Going to Disney? Got Kids? Get ’em Gift Cards!

kids and Disney Gift Cards

Updated for 2016!

While there are many parents out there that don’t set vacation spending limit for their kids, I fall in the group that does. My children sure do wish I gave them unlimited funds! We asked our  Cheapskate Princess Facebook Fans if they put their children on a budget while on a vacation, and although some said they had no budget, many, many of our readers said yes, that their kids definitely had a budget when they traveled to Disney World.

Make Your Own Disney Inspired Picture Frames for Super Cheap!

Ashley is an example of the typical budget-using mom, “Last year our kids were five and nine, and we went to Disney for a week. They got $125 each for the entire week. This included money for any souvenirs including ears, shirts, or toys, as well as expensive candies or souvenir cup/drinks. They both budgeted very well!

But not only did parents say their kids have a budget, they also indicated their children spent money directly from Disney Gift Cards. Our Cheapskate Princess Facebook Fans told us why they suggested children benefit from traveling to Disney using gift cards. 

Gift/Visa Cards

LeeAnn, “My kids get Disney Gift Cards for use on souvenirs. When it’s gone, they’re done. This does not include shirts and ears, which we buy for all of us.

Sharon, “We bought them each a gift card, when it was gone, it was gone. Even my 6-year-old understood that.”

Kim, “Budget. We give gift cards. When they are spent… That is it.

Rachel, “We do a budget, usually in the form of a gift card, based on chores and grades. But that goes for mom and dad too – we take a set amount and that is it.

A Disney World Parks Guide: Tips from a Travel Agent

Buy Disney gift cards for vacations

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So what’s so great about Disney Gift Cards? If this information is old news to you, then consider yourself an “expert.”

Gift Card Features

  • Disney Gift Cards have no fees and they do not expire.
  • They are available online in set amounts from $25 – $500.
  • When purchased online, you receive FREE standard shipping.
  • Disney Gift Cards can be reloaded at many locations at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disneyland Resort in California, and Disney Store locations in the US.

To get the card you want and have it shipped for FREE, well, that seems like a no brainer decision for a Cheapskate Princess.

Gift Card Personalization

  • It’s easy to personalize your Disney Gift Card online order.
  • After selecting your Disney designed card, you will select the “personalized card carrier” option.
  • You will be able to select from several Disney themed carriers and add special messaging.

Why Take a Baby to Walt Disney World? Because It’s FREE!

Disney Gift Cards

kids need a budget on vacation

So what reasons did our Cheapskate Princess Facebook Fans have to use gift cards with their children?

No Begging, and No Means No

Erin, “We always go right around our kid’s birthdays, so we tell all our family and friends to give them Disney Gift Cards for presents. This way we really don’t have to say no. When the cards run out, their shopping stops!”

Julie, “I get all four of us fun Disney shirts before a trip, and then I give both of my daughters $50 each in Disney Gift Cards to spend however they’d like. When it’s gone, then that’s it!”


Sarah, “We purchased Disney gift cards for our kids. They were advised that was their money to spend, but that was all they would have to spend. It worked well for all three kids (13, 10, and 6), and they loved paying for their own items!

Tammi, “I give them a $100.00 Visa card. They can get what they want, when they want. (9 day trip.)

Kris, “I bought a Disney Gift Card for each one of my four kids. They felt so important using their own cards and when it was gone, it was gone!”

Chores First, Card Later

Jeff, “We have two girls, and they each get a $50 gift card. They also bring money that they have earned over the year from chores or doing yard work for their grandmother. Once the card is gone, that’s it. Snacks and candy are a plus, as my wife and I like them too.”

Judy, “We bought our daughter a reloadable gift card. Whatever money she earns from her chores goes on it, and that’s her spending money.”

Free Fun in Celebration Florida: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

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Plan Purchases More Thoughtfully

Tammy, “We give our kids Disney Gift Cards. Then they know how much they have to spend, and it’s their money so they are more thoughtful about what they want to spend it on.”

Brea, “My son (age 10) gets a $100 gift card that he can use however he wants. We encourage him to look around for a day or two before he buys anything big, in case he sees something he likes more. He keeps track of his balance and determines if the purchase is worth it.”

Cathleen, “My kids each get a Disney gift card with a certain amount every trip. They learn how to make wise choices as well as budget their money. I do buy them a shirt every trip, that’s always been our tradition!”

And while Jan doesn’t use a budget, she still has the kids plan purchases out in advance.

Jan, “We started this on our very first trip. Write down what you THINK you want when you see it, include where, how much, etc (now we just take photos with our phone, lol). Then the last day of the trip go through that list and decide what you STILL want, and those are the souvenirs we get. The girls learned quickly that the desire to have something sometimes only lasts until it’s out of sight. This means we spend less, and what we do take home is something that they really want to own. This made a budget not necessary, really, because they were waiting and getting the one or two things that they REALLY wanted. Works with me too!”

