Prisma: The FREE App You Need for Your Disney Vacation Photos

use-prisma-on-a-disney-world-vacation

Updated for 2017!

It doesn’t really matter if you are visiting Disney Word or Disneyland; you will take a lot of photos. And if you are like me, preferring to use your cell phone to take pictures rather than tote around a big camera, then your pics are stored on your phone and carried everywhere with you.

If you take more than one trip to the same Disney parks, some of your pictures will inevitably start to look the same. While cool, it’s the same castle. While amazing, it’s the same fireplace chimney in Wilderness Lodge. The same can become boring and sterile after a while, even in a place as astounding as the Disney parks on either coast.

Read: Times Have Changed: Welcome to the New Era of Walt Disney World

I just found the solution to boring and hello cool photos; it’s a phone app called Prisma. [Read more…]

Pros and Cons of Staying at a Disney Resort: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

pros and cons of staying at a Disney Resort

Your family has decided they want to go to Walt Disney World and you are so excited, but then you have to decide if you want to stay at a Walt Disney World Resort or stay off property. A Disney World vacation has so many moving parts, and there are so many decisions to make while planning your vacation.  But don’t worry, because we are here to help you make the important decision on where to stay!

When you take a Walt Disney World vacation, there really isn’t a bad place to stay.

Read: Benefits of Staying at a Disney Resort: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

[Read more…]

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

Cabana Bay Cheapskate Princess Guide

Looking for a unique resort for your Orlando Vacation? Check out Cabana Bay Beach Resort, a Loew’s hotel located on site Universal Orlando Resort. Cabana Bay’s retro look will take you back to the sleek design of hotels from the the 50’s and 60’s. If you want to watch the lava from Universal’s newest theme park, waterpark Volcano Bay, you have rooms with a view! Whether traveling with the kids, or without, Cheapskate Princess Guide to Cabana Bay Beach Resort has all the information you need to decide if Cabana Bay is the right for your needs. [Read more…]

Why Book Advanced Dining Reservations: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

When people plan their vacation to Walt Disney World, there are so many decisions to make. Guests have to decide where to stay, how many days to spend in the parks, which parks to visit, which FastPasses they want, and my favorite decision – where to eat. Disney allows guests to make dining reservations 180 days before their vacation. While there are a lot of out of this world choices for dining, there are some restaurants that are very popular, and they can be locations where it is hard to get the Advanced Dining Reservations (also called ADRs.)

Disney World Dining

Photo from Walt Disney World 

[Read more…]

Christmas Eve and Day At Disney World: How Crazy are the Wait Times?!

wait-times-at-disney-world-during-christmas

Several years ago, our family went to Orlando during the week of Christmas. You know, that week that I literally tell people they are crazzzzzyyyy to visit Disney World because of the crowds. But we only had one days worth of tickets, and we went early in the week.

Just how nuts can things get the week of Christmas? More specifically, how busy will it be on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day? Let’s talk about wait times, because there will be BOO COODLES of people wandering the parks and resorts, and most of that time, they will be standing in line with you, elbow to elbow, cell phone to iPad.

I wrote down wait-times that holiday week at certain points during the day just to give you some perspective.

Read: Holiday Wishes Dessert Premium Package: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

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Christmas Eve Morning 2015

Small World 25disney-world-wait-times

Astro Orbiter 50

Big Thunder Mtn 60

Buzz Lightyear 75

Dumbo 35

Tales with Belle 60

Haunted Mansion 40

Jungle Cruise 60

Peter Pan 90

Pirates of the Caribbean 45

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train 120

Splash Mountain 45

Winnie the Pooh 55

Space Mountain 110

Speedway 60

Under the Seas 30

Dinosaur 30

Expedition Everest 55

Kali River Rapids 25

Kilimanjaro Safari 50

Living with the Land 35

Mission: Space 50

Soarin’ 130

Spaceship Earth 35

Test Track 85

Seas with Nemo 35

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 125

Toy Story Mania 75

Great Movie Ride 35

Rock’n’ Roller Coaster 75

Star Tours 40

Read: Cheapskate Guide to Disney World Halloween & Christmas Parties

how-crowded-is-disney-world-at-christmas

These people are all waiting in line just to get to the jewelry counter.

