Over 30 FREE Activities In Disney Springs: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

Free Activities in Downtown Disney Disney Springs

Updated for 2017!

If you ate french fries off your child’s childs’ plate as a meal so you could afford a pricey Disney souvenir, you just might be a Cheapskate PrincessAre you looking for some fun without the big expense of more theme park tickets?  Cheapskate Princesses have an absolute favorite shopping spot in Orlando that, if you do it right, doesn’t have to involve any money at all…Disney Springs, formerly known as Downtown Disney.

Here are over activities at Disney Springs to do for FREE, because a true Disney Princess loves FREE. [Read more…]

Lower Your Stress on a Disney Vacation: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

10-ways-to-reduce-stress-at-disney-worldUpdated for 2017!

A Disney vacation, that will cost you a fortune and make amazing memories that last a lifetime, can be extremely stressful. Kids walk slow. Adults get irritable. Surely that’s not rain? Favorite rides break down. Plans have to be altered. Meals have to be delayed. Children get over stimulated, throw screaming tantrums in crowded gift shops while strangers stare at you. Lovers fight, parents fuss, and teens complain.

You have huge expectations regarding how your expensive and long-planned vacation should play out, and when things go wrong, people start to stress out. Just worrying about how much money you are spending is enough to turn up your stress level to high.

I ran across this photo on Pinterest (follow us using this Pinterest link ) that simply shared 10 ways to Stress Less, and I’ll expand upon those ideas a bit with a focus on vacation application, because these ideas can add greatly to your life, but more specifically, your next Disney vacation. [Read more…]

Walt Disney World in the Fall: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

best time to go to Disney World
Updated for 2017!

When school starts back each fall, temperatures slowly dip back below 90 degrees in the deep south. Add in football games plus  marching bands, and even if not many tree colors are changing, you have yourself the season known as fall. Is now the time for you to load up the family and head to Orlando for a vacation? We asked our  Cheapskate Princess Facebook Fans what they thought about visiting Disney World in the fall.

Here are eight reasons why you should pick a resort, grab your Mickey Mouse ears hat, and head off to the Magic Kingdom. [Read more…]

Disney World Food Tip #4: Water Bottles!

Dont buy water at Disney World

Updated for 2017!

If you ever re-filled a water bottle to avoid buying another drink, then you just might be a Cheapskate Princess! The average person needs to drink eight glasses of water on a day of light to moderate activity. When you add in walking miles and standing in often un-shaded lines at Disney World theme parks, there are times when you will definitely need to drink even more water to avoid dehydration.

If you are buying all that H2O on your trip, you are going to $pend a $mall fortune on an already expensive vacation. The solution?

Disney World Food Tip #4: Bring Your Own Bottle With You!

Many new visitors to Disney World associate bag checks with the inability to bring food into the theme parks. Well, thank goodness for us, long gone is the time when you were not allowed to bring food and drinks with you into the parks. So plan ahead and bring in your own water.

We asked our Cheapskate Princess Facebook fans if they re-used water bottles or added anything to their water. Their answers could help you plan your next vacation.

Read: 5 Easy Tips to Save Money on Food at Walt Disney World

 

Bring your own water bottles to Disney World

8 Tips for  Water Bottles at WDW

1. Freeze It

It’s hot most of the year in Orlando. Melanie talked about the heat, “We bring our water bottles from home, and I have flavor packets that we add to it. However, it was so hot last time we went, I was just happy to have plain old cold water to drink.” Many people freeze their water bottles the night before, which allows you to drink cold water as the ice unfreezes. You can even hold the cold bottle on your neck or wrists to cool your body down.

Max offered this great tip,” Pour out about a half-ounce of water from each bottle before freezing.  Water expands when it freezes, and this way, the bottom of the bottles won’t bulge out. And just remember you’ll have to go through bag check, so don’t bring any glass bottles in (that means no Snapple!)”

Mary says they always bring water bottles with them.We fill them up at night and pop them in the freezer. By mid morning in the park, they have started to thaw, and we continually add cold (free from any quick service!) ice water to them. I don’t mind the taste of Florida water, but we always have one or two squeezable drink mixes in our bag to add to the bottles if the kids want them. It saves us a ton of money on drinks and water keeps us hydrated in the heat. Sodas aren’t good for hydration Plus, I’d rather save my money for a Dole Whip Float!”

Read – Disney World Food Tip #1: Why You Should Share Dessert

Bring Dasani water drops to Disney World

2. Recycle It

You can re-use your bottles. Don’t throw the bottles away, but simply refill the bottles throughout the day. We have some suggestions on where to get that water on #3 and #4.

Sarah had a different plan for adults and kids, We reused water bottles for the kids and definitely brought flavoring for the water. The kids enjoyed it because they get plain tap water at home. For the adults, we purchased water bottles with replaceable filters in them, since we preferred to avoid the flavorings. We bought water bottle straps prior to our Disney trip and carried our bottles through all the parks with no issues at all. Would definitely go that route again – it worked great for us!”

