Here’s How the Ultra-Rich Do Disney

It’s no secret that a vacation at the Disney theme parks is not typically cheap. Even if you’re able to find some great discounts leading up to your trip, the expenses for tickets, lodging, dining, and activities can quickly add up. However, when you're rich, the price of the activities you do is not typically a concern, and you can spend as much money as you'd like to have a luxurious experience.

Disney has many upscale offerings available for all the different facets of a typical vacation, in addition to some exclusive opportunities that only very few are able to participate in. If you're interested in learning how the rich do Disney, keep reading!

VIP Tours

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One of the most time-consuming (and sometimes downright boring) parts of visiting the Disney Parks is waiting in line for each attraction. While you do have the ability to speed up your wait a bit by paying extra for Genie+ or Individual Lightning Lane, you’ll still have to wait with everyone else who has the same level of access.

The way that the rich avoid having to waste time waiting to board each ride is by scheduling a private tour with Disney’s VIP tour team. These tours can be booked for a minimum of seven hours for up to 10 people, and they cost anywhere from $450 – $900 per hour on top of the price of park tickets. They are a great way to accomplish a lot in a fairly short amount of time!

With a VIP tour, your group can avoid dealing with the crowded theme park transportation system by being picked up from your hotel in a private car. You’ll be able to jump ahead of the line for the most popular attractions and board with little to no wait and enjoy insight and guidance from your personal VIP tour guide.

Club Level Suite Stays

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One of the best ways to fully experience a Disney vacation is to stay on-property in one of the Disney Resort hotels. While the rooms at most of the Disney hotels are generally pretty nice, the rich take it a step further so they can stay in the height of luxury. Instead of booking a Standard Room or even a Villa, they will likely choose to stay in one of the Club Level suites.

These specialty suites are available at most of the Deluxe-tier resorts and typically either take specific floors in the taller towers or have their own separate building. Whatever the layout looks like, the Club Level area is only accessible to others staying there, so you have a lot more privacy. In addition to a quieter and more spacious hotel room, staying in a Club Level suite comes with plenty of other perks as well.

As a Club Level guest, you can take advantage of a variety of extra amenities that the average resort guest does not have access to. You are offered assistance from Club Level Concierge throughout your stay for park and transformation information, ticket sales, and dining reservations, so your requests will be handled much more quickly. You’ll also have a key that lets you into the exclusive Club-Level Lounge, where you can enjoy unlimited refreshments and foods from the early morning through to the late evening.

Club 33 Membership

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One of the ritziest Disney experiences the rich can partake in is membership in Club 33. Club 33 is made up of a series of private spaces in the different parks around the world, where those who prefer to enjoy their time at Disney away from the hustle and bustle of the normal crowds can dine in a beautiful setting. Club 33 members receive perks like Annual Park Passes, park admission tickets for family and friends, access to exclusive lounges and restaurants, ride access passes for the year, and front row seating to Disneyland entertainment.

Each Club 33 location is themed differently, but they are all fairly discrete and you have to search a bit to find them in some of the parks. Members can put their feet up and enjoy a meal or cocktail during their vacation to the tune of $25,000 – $30,000 in initiation fees and then $10,000 – $15,000 every year afterward.

The waitlist to join Club 33 is purportedly extremely long, and it's not an easy feat to get into this group. However, it’s worth the wait for those who can afford it to be able to say they’re part of such an exclusive group!

High-Class Dining Experiences

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Even though there is an extensive waitlist for Club 33, there are still many other fancy dining options that the rich can enjoy while at Disney. One of the most sought-after is having dinner at Chef’s Table at Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa at Disney World.

This luxurious restaurant has won the AAA Five Diamond Award every year since 2000, and the Chef’s Table experience in particular is incredibly high caliber. Only one party of 4-6 guests is seated every evening, and during the 3-hour-long dinner, the chef serves up several different courses. The best part about this experience is that the courses are personalized for your party’s tastes and dietary preferences, so it will always be unique.

The prix-fixe for the Chef’s Table dinner is $425 a person, and wine pairings can be added on for an extra $200 each. It’s definitely not something that most guests can afford to do whenever they please, but it’s a no-brainer for the rich!

Top-Shelf Alcoholic Beverages

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While bars can be found all throughout the Disney theme parks and resorts, there are only a few that serve the highest quality (and priciest) alcoholic drinks. If the rich have not yet received access to enjoy their drinks in Club 33, they can likely be found enjoying a cocktail or shot at the lounges offering top-shelf liquor and wine.

A popular choice is La Cava del Tequila, located inside the Mexico Pavilion in World Showcase at EPCOT, with a wide variety of expensive tequilas and mezcals both on and off the main menu. The rich might enjoy other dining locations featuring certain wines on the menu that are over $100 as well.

