Have You Heard About Disney’s Enchanted Evening Honeymoon Package?

Have you been dreaming of a honeymoon this year at Walt Disney World? The beauty of a Disney honeymoon is, you don’t actually have to have the wedding on property to honeymoon there. A limited time offer was recently announced with several special perks, and you still have six months to get it together.

Maybe a few travel incentives can push you in the right direction… [Read more…]

Cheapskate Princess Extravagance: Star Wars Guided Tours

Updated for 2017!

Well, at the price we’ll discuss, this certainly isn’t for the cheapskates out there, but it has special occasion or just simply a vacation extravagance written all over it, especially if you are a Star Wars fan. Walt Disney World offers special tours and events for guests, for an additional charge in addition to your regular park admission, but you can enjoy the full Force of Star Wars fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with an all-access tour called the Star Wars Guided Tour.

Are you ready for The Power of the Park Side! [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

.

Disney’s Cheapskate Princess

.

Now let our vacation planner 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 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.

Disney World Extravagance: Pirates & Pals Fireworks Voyage

Updated for 2017!

Looking for something different for your next Disney vacation?

There is no lack of special activities to spend your money on at Disney World. With this extravagant adventure starting at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, you’ll meet pirates, eat snacks and watch fireworks. What a combination!

Here’s all you need to know about the Pirates & Pals Fireworks Voyage. [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

[Read more…]

Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

hoop-de-doo-musical-revue-00Photo Credit: www.disneyworld.com

Updated for 2017!

It’s a rootin’ tootin’, not high falutin’, good old-fashioned family fun hootenanny! The Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue at Walt Disney World has the distinction of being the longest running dinner show in America. It also is one of the more expensive dining experiences at Disney World. Let this guide help you decide if the Hoop-Dee-Doo is perfect for you and your family.

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

[Read more…]

Best Disney World Meals Under $20: Beaches & Cream Soda Shop

Disney World Beaches & Cream meal under $20

Updated for 2017!

Food is expensive at Walt Disney World, but if you look hard enough, you can find some excellent places for a great meal that won’t bust your budget. You want to make a reservation and then drop in Beaches & Cream Soda Shop over at the Beach Club Resort.

What can you get for under $20? Tons of entreés and sides, plus a long list of desserts!

[Read more…]

The Disney Holiday Gingerbread House Kit: Is It Worth the $10?

disney-gingerbread-house-kit

Updated for 2017!

How do you entertain three older teenage kids during the holidays? Buy them a gingerbread house! We found a Disney “Crafty Cooking Kits” Mickey and Minnie house for $10 at Big Lots.

Here’s what you get for ten bucks: [Read more…]

Cheapskate Guide to 2016 Disney World Halloween & Christmas Parties

There is a reason Disney World, especially Magic Kingdom, is considered the most magical place on Earth. For 365 days of the year, children, men and women walk through the gates and experience all the magic the parks have to offer.

But for fifty nights this fall, extra holiday magic fills the air as Magic Kingdom is transformed to a holiday wonderland.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party are two of the biggest events every year at Disney World. But, are these holiday parties a perfect fit for you and your vacation? Let this list of tips and information help you decide.

Disney World Halloween & Disney World Christmas Party Basics:

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party are both separated ticketed events and are NOT part of your regular park admission tickets. You MUST purchase tickets to these parties in advance or at the gate of Magic Kingdom. (NOTE: If you wait until the date of the party to buy the tickets, you do run the risk of the event being sold out.)

The 2016 prices for each party are tiered and different depending on the date you choose to attend. Each party lasts from 7 pm until midnight.

You are able to gain entrance to Magic Kingdom at 4 pm on your party day. When you arrive and check in, you are given a wristband to wear for the entire party. You want to make sure you get this wristband because once the clock strikes 7:00, Cast Members will be checking to make sure only party guests are left inside Magic Kingdom.

Because you are able to get in at 4 pm, I always prefer to use our party day to sleep in, have lunch in Disney Springs and then head to the party. This is a great way to conserve your park tickets during your vacation!

