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

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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.

Understanding Disney Park Closure Phases: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

Disney theme park closure phase

There are a LOT of people taking vacations to Disney parks, which these days can pretty much be year ’round. There seem to be no “down” times to go to Disney with short lines and low crowds like in years past. And during holidays, things can be just downright crazy! If you are one of those people planning a trip to Disney, you need to be aware that all these visitors in one place at one time can affect your vacation in more ways than you may realize.

Walt Disney World will limit the amount of people they allow through the gates so guests have more fun and stay safe. What happens if you are vacationing during these crowd-intense times? Can you get shut out of the theme parks?

Use this link for more Cheapskate Guides!

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Parking Lots Closing

The first thing to close when crowd attendance levels start to peak will be the Disney parking lots, because they generally reach capacity levels before the parks start closure procedures. At this point, your car may be diverted to an alternate parking lot. You will be provided bus transportation back to the park with the closed parking lot, provided that park is still open to visitors.

Time = Money. Driving over to another parking lot will take a lot of time, with traffic moving slowly, bumper to bumper. You will use up time getting to the new parking lot, plus time to get to your destination. When parking has reached the point of diversion, your day is going to get off to a slower start. 

Parks Closing

Now remember that the phrase “park closure” does not mean Cast Members simply shut the gates immediately; there are levels of closures.

Every single Disney World theme parks has reached a level of closure at some point, even if it was a lower level, and predictably because of its popularity, Magic Kingdom is the most likely to start closure procedures based on high crowd levels.

Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom are less likely to reach closure phases, but it is definitely possible because they are smaller parks with less standing around room than Magic Kingdom.

Epcot has massive amounts of space, so it’s less likely to close than the other three parks.

Even Disney’s water parks, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon, can close due to high crowd levels, which can occur during Easter holidays and the week of July 4th.

“Best of the Best” Walt Disney World Freebies

Disney World park closure phases

Phases for Closure

The Disney Company does not currently publish any specific information regarding park closure phases. What we assume about closure phases can change at any time with no notice to anyone, so this is our best guess guide. 

“Closure phases” are initiated by Disney to restrict the amount of guests coming into theme parks. There are four phases to closures. These closure phases also may not last all day long. If enough guests leave mid-afternoon or in the evening, closure restrictions can be listed and more guest will be permitted entry. 

Phase One

Guests allowed to enter:

  • Annual Passholders
  • Multi-day or multi-park tickets holders
  • Guests staying on Disney Resort property
  • Guests re-entering the same park that day
  • Guests who entered another park that day (park hoppers)
  • Guests with in-park reservations or appointments
  • Guests arriving using Disney transportation rather than personal transportation

Guests not allowed to enter:

  • Visitors with no park tickets
  • Visitors with one-day, single-park tickets
  • Visitors intending to use Cast Member passes

Phase Two

The only guests allowed through the turnstiles and into the parking lots are:

  • Annual Passholders
  • Guests staying on Disney Resort property
  • Guests re-entering the same park that day
  • Guests who entered another park that day (park hoppers)
  • Guests with in-park reservations or appointments
  • Guests arriving using Disney transportation rather than personal transportation

Guests not allowed to enter:

  • Visitors with no park tickets
  • Visitors with one-day, single-park tickets
  • Multi-day or multi-park tickets holders
  • Visitors intending to use Cast Member passes

Phase Three

The only visitors allowed through the turnstiles and into the parking lots now:

  • Annual Passholders
  • Guests staying at a Disney Resort
  • Guests with in-park reservations or appointments

Phase Four

The theme park and the parking lot is now closed to all arriving guests. You can assume the entire world is now standing inside that park. 

5 Steps for Planning a Disney Vacation: A Cheapskate Princess Guide*

crowds during holidays at Disney World

How Can You Ensure You Get In?

1. Scheduling

So we really love celebrating holidays at Disney World, with all the decorations, music, and special fireworks. But traveling during really busy times means long lines, people standing elbow to elbow, waiting in traffic, etc.  Our first suggestion to beat the huge crowds is simply to avoid taking vacations during major holidays like Easter, July 4th,  and the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

Schedule a trip close to a holiday, but not too close, and crowd levels will be lower and more manageable, way below the point of initiating closure phases.

Use this guide: Best Times to Visit Walt Disney World: A Cheapskate Princess Guide*

2. Arrive at the Parks Early

If you want to secure a parking spot and get yourself through the park turnstiles, you need to get an early start.  Standing around before the park opens will be way better than sitting in a car stuck in traffic later on, hoping you don’t get directed to a different parking lot.

Best Times to Visit Walt Disney World: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

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3. Stay on Resort Property

Booking your stay on resort property has several advantages, even if you pay more for this privilege.

By waking up already located on Disney property, you can utilize Disney resort transportation. Guests arriving using Disney transportation rather than personal transportation are allowed through the turnstiles through a level two closure. 

Disney Resorts guarantee their guests access to a Disney World theme park. However, just because you are guaranteed to get into a park does not mean you will be able to get into the specific park that you want to visit. And just because you get in, standing side by side with all those people, this does not ensure you’ll enjoy the low-stress holiday you were looking forward to enjoying (see scheduling tip #1.)

