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

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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.

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

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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.

Building Disney’s Magic Kingdom: Incredible Construction Photos from a Master Craftsman

Magic Kingdom construction original photos

It’s funny the places you wind up on the Internet, and sometimes what you find can be just fascinating. Cruising through Facebook one afternoon, I ran across a set of photos of Magic Kingdom being built from the ground up. If you’ve ever spent any time around true Disney fanatics, you know they love to discuss all things historical about their beloved Walt Disney World.

These photos, pictures I had never seen anywhere on any Disney-themed site before, were simply incredible. So I contacted the poster, Kelly Wise Valdes from Largo, Fl., for permission to share both the pictures and the story behind these incredible images. We’ll let Kelly tell us all about these photos.

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

antique Disney World photos, old Magic Kingdom photos, Disney World history, building Swiss Family Robinson treehouse

Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse being built. Grandpa once told me that each leaf had to be hand-wired on the tree.

Disney World Crystal Palace Construction photos

Maybe the inside of the Crystal Palace…

My grandfather, Mr. Chet Wise, was a master craftsman/woodworker. I believe he specifically took these pictures at Disney World because these were some of the things he personally worked on. We remember him telling us he crafted the detailed and intricate woodwork around the windows in the train station at the front of the park. He also did all the woodworking around the windows on Main Street, Cinderella’s Castle and Pinnochio’s Village. My cousin remembers him saying he crafted the amazing door at the Liberty Tavern.  Although I have no picture of it, I have often seen it in person.

Cinderella Castle, building Walt Disney World, old Disney World photos

Cinderella Castle water issues…

Fantasy Land? Maybe the Pinochio Village area?

Fantasy Land? Maybe the Pinochio Village area?

Apparently Walt Disney had been very particular in the details of everything in the original Disneyland Park in California, and although he had already passed away prior to the Magic Kingdom opening, the legacy continued.

Today, most visitors don’t realize the amazing craftsmanship that went into the smallest of touches in each building. The details of the exterior of  just the windows and doors throughout the park are actually intricate pieces of art.

I THINK this may be from scaffolding on the castle. You can see the monorail being built on the far left.

I THINK this may be from scaffolding on the castle. You can see the monorail being built on the far left.

Main Street, U.S.A.

Main Street, U.S.A.

My grandfather passed away several years ago, and I just recently found a small box of pictures among his possessions after my grandmother has passed. No one in my family had seen these pictures before now.

He obviously didn’t know what a treasure they would be.

Main Street Magic Kingdom, Disney World Main Street construction

Main Street being built.

More Main Street...

Main Street…

Main Street original construction photos

More Main Street…

My grandfather worked for Disney until he retired. He was an active Disney retiree, belonging to the “Golden Ears Club.”  My grandmother, Mrs. Betty Wise, also worked at the Magic Kingdom since before it opened and was one of the executive secretaries who helped set up the executive offices.

Contemporary Hotel in the backdrop. I think this is the train station at the entrance of the Magic Kingdom.

Contemporary Hotel in the backdrop. I think this is the train station at the entrance of the Magic Kingdom.

Magic Kingdom construction picturs

Not sure what my grandfather was on top of for this shot, however, look how RURAL it is in the distance!

My grandparents were one of 10 families that actually lived on Disney property, as they had to have some residents in order to incorporate Lake Buena Vista. There were literally 10 of them! I recently Googled this again just to see if that’s changed, and it’s still true. In order to be part of this small group, they were handpicked, and they lived there on property until they both passed away. It was so close to the Magic Kingdom that I could see fireworks from their front yard every night.

I think this is the Crystal Palace, taken from scaffolding on Cinderella castle

I think this is the Crystal Palace, taken from scaffolding on Cinderella Castle.

Tiki Room under construction.

Tiki Room under construction.

I had no idea when I posted the pictures that so many people would love to see them. Thank you for sharing! 

Kelly Wise Valdes

 

We would really like to thank Kelly for sharing her grandfather’s Magic Kingdom construction photos, and we know our readers appreciate the time she took to share the story of Mr. and Mrs. Wise. How incredible to look back on the very beginning of Disney World from the viewpoint of a master craftsman who added many of the fine detailing to some of our most beloved and iconic Magic Kingdom  buildings.

Thank you for stopping by. Now go and share these pictures with your best Disney friend… 

 

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.

Space Mountain…with the Lights On!

Updated for 2017!

