1st Trip to Disney? Are the Refillable Resort Mugs Worth the Cost?

should you buy Disney Resort mugs

Updated for 2017!

 

If you are staying on Disney resort property during your next vacation, you have the opportunity to buy a high-tech “Rapid Fill” refillable mug that you can use at all the resorts of property. Should you? Are they worth the money? 

I am from the south; we truly do call nearly every drink “Coke.”  Purchasing a regular sized cup of “Coke,” or soda, costs about $3. You are allowed to re-fill the paper cup during that meal. If you are going to eat more than five meals where you would purchase a paper cup, then it might be more cost-effective to purchase the mug.

What is the Rapid Fill program anyway? [Read more…]

1st Trip to Disney? 20 Magic Kingdom Rides to Save Time and Money

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Updated for 2017!

When you write about Disney topics, people like to ask you questions. Probably the one question I get asked the most is, “We only have tickets for one day. What park should we go to?” Without hesitation, I say Magic Kingdom. Regardless of age or how much you love roller coasters, I always say the Magic Kingdom just for the experience. When people think of Disney World, what pops into their heads first is usually Cinderella Castle; adult visitors have said they cried the first time they saw it because they had waited for so long. So if you can only be in Orlando for one day, I say spend it there.

I’ll go one further. If you are traveling with children under the age of three or four, I’m not sure I would take them to any Disney park besides the Magic Kingdom, even if you have enough tickets for two days. (Gasp, I know!) You will be hard pressed to see everything in one day, and with the number of  rides offered at Magic Kingdom, smaller children might want to ride the same things more than once. We didn’t even tell our kids that Disney World offered more theme parks besides M.K. until they were older and liked animals (Animal Kingdom) could do some reading on their own (Epcot) and were taller (Hollywood Studios) for their rollercoasters.

The Magic Kingdom Only plan isn’t for everyone, but it works well for many people with small children or visitors on their first trip.

 Read: Ten and 1/2 Tips for 1st Time Walt Disney World Visitors

best-rides-at-magic-kingdom-for-kids

The next most popular question I get asked is, “Is there anything special we should ride at Magic Kingdom?” My answer sometimes strays off the usual Disney roller coaster path.

I abhor standing in long lines. I think it’s like a flashback of my trips to Orlando in the 70s. I never quite got over standing in lines in the middle of the brutal summer heat for an hour or more to ride a three-minute ride. It just seemed a massive waste of time. My thrill seeking brothers would disagree, I am sure, but these were the same guys that spent their whole allowance playing Pac-Man.

I digress…

If you have teens who have never been to Disney or have not been since they were small, of course I would say to hit the Mountain Range: Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Splash Mountain.

Using Fastpass+, you can schedule three rides before you even arrive in Orlando. Use those for the popular rides, like any Mountains, Peter Pan, Mine Trail, etc. When you use your first three scheduled rides, you can get one more one at a time. While you wait to schedule more, concentrate on those “other” rides…the less popular rides at the Magic Kingdom.

Read: A Cheapskate Princess Guide to Less Stress on Vacation

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Let’s take a look at ride wait times for a Saturday in early June. I made a list of these times at one p.m. from the My Disney Experience App. This is just a snippet of one average summer day. Of course these times can vary greatly with weather, holidays, and special events like Extra Magic Hours for that particular park.

Rides with the longest wait times:

Astro Orbiter – 30 minutes

Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin – 35 minutes

Haunted Mansion – 30 minutes

Tomorowland Speedway – 30 minutes

Now for the rides with a wait longer than half an hour (on that particular day).

Rides with even longer wait times:

Enchanted Tales with Belle – 40 minutes

Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid – 40 minutes

Big Thunder Mountain – 45 minutes

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – 45 minutes

Peter Pan’s Flight – 50 minutes

Space Mountain – 70 minutes

Splash Mountain – 80 minutes

You’ll notice the three Mountains are on this list, as they always have the longest wait times, and these wait times for that particular day are actually low for many rides. The Mountain roller coasters can all reach upwards of 120 minutes easily in the summer. Each- that’s not cumulative. I’ve seen 160 minutes posted before, and that translates into you standing in line as a standby rider for 2.5 hours of your day.

Is that really the best use of your vacation time? This Cheapskate Princess thinks not.

 Read: Is Summer the Best Time to Visit Walt Disney World?

