Free Dining, Fall Room Offer, and a SPECIAL giveaway

It’s here Cheapskate Princess readers, the day we have all been waiting patiently for…FREE DINING!! YAY! Now there are two options for those traveling in the Fall. Free Dining seems grand, but depending on your dates, your park tickets, and your resort sometimes the room only offer is the way to go. You can simply take your savings from your resort and pay for your dining plan with it! Everyone here loves to save the most money on our Disney vacations and we all love FREE so be sure to read to the end to see what our Princess Travel Experts have in store for those who book during these special offers.

free dining

Please remember these discounts are limited and are subject to restrictions. Contact your Princess Travel Expert now to have them assist you with your vacation planning needs. [Read more…]

Character Dining: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

My favorite part of planning a Walt Disney vacation is deciding where to eat and a trip to WDW isn’t complete without character dining. Character dining can be expensive and some experiences are better than others, but it saves lots of time to dine with characters instead of waiting in line in the parks to meet some of your favorite Disney characters. Character dining is also very popular so be sure to make your reservations at 180 days out or book with us and have your Princess Travel Expert take care of it for you!

Character Dining

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Special Ticketed Events and Tours at Walt Disney World

Did you know that Walt Disney World offers special tours and events for guests? These special events and tours do cost extra, but many people believe it’s worth it for the behind the scenes information and unique experience they provide. Reservations are required for most tours and can be made by calling 407-WDW-TOUR. While the cost will depend on the tour, all will require you reserve your tour or event with a credit card. Guests will have to show an ID when they check in for their tour. Also, most tours will require a theme park ticket and that is not included in the cost. But if you are looking for a special experience or if you are a seasoned Walt Disney World guest, the tours or special events will offer a new way to enjoy Disney. Also, be sure to ask if the tour offers a discount if you belong to the Disney Vacation Club, have an Annual Pass, or a Disney Visa Card holder. Not all tours or events offer discounts, but it doesn’t hurt to ask in case your tour does! We always look for ways to help save money on a Walt Disney World vacation.

Disney tours and events

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Guide to Universal’s Royal Pacific Resort: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

Universal Orlando Resort is a great option to add to your must do list in Orlando. If you have Harry Potter fans, then you absolutely must visit Universal. Universal Orlando has something for every member of your family from amazing thrill rides like The Incredible Hulk Coaster or Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket, to family fun rides like Transformers The Ride – 3D, Men in Black, and The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman. For the little ones you want to enjoy The Cat and the Hat ride and Caro-Seuss-el just to name a few.

Royal Pacific

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Disney Dream : A Cheapskate Princess Guide

A Disney Cruise is such a unique vacation and a must do for any Disney fan. The beauty of a cruise is that you can unpack once and see multiple destinations. This vacation allows you to pay one price for your resort, entertainment, and food. Also, Disney Cruise Line offers free soda. This is almost unheard of on a cruise. A Disney Cruise is also a fun way to have Disney (and the characters!), but at a more relaxed pace. Also, if your family can’t decide between a Disney vacation and a beach vacation then a Disney Cruise gives you both!

Disney Dream [Read more…]

Pros and Cons of Family Suites at Art of Animation and All Star Music

Disney World has two great options for guests who need larger rooms that sleeps up to six, but don’t want to pay the villa prices. There are two different family suites on Disney property that fit this need called the Family Suite at Disney’s Art of Animation and Family Suite at Disney’s All Star Music Resort. These family suites are a great option for larger families. A question that we hear a lot from guests wanting to stay in a family suite is “which one is the best?” Both are great options and have kitchenettes and two bathrooms (yes, two bathrooms!) But honestly, it really depends on which one would be best for your family. There are pros and cons to both resorts. [Read more…]

Hanging Out at the Disney Vacation Club Member Lounge In Epcot

DVC Lounge

Updated for 2017!

Located in the Imagination! Pavilion, Disney Vacation Club opened a DVC Member Lounge back in 2016 for members to enjoy when they visit Epcot. Who does;t need a break in the air conditioning when walking through that park – Every Person Comes Out Tired. The Lounge is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

location of the DVC Epcot Member lounge

This complimentary space was opened as part of the 25th anniversary of Disney Vacation Club, and current plans call for it to stay open through 2017 through the Membership Magic Ever After celebration.

We read about the lounge in our winter 2016 Disneyfiles Magazine. I was interested immediately because I thought the Imagination Pavilion in Epcot was the coolest place to be back in the 80s. The look of the lounge was retro and reminded me of the furniture I missed back in the 60s, since I wasn’t born until 1970.

DVC Memver Lounge in Epcot

Formerly called  The Journey Into Imagination, Imagination! is a pavilion that debuted in 1982 on the western side of Future World. I remember the movie you watched inside in 3D, which was the coolest thing ever back in the mid 80s when Kodak was the former title sponsor of the pavilion. The movie, Magic Journeys, was played along with a song of the same name by the Sherman Brothers. Those of you my age are singing the song in your head right about now…

After checking in with your membership card and photo ID, you walk upstairs to the second floor of the ImageWorks merchandise location within the pavilion.

DVC member lounge stairs

walk up the DVC member lounge stairs

In 1998, the original Journey Into Imagination was shuttered for renovations. The upstairs ImageWorks was closed, the leap-frog style fountains were reduced in size to accommodate the new gift shop at the exit of the new ride, but the glass pyramids remained intact even though the upstairs ImageWorks was closed.