At both parties, exclusive party merchandise is sold. T-shirts, hoodies, limited edition souvenirs and trading pins are just some of the things you can get and they are only sold during the party. There are also specialty holiday food and drinks you might want to try.

Also, with both parties, you will not be able to make fast passes for rides or attractions during the parties. But, honestly, that is not really a bad thing. Especially with the Halloween party, where this is so much entertainment, you might not want to ride anything that night!

MNSSHP (1)

Disney World Halloween:  Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

Dates for 2016:

September: 2, 8, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 29, 30
October: 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30, 31

The best thing about the Disney World Halloween party is that it truly is more fun than scary, which makes it the perfect addition to a vacation with little ones. Costumes are a must for the kids, and you will definitely have fun seeing all the princesses, pirates, fairies, ghosts and goblins. And for kids especially, I think this party hands down, wins over the Christmas party in terms of price of admission, getting to dress up, trick-or-treating, parades, oh my!

NOTE in 2016: Because of Disney World’s enhanced security measures of metal detectors and bag searches, please take note of their policy regarding costumes for the Halloween Party. “While costumed attire may be worn, guests ages 14 and older are strongly discouraged from wearing layered costumes or costume props that surround the entire body as they may be subject to additional security screening. Additionally, costumes may not contain any weapons that resemble or could easily be mistaken for an actual weapon.”

As for costumes, remember, you are in Florida. The lighter weight, the better! If the weather at your home is freezing on Halloween, and you are accustomed to bundling up…don’t do that for this party. You might want to put together a lighter, less expensive version of your kids’ favorite costume so everyone will be comfortable.

Trick-or-Treating through Magic Kingdom is a once in a lifetime experience, and you should come prepared with a couple of bags to hold it all! Now, I’m sure most parents would agree that if your kids KNOW you are about to trick-or-treat, they are going to ask to start right away. I personally recommend keeping that little tidbit of information as secret as possible until you are ready to start, or until you have a plan.

If Character Meet & Greets are what you are most looking forward to, you are in luck! Several very hard to see characters will be available to meet and take pictures with, as well as some old characters, all of whom you would not see any other time. The Seven Dwarfs, for example is very popular and an excellent photo op. Another very popular duo at the party are Jack Skellington and Sally from A Nightmare Before Christmas. TIP: Start lining up by 6:30pm to see either the Seven Dwarfs, or Jack and Sally, because these lines will be long all night.

One of the best things about the party is you can use the party map (pick one up when you arrive) to hit all the trick-or-treat spots. While walking from one trick-or-treat location to the other, you will find many of the characters as you are walking through the park. We have stumbled upon some great characters just by enjoying walking around the park waiting for the parade.

There are also a couple of locations for Character Dance Parties. A couple of times we have literally run into Monsters, Inc. characters dancing in Cosmic Rays in Tomorrowland or Tarzan in Adventureland. The best thing about running into characters like this is interacting with them. Dancing with The Incredibles or having King Louie recognize your beat skills can be the highlight of your entire vacation, whether you are a parent or toddler!

One of the best things about the Halloween party is the Boo to You Parade! There are always two times for the parade,(8:35 pm and 11:15 pm) and the second one is usually less crowded and my personal pick. However, if meeting characters or trick-or-treating is not that important to you, then you might want to see the first parade AND then watch it again at the later time. (It is that much fun to watch it twice!) Whichever parade time you decide, you will want to find your viewing spot at least 30 minutes before the start time. If you want to view the parade from Main Street, you might want to leaving more than 30 minutes to find your spot.

The Headless Horseman starts the parade off, which is one of the highlights! (If it is raining hard, or has been raining all day, the Horseman might not ride.) But don’t be surprised to see the Horseman and then….wait for it….the parade to continue several minutes later. This parade is not just phenomenal for Halloween lovers, but it really is one of the greatest parades you can see at Disney World. The music, the characters, the choreography, everything is really spectacular.

