To Get Home From Disney With Your Souvenirs, Bring Less of This…

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Getting to and from a vacation seems to be the worst part of the whole deal, and don’t get me started on the depression that can set in once you are back home. Either flying or driving to Walt Disney World Disney, chances are you will over-pack, especially if you are traveling by car. You know Disney Princesses – we over pack for everything! My husband commented for years that we looked like the Clampetts from the Beverly Hillbillies as we pulled into our hotel. Well, it’s tough to pack light with a family of five. But as our children have grown older, we have tried to take along just the necessities. He swears on the next trip, we can make it in just two large suitcases. The number one thing we always over-pack? [Read more…]

70% Off Disney Parks Authentic Merchandise? Cheapskate Bargains Galore!

where to find Disney's character Warehouse in Orlando
Updated for 2017!
If you ever waited a month to buy something until it went on sale, you just might be a Cheapskate Princess.  I sure love buying Disney souvenirs, even if I can’t afford most of them. What I hate is paying full retail prices, and nothing ever seems to be on sale at Walt Disney World. There is a fabulous store in Orlando where you don’t have to wait, because almost everything is on sale. With two locations, this is where can you find official Disney merchandise, Theme Park Authentic I might add, and tremendous Disney deals for up to 70% off.
 
You have got to make a run by this store, because the prices will stop you in your tracks…

Let’s go shop smarter for souvenirs in Orlando.

Read: Avoid These 10 Mistakes That Can Wreck a Disney World Vacation

[Read more…]

A Disney Princess Wouldn’t Wear a Fanny Pack, but a Cheapskate Princess Might!

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Updated for 2017!

The fanny pack. I’m really not a clothes snob, but those are two words I can’t even say with a straight face. The thought of fanny packs have struck fear into the heart of Disney fashionistas for years. Can you imagine Cinderella with a sparkly fanny pack to hold her car keys and lipstick?

Uh, no. [Read more…]

Disney’s Extra Magic Hours: a Cheapskate Princess Guide

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Updated for 2017!

If you ever said,”Let’s just stay at a cheap hotel, because with the money we save, the longer we can stay at Disney World longer,” then you just might be a Cheapskate Princess. I’m all about finding a bargain. And there is no doubt that staying at a Disney World Resort can be more expensive than staying “off property.” 

But Disney offers a huge perk other off-property hotels don’t: Extra Magic Hours. Staying fewer days in a Disney resort to play longer in the parks is what a Cheapskate Princess would call a splurge.   [Read more…]

2015 Beach Princess: IP Casino’s Penthouse Suite is THE Ultimate in Mississippi Casino Luxury

the Beach PrincessAugust 2015

My husband and I spent several weekday nights over the summer in Biloxi at the Imperial Palace Resort.We had several free nights because of free offers, but we opted to splurge on one of their Penthouse Suites, each which occupies an amazing 1,456 square feet.

Just the entryway is impressive, and there is a guest bathroom to the right. [Read more…]

Three Tips for Surviving Disney World at Christmas with Kids

Survival guide for Christmas at Disney World

Updated for 2017!

Debates occur weekly as to when is the best time to visit Walt Disney World. I am a public high school teacher, so it’s hard for me to play hookey and travel to Orlando while school is in session. If you have ever seen Disney during the Christmas holiday season, then you know why this is a favorite among Disney vacationers. Carols really do fill the air, festive lights are twinkling, and you can almost feel Santa’s impending arrival just by touching any of the thousands of Disney holiday merchandising items. There’s even “snow” on Magic Kingdom’s Main Street on special nights. [Read more…]

10 Cheapskate Ways to Save Time (Equals Money) at Walt Disney World

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Updated for 2017!

Time is money at Walt Disney World.  You will spend a ton of your hard-earned money at Disney, and wasting time is really the equivalent to wasting your precious vacation dollars. The more time you spend standing in lines, the more time you are not doing something else fun. So let’s get to it and not waste any more…time.

Here are 10 ways to save time (equals money), because who among us doesn’t need more of both? [Read more…]

Should You Bring Your Own Snacks to Disney World to Save Money?

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Updated for 2017!

If you ever brought your own snacks into the Disney World parks to save money, then you are definitely a Cheapskate Princess! I am constantly looking for ways to cut my food costs down while we vacation at Disney. I have eaten fries for dinner so I would have room for a snack later on that night. I have brought half a hamburger in a ziplock along with me in a backpack for a post-dinner yet pre-midnight-ice cream meal. I all about trying to save money on food so I can purchase take-home souvenirs

I asked Disney’s Cheapskate Princess Facebook fans if they brought snacks into Walt Disney World or purchased snacks in the parks. The overwhelming response was to bring your own snacks, but lots of fans brought snacks to save enough money to purchase Disney snacks at some point on the trip. Get your pen and pencil handy, because hopefully some of these tips can save you some money. [Read more…]

Disney World Food Tip #7: Eat Breakfast Here!

save money on food at Disney World

Updated for 2017!