The glass pyramid ceiling is of course the best part of the building.

DVC Lounge pictures

DVC Epcot Lounge

The lounge space offers many features:

  • Comfortable seating

DVC member lounge in Epcot

DVC Lounge perks at Epcot

  • Complimentary soft drinks

DVC Lounge complimentary soft drinks

  • Children’s play area

DVC Lounge children's play area

  • Wi-Fi
  • Charging stations
  • Computers with printers

DVC perks

  • Member Services Advisors

DVC Lounge at Epcot Member Services Advisors

We visited during Thanksgiving, so Christmas decorations were already on display.

DVC Christmas decorations at the Epcot member lounge

Mickey Mouse Christmas decoration

Important Details

There were a lot of rules members needed to be aware of to visit the lounge without issue.

  • Valid Membership Card and photo ID required at check-in. The name on the membership card must match the name on the photo ID.
  • Party size is limited to the member and up to five guests per membership card.
  • Guests and associates must be accompanied by a member with a valid membership card and photo ID.
  • No automatic re-entry allowed. Members and their guests who leave the space must follow the same entry policy.
  • Strollers must be parked at the attraction stroller parking outside.
  • Children may not be left unattended in the member lounge.
  • Members should remain with their guests.
  • Personal devices should not be left unattended.
  • Personal cups may not be used with the Coke Freestyle machines.
  • Access to the Member Lounge is part of Membership Extras. New purchasers after April 4, 2016, must purchase directly from Disney to have access to Membership Extras.

Was it worth paying DVC membership dues to visit the Member Lounge? No, not by a long shot as a perk by itself, but it was cool experience. DVC perks has started vanishing through the years we have been members.

It felt like sitting in a part of my childhood history. Enjoying free snacks and drinks in the air-conditioning on a hot fall day was certainly fun for 20 minutes or so.

To see more of our Cheapskating Guides, use this link.

Amanda Major Cheapskate Princess

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Disney’s Cheapskate Princess

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Now let our vacation planners help you plan your trip, totally for FREE!

Earn $20 Rewards for Vacation Referrals!

Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from Elizabeth and Erin, our Disney Vacation Planners with Destinations in Florida travel.

You can also e-mail them at cp@destinationsinflorida.com.

Great Perks for your Walt Disney World Vacation at Destinations in Florida

Amanda Major-Cheapskate PrincessAmanda Major is the creator of cheapskateprincess.com. She remembers her first visit to Magic Kingdom like it was yesterday, because she had a ham sandwich tucked in her shorts pocket. The whole family snuck in their lunch; you can’t make that kinda stuff up. 40 years worth of trips to Orlando later, she is still trying to save money on vacations.

Amanda is a Disney Vacation Club Member and Annual Pass holder. Her amazing husband, band director Carl Major, plus three teen children and two dogs keep her busy. Amanda teaches Leadership to high school seniors in the almost-coastal town of Foley, Alabama. Read about her cheapskating local vacations with this link. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, walking somewhere, or paddling a kayak. Life is indeed a blast. 

We hope we can help save you some money too. Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from our Princess Travel Experts with Destinations in Florida travel, Elizabeth and Erin. You can also e-mail them at cp@destinationsinflorida.com.

Pros and Cons of Staying at a Disney Resort: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

pros and cons of staying at a Disney Resort

Your family has decided they want to go to Walt Disney World and you are so excited, but then you have to decide if you want to stay at a Walt Disney World Resort or stay off property. A Disney World vacation has so many moving parts, and there are so many decisions to make while planning your vacation.  But don’t worry, because we are here to help you make the important decision on where to stay!

When you take a Walt Disney World vacation, there really isn’t a bad place to stay.

Read: Benefits of Staying at a Disney Resort: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

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Why Book Advanced Dining Reservations: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

When people plan their vacation to Walt Disney World, there are so many decisions to make. Guests have to decide where to stay, how many days to spend in the parks, which parks to visit, which FastPasses they want, and my favorite decision – where to eat. Disney allows guests to make dining reservations 180 days before their vacation. While there are a lot of out of this world choices for dining, there are some restaurants that are very popular, and they can be locations where it is hard to get the Advanced Dining Reservations (also called ADRs.)

Disney World Dining

Photo from Walt Disney World 

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Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

Have you ever dreamed of staying at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort? This amazing resort is worth the dream. The amenities and location make this resort one of the best at the Walt Disney World Resort. It is a deluxe level resort, so it is one of the more expensive resorts on property, but for some this is considered a bucket list resort for many guests.  Is this one on your bucket list? [Read more…]

Two New Walt Disney World Discounts for Disney Visa Cardholders

Have you been thinking of visiting Walt Disney World in early 2017 and have a Disney Visa Card? Great news! Disney just released two discounts to Disney Visa Cardholders. Both discounts have to be booked by December 21st. Hurry! Don’t let these discounts pass you by. [Read more…]

Holiday Wishes Dessert Premium Package: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

If you are planning on visiting Walt Disney World during November or December, then chances are you will be enjoying some of the amazing holiday experiences and touches that Disney does so well. A lot of guests visit during this time so they can attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. While it can be pretty busy, there is so much to see and do that it really is a magical time to visit Walt Disney World.

dessert party

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