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Ok, so roller coasters are popular, as they have been since their invention. But if you don’t want to spend all day standing in long line after up-to-120 minute plus lines, then here are rides you want to become very familiar with. These are the one o’clock wait times for this one particular day from the My Disney Experience App. for what people would probably refer to as the “less popular rides.” This is what I call them:

Cheapskate Short Wait Rides

That’s a catchy title isn’t it…Cheapskate Short Wait.

Country Bear Jamboree – 0 minutes

Liberty Square Riverboat – 0 minutes

Prince Charming Regal Carousel – 0 minutes

Swiss Family Treehouse – 0 minutes

Hall of Presidents – 0 minutes

Tom Sawyer Island – 0 minutes

Tomorrowland Transit Authority – 0 minutes

Walt Disney World Railroad – 0 minutes

Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room – 0 minutes

Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress – 5 minutes

Mad Tea Party – 5 minutes

 

Uh oh, we’re up to the 10 minute wait times…

 Read: For a Fabulous Disney Meal, Make These Reservations ASAP!

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Dumbo the Flying Elephant – 10 minutes

Magic Carpets of Aladdin – 10 minutes

Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor – 10 minutes

Pirates of the Caribbean – 10 minutes

Stitch’s Great Escape – 10 minutes

The Barnstormer – 10 minutes

Mickey’s PhilharMagic – 10 minutes

Small World – 15 minutes

Jungle Cruise  – 15 minutes

Again, some of these rides will have longer lines depending on crowd and weather factors. But in general across the board, riding the “Cheapskate Short Wait” rides will give you more experiences for your money.

 

How will riding these rides save you money?

Ok, they won’t directly, but I can tie it back into that.

What these rides will allow you to do is spend less time waiting in line. Less time standing in line = more time actually riding/seeing something. Even with new and improved ride ques like at the Haunted Mansion, standing in line is not a lot of fun, while riding rides/seeing shows is. And with younger children who will have a tough time standing or walking very slowly for hours, short waits will save your patience, and your feet won’t ache as much. I really believe standing for long periods of time hurts my body more than the walking.

When people say they hated Disney World and would never go back, it always seems to be directly related to the time of year they visited and how long they stood in line. This is a McDonald’s fast food world  – most of us hate waiting for anything. Riding more rides/seeing more shows on vacation will make you feel like you got the best use out of your tickets, and if you feel your vacation was worth the money, you might purchase more than one or two-day tickets for your next trip. Tickets for more days translates into less you pay per day for each ticket, and that’s where your savings come in.

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 Read: 103 Fabulous Vacation Planning Articles for Walt Disney World Fun!

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you with the kids, deciding what rides to ride…

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

Amanda Major CheapskatePrincess.comAmanda 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, Julie and Elizabeth. You can also e-mail them at cp@destinationsinflorida.com.

1st Trip To Disney? Seven Ways MagicBands Can Improve Your Vacation

are personalized Disney Magicbands worth the price

Updated for 2017!

Back in January of 2013, Tom Staggs, Chairman of the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, described how the Disney Company would be rolling out a collection of tools at the Walt Disney World Resort called MyMagic+, providing guests with more opportunities to customize and personalize their entire visit. MyMagic+ would allow guests to book guaranteed ride times for their favorite shows and attractions even before setting foot in the parks. MyMagic+ was designed to enable guests to spend more time together, thereby creating a more enjoyable experience for everyone.

Staggs said, “Linking the entire MyMagic+ experience together is an innovative piece of technology we developed called the MagicBand.” [Read more…]

1st Trip to Disney: Is There No “Bad Time” to Visit Walt Disney World?

Bad Time to visit Disney World

Updated for 2017!

“There is no such thing as a bad time to visit Disney World.” I hear this every now and then in discussions of Disney vacation planning. It’s almost like no mater how bad the crowds get, the temperature, or the cost of your hotel, you should just be caught up in the magic, adventure, and fantasy of Disney World itself, no matter how many people are elbowing you or how long you waited, sweating profusely, for a bathroom stall. I personally disagree, as I hate crazy lines, long waits, and elbow to elbow people. My opinion contradicted people who said they would prefer to be standing in a two-hour line in Orlando rather than be at work. What? There are entire chapters in planning books devoted to when you should vacation in Orlando, so scheduling your travel dates is fairly important when mapping out your vacation. Really, no bad time? [Read more…]

1st Trip to Disney? 10.5 Tips for a Great Vacation!

Tips for first time Disney World visitors

Updated for 2017!