Christmas Eve Night 8 pm

Small World 30disney-world-waiting-in-line

Astro Orbiter  50

Big Thunder Mtn 30

Buzz Lightyear 25

Dumbo 20

Tales with Belle 20

Haunted Mansion 20

Jungle Cruise 35

Peter Pan 80

Pirates of the Caribbean  25

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train 70

Space Mtn 90

Splash Mountain 30

Winnie the Pooh 10

Speedway 30

Under the Seas 15

Dinosaur Closed at 7 pm

Living with the Land 10

Mission: Space 45

Soarin’ 90

Spaceship Earth 15

Test Track 80

Seas with Nemo 10

Great Movie Ride 5

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 90

Toy Story Mania 85

Rock’n’ Roller Coaster 60

Star Tours 10

wait-times-for-rides-at-disney-world-during-christmas

Christmas Day Noon – closure phase A at 10 am

Small World 35waiting-for-rides-at-disney-world

Astro Orbiter  70

Big Thunder Mtn 80

Buzz Lightyear 75

Dumbo 55

Tales with Belle 40

Haunted Mansion 110

Jungle Cruise 50

Monsters Laugh Floor 40

Peter Pan 115

Pirates of the Caribbean 35

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train 150

Space Mountain 190

Splash Mountain 60

Winnie the Pooh

Speedway 60

Under the Seas 45

Dinosaur 40

Expedition Everest 45

Kali River Rapids 10

Kilimanjaro safari 20

Living with the Land 30

Mission: Space 65

Soarin’  120

Spaceship Earth 45

Test Track 80

Seas with Nemo 35

Great Movie Ride 25

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror  40

Toy Story Mania 85

Rock’n’ Roller Coaster 60

Star Tours 50

Read: Where to Find FREE Disney World Theme Parks Christmas Music

Christmas Day 5 pm – If you even got in.

Small World  45

Astro Orbiter  30

Big Thunder Mtn 60

Buzz Lightyear 55

Dumbo 45

Tales with Belle  50

Haunted Mansion 60

Jungle Cruise  90

Peter Pan 90

Pirates of the Caribbean 40

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train 120

Space Mtn 125

Splash Mountain 90

Winnie the Pooh 45

Speedway 50

Under the Seas  50

Dinosaur 20

Expedition Everest 35

Kali River Rapids 50

Kilimanjaro safari 45

Living with the Land 20

Mission: Space 50

Soarin’ 130

Spaceship Earth 25

Test Track 95

Seas with Nemo 30

Great Movie Ride 35

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 150

Toy Story Mania 105

Rock’n’ Roller Coaster 135

Star Tours 30

crowd-levels-at-disney-world-for-christmas

And just for kicks, I also recorded wait times the day after Christmas, because if you were going on a Disney vacation December 24th and 25th, chances are you will stick around for several more days afterward.

December 26th 3 pm

Small World  45

Astro Orbiter  40

Barnstormer 45

Big Thunder Mtn 75

Buzz Lightyear 60

Dumbo 60

Tales with Belle 60

Haunted Mansion 45

Jungle Cruise 80

Magic Carpets 45

Peter Pan 105

Pirates of the Caribbean 50

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train 110

Splash Mountain 115

Splash Mountain 85

Winnie the Pooh 55

Speedway 90

Under the Seas 60

Dinosaur 40

Expedition Everest 35

Kali River Rapids 60

Kilimanjaro Safari 45

Tough to Be a Bug 110

Primevil Whirl 30

Living with the Land 20

Mission: Space 60

Soarin’ 110

Spaceship Earth 20

Test Track 55

Seas with Nemo 15

Great Movie Ride  35

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 80

Toy Story Mania 155

Rock’n’ Roller Coaster 90

Star Tours 45

Mad Tea Party 25

Mickey’s Philharmagic 30

Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor 20

Prince Charming Regal Carousel 15

Stitch’s Great Escape 10

magic-kingdom-closure-phase

So that’s a lot of waiting, although the wait times will vary in length throughout the day. Obviously things are more quiet at the beginning of the day and rapidly get busier from there.