Shannon has a helpful suggestion. “If you are carrying your water bottle in your park bag and don’t want everything in your bag to get wet from the condensation, slip the water bottle in a sock.  That way the sock will absorb all the condensation from the water bottle.”  

3. Fill It Up With This

Counter service restaurants and snack spots will often give you FREE ice water, or at least ice, in a cup if you ask. You do not have to make a purchase to ask for a cup of water, and then use this water to refill your bottle.

Misty uses this technique, We just ask for free glasses of ice water at the quick service restaurants.”

Read: Cheaper Breakfast Than Chef Mickey’s? This is One of Our Favorites!

order water for free at Disney World

4. Order Water for It

Speaking of saving money, when you are ordering counter service meals, don’t order soft drinks. Order water instead. It’s free as long as you don’t order the bottle, and you can now use it to fill up your water bottles. Think of the money you’ll save, even if the kids don’t thank you.

Jen plan to use this approach, “I brought my camelbak that has a filter in it. Its kind of annoying to carry though and it gets warm very quickly, so next time I’ll probably just ask for a cup of water at the restaurants. Though one place in Animal Kingdom I believe had the machine out in the open, so I just filled my water bottle with water there.”

Andrea advises, We brought flavors like Crystal Light or Hawaiian Punch in our back pack and added the flavor to free cups of water from the quick service restaurants.”

Galonii, We bring one of those refillable water bottles with a wider top. Because frankly the water at Disney World taste bad! So instead of asking for ice water, we ask for ice. I also bring one water bottle, and throughout the day I’ll keep adding to my ‘ice’ and it melts pretty fast. This way I always have water to drink that doesn’t taste bad!”

Read: What Are the Top Three Character Meals at Walt Disney World?

reuse water bottles at Disney

5. Fountain Fill It

There are water fountains everywhere around the Disney property.

Beth Ann looks for fountains,We take reusable water bottles with us and add Koolaid or Crystal Light mixes to it! We also have a backpack cooler that we carry them in so they kind of stay cool. We just refill at the nearest drinking fountain. It definitely saves money by not having to buy waters or drinks throughout the day.”

Lody, “We have reusable water bottles with a filter in them that we like to bring with us. We can fill them up at any sink or water fountain and the water tastes great. You can buy them for less than $10 on Amazon, and each filter lasts a really long time.

6. Add Flavor to It

While there are water fountains everywhere around the Disney property, not everyone wants to drink it. Many vacationers add flavoring to their water to give it a little extra zing.

Lisa, “I’m not a fan of Florida water, and to buy bottled water in the park is very expensive. So I bring different flavors of the liquid drink mixes. Easy to pack and carry!

Michelle says to add, “Koolaid Singles!”

Heather says, “Bring along the Koolaid flavor shots for the kids and crystal light (with caffeine, of course!) for the parents! Our Disney Vacation Planner was kind enough to send a case of water to our room, but the flavors to add certainly helped keep everyone hydrated and kept us from buying other expensive drinks when we got tired of water!”

Briget seems to be using most of our suggestions,  I bring reusable water bottles that we fill up at the hotel and freeze, and then we bring them in to the park. Buying water for six is way to expensive. We all order glasses of water and go back for another before we leave restaurants, and then we refill our bottles and use fountains. The kids use flavor packets when needed, and I add a lemon tea bag to the bottom of mine. The water at both Disneyland and Disney World tastes yucky!

Cindy is a Britta Water fan,I bring the Brita Water bottles from home. Fill them in the room and then put that water in an empty water bottle that I purchased during the day. Always put Crystal Light in the ‘Disney’ water to help with the taste. Even filtered in my Brita Water bottle it still tastes bad to me.”

Amandawhich happens to be me, says, I like to bring Gatorade with me in powder form or a really strong concentrate. I drink this during dinner with my FREE water cup, and then I add what’s left into my water bottle.”

Read – Disney World Food Tip #8: Avoid Eating Too Much Sugar

saving money on water at Disney World

7. Don’t Get It as a Snack Credit

(unless it’s Free Dining)

If you bring your own water with you, you won’t have to waste those Disney Dining Plan snack credits on water. A much better idea is using those credits to buy cupcakes or brownies. Of course that suggestion is for those of you that purchase the meal plan credits, but I’d still prefer a Disney brownie on vacation over a bottle of water any day.

Laura does use snack credits for water, and she offers this suggestion, I reuse water bottles, and I bring crystal light flavor packs. Another tip I have is when using the dining plan eating Quick Service at my resort, I get a bottle of water or soda but use my resort mug for my drink with my meal. That way I can save the bottle drink for in the park.”