Where to stay? Use this guide: *Differences in the Disney World Resort Levels: A Cheapskate Guide

4. Make In-Park Reservations or Appointments

Guests with in-park reservations get into the parks through a level three closure, so save up your money and schedule a special event or meal just to be sure. 

You can start making ADRs (Advanced Dining Reservations) 180 days in advance of your trip. This is very important as dining reservations fill up fast during holiday seasons. Use this guide: Disney World Advanced Dining Reservations: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

Surviving Disney World at Christmas: A Cheapskate Princess Guide*

 

 

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you considering what you and the fam. are doing during Christmas vacation…

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.

Where to Find FREE Disney World Theme Parks Christmas Music

Disney World Christmas castle

As we approach Christmas holidays, do you ever find yourself being glad you didn’t brave the crowds at Walt Disney World and yet simultaneously really wish you were there? It’s a huge Christmas Catch 22 really. Do you tackle the huge holiday crowds and stand in long lines or do something else and wish you were in Orlando? It’s hard on the psyche when the decision is made not to travel to the House of Mouse.

Music plays such a big part in Disney vacations, that sometimes when you hear a familiar tune, you are magically transported back in time to your “home.” Christmas at Disney World is incredibly crowded, but it’s also decorated to the hilt with miles of twinkling lights and garland, plus all those trees! To mentally enjoy a Mickey Mouse holiday, you simply need to listen to some of the music they play in the theme parks. Mickey won’t be saying “See ya real soon!” but you will appreciate the high quality Disney holiday music production factor.

I can’t seem to locate many theme park area music songs for sale – I’ve looked.

Did you know you can hear this music for free? Simply press play on the YouTube videos we’ve collected all in one place, kind of like a Christmas present just for you. Throw in some fun facts and trivia from Disney by the Numb3rs.com, and you have yourself an afternoon of musical entertainment.

10 Ways to Save Money on Disney World Food

Christmas at Walt Disney World

It takes 150 tractor-trailer truckloads of decorations to holiday-up all 24 resorts, four theme parks, Downtown Disney and other locations. A 70 ton crane is used to position the theme park Christmas trees into place each year.

1,500 decorated Christmas trees are placed thought the entire WDW property. 5,500 lights are hung on every icon Christmas tree in each park or resort for the holidays, and 98 percent of this lighting is LED. In case you are doing the math, that’s over 8.5 million lights decorating the WDW property for Christmas.

A total of 15 miles of garland is strung, 1,314 wreaths are hung, and 300,000 yards of ribbon and bows drape over Christmas trees across the property.

Disney Christmas Songs – Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Christmas Illuminations, Country Bear Christmas

Posted on youtube by terrortower2 .

This video is a massive collection of songs, nearly three hours, with Christmas songs you might recognize from the parks playing in the last hour. Pluto is barking “Oh Christmas Tree” just after the three-hour point.

  • Magic Kingdom – Full Christmas Loop
  • Epcot – Full Christmas Loop
  • Christmas Illuminations – Full Christmas Show
  • Christmas Wishes – Full Christmas Show
  • Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parade – Full Christmas Parade
  • Country Bears Christmas Special – Full Christmas Show
  • Mickey’s Christmas Doggy! – Sung By Benji Boodles Lamey!
  • Mickey’s Christmas Carol – Full CD Audio
  • Disneyland Paris – Chante, c’est Noel! Christmas Parade *Full Song*

This is a really nice collection of songs that would be great to play during dinner or at work as background music. Just hit the play button and let it run…

Mickey Mouse Decorating on a Cheapskate Princess Budget!*

Christmas at Hollywood Studios

There are well over 10 miles of twinkling rope lights in the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

There are 5 million lights, and if they were strung end-to-end, the lights would span over 426 miles.

90% of the Osborne figurines were part of the original display in Little Rock. This includes the 70 foot tree, Mickey Train, globe, two 30 foot carousels and the Flying Santa and Reindeer.

Hollywood Studios Music – (Also known as Main Street Full Christmas Loop Disneyland Paris)

Posted to YouTube by DLRPWelcomeMusic.

I understand this video contains the same music they play at Hollywood Studios, and if per chance that is wrong and they only play it in Paris, well, it’s still amazingly beautiful music.

Tips to Keep a Good Disney Character Meal From Going All Wrong*

Christmas at Epcot

Epcot has 11 countries that are dressed up for “Holidays Around the World” at World Showcase.

You’ll see a 65 foot Christmas tree on display, while 1,200 stuffed Duffy bears make up the newest Christmas tree in Epcot.

Epcot Entrance Area Music – Christmas Loop Version

Posted on YouTube by WDWFacts.

This video lasts about 50 minutes and is lovely background Christmas music.

800 performers are used each night during the Candlelight Processional at Epcot, while 200 guest choirs are showcased during the entire run of the event.

There are many YouTube videos of the Candelight Processional. If this one isn’t your favorite, they probably have a video you’ll like better, so just search around.

Epcot 2013 Candlelight Processional- Edward James Olmos

Posted to YouTube by grogruxking.