When some people go on vacation, many times they don’t want to cook a thing. Vacations are for relaxing and having fun, and for most people, cooking doesn’t fall under either of those categories. This carries over to a trip to Disney World, because the majority of travelers have specific ideas about where they want to eat in Orlando. Entire books are dedicated to planning out your vacation, hour by hour, meal by meal, advising you to make all your Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) months in advance. Let me concur that this is sage advice. When would I suggest you go against traditional wisdom and skip a Disney meal? [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…]

Cheap Ways to Keep the Disney Magic Going After Your Vacation

Knowing the crazy amount of money I spend on Disney vacations, it just kills me to go home and have the memory of my time in Orlando slip away. I’m not that old, but those Disney feelings and memories fade quickly. The longer I am back home, the less I seem to recall unless I am sitting in front my pictures. I miss the smell of Disney, the colors of the buildings and characters, the feel of the monorail bench, the sound of the fireworks, and the songs.  I seem to miss it all.

I’ve picked up a couple of tricks through the years that help me keep that Disney Feeling going when I am nine hours away from Main Street. If you are planing your first or 50th trip to Disney, these ideas are cheap and simple, and what Disney princess wouldn’t love that?! [Read more…]

Where is the Best Place to Watch Wishes Fireworks at Disney’s Magic Kingdom?

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UPDATED for 2017:

As we prepare to say farewell to Wishes at Magic Kingdom, we are sad but excited about the new age of fireworks at Cinderella Castle!

I have watched Magic Kingdom’s fireworks show for years now, from so many park locations I have lost count. I have a favorite viewing spot, but sometimes as I make my way there, I get stuck watching from other places. Where does this Cheapskate Princess turn when she needs a great place to catch the fireworks and make some wishes of my own?  From behind Cinderella Castle, of course…

As your Princess Travel Experts, we give you all our tips and tricks and viewing spots for fireworks, shows and parades. Remember, for a free quote, you can fill out a quote request form here anytime.

I can handle the crowds at Disney. However, I enjoy my own space, which makes Disney a strange choice for my favorite vacation destination since you are usually surrounded by massive amounts of people all invading your personal-space-bubble. I watch the fireworks from the front, at least one time during my vacation, sitting with thousands of tourists by the “Partners” statue of Mickey and Walt. But I always try to see it at least two other times during my stay, and I always try to find a new place to view them.

A Cheapskate Princess Guide to Less Stress on Vacation

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One night, as we left Be Our Guest for dinner we stumbled upon the fireworks from behind the castle, and realized we had a new family challenge! We were going to find the newest and best ways to view the fireworks, minus all the crowds on Main Street, U.S.A.

The Wishes fireworks are shot from a barge in the marshy area outside the Disney property, back behind where the railroad tracks encircle the park. They are fired more close range from the roof tops right by Cinderella Castle, over Mickey’s Philharmagic and Princess Fairytale Hall. You will walk through the water they use to wet the building rooftops each night before the show begins, which certainly lends an “Up Close and Personal” touch to your viewing pleasure. Our family watches from the Carousel, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, as well as deeper into the New Fantasyland by Ariel’s Grotto. If you are in just the right spot, you are able to see the fireworks with three iconic castles in the background; Cinderella Castle, Beast’s Castle and Prince Eric’s Castle.

Do You Have a Favorite Child to Bring On a Disney Vacation?

 

Fireworks

I definitely wouldn’t recommend this spot for families with really small children or kids with noise aversions. It’s loud and firework-smokey, which I have seen frighten some children.

There are also things you miss from the back. Tinkerbell’s flight at the beginning of Wishes, is a crowd favorite for sure. And we hope that the new replacement show will add something even cooler for children of all ages. But if it is in the front of the castle like Tinkerbell, you will miss this if viewing from the back. Also, the wonderful images projected onto Cinderella Castle that adds to the show, will of course only be able to be viewed from the front.  This is why I always make sure to see it at least once from my favorite spot in front of the castle.

The crowds are light behind the castle after all, most people want to see if from the front. I understand this; I’ve just chosen to make other plans. On days when I can’t make it until the Kingdom, my other favorite spot is high atop Bay Lake Tower, but I don’t get this view often, and the volume actually feels muted compared to my regular back-row seat.

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

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If you feel like you know the fireworks show by heart and you don’t mind missing the noise and music, there are some other beautiful and special places to watch the show! As your Princess Travel Experts, one of the things we do when helping you with your dining is make reservations at certain restaurants to view the fireworks. Contemporary, Grand Floridian and Polynesian Resorts all have dining reservations during the fireworks. These resorts also have some wonderful viewing spots on their property so you can enjoy the show from outside the park.

And how could a fireworks viewing be complete without a snack? There are always snack spots around any of your chosen viewing locations where you can all get a snack and settle in for a great show!

Life Lessons With a Disney Twist: Teach Kids to Be Appreciative

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One last tip. The park closes after Wishes on some nights, and you are almost half a mile from the front gates. Walk slow…let people pass you as they rush to a monorail…take your sweet Mickey Mouse time. By now, the gift shops are clearing out, and you have more elbow room to do some window or actual shopping.

If you ever waited until the park was closing to do some window shopping, you just might be a Cheapskate Princess!

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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Call Mike at 919-606-6725 or e-mail him at mike@pixievacations.com.

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 Travel Consultant with Pixie Vacations, Mike Ellis. You can also e-mail him at mike@pixievacations.com.