30 FREE Activities at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

Updated July 2015!

If you are looking for the top of the line Disney World Resort accommodations, then look no further than the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. When he was initially planning the resorts built in close proximity to the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney planned the Polynesian resort to directly reflect Adventureland, the Contemporary Resort to reflect Tomorrowland, and the Grand Floridian was designed to mirror the splendor of Main Street, U.S.A.. [Read more…]

FREE Activities at Disney World’s Polynesian Resort: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

Polynesian Resort Free Things

Updated July 2015!

Opening on October 1, 1971, Disney World’s Polynesian Village Resort was one of the original WDW resorts built at the same time as the Magic Kingdom. The Grand Opening ceremony was held on the beach, with celebrities in attendance like Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, and Fred MacMurray. The “Village” portion of the name was dropped during the 1980s, leaving the name as simply “Disney’s Polynesian Resort.” These deluxe accommodations are located on the shores of Seven Seas Lagoon, occupying 39 acres and replicating a South Pacific paradise, adorned with beaches, tropical landscaping, tiki torches, and waterfalls. The Great Ceremonial House is the center of the resort as well as the lobby. [Read more…]

Almost 130 FREE Walt Disney World Resort Activities: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

130 Free Disney World Activities

Updated for 2017!

The Walt Disney World Resort is the most visited entertainment complex in the world. The property covers 47 square miles, offering visitors 24 unique themed resorts, four theme parks, two water parks, over 300 restaurants, a sports complex and the renovated Disney Springs shopping area. There truly is more to see and do than your average visitor has time or money to actually accomplish. With prices seeming to increase every year, some families struggle to make their Disney vacation dreams a reality. [Read more…]

3 Days with No Orlando Theme Park Tickets; How We Survived and Thrived Almost for FREE!

Rockin' Roller Coaster

When I heard people vacation in Orlando without actually setting foot in a theme park, I thought this was sort of a joke. Orlando is a nice town, but to go there without riding roller coasters? Orlando without going to Magic Kingdom? In recent years it’s become…go to Orlando without visiting Harry Potter? People really drive/fly that far and don’t ride any roller coasters or get character autographs? Me personally… I live in a vacation town almost on the sandy white beaches of the Gulf of Mexico.  I have just short of a nine-hour drive to reach Orlando. No way was I driving to that far and not go to a theme park.

Until my annual passes ran out three days before the end of Spring Break, and I wasn’t ready to pack the family up and head home just yet. I didn’t want to spend any more money on entertainment, but I wanted to hang out in Orlando for a little while longer.

Cheapskate Princess powers…activate! It was time to put that “Oh, there is LOTS of stuff to do for free!” motto I frequently yak about into actuality. Three days + no tickets = fun??

Yup, we had a blast. [Read more…]

Orlando’s Mall at Millennia: A Cheapskate Princess Guide


Mall at Millenia

Updated for 2017!

Why in the “Disney World” would you ever waste your time going to a mall when you are in Orlando?

For those of you who swear you will never leave Disney property while on vacation, don’t lose interest yet. Stay with me until I can make my money-free sales pitch, or you can look at all the photos, whichever happens first.

[Read more…]

Disney Vacation Must Do: Try Epcot’s Beverly!

How bad is Beverly at Epcot, free drinks at Epcot

Updated for 2017!

Club Cool is a great little spot in Epcot that offers FREE drinks, and if you ever paused your vacation roller-coaster ridin’ fun to get a free drink, you just might be a Cheapskate Princess!  Disney rumor has it that Club Cool was initially designed to be a temporary free attraction, but the Mouse kept it around because the drinks can reduce the cases of dehydration. If you’ve walked from one side of Epcot to another during any part of the summer, you know how incredible hot this park in particular can be.

So if you are feeling thirsty, or just up for a little fun, drop by Club Cool over in Epcot. Disney fans in the know will tell you…the drink everyone is talking about goes by the pretty name “Beverly.” [Read more…]

Why Celebrate with a Birthday Button at Disney World? Let a Cheapskate Princess Tell You!

Disney birthday button, celebrate a birthday at Disney World, celebrate a birthday at Disneyland

Many Disney visitors are familiar with the Birthday Button you can pick up both Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Most guidebooks and website wisdom tells you that if you are celebrating a birthday at the Disney Parks, you should be sure to pick up a Birthday Button to get extra attention and possibly free treats from Cast Members. We asked the Cheapskate Princess fans if they had ever received anything extra special (translation = FREE!) for wearing their Birthday Buttons into the parks, and the answers were fabulous!  If you have ever thought about celebrating a birthday at a Disney park, here are some details about the free swag our fans picked up on their vacations.

Nine Cheapskate Tips to Celebrate a Birthday at Walt Disney World for FREE!