HalloWishes, the fireworks spectacular, only happens once a night, (10 pm) between the two Boo to You parades. The great thing about HalloWishes is that if you are viewing it from anywhere other than Main Street, you will not be missing any projections or anything happening in front of Cinderella Castle.

Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular happens in front of Cinderella Castle (check party guide for exact times) and is not to be missed. (You have four chances to see this show: 8:00 pm, 9:20 pm, 10:40 pm and 12:00 am) The Sanderson Sisters debuted in 2015 and are back again this year for some double, double, toil and trouble! This show, featuring Maleficient and Dr. Facilier, as well as several classic Disney villains is a fantastic way to celebrate Halloween.

disney world christmas

Disney World Christmas:  Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Dates for 2016:

November:  7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 18, 27, 29
December: 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18, 22

Is there anything better than a Disney World Christmas on Main Street, complete with snow, chocolate chip cookies and hot chocolate? It is a tough combination to beat, honestly. And of the best things about the Christmas party is that you are able to go in early November and December before holiday crowds make party going uncomfortable.

(Note: After December 22, the Holiday Wishes are shown nightly replacing the regular Wishes fireworks show. Also, Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime parade runs daily through the holiday as well.)

Character Meet & Greets are available and, like the Halloween party, there will be characters you might not normally get to see.  However, with the Disney World Christmas party, you are less likely to need a plan of attack to see characters. BUT, the Seven Dwarfs, Jake Skellington as Sandy Claws and Anna and Elsa are all big draws at this party. TIP: Just like the Halloween party, if you want to see a particular character, you want to start lining up by 6:30pm to see either the Seven Dwarfs, or Jack and Sally, because these lines will be long all night.

Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade is truly one of the most magical experiences you can have in Magic Kingdom. It is very difficult to describe the beauty of the lights, the characters, reindeer dancing, tin soldiers marching, the music AND Santa Claus. And just when you think you won’t be able to handle the magic one more second…it SNOWS…on Main Street…at Disney World! Just like the Halloween party, there are two viewing times available for the Christmas parade. And also like the Halloween party, the second viewing of this parade is usually less crowded.

Typically there are two Character Dance Parties you can enjoy as well. The Holiday Hootenanny is in the Gold Horseshoe building, and then Club Tinsel is in Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe. The Hootenanny is a fan favorite for most people over Club Tinsel, but both are fun for all ages.

Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration Stage Show is new for 2016, and is replacing Celebrate the Season show, held in front of Cinderella Castle.  Mickey Mouse throws a party with his friends complete with Christmas carols, dancing and special effects!

Holiday Wishes is the nightly fireworks show, and it is as magical as you can imagine. The choreography of the music and the fireworks is a holiday experience like no other. Trying to decide the better show, Holiday Wishes or HalloWishes, for me is like trying to pick my favorite child. It is impossible because I love them both so much. But the Holiday Wishes at the Christmas Party definitely gives me goosebumps every time.

Cookies and Hot Chocolate are given throughout the park and if you want to enjoy them during the parades or fireworks, keep in mind, the lines for refreshments get longer the closer to Main Street you get.

disney world christmas

Are of the Disney World Halloween or Disney World Christmas holiday parties right for you and your vacation? Is it worth the extra money, especially this year with tiered pricing?

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

Amanda Major Cheapskate Princess

.

Disney’s Cheapskate Princess

.

Now let our vacation planner 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 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.

runDisney in Your Neighborhood and Earn Mickey Medals!

guide to Disney World Virtual Running Shorts

2016

I’ve wanted to participate in a runDisney race for years, but the timing of the races has never been compatible with my work schedule, and planning a vacation around a race just hasn’t fit into my budget. With the announcement of Disney’s Virtual Running Shorts Series, beginners to seasoned runDisney veterans can get outside for some Disney-inspired fun and exercise this summer and bring home official race bling! You can run with friends and family or all by yourself. What you don’t have to do is actually run in Orlando, and you have from May 15th to June 30th to do it.