When Should You Tell the Kids About A Disney Vacation?*

Christmas at Magic Kingdom

A 65 foot Christmas tree is erected in the center of Main Street, which is 26 feet wide.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

300,000 cookies, washed down with 1,200 gallons of hot cocoa, are consumed each night.

164 performers appear in Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, and there is a 100 % chance of snow flurries during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade Soundtrack Album

Posted on YouTube by MoneySavingVideos.

This is not a professional recording, but you’ll feel like you are there while you listen.

Beware of Buying These Disney Vacation Souvenirs on Ebay*

Cinderella Castle

It takes 60 people a total of three weeks to install all the 200,000 LED Dream Lights, which made their debut in 2007, on Cinderella Castle. The lights are hung in place by 32,000 square feet of fish netting, which has been dyed to match the castle’s colors. It takes 15 miles of cable to hang all the lights and netting.

105 different circuits are used to make the lights come to life, aided by 74 LED spot lights that wash the castle in different colors and 500 strobes which create the sparkling lighting effect

Holiday Wishes Christmas Fireworks Show at the Magic Kingdom

Posted on TouTube by OnlyHDVideos.

This is not a professional recording, but rather it’s a video of the actual fireworks show. You can hear the crowd cheering and the sounds of the fireworks exploding, which adds to the feeling of being there.

A big thanks to Disney by the Numb3rs for their WDW Christmas trivia.

And there you have it – over 8 hours of videos with beautiful Disney World theme park music. You don’t have to play it all at one time, although this could get you through a work day. Save this page where you can find it and turn on doe tunes when you are cooking or having dinner, doing crafts with the kids, or just hanging out and remembering that last vacation. Music takes you back…

 

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.

Free Fun in Celebration Florida: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

where is Celebration. Florida

Everything seems to be expensive on vacation, so it’s a nice change of pace to find an activity that is basically free. Celebration is a master-planned community located in Osceola County, Florida, which is about a 10 minute drive from the Walt Disney World Resort property. Just like Disney resort hopping, visiting Celebration is totally free, so now is the perfect time to make plans for a drive over.

The Cheapest Disney Souvenir EVER? 51 Cents Buys You One!

Celebration Florida

Originally developed by The Walt Disney Company, Celebration is directly connected to the Disney Resorts using one of its primary streets, World Drive, which begins near the Magic Kingdom. In the early 1990s, the Disney Development Company (DDC) established the Celebration Company to develop land in the southern portion of the Reedy Creek Improvement District.

The total investment for this project was estimated to be around $2.5 billion dollars. Celebration was designed in an early 20th century architectural style. It is not zoned for high-density residences, so you will not see a mass of apartments or similar styles houses all in a row. Celebration was named the “New Community of the Year” in 2001 by the Urban Land Institute. In 2004, the Disney Company sold Celebration to Lexin Capital, a private real estate investment company.

What Items Can You NOT Bring to Walt Disney World Theme Parks?

architecture in the Disney town of Celebration

While he was the Disney Company’s CEO,  Michael Eisner took a special interest in the development of the new town, and he encouraged the executives at the Disney Development Company to “make history.” He wanted them to develop a town worthy of the Disney brand and legacy that extended to Walt Disney’s vision of an Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (EPCOT). The Disney Development Company executives worked with leaders in education, health and technology, plus planners and architects to create the vision and operating policies for Celebration.

Although you may have a hard time finding a good parking spot close to downtown, Celebration is extremely pedestrian-friendly, with a small town feel that will remind you of old-timey main streets, with homes and real businesses intermingled.

map location of Celebration Florida

Celebration’s downtown has retail shops, restaurants, a town hall, a post office, and offices among other businesses. Many of these buildings are situated along a wide promenade area which circles a beautiful lake.

The downtown area is called “Market Street, and this is where you will want to spend your time unless you decide to take a walk through the neighborhoods.  That is a great idea, by the way, as the architecture of the homes, some in the million dollar range, is simply stunning.

Celebration does not actually have any road named “Main Street.” Osceola County, which does not allow street names to be duplicated, already had a Main Street. So the two main roads going through the center of the downtown area are named Market Street and Front Street. Stores are decked out during the holidays, like this realty company.

10 Things They Forgot to Mention About Walt Disney World Vacations

Celebration Florida Realty

What is there to do?

Let’s start with what won’t cost you any money.

The Free Stuff – Window Shopping

Market Street has lots of businesses perfect for shopping, or if you are a Cheapskate Princess, just do some window shopping. It usually takes us a good hour or two to walk in all the shops and take a look around.

Enchanted Boutique offers fine apparel and fashion accessories catering to women, juniors, and girls of all ages.With some clothing custom-made just for Enchanted Boutique, you will also find jewelry, scarves, and other accessories. Enchanted Boutique offers a true boutique shopping experience. 321-939-1111.

Woof Gang Bakery offers full service pet grooming, pet foods, and supplies. Specializing in healthy, natural pet foods and treats, including hypoallergenic, wheat-free and grain-free selections, they also sell a variety of fun, fuzzy, floatable and tough toys, fashionable pet accessories, collars and leads, and a wide range of pet grooming products. WoofGangBakery.com.