If you’ve been to Walt Disney World, you’ve undoubtedly seen Space Mountain. It remains one of the most popular rides in Disney World, despite the fact that it is not the fastest ride in the park. [Read more…]

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.

Is Disney World’s Tomorrowland Fireworks Dessert Party Worth the Money?

Disney Fireworks Dessert Party cost

Updated for 2016!

I have wanted to experience the Tomorrowland Fireworks Dessert Party since I first saw pictures of the desserts. The number one factor holding me back? The price, but given how yummy those desserts appear and having a private place to watch the Wishes fireworks after stuffing my face, I probably could have justified the price for a family of five. In fact, we made reservations for last December. And then I read some reviews online, and we cancelled our reservations.

We asked our Cheapskate Princess Facebook Fans who had been to the Dessert Party to tell us what they thought. So let’s hear their opinions, because they’ve been there and eaten that! Did they feel this experience was worth the money?

 Top Ten Cheapskate Tips For a Fantastic Disney World Vacation

the cost of the Tomorrowland Fireworks Dessert party

Yes

Suzi,  “I’ve done it the past two years and just love it. It is worth the price for me simply to have assigned seats and a reserved spot to watch Wishes. With a grumpy husband having that space to ‘ourselves’ is totally worth it.  And the extra sugar actually helps us because we plan this for an Extra Magic Hours night, so its not like we are just going back to the resort for sleep after.  We need that energy.  Yes, it is true, people do run up to the railing when the show starts.  You just have to know that and get up yourself too. There is PLENTY of room along the railing for the 50-100 people in there.  I actually think there is a better view further down near the buffet.  Still way more room than on Main Street.”

Marissa, “We did it in December for the first time and we will do it again!”

Vonni,  “It’s so worth it! Awesome desserts, great location! We will do it every trip!”

Erin,  “This past October was our first time going to the dessert party, and I was afraid it wasn’t going to be worth it.  But it was worth every penny. Our 9-year-old son loved it also. He went back for more every time I turned around! And the view for the fireworks was perfect!”

Dawn, “We did it in August and had great seats. It was so good! We had front row viewing for Wishes fireworks on our first night. It was the perfect way to start our Disney vacation!”

Kristi, “Our main objective was to see the show in a relaxed, comfortable, and non- crowded atmosphere. The desserts were an added perk. It was much a much more pleasant way to enjoy the show.”

Karen“We all loved it! The desserts were great and the view is fantastic!”

Lisa, “We did it last year and loved it, and we’re doing it again this year and any other year after this that we go! Great desserts, great view! I’d pay the $22 again.”

Susan, “I did the dessert party last September. Great location, no crowd to deal with, and the desserts were good. They were still out after the fireworks for a while too. By the time we left the terrace most of the crowd was gone. Ww would do it again.”

 6 Reasons to Schedule a Haircut at the Harmony Barber Shop at Disney’s Magic Kingdom

Tomorrowland dessert party

No

Jeri, “We did this last April – except at Epcot. I was not impressed!”

Kaitlin“Did this in September.  It was cool, but I would not do it a second time.”

Traci,  “We did this way back when they first started. I won’t do it again. We waited in line for a long time and were seated at a great table upfront. As soon as the show started, everyone ran up to the railing in front of our table. We couldn’t see much or get one picture without half the fireworks cut off by people sanding in front of us. Also the dessert bar was like vultures at feeding time, and they were not quick to refill either. Kind of like a first come first served situation, and I didn’t care for it.”

Crystal, “I felt it was over priced. There were too many people in that small space, but they ran out of food and drinks. And people fight over standing at the railing. We did it once but never again.”

Caoimhne, “We did this in October, and it was the worst Disney experience ever. The coffee and tea was cold, the desserts were only OK,  and a lot them looked different but tasted exactly the same, which was weird! The Cast Members didn’t seem to know what they were doing.  They ran out of plates, and we waited ten minutes for them to bring out more. It’s true, people rush and  push to get to the railing, so we stayed at our table as my toddler had fallen asleep in her stroller. But the Cast Member’s insisted on walking over and back to clear tables.  We asked one Cast Member to please stop blocking our view, and her response was, ‘I don’t see what your problem is the show is in the sky.‘”

Sarah, “We did this once and while we mostly enjoyed it, we don’t have much desire to do it again. We lined up way early, and we had great seats, but when the Cast Member seated us, she told us to stand at the railing when the fireworks began. We did what she said, and the people at the front row table behind us took it very personally. The first several minutes of the show was spent listening to nasty comments at our backs. Also, we were not prepared for the way people would overload multiple plates with desserts, leaving nothing for the more civilized, who got a couple things with hopes to go back. They ran out of many dessert items, and it was disappointing to miss out on trying new things while seeing piles of uneaten items being bused away from greedy tables who were just interested in grabbing as much as they could as fast as they could.”