Are you ready to bring home some Disney race bling without ever setting foot on Disney property? Then it’s time to get out your Visa and register. 

Walking Miles & Miles at Disney Theme Parks

rundisney virtual race

runDisney short medal

In your own backyard…

RunDisney will now add virtual races to their established park race lineup, and your whole family is invited to join the Disney fun without driving to Orlando. Participants can walk, jog, stroll through your neighborhood, or run a race on a treadmill. You will choose the course that’s right for you, selecting from one of three Mickey-themed Disney 5Ks. You also have the option to run all three for completion of the Running Shorts Series.

Runners track their own times and completion is based on the honor system; you can register here starting April 28.

Many people drive to Orlando for the runDisney races just to enjoy time with friends, dress in Disney-themed race costumes, and of course the exhilaration of running across Disney property. But let’s face it; prices are going up and a weekend stay in Orlando with food, souvenirs, and race registration can cost hundreds of dollars, even thousands if you stay Deluxe and fly into town. But if the funds aren’t there for 2016, or you want some motivation to work yourself up to a half or full marathon on Disney property, then these Virtual Running Shorts could be just what you need.

What will you get for your money, since you will not be on Disney property?

  • exercise (although technically this part is free!)
  • medals: up to four specially-designed Finisher Medals celebrating Mickey Mouse
  • tumbler if you participate in the three-run series

Almost 130 FREE Walt Disney World Resort Activities!

runDisney race virtual registration

Running Shorts 5K – Yellow Shoes Highlights 

  • 3.1 mile run on course of runner’s choosing
  • Proof of run not required

Running Shorts 5K – Yellow Shoes Race Participants Receive

  • Commemorative Mickey’s Yellow Shoes Finisher Medal
  • Yellow Shoes Digital Race Bib

Completion Timeframe: May 15 – June 1, 2016 

 

Running Shorts 5K –2 Red Pants Highlights 

  • 3.1 mile run on course of runner’s choosing
  • Proof of run not required

Running Shorts 5K-2 Red Pants Race Participants Receive

  • Commemorative Mickey’s Red Pants Finisher Medal
  • Red Pants Digital Race Bib

Completion Timeframe: June 5 – June 18, 2016 

 

Running Shorts 5K-3 White Glove Highlights 

  • 3.1 mile run on course of runner’s choosing
  • Proof of run not required

Running Shorts 5K-3 White Glove Race Participants Receive

  • Commemorative Mickey’s White Glove Finisher Medal
  • White Glove Digital Race Bib

Completion Timeframe: June 19 – June 30, 2016 

What You Can NOT Wear to Disney Theme Parks

runDisney virtual race guide 2016

4. runDisney Virtual Running Shorts Series  $142.00

This will be the Disney fan’s ultimate summer running challenge – three 5Ks, four Mickey Finisher Medals, and 9.3 miles of fun!  

RunDisney’s Virtual Running Shorts Series combines all three Running Shorts 5Ks for 9.3 miles of fun. Complete the runs within the scheduled dates to earn the first-ever Running Shorts Mickey Series Medal and Mickey tumbler, plus you get the Red Pants, Yellow Shoes and White Glove Individual Finisher Medals.

Note: you must register for the Virtual Running Shorts Series to receive the Running Shorts Mickey Series Medal and Mickey tumbler in addition to individual race medals. Your completion timeframe is May 15th to June 30th, 2016

Running Shorts Series Highlights 

  • Running Shorts 5K – Yellow Shoes, 5K – Red Pants, and 5K – White Glove runs totaling 9.3 miles.
  • Proof of run not required

Virtual Running Shorts Series Participants Receive 

  • Running Shorts Challenge Digital Race Bib
  • Special Mickey Series Finisher Medal and Mickey tumbler, along with Commemorative Running Shorts Yellow Shoes, Red Pants and White Glove Individual Finisher Medals.