Some of our  Cheapskate Princess fans received a free dessert. 

Jason, “I got a free dessert the entire week of my birthday at every sit down restaurant we ate at last year. Best birthday ever!”

Christina reminds us why you always need a camera, “For her 12th birthday, we took my daughter to Disneyland. The day we arrived, we had tickets to the special seating with desserts for Fantasmic. Eager to get to the parks, we dropped everything at the hotel and ran over. Later, we got to the designated seating area for the show, and the Disney Cast Member checking us in saw my daughter’s birthday button. He wished her a happy birthday and showed us to our seats. Fifteen minutes later the CM returned, this time with a giant piece of cake on a special Disney Plate with a candle on top. He asked my daughter to come with him for a moment, led her to the center of the crowd, and announced it was her birthday. He lit the candle and led the crowd in singing Happy Birthday to her. There she was in the dark, face lit by a candle, beaming as 5000.ish people sang, and there I was tearing up and realizing I didn’t have my camera. Naturally, she didn’t finish the cake because it was HUGE, so they packed it up for her, plate and all. She’ll be 19 next month, and we’ve still got the plate and wonderful memories of her 12th birthday.”

Disney World Resort Hopping: A Cheapskate Guide To Free Fun!

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Several of our of our  Cheapskate Princess fans received a cupcake or some type of snack. 

Stacy tells us, “We got a free cupcake from Tusker House and the Crystal Palace, plus a free chocolate dessert (AMAZING!) from Cape May. I even have a picture of it!”

Cindy says, “My husband received a free ice cream sundae with Mickey ears on it for his. I have received lovely sweets from the Yachtsman Steakhouse on a plate with Happy Birthday written in chocolate. I also have a cute place mat from Chef Mickey’s.”

Lenora got this wacky-named favorite, “The Grey Stuff at Be Our Guest!”

Donna received the same thing,  “At Be Our Guest they gave my son ‘The Grey Stuff’ and it WAS delicious!!”

Emlyn got her birthday treat at Disneyland, “At Blue Bayou at Disneyland, my sister and daughter ,who were both celebrating and wearing their buttons, got birthday sundaes with Mickey sprinkles.”

Save Money on Disney World T-Shirts by Making Your Own!

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You just might get a free drink, maybe…

Jennifer, “We received a frozen lemonade over by the Rockin Roller Coaster, since it was mine and my son’s birthday!”

Stephanie, “I got a free margarita from the Mexico Pavillion in Epcot. Awesome!!!!”

LeighAnne, “We got free popcorn and soda!”

Michaela received a couple goodies, “I got lots of great stuff, but by far the best was a free glass of champagne each for my fiancé and I from our amazing waiter at the Brown Derby!”

Read: The Most Important Thing You Can Do For Your Disney Vacation? It’s a Four Letter Word!

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Many of our  Cheapskate Princess fans received some type of free food. 

Amy tells us, “My daughter received a free second meal from Cinderella castle because she wanted more chicken and not a cupcake.”

Krystene is a Disneyland visitor, “At Blue Bayou at Disneyland my husband got beignets!! So good!!

Sue whooped it up with her grandchild, “My granddaughter got a Mickey shaped beignet at French Quarter for her Birthday. She loved it!”

Cheryl went with her kids, “My adult son and daughter each got a special cake with sparklers on it at the Animal Kingdom Rain Forest Cafe on our trip during Thanksgiving break four years ago.”

Hayden snagged a set of character signatures, “At 1900 Park Fare, my daughter celebrated her 5th birthday and received a birthday cupcake and a place mat signed by all of the characters.”

What’s One Thing You Need Less of On Your Disney World Vacation?

I love a birthday, birthday party ideas, birthday party, birthday button,

Mousekeeping went over and above for our  Cheapskate Princess fans.

Sharon shares, “Mousekeeping made me a really cool birthday cake out of towels!!”

Christina ditched the kids for a special celebration, “In January, my hubby and I spent a few days at Disney just to get away together. Laura, our Mousekeeper at Art of Animation, made the cutest Lovebirds out of wash cloths and left them for us in our room window…now they are looking cute sitting on my entertainment center in my bedroom… LOL!!”

Lenora hit the Mousekeeping surprise jackpot, We got a birthday cake made out of wash cloths at the Disneyland hotel, a signed photo of Cinderella, and free beignets at Cafe Orleans!”

Mayra says, “My son got a card signed by the Fab 5 and a Mickey head balloon; this was left at our room at Port Orleans Resort.”

Where is the Best Place to Watch Disney’s “Wishes” Fireworks?

Disney birthday balloon, Disney balloon, yellow balloon, Disney princess birthday, Disney

Many of our  Cheapskate Princess fans received special perks from Disney Cast Members. 

