5 things I don’t think are worth it on Disney World trips – PREP037

Although I tend to think most things are worth it at Disney World, there are a few I don't think are worth doing and today I've got a list of 5 things that I won't do on Disney World trips.

I've also got a quick tip of the day to help you decide if the Disney Dining Plan is worth it for you.

These are notes from this episode. There's much more info included in the audio so be sure to listen to the episode for a better explanation.

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5 things I don't think are worth it

  • Epcot Illuminations Sparkling Dessert Party
  • FastPass+ for Fantasmic
  • Be Our Guest for dinner
  • Cheap ponchos
  • Concierge or club-level rooms

Links mentioned in this episode

Quick tip of the day

To decide if the Disney Dining Plan is worth it for you, you should review my post on maximizing Disney Dining Plan credits. If you'd like the information in a spreadsheet, be sure to sign up for the email list (there's a sign-up box at the end of every post) and then email me to request the spreadsheet.

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Are there things you would add to this list? Or do you have questions on anything mentioned?

Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.

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I agree on the majority of these, but my husband and I would both completely disagree with you about BOG. We went for Dinner and loved the ambiance, it was an incredibly romantic environment for the two of us, plus it’s my favorite Disney movie, so feeling like I’m on the set of the movie is the most incredible feeling! This past trip, my husband and I went to BOG for lunch and felt completely awful about it. We hated every part of the meal, except the actual food. Kids were running around like it was a playground. We had… Read more »

I loved BoG for dinner but I thought breakfast was a mess. I would do it again and recommend it; it was a nice fancyish meal for 1 dining credit with nice ambiance. we sat in the rose room and I don’t htink I would have liked the big ballroom as much. It seemed noisy and more cafeteria-like. Concierge level doesn’t appeal to me but it depends on how you travel. I agree about Illuminations but our cheap ponchos saved our bacon the whole week, lol. Great podcast as always.


I’m sad. BoG isn’t doing the lunch fastpass+ anymore. It ended Feb. 24th 2015. Thanks for all of the great information. We’re going in September and super excited!


It’s not FP+, but I made a lunch reservation for Be Our Guest in September.


Shannon, re: club level…I’m considering split stay for club level – where we would just do one or two nights at club level during our stay on resort days, days we would be spending at the resort relaxing – do you think it would be silly to switch rooms twice, just for club level benefits on our resort days?


I have to say I disagree with you on Club level as well. I think its all about the who and the how you do disney. The last 3 years we have had 1 or 2 under 3 and my 70 year old mother with us. We always do deluxe dinning and that means that neither of our boys were covered. I also happen to be a water snob and only drink bottled water. So between 2 apples a day for my older son, goldfish, cheerios to take with us, bottles of Evian to fill our water bottles with and… Read more »


I couldn’t agree with you more. Club levels at Disney are fantastic! My husband and I especially like the regatta club at the Yacht Club. It’s so nice to know that breakfast is pretty much handled entirely and that there will be snacks all throughout the day. If you drink alcohol, it’s completely worth it, too. It’s also nice to know that the staff will go above and beyond to get hard-to-find dining reservations — even at the last minute.


Oooh I love you! And your podcasts! And I consider your site to be my bible when planning. But I disagree about BOG. I did not book in advance. I walked up during the morning when we arrived at the park. They had a cancellation, so we got that spot. The ambiance was amazing, as you mentioned! Meeting the Beast was HUGE as he’s my son’s favorite character. I agree that it would be nice if other characters visited the table. We also thought it would be fun if the waiters or other cast came through once an hour and… Read more »


How do you make reservations for the Magic Kingdom Sparkling Dessert party you mentioned?


Hi Shannon,

I am trying to do the Be Our Guest fast pass but its only allowing me a window to choose from Oct 24-Oct 30. Our last day is the 31st and wanted to do lunch on the last day. Do you know why the 31st would not be available? Do they only do the fast passes on certain days?


We are personally huge fans of the club level rooms. We travel with my parents, who are in their 60s, and it’s one of their favorite parts. If they get tired, the enjoy going back to the lounge for an afternoon snack and drinks. The service we have experience staying club level has been wonderful. We forgot something on our last trip that we couldn’t find in any of the shops. They club level staff went to the nearest Publix for us and picked it up. It was waiting in our room when we got back from the park with… Read more »


If the BOG reservation system is looking for a 12-digit number when your magic band number is alphanumeric…does that matter?


I am sitting at the 43 day mark as we speak. I just received an email about my MB’s needing final approval, which is now 13 days from their shipping/processing date. So, from this point it would still be a touch early?


My wife has been to Disney once and can’t remember half of it (she was so young) and it will be the first time we take our daughter, which she has yet to find out about(although I think we may just keep this secret until we touchdown at MCO). My family used to have a time-share in Kissimmee so we used to go to Disney at least once a year until I was 16. Planning for a trip on my own was a different experience for me! I looked through several websites and things just all started running together. I… Read more »


How awesome that the Fantasmic Dinner Package now gets you center seating. Last time we went we did that and ate at Mama Melrose’s and loved it and so enjoyed being able to have prior seating. However, sitting on the far right side was kind of disappointing. Thanks as always for your tips and wealth of information! 🙂


Hi Shannon, excellent as always! I just noticed that when I go to my “Magicbands and cards” link when I log into My Disney Experience- the 12 digit number is gone!!! It is now my 8 digit alphanumeric package reservation number!! I may have written it down somewhere- otherwise- would I have to wait for my luggage tags? And when do they come? Hmmmm… I hope I wrote that down somewhere! lol! Thoughts?

Have a great week!! Amy


We go in December. I am wondering if they figured it out and changed it? Maybe I should call and ask for it? I know I won’t be able to do the BOG FP for another 150 days…. but I guess I could be prepared- lol! 🙂 Thanks!


I agree about the cheap ponchos. I bought them for our August trip, and they kept my daughter and I relatively dry, they did nothing for my husband. We ended up buying him one at HS. Up to that point, we needed the ponchos at least once a day while at the parks. Of course once we bought him a Disney poncho, it no longer rained! Now we have it for next time, and I will spend the money to buy them for my daughter and I. We did Mia Leone’s for dinner (we had a reservation at 3:35) so… Read more »


Wasn’t sure how Be Our Guest for lunch would work with a fast pass plus and not count as one of the 3?


Can you please give instructions on how to book lunch at BOG using FP+ without it counting as one of the 3?


I was literally about to ask that question…

Andreia Ortega

The only thing a do not agree is tha Be Our Guest for dinner. We eat there during our spring break vacation and had a great time.


Great list! We are planning our first trip to Disney World for December and I am getting ready to book it as soon as free dining becomes available. I have a couple of questions: 1. Which resort/ free dining combo gets you the most bang for your buck? Value/free quick service or moderate/free disney dining plan or deluxe/free disney dining plan. 2. Is it worth it to rent a car if you have a toddler? I’m worried about long wait times and commute time on the buses, 3. Is it worth it to book our disney vacation to take advantage… Read more »

Maria B

I know I am not Shannen, and she will probably reply, and maybe with different answers, but I thought I could offer some insight, since we have gone with toddlers more than once. Question 1: The discounted resort price beats the meal plan almost every time. We stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge (a deluxe) for 35% off a room. It was discounted down almost to the rate of a value resort. We saved a lot of money and it was more than we would have saved if we had taken the free dining. I also think the free dining… Read more »

lisa edwards

I hope you’re wrong about the Sparkling Dessert Party. I have that scheduled next month. 🙂


Can you elaborate on the FP+ for lunch at Be Our Guest? How does this work (I.e. How does it not count as one of your three FP +)?

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