How to Pack the BEST Disney World Theme Park Bag Ever!

how to run Disney races for cheap

The Fine Print

  1. Entry fees for the runDisney Virtual Running Shorts Series are non-refundable.
  2. This was stated above, but you must register for the Virtual Running Shorts Series to receive the Running Shorts Mickey Series Medal and Mickey tumbler in addition to individual race medals.
  3. Dates, times, prices and inclusions subject to change.
  4. Disney reserves the right to refuse the entry into, and/or revoke any registration for, any race for any reason in its sole discretion with refund of any applicable registration fees being the sole remedy of any such refusal and/or revocation.
  5. Disney reserves the right to refuse the entry into, and/or revoke any registration for any race for any reason in its sole discretion with refund of any applicable registration fees being the sole remedy of any such refusal and/or revocation.
  6. All races are non-transferable between individuals.
  7. You can share your experiences with all the races at #runDisneyShorts.

The Ultimate Disney World Tinker Bell Gift Guide

When you finish your summer races, you might treat yourself to one of those PANDORA race charms, because now you’ll be an official runDisney runner!

runDisney virtual races

So for the first time, you can now participate in a runDisney race without ever setting foot in Orlando. Or for more fun, complete your race on Walt Disney World or Disneyland property!

Use this link for more information and to register. 

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you lacing up your running shoes, deciding where to hang your medal (or medals!)

 

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

Amanda Major Cheapskate Princess

.

Disney’s Cheapskate Princess

.

Now let our vacation planner 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 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.

Early Morning Magic & Disney After Hours: A Cheapskate Guide

Early Morning Late Night Disney tickets

Disney World has become a really busy place to take a vacation, some would say almost too busy. With some wait times reaching more than three hours during holidays and parents taking kids out of school for trips, there isn’t really ever a down time anymore to visit the Mouse in Orlando. So if you have the money, you can have the parks almost to yourself on certain days before the general public arrives and after they go home, but it’s going to cost you a pretty penny.

What do you get and is it worth it?

Tips to Stay Cool on a Summer Disney Vacation

Early Morning Magic Disney World

Disney Early Morning Magic in Fantasyland

First, you need a regular theme park admission ticket, and that cost will depend on how you bought your tickets, annual passes, single day admissions, seven-day admissions, whatever you purchased. Then add that to $69 per adult and $59 per child (tax not included) for a limited-entry, first-access experience in the park.

What You Get

Rides: Early Morning Magic guests can ride The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Peter Pan’s Flight. Warn the kids – these are the only attractions that will be operational during this special event.

You will receive an event sticker for identification upon check-in.

Breakfast: enjoy a morning meal breakfast at Pinocchio Village Haus featuring the following items:

  • Chilled juices, coffee and teas
  • Seasonal fruit and berries
  • Freshly baked pastries
  • Cheese and cured meats
  • Scrambled eggs with assorted toppings
  • Vegetable frittata
  • Smoked bacon
  • Pork and turkey sausages
  • Fried potatoes with caramelized onions
  • Waffles with butter and syrup

Top Three Disney World Souvenirs You’ll Use Every Day

Disney World Early Morning Hours prices and dates

When Can You Go?

This ticketed event is available on select Tuesdays and Saturdays from 7:45 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. The number of available tickets will be very limited. Dates have not been announced as of yet.

How Do You Purchase Ticket?

You can purchase tickets online, call the Disney Reservation Center at 407-827-7350 or have a Travel Agent book your tickets for you. Remember that all tickets are non-refundable, non-transferrable and are only valid for admission during the special event date and hours.

The Details

  • At 7:30 a.m., check-in near the far left turnstiles of the Main Entrance to Magic Kingdom park starting.
  • Starting at 7:45 a.m., event guests will be admitted into the park and guided into Fantasyland.
  • From 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., breakfast will be available at Pinocchio Village Haus.
  • Around 9:00 a.m., Magic Kingdom will open to guests with regular admission tickets. Your event-only attraction access will end.