Kelli snagged a last-minute reservation, which can be worth it’s weight in Mickey gold, “On our recent trip my Disney daughter got free cupcakes at each table service restaurant, a free PB cookie from Big Top Treats, and free custom embroidery on her ear hat. I don’t know if this counts because the meal wasn’t free, but I asked about a last-minute reservation for PL and they said none available. But when they saw my daughter’s pin, they worked her in!”

Christina may have one of our better stories, “At Whispering Canyon for our anniversary a few years ago, my husband and I got free glasses of wine with a strawberry on the rim of the glass. They asked us to stand up and kiss! Then another year at 50’s Prime Time our “cousin” waitress performed an impromptu wedding vow renewal.”

Is Your Starbucks Coffee Habit Taking Money Out Of Your Disney Vacation Fund?

DVC button, Disney Vacation Club button, Disney World buttons,

In what was one of my bigger surprises, many of our  Cheapskate Princess fans received merchandise from Disney Cast Members.

Teryl tells us, “My daughter got the cupcakes, and Pin Traders gave her a birthday pin when we were trading.”

Chris hit the birthday jackpot,”My son received a large white chocolate Mickey and assorted chocolates from the Grand Floridian, and for his 18th birthday, he got a signed Jack Sparrow poster and about 6 different candy bars wrapped in ribbon from the BWI!”

Sanrda also got some swag during their stay at a Deluxe Resort, “At Animal Kingdom Lodge, I got a nice Animal Kingdom Lodge notebook, pen and a key chain.”

Nicole received a Disney Princess treat, “My daughter was fooling around at a shop with a dress up Cinderella doll, and a Cast Member dressed the doll with her, handed her a wand to say the magic words, then told her the wand was hers to keep.”

Is Summer the Best Time to Visit Walt Disney World?

Disney anniversary button, Disney anniversary pin, celebrate an anniversary at Disney

And don’t forget that Disney has Anniversary Buttons as well. 

Michelle enjoyed a special evening, “We got a dessert with special writing for our anniversary! Loved it!”

Where can you find the Disney buttons?

Nine Cheapskate Tips to Celebrate a Birthday at Walt Disney World for FREE!

There is certainly no guarantee that while wearing a Disney birthday button you will receive any swag or special treatment other than a big shout of “HaPpY BiRthDaY!” But if you do, give that Cast Member a big thanks.

Thanks for stopping by. If you ever held off on your birthday celebration so you could party at a Disney Resort, 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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Now let our vacation planner help you plan your trip, totally for FREE!

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Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from Mike Ellis, our Disney Vacation Planner with Pixie Vacations.

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.

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Free Indoor Activities at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

free activties at Disney's Wilderness LodgeUpdated for 2017!

I love resort hopping at Walt Disney World. If you have a couple of free hours on your next Disney vacation, there may be no better place to spend some time than Wilderness Lodge Resort. One of the best reasons to visit this specific resort, perhaps more than all the others, is all the free things you can find to do inside the lodge. It’s hot in Florida for a large portion of the year, and inside the Lodge is cool and shaded. Use our guide to all the best FREE activities the Lodge has to offer.  [Read more…]

Disney Springs Must Do: Visit The Art of Disney Store

art-of-disney-store-at-disney-springs

Updated for 2017!

If I bought everything that caught my eye at Disney World, how totally broke I would be. I’m a child of the 70s, and we did a lot of looking at souvenirs back then, because none of us kids had a Jay Oh Bee (job!) to pay for anything. My parents had money, but they were too busy sneaking in Magic Kingdom with food, and some other junk about teaching me the lesson you can’t have everything you want (No, and Blah, blah, blah is what I heard at the time) to buy us everything we wanted. 

Some of my favorite adult window shopping at Disney is in jewelry stores like Arribas Brothers and the Art of Disney stores.  Even if I am not taking home any huge Disney themed portraits, this has certainly never stopped me from looking.

So while in Disney Springs, an adult must do is the Art of Disney store. [Read more…]

Over 30 FREE Activities at 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…]

Free Drinks at Epcot’s Club Cool: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

free drinks at Disney World Epcot Club Cool

Updated for 2017!

If you’ve ever walked out of your way to hunt down something free to drink on vacation, then you just might be a Cheapskate Princess!

Free drinks and Disney World are not words you would not normally speak together in the same sentence. But Epcot has a semi-hidden gem that many of you princesses will overlook, because it’s not situated at the exit to any roller coaster, and there is no huge neon flashing sign. Which is a good thing, because that leaves more room for all the cheapskates at the drink fountains!

Where do you get free drinks at Epcot?

A little spot called Club Cool. [Read more…]