Curious about closure phases for the parks? Use this link…

Read:Understanding Disney Park Closure Phases: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

So what do you think, visit the Mouse during holidays when the kids are out of school but spend a lot of time waiting or vacation during another time of year when the decorations may not be as spectacular?

 

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.

Check Out These Tiana Handbags by Dooney & Bourke

Updated for 2017!

Tiana fans are racing to grab their Disney Visa cards with the latest addition to the Disney Dooney collection.

Ready for some prices?!

[Read more…]

Benefits of Staying at a Disney Resort: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

Disney Resorts

When planning to visit Walt Disney World, some might say “to do it right, stay at a Disney Resort”. While there is no one “right” way for everyone to vacation at the most magical place on earth, there are benefits of staying at a Disney Resort. Staying close to the parks does come with a price, but keep in mind, you get more than “just being closer to the parks” for your money at a Disney Resort. Comparing what is included can sometimes make off property the same or more cost than staying at a Disney Resort, with less convenience.  [Read more…]

Disney Souvenirs Under $10? Lollypops!

Updated for 2017!

Disney World vacation souvenirs are expensive. As soon as you announce plans for your upcoming Orlando trip, friends will start casually saying, “Hey, bring me something back from Disney World.” Well now the pressure is on, and you have to decide if you will spend the big bucks or look for small trinkets. $35 t-shirts and $59 sweatshirts will kill your budget; I don’t always fit those items in my budget for myself. You may need something way less expensive.

I spent a lot of time looking around the gift shops as a child in the 70s, and these items remind me of childhood vacations munching on candy we could afford to buy in the parks. You know kids usually can’t afford much else.

Say hello to the Disney lollypops! [Read more…]

Disney World Extravagance: Pirates & Pals Fireworks Voyage

Updated for 2017!

Looking for something different for your next Disney vacation?

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

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

How Cooking Your Own Meals Can Save Money in Orlando

Updated for 2017!

Welcome to Chef Carl’s. Can I take your order? [Read more…]

Pros and Cons of Staying Off Site at Disney World

disney-offsite-pros-and-cons

Planning a Disney vacation can be very overwhelming, especially considering where to stay in Orlando with so many options for all budgets and accommodation preferences. The first step in deciding where to stay should always be asking, “Do we stay on site at a Disney Resort or do we stay off site?” There are pros and cons staying off site at Disney World, while being in the middle of the magic at Disney World is fabulous and convenient, it comes with a price. On the flip side, off site resorts not operated by Disney or located outside the Disney World property can truly make a Disney vacation thrifty budget friendly, however sometimes offsite isn’t the best option.   [Read more…]

Times Have Changed: Welcome to the New Era of Walt Disney World

New Disney World

Updated for 2017!

A while back, author and freelance writer  wrote an article for Huff Post Travel called, “For the First Time in Forever… I Did Not Enjoy My Vacation to Disney World.” She described how, as a life long Disney vacation traveler, her most recent trip to the Mouse House was not as enjoyable as she hoped for. “It’s simply gotten too big, too commercial, too regimented.” She noted that through the years, changes have been made which many long time Disney fans haven’t enjoyed so much. I’m here to tell you that my most recent trip was neither efficient nor pleasurable.

She provided several reasons why she didn’t have fun-fun-fun at the Happiest Place on Earth. And even after time has passed since she wrote the article, people have problems with some of her same issues.

[Read more…]