This photo shows the doggy outfits at the Woof Gang Bakery.

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

Woofgang Bakery in Disney's Celebration Orlando

Soft As A Grape’s specialty is comfortable family resort wear.  One of the original shops on Market Street, many of their unique designs are made of 100% cotton at their facility in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  They pride themselves in clothing that is soft, carefree, and most important – super comfortable. softasagrape.com.

Downeast offers ladies’, men’s, and children’s clothing plus gifts including brand names like Ralph Lauren Polo, LaCoste, Corbin, Southern Tide, Bill’s Khakis, Sperry, Jack Rogers, Alden Shoes, Susanna Monaco, Milly, Ella Moss, Spanx, Vera Bradley, Caswell Massey, Costa Del Mar Sunglasses, Cavalli Sunglasses and more.

Market Street Gallery offers exquisite jewelry selections, Vera Bradley, Suzy Toronto, greeting cards, home decor, a year round Christmas room and more! 407-566-1500

There were Vera Bradley patterns aplenty for the purse lovers.

Differences in the Disney World Resort Levels: A Cheapskate Guide

Vera Bradley store at Disney Celebration

Once Upon A Time features quality clothing and accessories for children from newborn to teens. They carry brands like Twirly Girl, Cheeky Banana, Rugged Butts, Kate Mack, Biscotti, Lipstik and Petit Lem, plus a number of items manufactured only for this boutique. Once Upon A Time sells dresses, tops, jeans, and shorts to swim, shoes, jewelry, accessories and hats for boys and girls alike, plus gift items, games, toys and books. They will gladly ship items home for you. 321-939-1144.

Confetti of Celebration has specialty gifts, centerpieces, candy bouquets, candy, and embroidery. They specialize in parties, dinners, and meetings. If you need to send a birthday gift, they can customize any candy bouquet to your special needs. They sell many types of candies and a huge selection of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans.confettiofcelebration.com.

Sanrio Surprises is the home of “Hello Kitty” and all your favorite Sanrio characters.They offer Sanrio gifts and stocking stuffers, plus you can book a birthday party in their large party room.  To liven up your experience, add a special “Hello Kitty”  appearance or a ride on the Celebration Express Train. 321-939-1777.

The Top 5.5 Quick Service Disney Resort Restaurants – Chosen by Our Fans!

Christmas at Celebration is especially beautiful, and if enjoy looking at decorations, the holiday season is a great time to visit the stores. Step outside from the Christmas music in the shops to snow outside in the street.

Christmas shopping at Disney's Celebration

The Free Stuff – Events

Market Street often has different events scheduled each month like  antique car shows and craft festivals. For a complete list of Celebration events, use this link. This list will give you an idea of events in months past and coming up. 

January

Town of Celebration Marathon and Half Marathon

Winter Sidewalk Sale

February

Posh Pooch – For a howling good time, head to Downtown for a whole day of barking good fun. There are vendors, activities, demonstrations, food, performances and fun to enjoy with the entire family.

Art & Wine Stroll

March

Art & Wine Stroll

porch and yard sale

April

Great American Pie Festival – Celebration becomes the Pie Capital of the World in April, when thousands of pie lovers, tasters and bakers gather together. The highlight is always the Never-Ending Pie Buffet, featuring award-winning pie and ice cream.

Celebration Exotic Car Festival – a four-day children’s charity event that showcases North America’s largest collection of exotic cars, race cars and iconic Hollywood movie cars, coming together to help children with life threatening medical conditions.

May

Jaguar Car Show – showcases Jaguar cars from the early 1950s to present.

Art & Wine Stroll

July/ August

Hearts of Reality/Summer Sidewalk Sale – a weekend full of TV’s hottest deals and hottest Reality Stars.

A Sci-Fi 4th of July – Celebration Town Center’s World Famous 4th of July event.

October

Oktoberfest, where leaves fall nightly at 7, 8, and 9 p.m.

Art & Wine Stroll

porch and yard sale

November

Founder’s Day Concert

Alfa Romeo Car Show –  the Mid Florida Alfa Romeo Owners Club, Inc. hosts their annual Alfa Romeo car show.

Now Snowing Tree Lighting Ceremony – November 29th – This special tree lighting event features live music, a special entrance by Santa Clause, and family fun for everyone.

December

A Celebration of Voices

Now Snowing Nightly

During the winter holidays, Market Street hosts an event called “Now Snowing Nightly,” where it “snows” on Market Street multiple times a night. You and the kids, even the family dogs, can walk around in the “snow.” I wouldn’t do it in your finest leather shoes though.

Ready for Christmas at Disney? You May Need Some Advice…

Disney Celebration snow

When they announce the snow, it can get pretty busy. Kids seem to love this!

Snowfall and events happen every night through December 31st, including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. Every night, the snow falls at 6, 7, 8 and 9 PM. There are photos with Santa, strolling holiday carolers, an ice rink, entertainment and more.

Now Snowing Nightly parking and admission are FREE. For a complete list of Community Performances click here.