How Much Will the New “Rapid Fill” Refillable Disney Resort Mugs Cost You? Is It Worth It? 

Disney dessert party

Maybe Not Again

Sharon, “We actually just did this on Friday evening. It was our first trip to Disney, and my parents went with us. Unfortunately, it was about 40 degrees out, so I don’t think I enjoyed the desserts as much as if it were warmer out. Though I certainly ate my fair share. I am glad we did it at least once, it made for some fantastic memories. I don’t know if we would do it again, we’d probably try for some other experiences we haven’t had.”

Allyson,In my opinion, the dessert is exceptional, however, I didn’t feel that the view was spectacular.  A side view is not the same as a view straight on. Also, I am basing it on the fact that even though we had a front row view from our table, we still had to ‘line up’ at the railing about an hour before the fireworks started to make sure we were able to see. I am also basing my opinion on the fact that we had to deal with an extremely rude mother who was trying to take the spot from our children. If I am going to pay that much for a good view and a dessert, that I don’t want to have to deal with other rude people, as we all pay the same amount to get in. I think standing on Main Street, U.S.A., is just as nice, and you have a much better view of the castle. And it’s FREE!!!  This is a great one-time experience for the desserts though!”

How much will this experience cost and what’s on the menu? We have that info. for you!

Can You Afford the Tomorrowland Terrace Fireworks Dessert Party at Disney World?

And there you have what some of our  Cheapskate Princess Facebook Fans thought about the dessert party.  So let us know…have you been, and what did you think?! 

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 Can You Find Disney’s Tomorrowland Area Music?

where to purchase Tomorrowland Music, If You Had Wings music, Carrousel of Progress music, Disney World area music

Every section of the Magic Kingdom has a different look, but it also has a different sound. Have you ever wondered where you could buy the music you hear in Tomorrowland? Apparently you can’t. We looked all over iTunes and online music stores, and no soundtracks appear to be for sale.

But we did locate lots and lots of YouTube video links. You don’t have to watch the actual videos, which many times are just random photos set to music, but rather just press play on our videos. Then let the memories begin! Time to do some laundry, eat dinner with the kids, all with the sounds of Disney World in your ears. We threw in some trivia just for fun…

Tomorrowland sign

Through his television programs, Walt Disney showed America how he thought the world was moving into the future. Tomorrowland was simply a culmination of his futuristic views. Mr. Disney said, “Tomorrow can be a wonderful age. Our scientists today are opening the doors of the Space Age to achievements that will benefit our children and generations to come. The Tomorrowland attractions have been designed to give you an opportunity to participate in adventures that are a living blueprint of our future.”

This video is for the music most often heard in Tomorrowland, and they call it a “loop” because it plays continuously for almost an hour.

Tomorrowland Loop

For a little different take on the traditional version, try this Tokyo Disney loop.

Tokyo Disney Tomorowland

Walt Disney World’s Tomorrowland opened on October 1, 1971 at the Magic Kingdom. Just like at Disneyland, WDW’s Tomorrowland was opened unfinished, but it was completed by 1975. It is said that the Florida version more closely resembled Walt Disney’s actual vision for Tomorrowland. Some of the most popular Disney park attractions premiered in this Magic Kingdom area, like Space Mountain, which opened in 1975, a ride that is now found in every Disney Tomorrowland around the world.

Opening with a beautiful trumpet solo, here is the link to Space Mountain music:

Space Mountain Soundtrack

For most of its history, Tomorrowland’s  look was a retro-modernist landscape, accented by a color scheme of simplistic whites and light blues. In 1994, Tomorrowland was completely re-imagined and altered to resemble a galactic spaceport, taking inspiration from Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon science-fiction comic strips of the early 20th century.  Tomorrowland now has a metallic look with bright neon lights in a multitude of rainbow colors.

