Are you the Disney mom who’s mastered Disney FastPass+, knows the prime parade viewing spots, and arranges encounters with every princess? My tiara is off to you, Mama. As much as I love Walt Disney World, I’m still learning how to make the whole experience as seamless and magical as I can for my kids. (For instance, I only just discovered there’s an app that updates you on wait times. Who knew?)
Luckily, Disney is giving us all a chance to step up our game when it comes to planning a dream trip for our kiddos. They recently introduced the Enchanting Extras Collection, a group of experiences that are sure to create lasting Walt Disney World memories—not to mention some amazing photo-ops.
All of these Enchanting Extras can be booked up to 180 days in advance so that you can get all your ducks (and I do mean Donald and Daisy) in a row for your trip and count down the days until that next visit to the most magical place on Earth.
Ultimate Disney Classics VIP Tour
Get the most out of the Magic Kingdom with a VIP Tour Guide who ensures that your day will be well organized and hassle-free with almost no waiting in line. Yep, let that sink in. Instead of enduring the plaintive cries of “how much longer?” from tired riders, you’ll be zipping through your itinerary of up to 10 classic attractions such as Pirates of the Caribbean, It’s a Small World, and Peter Pan’s Flight. ($199 per person, no age requirement. More information)
Frozen Ever After Dessert Party
What better way to end your day at Epcot than with a decadent dessert buffet and specialty beverages inspired by Frozen? We’re talking Elsa’s blue velvet cupcakes, Olaf’s warm double chocolate s’mores pudding cake, and Hans’ key lime tarts—because he’s a little sour, right? And with your reserved VIP seating along the World Showcase Lagoon, you can also feast your eyes on the nighttime fireworks spectacular IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth before experiencing the popular Frozen Ever After attraction. ($79 per adult, $47 per child, separate Epcot admission required, no age requirement, lasts about 90 minutes. More information)
Ever wonder how they make the magic? Disney junkies will revel in this rare glimpse behind the scenes at the theme parks. During a seven-hour VIP tour, witness the wizardry of animatronics, see talented designers crafting costumes for performers and learn fascinating Disney trivia that isn’t in the guidebooks. You’ll even explore the system of underground “Utilidor” tunnels that are used by Cast Members and typically off limits to guests. Who knows what you’ll find down there? ($275 per person, ages 12+, includes lunch. More information)
Caring for Giants
It turns out Dumbo isn’t the only elephant you may encounter. Disney’s Animal Kingdom features a majestic herd of African elephants, and the Caring for Giants tour will put you within 80 to 100 feet of them. Learn firsthand how the animal specialists care for these smart, compassionate creatures, and observe their fascinating family groups up close. You might even see a baby calf! ($30, one-hour tour, ages 4+. More information)
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
Fairy tales absolutely do come true in this fantasy kids’ beauty salon where little ones get the royal treatment. Whether your child dreams of feeling as fancy as Princess Jasmine or as dashing as a knight, let Cinderella’s Fairy Godmothers-in-Training wave their magic wands and deliver sparkling nails, shimmering makeup, and crown-ready updos. Good luck getting out of there without buying all the dresses. (Prices vary, ages 3 to 12. More information)
The Pirate’s League
Why should princesses have all the fun? At The Pirate’s League, a rustic Magic Kingdom lair near the Pirates of the Caribbean, boys and girls transform into pirates, empresses and mermaids thanks to costumes, fun props, and stage makeup worthy of Blackbeard or Captain Hook. After their makeovers, kids earn a new name, learn how to talk like a pirate from one of Captain Jack Sparrow’s pirate masters, and take home a bit of buried treasure. Arrrgh-uably one of the best times an imaginative play-loving Disney fan can have. (Prices vary, ages 3+. More information)