Again, dates for this event have not been announced yet; we will update our information when they are.

20 Cheapskate Tips for Accommodations and Tickets at Disney World

Disney After Hours ticket prices

Disney After Hours

If morning park time with limited-entry is not your thing, maybe you would rather stay up late. You can enjoy Magic Kingdom at an after-hours special event filled with characters and attractions with almost no wait times!

The cost? $149 per child or adult (tax not included).

What You Get

Well, for about $50 per hour, you get three hours in the park with almost no crowds and very short waits, plus ice cream and bottled beverages.

When Can You Go?

Disney After Hours will take place on the following remaining dates in 2016:

  • Thursday, April 28, 2016 from 10:00 PM to 1:00 AM
  • Thursday, May 5, 2016 from 10:00 PM to 1:00 AM
  • Sunday, May 8, 2016 from 11:00 PM to 2:00 AM
  • Thursday, May 12, 2016 from 11:00 PM to 2:00 AM
  • Thursday, May 19, 2016 from 11:00 PM to 2:00 AM

I am sure if these dates are successful, they will announce dates for 2017 as well.

How Do You Purchase Ticket?

You can purchase tickets online, call the Disney Reservation Center at 407-827-7185 or have a Travel Agent book your tickets for you. The number of tickets available is limited. In addition, all tickets are non-refundable, non-transferrable and are only valid for admission during the special event date and hours.

The Details

  • At 7:00 p.m., check-in for the event at the Main Entrance to the theme park beginning.
  • Magic Kingdom park will officially close to guests who haven’t purchased Disney After Hours tickets at 10:00 p.m. on April 28 and May 5, 2016; and at 11:00 PM on May 8, 12 and 19, 2016.
  • Walt Disney World Resort hotel guests may use Walt Disney World Transportation after the event for up to two hours.

Disney World Preferred Parking: Do You Need It?

Disney After Hours information

Cheapskate Thoughts

Do you really need tickets to these events. Of course not.

Could you benefit from snacks/breakfast and park time all to yourself? Certainly. So it all comes down to money; how much vacation money you have and how much you want to spend?

I’m traveling with five adults in my party, so in terms of my cheapskate budget, Disney After Dark is out of the question. If my party was smaller or I was traveling for a special occasion, then $150 might be more of a personal desire. People pay big money like this for concert or sporting events all the time, just not cheap people like me! But if it was a one-time trip, the trip of a lifetime, I just might splurge for the experience.

TwoBits stopped by with a money saving suggestion for DVC members. “In regards to the after-hours promotion, it has been recently reported that DVC members and annual pass holders are being offered after hours tickets for $75. At that price, getting in at 7:00, fighting regular crowds for a couple of hours, then getting the park with virtually no wait AND all the ice cream I can eat may make it worth it. I can’t imagine trying to make this work with young kids, though.”

Without using a DVC discount, I think I’m still out at that price level, but breakfast for my family might be different…

If I wanted to pay for an “experience,” breakfast for $69 per adult and $59 per child is not that much more expensive than a character meal at Chef Mickey’s. Plus you get park time with no huge crowds. This is an extra ticket event I would definitely consider if I was already paying for character meals.

Disney World Vacation Planning: Non-Holiday Dates to Avoid

Let us know what you think! Has Disney gone crazy with all these extra ticket options, or are they just offering the public what they want, which is more time on rides with less of a wait?

Disney ticket prices

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you headed over to Magic Kingdom for an early start to your day.

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

Amanda Major Cheapskate Princess

.

Disney’s Cheapskate Princess

.

Now let our vacation planner 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 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.

Disney World Vacation Planning: Non-Holiday Dates to Avoid

plan a better Disney World vacation

Heading off to Disney World these days requires a lot more planning than it took years ago. In the olden days, or perhaps the Golden Days, you could throw some bags in the car and drive to Orlando for a week or a simple weekend without doing very much in advance. In this new era of technology, you’ll need hotel reservations, Advance Dining Reservations, and ride reservations using FastPass+, if you don’t want to pay a fortune, get shut out of restaurants or stand in long lines. Disney World planning has become complicated.