Many of the attractions changed through the years, with some of the classic Tomorrowland rides and shows that closed in Disneyland still open in Florida, including the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover and the Carousel of Progress, which was moved from Disneyland to Walt Disney World in 1975. Walt Disney’s model display of the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, the first incarnation of what would become Epcot, is only visible from a display window on the Peoplemover ride.

where do you buy tomorrow land music, Disney Tomorrowland music for sale, Tomorrowland areas music songs

This is a video for the TTA/Peoplemover attraction, because there seems to be no “audio” recording like many of the attractions have. While you still do not have to actually watch the video, it’s interesting to hear the cars click over the tracks and to hear guest’s noises as the recording goes on.

Peoplemover 

For a little sing along time, here are two songs from the Carousel of Progress, the updated version followed by the original recording.

WDW Carousel Of Progress Audio

Disney Carousel Of Progress Best Time Of Your Life Vintage Version

Gone but Not Forgotten

What you won’t see in Tomorrowland in Florida are the following attractions:

  • Skyway to Fantasyland (1971–1999)

  • Circle-Vision 360° (1971–2006)

  • If You Had Wings (1972–1987)

  • The Timekeeper (1994–2006)

  • Mission to Mars (1975–1993)

  • Delta Dreamflight (1989–1996)

  • ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter (1995–2003)

Tomorrowland Area music

For those of you old enough to remember If You Had Wings, then you’ll enjoy this recording:

If You Had Wings

And for a little bonus, this video contains the audio once played on the monorail circling the resorts. Hit play, close your eyes, and it’s a virtual vacation in a time machine!

Walt Disney Monorail Full Voice – Old Version

So there you have access to Disney World’s Tomorrowland attractions and area music. If you can’t purchase the area music, what better way to listen than to playing YouTube videos for free.

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.

Tomorrowland Buzz light year ride

Where Can You Find Disney World’s Main Street Area Music?

where can I find Disney World Main Street music

Music plays a huge part in my Disney vacations. I can just hear a certain song and suddenly feel seven years old again, like I am walking through the Magic Kingdom with my family way back in ’77. Living in this amazing age of technology, you can relive those Disney feelings when you get home just by simply listening to music.

Where can you find the Main Street, U.S.A., area music loops?

We haven’t located a place to purchase the actual CDs, and these songs are not available on iTunes.

So we did a little searching and found videos on YouTube, plus several bonus videos for those cold or rainy days where you  want to stay inside and relive those old memories. These videos are really just brief visual images to go with the recordings. We’ll give you some info. about Main Street too, for those that like a little knowledge to accompany their tunes.

To Get FREE Mickey Mouse Kid’s Hats, Do This in January!

Disney Main Street

Disney World’s Main Street features stylistic influences from New England and Missouri. This is most noticeable in the “four corners” area in the middle of Main Street where each of the four corner buildings represents a different architectural style. Whereas Disneyland has an Opera House, WDW’s Main Street sports Exposition Hall.

Here is the Main Street, U.S.A, music loop, over an hour’s worth of songs you’ll instantly recognize.

WDW Main Street USA Area Music Loop

Disney Main Street parade

Main Street’s decor is early 20th century small-town America inspired by Walt Disney’s childhood.  City Hall contains the Guest Relations lobby for information and assistance. You can actually get your hair cut in a barber shop. (Use this link: Should You Get a Haircut at Walt Disney World? For $20, with Pixie Dust and Stickers, Yes!) The Emporium carries a massive variety of Disney merchandise such as plush toys, collectible pins, clothes, jewelry and hats. Tony’s Town Square and the Plaza Restaurant are table service restaurants for a nice sit-down meal, while Casey’s Corner, located at the end of Main, sells traditional American ball park items like hot dogs and french fries.

Just beyond the end of Main Street, separating this from every other main street in the United States, is Cinderella Castle.

The Main Street music has changed some through the years, so here is a link to the “original” Main Street loop.

The Original Main Street, USA Area Loop: 1971 – 1992

Disney Transportation on Main Street

Standing at only 189 feet tall, WDW’s Main Street benefits “forced perspective.” Forced perspective is a simple technique that uses optical illusions to make objects appear farther away, closer, larger or smaller than they actually are. The second stories of all the buildings along Main are shorter than the lower story, and the third stories are even shorter than the second. You will notice the same technique used on Cinderella Castle.

Main Street is like the opening act for the Magic Kingdom. As you pass under the train station/opening curtain, you then view the opening credits on the upper stories of the main street buildings.