*10 Cheapskate Reasons to Vacation on Disney Property

snow in the Disney town of Celebration

Watching is free, but you’ll need to rent skates. This is “Disney” ice, by the way, so it’s not actual cold ice, and thus the ice skates will not be dangerous to smaller children.

The Endless Ice rink is open daily from 4:00-10:00 p.m. through January 3rd. There are Celebration Resident Skate Passes or multiple-day skate passes for guests (after November 29th .)

$10.00 for a 1/2 hour minimum skate (skate rental included)

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

ice skating at Disney's Celebration

ice skating and snow in Florida.

During the Christmas holidays, Train Rides are $5.00 at the gate or $4.00 in advance if purchased at Confetti, Market Street Gallery, Sweet Escape, or Sanrio Surprises. (Before 4 p.m. Nightly)

Photos with Santa
Prices depends on the package purchased, and Santa will only be available until December 24th. For information on Santa photos visit: www.towncenterphotos.com.

Disney Celebration Pictures with Santa

The Free Stuff- Other Activities

Take a walk along the Lakeside Promenade or on the miles of walking paths and nature trails. These are especially nice as the sun is setting.

Head over to the large interactive fountain by the lake, where if it’s warm, the kids can splash around. Some still splash around even when it’s not so warm.

There are numerous rocking chairs by the lake. These are hard to come by in the busier seasons, like when the holiday snow is falling, but they are comfy and the lake view is peaceful, especially at sunset.

One of the most visually stunning buildings on the lakefront is the Bohemian Hotel Celebration. You can take a seat in one of the lobby chairs, and for a splurge, order a coffee or a drink at the bar.

FREE Entertainment in Orlando? You have Simply GOT to Visit The Mall at Millenia!

Bohemian Hotel Celebration Florida

At Christmas, the decorations at night on Market Street are just lovely.

decorations at Disney's Celebration town

The Not-Free Activities – $$ Meals

There are a lot of restaurants in Celebration. The downtown atmosphere is fantastic at night, with many outdoor tables enveloped in soft lighting. Enjoy a meal in one of the award-winning restaurants.

Cafe D’Antonio has an open kitchen and a wood burning oven, grill and rotisserie that are common to Antonio’s restaurants. The menu features items representative of the varied regions of Italy. antoniosonline.com

Ari Sushi offers authentic Japanese food and sushi. arisushi.net

Celebration Town Tavern describes their business as “Family, Food & Friends.” This New England style restaurant and tavern opened in early 2000. Favorites include clam chowder, fried clams, fresh Boston scrod, haddock & scallops, main plate salads, burgers, chicken, ribs and steaks.  thecelebrationtowntavern.com

The Columbia Restaurant overlooks the lake and offers classic elegance in a Mediterranean style setting. Diners can enjoy fine Spanish/Cuban cuisine in their old-world-style dining rooms, an outdoor cafe, courtyard, and a Tapas Bar. columbiarestaurant.com

Euro Bistro  offers a wide variety of affordable menu items to select from.  Tapas, very popular in Spain, are smaller servings that allow you to select several different items to snack on or combine a few items to make a full meal.

Imperium Wine Room is a 100 seat bar offering the highest quality food and wines with a 50 seat patio. Disney employees receive a 10% discount with ID. mperiumfoodandwine.com.

Market Street Cafe is an upscale diner concept that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. Favorites range from blueberry pancakes and maple butter french toast at breakfast to homemade meatloaf and hot open face turkey sandwiches for lunch and dinner. Breakfast is available all day, and signature desserts are made fresh daily. Market-Street-Cafe.com.

Thai Thani Restaurant was established by a retired Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Thai Ministry of Commerce. This restaurant was opened to enhance the Thai Government policy to promote Thai food as a leading cuisine of the world. thaithaniorlando.net.

Upper Crust Pizza features two types of pizza, thick Sicilian style and traditional New York style, both with a variety of toppings. Panninis are filled with items such as Tuscan chicken, steak, cheese, and vegetables. An open-faced calzone called a “Crusti” is a hand-made delight stuffed with meatloaf, steak, Greek Salad and other items. There is a rotating menu of dessert pizzas including chocolate and apple cinnamon.

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ice cream at Disney's Celebration

snacks at Disney's Celebration

The Not-Free Activities – $ Meals and Snacks

For less expensive snack and meal options, there are several “sweet shops” that will be quicker than a table service meal and less expensive as well.

Sweet Escape is an authentic European Style Bakery & Deli in a Victorian environment. In the bakery, there are fresh-baked breads, pastries, desserts, and cupcakes all made fresh daily. In the deli you’ll find breakfast, lunch, and dinner sandwiches featuring Boar’s Head meats and cheeses. In the café you’ll find locally roasted coffee including Italian Espresso, specialty coffee, frozen coffee, and iced coffee. You can also purchase 100% fruit frozen smoothies.

Sweet Escape also sells convenience items like newspapers,milk, eggs, yogurt, Monster Energy drinks, snacks, candy, and more. sweetescapecelebration.com

Kilwins offers confectionery chocolates and ice cream. kilwins.com. This was one of my favorites!