Many vacation planners are well aware that travel during holidays can seriously affect the quality of your trip, since many families choose major holidays to vacation in Orlando. I’m talking about summer holidays when school is out, Christmas holidays, Spring Break, etc. It’s natural to expect these times of year to be busy. But when you start to look at a calendar to schedule your trip, you should be aware that there are other events and actually sports competitions that can have an impact on crowds and general traffic at WDW. 

Over 10 Ways Kids Can Earn Money for a Disney Vacation

avoid these dates at Walt Disney World

Many of the following competitions and events that take place on Disney property may not have that much of an impact on the amounts of people entering the theme parks. Sometimes athletes and chaperones travel to Orlando for competitions, but just covering that expense alone does not always allow for the purchase of park tickets. What they can affect your trip in particularly are the crowd levels at your resort, since in an effort to save money, many student groups stay at the Value Resorts like the All-Stars and Pop Century Resort. Cheering, chanting and people everywhere can take a toll on your sanity during what was intended to be a time to relax. If you typically choose the Value Resorts, these may be dates you want to avoid. 

While Mardi Gras is not an actual event that takes place at WDW, many school children get off for several days or the entire week in southern states like Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Our coastal Alabama school system shuts down for Monday and Tuesday of Mardi Gras week every year. We live four hours away from New Orleans, but that is close enough for local cities to have their own Mardi Gras parades. 

Teens from Argentina and Brazil frequently take school breaks at Disney World in large groups. There are intense discussions on the Internet about the chanting, singing and clapping that occur within these groups. While I am all about having a good time with other students on a trip, many people have complained these large 100+ teen groups (did I mention loud noise and chanting?) created tranquility issues for their time in the theme parks. The word chanting is like the opposite of the word relaxing. 

Understanding Disney Park Closure Phases: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

IMG_7323

Around the 1st/2nd week of November, New Jersey schools have a teachers’ convention when many families head south to Disney, a time known as “Jersey Week.” This is like the Spring Break of winter for New Jersey schools, and park attendance will definitely increase. 

During “Pop Warner Week” in December, Disney hosts the The Pop Warner Super Bowl and National Cheer & Dance Championships. Again to save money, football players, cheerleaders, coaches and family members will pack out the Value Resorts, as well as some of the Moderate Resorts. If you can imagine almost 70 football teams and over 400 cheerleading squads there for competition, you will know to expect noise and crowds, especially on busses, and higher there park crowd levels at night when competitions are completed. 

Will it be the ruination of a great vacation if you schedule a trip during these events? Absolutely not, but it’s just a good idea to be aware of what is going on at the parks and resorts so you can make an informed decision. Everybody handles crowds and kids differently.

Understanding Disney World Bus Transportation: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

when is Jersey Week at Disney World

Use this simple layout so you can see how these dates might affect your trip. These were dates for 2016. 

January

College Cheerleading & Dance Team National Championships – January 15-17, 2016

National Dance Team Championship – January 30-31, 2016

South American Tour Groups

February

National High School Cheerleading Championship – February 6-7, 2016

Twirlmania – February 12-15, 2016

March

Contest of Champions Nationals – March 4-6, 2016

International All Star Cheerleading Championship – March 12-13, 2016

Mardi Gras Holidays – February 9 is Mardi Gras day in 2016

April

All Star Cheerleading & Dance Worlds – April 23-25, 2016

July

South American Tour Groups

November

Jersey Week – November 10-11 in 2016

December

Pop Warner Super Bowl – December 5-9, 2016

National Cheer & Dance Championships – December 5-9, 2016

Cheapskate Princess Extravagance: Platinum Disney Jewelry

best time to go to Disney World

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

Amanda Major Cheapskate Princess

.

Disney’s Cheapskate Princess

.

Now let our vacation planner 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 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.