Main Street Disney windows

The windows have business names on them, such as “Seven Summits Expeditions, Frank G. Wells President”, with each of the names connected to important Disney individuals. The windows/credits are ordered as they would be for a movie.

Before you walk onto Main Street, U.S.A., you will pass through the bag check and the entrance, with this music loop playing in the background.

Magic Kingdom Full Entrance Loop

Disney Main Street Area Music Loop

So you woke up early enough to make rope drop? Well, then you heard these tunes. Listening, I can almost see Mickey and his pals waving from the train station.

Magic Kingdom Welcome Melody

While the next video has no direct connection to Main Street per se, this video is the 1971 grand opening television special of Walt Disney World, which was broadcast on the Wonderful World of Disney show. Julie Andrews hosts this celebration with celebrity appearances by Glen Campbell, Bob Hope, Buddy Hackett and Jonathan Winters. This footage is a true Disney treasure, mostly because the Disney music is completely reminiscent of the 1970s. Highlights of the musical arrangements include Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah and It’s A Small World.

The Grand Opening of Walt Disney World

And where does Main Street lead you? Right here, to that famous castle…

Disney Castle at the end of Main Street

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.

1st Trip to Disney? 20 Magic Kingdom Rides That Save Time and Money

dsc_0529

Updated for 2017!

When you write about Disney topics, people like to ask you questions. Probably the one question I get asked the most is, “We only have tickets for one day. What park should we go to?” Without hesitation, I say Magic Kingdom. Regardless of age or how much you love roller coasters, I always say the Magic Kingdom just for the experience. When people think of Disney World, what pops into their heads first is usually Cinderella Castle; adult visitors have said they cried the first time they saw it because they had waited for so long. So if you can only be in Orlando for one day, I say spend it there. [Read more…]

The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Disney World’s NEW & Improved Main Street Bakery (Starbucks)

Disney Starbucks

It was Walt Disney that said, this sentence so often quoted in regard to his humongous and ever-changing empire, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” Quite a few eyebrows were raised by Disney fans everywhere when it was announced that Starbucks was taking over the Magic Kingdom’s beloved Main Street Bakery. Change – it happens all the time at Disney World. They change the flowers. They tear down Mickey and Minnie’s homes and put up a circus. They build new resorts. They tear down shows and put in Star Wars Land (Ok, that’s still rumor. Just seeing if you are paying attention.) Change.

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

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

new Main Street Bakery

“I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.” That’s another of my favorite Walt Disney quotes, and really how I approach any news of coming changes within the gates of WDW. I like to be optimistic, be hopeful, but I lost this one. The Disney Main Street Bakery that I knew and loved is gone.

I managed to score four tickets for a preview into The NEW Main Street Bakery on Father’s Day, June 16th, 2013, the last day of our summer Disney vacation. Walking by on the way to snag FASTPASSES to Space Mountain 20 minutes after park opening, I saw two Cast Members handing out tickets. Forget Space Mountain…I shoved my husband and sons into the waiting line. I thought they were tickets just to get in the door for a soft opening preview. Imagine my surprise when it was tickets for free food and drinks. Woohoo! FREE! I looked at my husband and said,”Happy Father’s Day!”

 Read: If You Want to Save Time and Money on Disney World Food, Eat Now and Not Then!

Disney meal dining voucher

Here’s a breakdown for you, trying to be as unbiased as possible, because while I fear change as a general rule, I also try to embrace it so I can keep moving forward.

The Good

I love all improvements to buildings, rides, and whatever the Disney Company chooses to “plus.”  The term “plus it” was commonly used by Walt Disney to  mean making further improvements to a project, no matter if it was a film, a television show, or a theme park. You Starbucks fans have been “plussed.” There are a lot of coffee/latte options, and The Bakery smells of delicious Starbucks Coffee. After years of reading complaints about whatever coffee Disney was serving, apparently Nescafe, you guys will be happy.

My husband said the breakfast sandwich he ate was really good, probably one of the best “meals” he had eaten on Disney property during our vacation.

My piece of berry coffee cake was Ok; it was better than a Wilderness Lodge brownie I once ate, but not as good as the Lemonade Cupcake they served at the Contempo Cafe last summer. Average.

I have read online that those people on the Disney Dining Plan (DDP) will be able to purchase food and drinks here that will count as snack credits. This is great news if you were planning to buy your Caramel Macchiato here anyway, because that’s one less expense.

 Read: Can You Afford the Tomorrowland Terrace Fireworks Dessert Party at Disney World?