Private Fireworks Viewing

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The Disney theme parks generally have pretty consistent crowds throughout the day, but certain areas get extra busy every evening leading up to the nighttime fireworks shows. This can make it challenging to maneuver around the park to the attractions you want to ride in the hours beforehand, and if you want a good viewing spot, you lose out on precious theme park time while you stake it out. The rich skip all of these woes by booking a specialty fireworks cruise on Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake for Magic Kingdom or the International Gateway waters for EPCOT.

The fireworks cruises launch from the Deluxe resorts that have marinas located on these three bodies of water. The private boats can hold up to 10 guests and have drinks and snacks available onboard that can be enjoyed throughout the experience. The boat captain takes passengers on a leisurely sail around the waters leading up to the show, and then the boat is docked and the fireworks music is played while the show is happening.

These specialty cruises are perfect for watching the nighttime spectaculars in an intimate setting with family, friends, or loved ones. They also help avoid the stress of trying to exit the park along with all the other guests once the show is finished, and the process of getting back to the resort room at the end of the night is much less exhausting.

Relaxing at the Spa

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Even with all the great ways the rich can avoid some of the stressful components of an average Disney theme park vacation, they still may find that they need to spend some time unwinding and relaxing throughout their trip. Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa are home to Senses – A Disney Spa, where those with extra money can indulge in several different types of services.

The offerings range from simple manicures and facials to massages and body wraps. There are so many soothing options that you could easily spend an entire day taking advantage of a full rejuvenation experience. And even if you're able to purchase packages for your trip that don't require much walking or standing in long lines, your tired limbs will thank you after a few days playing in the theme parks.

Secluded Cabana Bookings

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If the rich decide to take a day away from the theme parks to spend at a Disney water park, the most comfortable way they can enjoy their time is by renting a private area for their group. The Polar Patios at Disney's Blizzard Beach water park and the Beachcomber Shacks at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon water park are both excellent choices for having your own secluded space away from other guests.

When you book one of these private cabanas, you won't have to worry about searching for open lounge chairs that you can throw your items on to “reserve” them for your party. Each space comes set up with towels and comfortable seating, and you can also request a cooler and other amenities to be brought to you.

You'll also be served throughout the day by a designated attendant. They will take your food orders and replenish your ice water and refill your waterpark mugs in addition to whatever else you need assistance with. While spending money on a separate area just for your family might not seem important to most guests, it's definitely worthwhile if you can afford it.

The extra amenities like private cabanas are a fantastic addition to your vacation, but have you ever wondered what the price is for a basic Disney World trip? Read about how much it costs to go to Disney World here!

Close-Ups with Animals

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One of the coolest aspects of Disney World is the opportunity to interact with animals from all over the world at both Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park and Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. For most normal guests, this means riding Kilimanjaro Safaris or viewing the animals from the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail and the Maharajah Jungle Trek. For the affluent, it means getting up-close and personal on special tours and experiences.

The Wild Africa Trek allows you to get right into the thick of the savanna by walking on rope bridges and grassy paths to see rhinos, hippos and crocodiles in their natural habitats. If you'd like something a bit tamer, you can also wait until the sun is down and the animals have cooled off and ride around in a safari vehicle to view them through night vision goggles.

If you're a big fan of animals, the best option is to stay at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge in a suite that looks out directly over the onsite savanna. You will be able to see giraffes, zebras, and other creatures right from the balcony of your room while also enjoying all the amenities offered at Club Level. And even if you choose not to stay at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, you can still enjoy a great view of the animals there from one of our favorite secret Disney World spots.

Expensive Souvenirs

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Walt Disney Parks & Resorts has partnerships with many different companies that make luxury items. When the rich visit the Disney theme parks and resorts, it only makes sense that they would want to spend some of their wealth on one-of-a-kind merchandise to bring back home with them. Fortunately, there are a lot of different options to choose from.

The range of luxury brands that have collaborated with Disney is very extensive. Throughout the Disney theme parks and online, you can find clothing from Givenchy and Gucci, accessories from Dooney & Burke and Pandora, and even Mickey ear headbands from Heidi Klum and Vera Wang. And for those who want something even more exclusive, the blown-glass jewelry and tiaras from Arribas Brothers in Magic Kingdom and Disney Springs are incredibly beautiful and unique.

Bringing home an expensive merchandise product is the perfect way to round out a vacation to the Disney theme parks, and because there are both gaudy and more reserved pieces available, each guest will find something to perfectly suit their own style and taste.

Interested in learning more about the top-level services the Disney theme parks offer? Check out our 2023 list of the most expensive Disney World experiences and prices.

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