The Starbucks just across from Market Street is mid-size with plenty of seating. There is a nice outdoor area. We bought some inexpensive cake pops and a pastry, and then we watched families line up to see Santa. starbucks.comThis store has T-Mobile HotSpot wireless broadband Internet service.

The Ultimate Walt Disney World FREEbie Guide: Over 119 Free Vacation Items and Activities

Disney Celebration Starbucks Coffee

The Not-Free Activities – $$ Splurges

Looking for a special occasion treat?

Misty Blue Acres Carriage, the official carriage company of Celebration Florida, offers carriage rides every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening from 6pm – 10pm. Providing a carriage hitched to either team of percheron horses, they are available for weddings,  two-horse carriage and single horse carriage rides, hay rides, birthdays, Halloween, sleigh rides, Christmas rides and holiday parties. mistyblueacres.com.

Wagon Rides- $5.00 per person
Horse and Carriage Rides- $25 for the first 2 passengers, $10 each additional

Special Holiday Home Tour Rides (30/40 minutes in length to see the lights throughout Celebration)- $25 per person
Call for Appointment for Horse & Carriage Holiday Home Tour: 321-624-6380

 U Can Cook is an all-inclusive Culinary School where the young and the young-at-heart can learn to cook. Their classes are designed to teach the basics on food preparation, food safety skills, proper etiquette, the skilled art of layering flavors and planning parties.They will also host an array of engagements. 407-233-0948.

Where to Find FREE Disney World Snack and Drink Samples!

And there you have several hours worth of entertainment just down the street from the Walt Disney World property. If you have a free day with an empty time slot to fill after a swim or a nap, then head down World Drive to the town of Celebration. Take a walk, do some (window) shopping, and grab a coffee or a snack for an inexpensive several hours. If you have to pick a certain time of year to go, I would highly recommend Christmas, when music is in the air along with “snow.”

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you headed over for a celebration at Celebration!

 

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.

Can You Afford Disney’s Villains’ Sinister Soiree at Mickey’s Halloween Party?

Can You Afford the Villains’ Sinister Soiree at Disney World

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the castle, Disney World unleashes the “Villains’ Sinister Soiree: A Wicked Takeover of Cinderella Castle.” Starting this fall as an add on ticket for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, you can join Lady Tremaine and her wicked friends at a brand new dessert party…during another party!

When is it?

The Villains’ Sinister Soiree takes place on the following dates:

September 1, 9, 12, 16, 23, 26, 28

October 2, 3, 5, 9, 10, 13, 16, 17, 19, 21, 23, 24, 26, 28, 30, 31

The times for these dates are both 10:15 PM and 11:45 PM.

September 14, 19, and 21.

These few dates are for  10:15 PM only.

Where is it?

The Sinister Soiree takes place inside Cinderella’s Royal Table restaurant.

How many tickets will you need?

You need to purchase two tickets, one for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and the other Villains’ Sinister Soiree: A Wicked Takeover of Cinderella Castle. This is financially important for you to understand: admission to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is required and is not included in the price of the Sinister Soiree.

Vacationing at Disney World? Wow, You REALLY Need This!

how much does the Disney Villains dessert party cost

What do you get for your money?

 You’ll receive

  • preferred viewing for the 8:15 performance of Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade (only the 8:15 performance)
  • preferred viewing for the Happy HalloWishes Fireworks Spectacular
  • access to the Dessert Soiree at Cinderella’s Table, including desserts and specialty non-alcoholic beverages
  • an autograph card and a souvenir Maleficent dragon cup
  • eerie musical talents of a piano player and a few haunting solos by Lady Tremaine
  • photo opportunities with all sorts of wicked party guests

The Cost

Hold onto your princess costumes…

Admission to the Villains’ Sinister Soiree: A Wicked Takeover of Cinderella Castle is available for $99 per person, plus tax (gratuity included).

Reservations

Online booking is not available for the Villains’ Sinister Soiree.

To make a reservation, call Disney direct at (407) 939-5262. If you are under 18 years of age, you must have a parent or guardian’s permission to call.

Erin, our official Authorized Disney Vacation Planner with Destinations in Florida travel, from can also make your reservations for you.  You can give Erin a call at 214-697-7732 or send an e-mail to erin @ destinationsinflorida.com. 

What Do You Wear to Disney World in the Winter?

Lady Tremaine at Mickey's Halloween Party

Check-In

To check in for the event, visit the Will Call booth outside the main entrance of Magic Kingdom park from 4:00 PM to 6:30 p.m.. Starting at 7:30 p.m., you may check in at the parade and fireworks viewing area in the central plaza by the Castle Forecourt Stage.

Once you are checked in, you’ll receive a credential, which must be presented to enter the preferred viewing areas and Cinderella’s Royal Table. Don’t lose this!

If you choose not to participate in the preferred parade or fireworks viewing, you can check in at Cinderella’s Royal Table at your designated seating time.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need reservations?

Reservations are highly recommended, as there are a limited number of tickets available for this event.

What if I lose my ticket?