Walt Disney World is a crazy busy place. In the latest numbers I can find, back in 2015, Magic Kingdom had 20 million visitors in that year alone! If you’ve never been to Orlando to visit Disney World before, you are in for a real treat, but you can also be in for some disappointment. Along with four theme parks comes two water parks, thirty-four resorts and hotels on the Walt Disney World property, two spas and fitness centers, five golf courses, Disney Springs, and on and on and on. Disney can be a mad rush to do and see it all for first time visitors. The truth? [Read more…]

1st Trip to Disney World? Top 10 Cheapskate Tips to Save Money

Top Ten Disney World List

Updated for 2017!

There are lots of Disney Top Ten lists floating around the Internet, all designed to help you plan the very best vacation lots of money can buy. Everybody has their own ideas about what is the most important information that can make or break your trip. I compiled a list of what I think every Cheapskate Princess needs to know about taking a WDW vacation, whether it’s your first or 50th trip. [Read more…]

1st Trip to Disney? Avoid These 10 Mistakes!

have a great Disney World vacation

Updated for 2017!

Vacations are designed to whisk you away from reality and give you a break from the ho-hum of every day. A trip to Disney World is very pricey, and if you are not one of the lucky ones who make multiple trips each year, then you are saving and planning for your next your trip for what could be years. Or perhaps it just feels like years. If you make all these plans and pay all this money, how could you possibly screw it up?

Easy.

People do it all the time. [Read more…]

1st Trip to Disney? Why Hand Sanitizers are a Must Bring

how not to get sick on vacation at Disney World

Updated for 2017!

If you ever washed your hands 10 times a day to ensure you didn’t get sick on vacation, you just might be a Cheapskate Princess! Time is definitely money at Walt Disney World. Going on vacation in Orlando is going to cost you lots of pretty pennies, and if any family members wind up sick in bed, then there are certainly better things to do with your time, and conversely, your money. [Read more…]

First Trip to Disney: 10 Reasons to Stay on Property

why stay at a Disney World Resort

Updated for 2017!

If you have ever stayed at a hotel off of the Disney property to save some money, you just might be a Disney Princess! Our family has stayed both on and off Disney property, and the reason is pretty simple for staying off site. While there are some really excellent non-Disney resorts and hotels in Orlando, in most cases, staying off-site costs significantly less money. You can make a good argument for staying off site, but there are drawbacks.

Many of the reasons to stay on property are simply because Disney makes it so attractive to stay in their hotels. I’m going to refer to this effect as the Disney Splurge. You get what you pay for in life, and sometimes you just have to splurge on vacation to truly get the most from your hard-earned money.

Here is why staying on Disney property can be hard to turn down, even if it costs extra. [Read more…]

1st Trip to Disney World: Is Summer the Best Time to Travel?

Disney castle, princess, Princesses, photo of Disney's Cinderella castle, Disney in the summer, Magic Kingdom in the sun,

Updated for 2017!

If you ever stood in a Disney World line, all sweaty and hot, primarily because summer room rates were cheaper than peak holiday times, then you just might be a Cheapskate Princess! Everybody and their Disney loving’ cousin has an opinion about when the best time is to visit Walt Disney World. What is best for your family may not be the best for another.

You may not mind standing in 120 minute plus lines, just as long as you are surrounded by the holiday magic of Disney at Christmas, but your friends may tell you that you are absolutely crazy to travel during holidays. Summer seems to be a reasonable time to take a vacation, but the question must be asked…

If you are planning a first trip to Disney, or even a 10th trip for that matter, should you take the family to Disney during the summer months? [Read more…]

First Trip to Disney World? Tips for the Day You Arrive

planning-tips-for-your-first-disney-world-tripUpdated for 2017!

Holy cow, how long have you been saving up for this vacation?  Chances are, you have spent a lot of money on accommodations and tickets, and then you’ll drop even more money on food and souvenirs. So the day you arrive in Orlando, what should you do? [Read more…]

1st Trip to Disney World: Should You Travel during Christmas?

Disney World at Christmas

Updated for 2017!

It seems that spring and summer are often the time planning begins for colder weather vacations. Lots of people want to visit Disney World during Christmas, and who can blame them?  If you have ever scheduled a vacation during the Christmas holidays to avoid putting up holiday decorations in your own house, you might be a Cheapskate Princess! While we’re talking about scheduling, the question must be asked. Is Christmas really the best time of year for you to visit Walt Disney World? [Read more…]