It all goes back to the idea of saving money. If a bottle of water at Disney costs $2.50 and up, you can save around $1 to $2 per bottle, depending on what state you bought your water, and that savings will add up fast.

With the money you save on water, you can spend more $$$ on cool Disney souvenirs, like a purse or a new set of Mickey Mouse ears.

Read: To Save Money on Disney World Food, Eat Breakfast Here!

Disney Princess pirate hat

8. Brita Bottles are a Fan Fav. 

Several fans have suggested the Brita bottles with filters as an alternative to traditional plastic bottles.

TonjaOr first trip is in September, and we bought Brita water bottles with the filter. I’ve been drinking so much more water already!”

Katie, We plan on using the Brita bottle with a built-in filter this time. Save time and a snack credit! Green for the environment and your wallet!”

Christy, “Instead of refilling water bottles, invest in a ‘Bobble’ or a Brita filtered water bottle. You can refill them for the entirety of the vacation, and the filter takes out any odd tastes and/or bacteria if you are refilling from a water fountain. They come in various sizes you can pick up at Target or Walmart. At the end of the day, you can wash out the bottle, air dry it, and reuse it the next day. Not only are you saving money in the long-term, but you are keeping more plastic water bottles from taking up space in landfills. So it’s earth friendly too.”

Read: FREE Disney World Snack and Drink Samples: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

One more Quick tip…

Shannon, “If you are carrying your water bottle in your park bag and don’t want everything in your bag to get wet from the condensation, slip the water bottle in a sock. That way the sock will absorb all the condensation from the water bottle.

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you slipping those water bottles back into your backpack!

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 Erin and Elizabeth, 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, Erin and Elizabeth. You can also e-mail them at cp@destinationsinflorida.com.

[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…]

Disney Food Tip #2: Adults Save Money Ordering This Meal!

O

Updated for 2017!

If you can remember sneaking food into the Disney theme parks back before it was officially OK’d, then you might have grown up to be a Cheapskate Princess! Walt Disney World has some of the best food around, yet dining at Disney certainly doesn’t come cheap.

Children under the age of three can eat free from an adult’s plate at WDW buffets. But unless your children are still of the “Kids Eat Free” age, or you managed schedule an Orlando vacation during the Free Dining promotion, then you will spend a lot of money on food for you and your whole family. Because I complain constantly that food at Disney just kills my cheapskate budget, I’m always looking for ways to lower my food bill. I would much rather spend money on other things besides my breakfast, like jewelry, or Disney handbags… [Read more…]

Look in Davenport, Florida for Great Disney Vacation Rental Homes

 

Golfing Mickey rental house

December 2015

I read all the time on Facebook comments where die-hard Disney fans just cannot understand why someone would ever stay off property during their vacation. I have been on that mental thought train. We have truly enjoyed some fantastic on-property trips. And then we got two dogs, making on-property stays impossible without kenneling the furry members of the family. Not only am I too cheap to pay the kenneling fee, but it just seems like a choice I would rather avoid. And then my children grew taller than me, so sharing a couch bed was no longer so much fun for three kids. I then found myself on the Internet researching the costs of rental homes.

Have you done any research lately on the cost of rental homes? Granted, you are away from the magic and not in the heart of Walt Disney World, but there certainly are perks to renting your own home away from home. [Read more…]

Disney Food Tip #3: Bring Ziplocks In Your Theme Park Bag

You need

Updated for 2017!

If you ever took part of your dinner out of a restaurant with you to snack on later, then you just might be a Disney’s Cheapskate Princess! Walt Disney World is a vacation spot known for serving great food, but dining at Disney has a reputation for being rather pricey. The good news is that portions are usually reasonable, and many people feel the portions are actually quite large. When you walk away from your meal, your tummy will be full even if your wallet is significantly lighter.

We asked our  Cheapskate Princess Facebook Fans if they traveled with Ziplocs to save money on food, and we’re sharing their ideas. [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…]

1st Trip to Disney World: Tips on Picking the Correct Shoes

pick-the-right-shoes-for-a-disney-vacation

Updated for 2017!

Planning a first trip to Disney World or Disneyland? Did you realize that you can walk from 8 to 12 miles each and every day on that upcoming  vacation? That, my dears, is a lot of walking, and many hard-core Disney park travelers walk more miles than that per day. If you have ever worn comfortable shoes that didn’t really match your outfit to a theme park, choosing function over high fashion, then you just might be a Cheapskate Princess. [Read more…]

Free Disney Dining…Is It Really Always Free?

Is Free Disney Dining free, Fre Disney Dining, how to get Free Disney Dining,

Updated for 2017

If you have ever planned your entire Disney vacation around the free food offer, then you might be a Cheapskate Princess. Some guests go to Disney only when they offer the free dining incentive.  But is the free Disney dining always free?

Want to be on our free dining watch list? Click here.

[Read more…]