Credentials are non-transferrable and will not be replaced if lost or stolen.

Is there specific seating provided?

No. Seating is not provided at the preferred parade or fireworks viewing.

Can I bring a wheelchair of ECV?

Wheelchairs and Electronic Conveyance Vehicles (ECVs) can be accommodated in the viewing areas and at Cinderella’s Royal Table.

Can I use the Disney Dining Plan?

Disney Dining Plan entitlements may not be redeemed for this event. This offer also cannot be combined with any other discounts or promotions.

Will there be Disney PhotoPass photographers?

PhotoPass photographers will be on hand at the parade and fireworks viewing area, but will not be at the dessert soiree. You can take your own photos inside the Castle.

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween party Villain Soiree

Other details to know

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a special ticketed event and is not included with admission to Magic Kingdom park.

Entertainment and character appearances are subject to change or cancellation without notice.

Guests will be able to utilize the preferred viewing area from the beginning of Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade through the conclusion of HalloWishes Fireworks Spectacular.

 So two tickets, one villainous event…

“Best of the Best” Walt Disney World Freebies

What do you get the princess who has everything? Tickets to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and the Villains’ Sinister Soiree. It’s guaranteed to be a night you’ll remember. 

So, will you be purchasing tickets for both events? Leave a comment and let us know if you think it’s worth the cost.

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.

Can You Afford Tickets for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party?

Buy Tickets for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party

Even though we just finished with winter, for the most part around the United States, fall is just around the corner. With it comes football games, marching bands, and the occasional trip to Walt Disney World for some Halloween fun. Halloween in September? You bet! It’s all part of that Disney magic. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a Halloween-themed special event held on select dates at the Magic Kingdom theme park, and the purchase of an additional event admission ticket is required to attend. So when is it, and can you afford to go? 

Grab your Disney Visa and let’s start planning! [Read more…]

Can You Afford Tickets to Mickey’s Christmas Parties? 2014 Dates are Here!

Mickeys-Christmas-Party-1025

As a very chilly snowy winter rolls over into summer, who is ready Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party? We have dates and current ticket prices for the Happiest Disney holiday parties around.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Dates

November 7, 10, 13, 14, 16, 20, 21, & 30

December 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, & 19

 

Prices for Christmas Parties:

Advanced Sales: Ages 10 and up are $67.00 plus tax. Children ages 3-9 are $52.00 plus tax.

Advance Sales Pricing is available for all events except 11/21, 11/30, 12/5, 12/12, 12/18, & 12/19. For events on these dates, only Same-Day Sales prices will apply.

Same Day Sales: ages 10 and up are $71.00 plus tax. Children ages 3-9 are $66.00 plus tax.

Premium Night (December 19): ages 10 and up $74.00. Children ages 3-9 are $69.00.

 

Ready for Christmas at Disney? You May Need Some Advice…

Mickeys-Christmas-Party-1024x676

Passholder and DVC Discounts

Specially priced tickets are available to Disney Vacation Club Members and Passholders with the following Annual Passes:

  • Premier Annual Passport
  • Premium Annual Pass
  • Annual Pass
  • Seasonal Pass
  • Weekday Select Pass
  • Epcot After 4a.m. Annual Pass

What days are applicable? 

November 7, 10, 13, 14, 16, 20 December 2, 4, and 9. Specially priced tickets MUST be purchased in ADVANCE. Passholders may purchase discounted tickets for themselves and up to three guests. DVC Members may purchase discounted tickets for themselves and up to five guests.

Advance Purchase Prices

Ages 10 + – $62 + tax

Ages 3 to 9 – $57 + tax

So will you be going this year? Ticket prices don’t appear to be priced much higher than they were last year.

Have you heard about the free dining offer for this fall? This is not a  promotion you want to miss.

Where Can You Get FREE Fall Disney Dining and FREE Kid’s Mickey Mouse Hats?

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 Christmas by the Numb3rs!

Disney World Chef Mickey's at Christmas

There is something truly magical about all the holiday decorations at Walt Disney World, but wow, are the crowds crazy that week after Christmas. In recent years, the Magic Kingdom has closed around ten or eleven a.m. and only reopened to new guests after 6 p.m. That’s a lot of people. The Magic Kingdom parking lot, which holds 12,000 cars, often reaches capacity during this week. Lines for roller coasters are often well over a 120 minute wait.

So for those of you that passed on the WDW crowds or didn’t have the means to take a vacation this holiday season, our Cheapskate Princess Christmas gift to you is some holiday trivia from Disney by the Numb3rs.com.

So Merry Christmas!

Are You Crazy Enough to Go to Walt Disney World at Christmas?

Disney Springs at Christmas Mickey topiary

Christmas Trees

When you glance at the tree in your living room, remember that 45 to 70 foot trees are used all over the Disney World property, the tallest of which is the 70-foot tree at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

Take a long time to decorate your tree? It takes 6.5 hours to set up one 65 foot Disney Christmas tree.

A total of 1,500 Christmas trees decorate the WDW property, including theme parks, resorts, and Downtown Disney.

What is the life span of a Christmas tree at WDW? Only about five to six years.