Disney's breakfast sandwich

My sons said their Vanilla Bean Latte was fabulous.

We didn’t actually get a coffee. This Disney Princess is no fan of coffee or latte from anywhere, so I let them enjoy it.

The Cast Members are as delightful as ever. They were helpful, smiling, and exactly what I have come to expect from Disney employees. They did not disappoint. The Cast Member that got us the vouchers actually went back into the building to get them for us, and we thanked her no less than three times. This is Disney World at its finest.

The floors were lovely, the wood trim was warm and inviting, and the brick work was a nice touch. It’s nothing to do cartwheels over, but the building has been updated. I personally liked the old building, but this change in appearance is still a positive.

Disney changes the Main Street Bakery

The Bad

Those Bakery fans who loved all the food they offered previously will be disappointed, or I was in a huge way. I never ate breakfast at the old Main Street Bakery, but  Cheapskate Princess Facebook Fans said there was a ham and cheese croissant on the breakfast menu that was fabulous. No croissant items are listed on the new menu.

Remember the famed Main Street cinnamon roll?

Disney World Main Street Cinnamon Roll

It’s no longer on the menu.

I remember an apple turnover bigger than my hand. My youngest son and I split one like six years ago on the sidewalk outside The Bakery. How do I remember? Because it was that yummy, better than any bakery food I have in my home town.

I remember a massive slice of chocolate cake. I remember a chocolate chocolate-chip muffin with white powdered sugar sprinkled on top. I remember carrot cake, because while I am not a fan, my middle child certainly is. He bought a slice every trip with his own money. Come to think of it, I probably remember too many yummy calorie-filled snacks.

Read: Can You Bring Your Own Food into a Disney World Theme Park? 

Disney Coffee cake

I remember a cinnamon roll so huge we split it in fourths. Word has it this treat has been relocated to Gaston’s Tavern in the new Fantasyland, which is not open as far as I know after Wishes, and it’s like two miles away from Main Street. OK, it feels like two miles, but it’s probably just one-quarter of a mile away. And I know there are fans of Le Fou’s Brew out there, don’t send me hate mail, please, but I thought that drink was blah at best, cold apple juice at worst, and I only set foot in the door once despite the amazing night-time lighting.

I don’t think of the new Fantasyland as the place to eat my Main Street Bakery cinnamon roll. What I knew is gone, and Starbucks stole it.

Disney peanut butter cupcakes

All my yummy snacks, the ones I looked forward to from The Bakery, are gone, gone, gone the way of Snow White’s Scary Adventure, or at least when I was there for the preview visit.

In Internet chatter regarding the new Bakery, many people have remarked that Disney is filled with corporate sponsorships, in fact there is an Edy’s Ice Cream Parlor almost door. My issues with the changes are not about branding and corporate sponsorships. I don’t buy coffee anywhere, so I honestly don’t care what brand of coffee is being served; it could be Goofy’s Coffee Company for all I care. Most people i know go to Starbucks for the quality of coffee, not necessarily for a snack. There are snacks all over the Magic Kingdom, and I was one of those people who ate here for the quality of the snack.

I wrote two paragraphs ago, “What I knew is gone, and Starbucks stole it.” A Reddit reader found this to be “a bit over-the-top.” Well, I’m going to stand by that as far as the food. Starbucks may have brought in a tremendous taste improvement as far as coffee, but it dropped substantially in terms of quality of snacks. That cake pop below is pretty, but it’s no match quality-wise for any of the foods I mentioned they served previously.

Bring in your Starbucks Frappuccinos, your Goofy’s Coffee, your Coca Cola coffee, (insert any brand here) but leave the Bakery snacks as they were. I read a review where it was pointed out that The Main Street Bakery wasn’t actually baking their food items on site. Neither is Starbucks, so why change up a good thing?

But hey, things change, and the menu might as well.

Wiping a formerly sugar-filled tear…

Starbucks Disney snacks

The Ugly

There is no seating now. This was a horrible realization for my family. Both my sons asked where we would sit with our food. Well, dears, mommy doesn’t exactly know.

This has really messed up my after “Wishes” snack plans in a royal Cinderella Castle-sized way. I was one of those die-hard Disney fans that watched people walking down Main Street toward transportation – on their way home  – while I enjoyed a snack in The Bakery. It was like a secret we knew, along with thousands of other Disney fans, that when the Magic Kingdom closes, you get a snack and stay a while. Some of us waited so long they kindly reminded us it was time to go now.

