After Dessert Party
- Wild Africa Trek
- Star Wars Guided Tour
- Up Close with Rhinos
- Behind the Seeds
- Epcot Seas Adventures
Parties & Events
- Disney Villains After Hours
- Disney After Hours at Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, or Animal Kingdom
- Epcot International Festival of the Arts
- Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
- Epcot International Food and Wine Festival
- Epcot International Festival of the Holidays
Adventures in Dining
- Dining with an Imagineer – The Hollywood Brown Derby or Citricos
- Victoria & Albert’s Chef’s Table Dinner
- Dine with an Animal Specialist
- Savor the Savannah: Evening Safari Experience
- There are a ton more dining experiences, this list is huge!
Final Thoughts on Disney Add Ons
I love the fact that you can really add some flare to an already awesome trip with these experiences. I think the price tag on some of the tours and parties is a bit high, but that clearly hasn’t completely stopped me, or anyone else, from participating in them.
If you’re interested in learning about all the different Disney add ons, head over to the official Disney World Enchanting Extras page. Do so at your own risk: I guarantee you will find something you want to add to your trip.
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Do you have a favorite Disney add on of your own? I would love to hear stories of your own experiences with Disney Enchanting Extras. Please comment below to share.