8.5 million lights are strung throughout the property, with 98 percent of the lighting used being LED lights.

Ready for Christmas at Disney? You May Need Some Advice…

Decorations

300,000 yards of ribbon and bows are draped over the Christmas trees across property.

A total of nine hours of installation are needed to complete all the holiday decorations for the interior and exterior of Main Street, and it appears and disappears suddenly like Disney magic…

15 miles of garland and 3,000 wreaths are hung throughout the WDW property.

600 decorations made of popcorn are created by hand, decorated, and painted by Disney artists to be used on the different Christmas trees.

The base is on the Main Street Christmas tree in the Magic Kingdom is 26 feet wide.

The Disney World Resort with the Most Fabulous Christmas Decorations? The Award Goes To…

Mickey Mouse treats for Christmas

Downtown Disney

The wreath lighting up the Cirque du Soleil building at Downtown Disney’s West Side is 25 feet in diameter.

Guests can shop for holiday merchandise at Disney’s Days of Christmas shop 365 days of year.

Storage

54,000 square feet of warehouse space is used for the holiday services facility, with one room in this warehouse set aside for storing all the ribbon.

25 full-time Cast Members work in the holiday services warehouse facility year round, and the number quadruples when they go to install the decorations. (Let me just say that THIS is the job I want to apply for – Disney holiday decorator!)

40 trailers are loaded for the installation, and these trailers will be returned more than 150 times before the decoration process is completed  for 24 resorts, four theme parks, Downtown Disney and other locations.

Ten days are needed to remove all the holiday decorations at the end of the season.

Why Take A Disney Vacation During Christmas? The Holiday Decorations Are Better Than Yours!

Hollywood Studios

There are ten miles of twinkling rope lights in the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Floral Decorations

200 holiday topiaries are used to decorate the Walt Disney World resort.

100,000 poinsettias are used to decorate all of WDW landscape. 8-foot towers of poinsettias, which resemble big red Christmas trees, have been a traditional favorite of guests for years.  It takes 170 poinsettias to create each big red Christmas tree, and it takes two Cast Members an entire day to assemble each of these poinsettia Christmas trees.

Speaking of poinsettias, 30 to 40 are used to make just one of the poinsettias balls you will see hanging all around WDW.

Disney World Grand Floridian at Christmas

Can a Cheapskate Afford to Stay at Disney World During the Week of Christmas?

Grand Floridian Resort

Often referred to as the flagship hotel of the Walt Disney World Resorts, just standing in the Grand Floridian five-story lobby is a journey into opulence and splendor.  There are six restaurants to choose from. Pull up a chair and listen to the frequent musical entertainment,  which ranges from a pianist seated at a grand piano to a Disney big band playing Christmas favorites.

A massive 40 foot tree decorates the lobby, twinkling with more than 45,000 lights. This tree is erected all in just one night.

A 16-foot-high by 18-foot-wide gingerbread house is built each year in the lobby of the Grand Floridian for the holiday season. It occupies 200 square feet of lobby space, and it will take ten men a total of six days to create the gingerbread house. The list of ingredients is enough to make any pastry chef nervous with anticipation.

  • 1,050 pounds of honey
  • 600 pounds of chocolate
  • 800 pounds of flour for the honey dough
  • 180 pounds of apricot glaze
  • 35 pounds of spices

Once all these yummy ingredients are combined into the 2,000 pounds of gingerbread, it will take 400 hours to bake the 10,000 individual pieces.  As far as decorating, 140 pints of egg whites are used to create 500 pounds of royal icing.  And a whopping 600 pounds of powdered sugar are used to dust the gingerbread house to make it look like snow.

Can a Cheapskate Afford to Stay at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort During Holiday Season?!

Disney World Main Street at Christmas

Wilderness Lodge

Consistently rated as one of the top authentic-themed lodgings in Orlando, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort is like stepping straight into the Old West.  Tall pines, thick forest, and a 450-acre lake all add to the feeling that you have left sunny Florida and magically traveled to Yellowstone National Park’s Old Faithful Inn, one of several rustic landmarks used as inspiration for Wilderness Lodge.

Wilderness Lodge has five restaurants that offer everything from fine dining to quick counter-service snacks from breakfast through dinner.

Wilderness Lodge’s soaring six-story lobby is decked out for the season with festive wreaths and garlands.

A 60-foot Christmas tree adorned with nature-themed decorations and 60,000 twinkling lights are the focal highlight of the Lodge’s holiday décor.

Take a seat in one of the rocking chairs by the 80-foot-tall fireplace, which depicts a built-to-scale replica of the Grand Canyon’s rock layers.  Warm your hands by the fire, and look around the gift shop in an equally warm and cozy shopping environment.

Can a Disney Princess Afford to Stay at the Contemporary Resort at Christmas?

 

And there you go, a little Christmas present just in time for those of you missing your time in Orlando.

Thanks to Disney by the Numb3rs for their always entertaining Disney facts. Stop by their site for some fun Disney trivia, and tell ‘em a Cheapskate Princess sent ya!

Disney World Christmas

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!

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.

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