Starbucks stole the seats, and now there are a couple small (probably granite) counters to stand at. Listen, I’ve stood enough by 11 p.m. I liked my table. My kids liked the tables. We sat and watched the glass blowers in Crystal Arts next door. We watched sleepy kids sit in mom and dad’s laps and eat snacks. We talked about what we would order on our next visit. We watched parents fight, lovers share snacks with one fork, girls rip off princess dresses in preparation for a good night’s sleep beginning in a stroller. We watched a lot. We ate a lot of snacks on those small tables through the years, and if there wasn’t table space, you sat on the bar by the wall.

We enjoyed a lot of late night snacks in the Main Street Bakery, had some good conversations, made some vacation plans.

Goodbye tables and yummy snacks. Hello…Starbuck’s coffee? Hello Starbuck’s cookie standing at a counter? Readers have remarked that “it’s silly to get mad about this kinda stuff,” and that I was being “nitpicky” and “complaining just to complain.” I say to them…you never enjoyed a great snack here with family, because if you had, you would know what you are missing out on in the future.

Disney Main Street Sarbucks

If the worst I can say is there is nowhere to sit, then that’s not all that bad, really. It’s a nice, clean shop with reasonable prices and friendly staff.

What I have lost is memories, and a table and chair on which to make future memories. Yeah, yeah, there are tables down the street  and at the train station, but ya know, change is hard.

I’ll be back, but not like I was. I’ll stop in if I need a cold drink, because they do not lack in available soda bottles. I’ll stop in if my high school-aged daughter wants to get a latte, even though we have a Starbucks offering the same latte just 10 minutes from my house.  I’ll be back if I want to accompany my husband as he purchases another breakfast sandwich, and I’ll walk with him while he eats it, hoofing it down the sidewalk on the way to more FASTPASSES.

Wait…Disney just changed the Fastpass system too. Wow, change can be hard!

But I won’t like it, not like I used to. I’ll just have to find a “new” favorite snack spot, maybe in different  park. We found a great coffee shop in Hollywood Studios with the coldest air EVER and a really great cherry pastry over by Star Tours. Yea, maybe I’ll go there and pout and talk about what was, how the Main Street Bakery used to be when my kids were kids.

 Read: 103 Fabulous Vacation Planning Articles for Walt Disney World Fun!

Disney Starbucks

When I think of “Main Street,” the kind Walt Disney so fondly remembered from his childhood, I think of soda fountains, quaint stores, and cafes where I could spend time with family and friends. I don’t think of drive-through windows and taking my coffee to go. I’m on vacation to get away from my McDonald’s Happy Meal world. I’d like a table to have a seat, rest my feet, plan my next stop, with my vacation-weary butt parked in a chair.

I didn’t win this round of change, but I truly have high hopes for that Cars Land rumor.

Stop by when Starbucks, I mean the new Main Street Bakery, and see for yourself. Let us know what you thought… 

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.

You can also 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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6 Reasons to Schedule a Haircut at the Harmony Barber Shop at Disney’s Magic Kingdom

Disney World Harmony Barber Shop
Updated for 2017!
Time is money at Walt Disney World. While many of us joke about living there forever, money will only buy you a certain amount of time in Orlando. Ideas for what you do with that time are not endless, but there sure are a lot of ways to have fun. Getting a hair cut has never made my personal list of fun. It’s probably not on your fun list either.
Photos of kids with fun haircuts from The Harmony Barber Shop on Main Street U.S.A., at the Magic Kingdom have been popping up more frequently on Facebook. When you compare the prices for many special experiences at Disney World, it turns out a haircut at this location is not crazy expensive.

[Read more…]

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

Wishes Fireworks, Main Street Fireworks, Main Street, Disney moms and fireworks, Disney princess fireworks

UPDATED for 2017:

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

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

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

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

A Cheapskate Princess Guide to Less Stress on Vacation

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

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

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

 

Fireworks

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

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

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

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

Top of the World Lounge fireworks, fireworks from Bay Lake Tower Resort, fireworks for Disney Moms, tips for viewing fireworks

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

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

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

Disney ice cream, where is the best Disney ice cream, how much is Disney ice cream, strawberry sundae, strawberry ice cream, strawberry and chocolate sundae

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

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

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

Amanda Major Cheapskate Princess

.

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.