10 Ways to Save Money on Disney World Food

Why use Disney gift cards on vacation

Disney Mickey Minnie phone case

Here is the 411 on Disney Gift Cards in general. Some of this information was news to me, and I thought I knew everything about gift carding.

Can a Disney Gift Card be used at the Magic of Disney and Disney’s Earport at the Orlando International Airport?

Yes, gift cards can be used at both locations.

Can I give my Disney Gift Card to someone else?

Yes. Disney Gift Cards can be used by anyone. It is recommended that you keep it in a safe place until you are ready to use it, since anyone who has the card will be able to make purchases with it.

Do you keep the cards when you are finished using them?

Yes. Your Disney Gift Card can be reloaded or kept as a souvenir.

You use Disney Gift Cards just like cash for items at the theme parks, resort hotels, cruises, as well as merchandise at Disney Store, DisneyStore.com, and at DisneyMusicStore.com.

Mickey Mouse Decorating on a Cheapskate Princess Budget!*

Disney moms and Gift cards

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Where can I use my Disney Gift Card?

The Disney Gift Card can be used for purchases at participating locations such as:

  • Walt Disney World Resort
  • Disneyland Resort
  • Disney Store locations within the US
  • DisneyStore.com
  • Disney Cruise Line
  • Aulani Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaiʻi

Where Can You Purchase Disney Gift Cards?

In addition to stores everywhere like Wal-mart, grocery stores, Walgreens, etc., Disney Gift Cards can be purchased at select locations at the Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort, Disney Store locations in the U.S., and DisneyStore.com. So you don’t have to purchase them on Disney property, but they are available if you decide to purchase one there.

You should allow 10-15 business days for delivery of Disney Gift Cards purchased online.

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Can You Reload Disney Gift Cards?

Yes, your Disney Gift Cards can be reloaded for any amount between $5 and $1,000. Just reload them at any Disney location that sells the gift cards.

Online reloads are not currently available.

Does a Disney Gift Card expire?

No, the Disney Gift Card you purchased or received is valid for purchases until all remaining funds have been depleted from the card.

You will not be assessed a service fee for unused balances on your card

How do you check the balance and transaction history on a Disney Gift Card?

You can check your balance using this link, which is just a web page always available on the Disney gift card website, or call the toll-free number on the back of the gift card.

What items cannot be purchased with a card?

Don’t use gift cards to purchase Disney on Ice and Disney Theatrical tickets, Disney Dollars, or anything outside of the United States.

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

How to Personalize a Disney Gift Card

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It’s just a gift card. How can you make that more “Disney” magical?

  1. You can choose from a number of designs.
  2. Your card will arrive in a custom enclosure with your personal message, which means you have endless possibilities.
  3. You can use your own photo. This gift card template features a confetti and balloon covered border perfect for any celebration. You will select the “Buy Now” button and follow the prompts to personalize your card.

What if your Disney Gift Card is lost or stolen?

Call 1-877-650-4327 and report your card has been lost or stolen. Your card will then be “frozen” and the funds remaining on the card (at the time of the call) can be transferred onto a new card.

Please note that you will need an original proof of purchase receipt for the Disney Gift Card to transfer any funds onto a new card.

Can You Afford the New Disney Dooney & Bourke Faces Collection?*

Disney Gift

Order Disney Visa Cards

For more detailed information, use this link. 

To shop for cards by character, use this link. 

A Word of $Caution$

Because Disney Gift Cards can be used by anyone, you do run the risk of your children losing the cards. But this is probably no bigger risk than kids carrying cash. Many children are not ready for the responsibility of hanging onto their own money, be it in cash or card form, and that’s a decision you may have to help them make. Because if that card is lost, the money could be spent before your child remembers to tell you or even notices it’s gone.

But keeping up with money is a life skill, one that they will need as they grow older, so in small amounts, gift cards can be a great way to transition kids into vacation responsibility.

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you shopping with the kids as they hand over their personalized gift cards!


Now let our vacation planner help you plan your trip, totally for FREE!

Earn $20 Rewards for Vacation Referrals!

Erin Johnson, our Cheapskate Princess Travel Agent

Erin Johnson, our Cheapskate Princess Travel Agent

Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from Erin, our Disney Vacation Planner with Destinations in Florida travel.  She offers promotions like Disney Trading Pin sets, autograph books, and free Mickey Mouse ear hats for kids under age 17.  We know our readers love free…

Give Erin a call at 214-697-7732, or send an e-mail to erin @ destinationsinflorida.com. 

Great Perks for your Walt Disney World Vacation at Destinations in Florida

Can You Afford This Disney World Jewelry? Yes, Because It’s All Under $30!

Unless you are a Disney Princess, it’s hard to get to Disney World as often as we would like. Sometimes, it’s nice to pick up a little trinket to show our Disney vacation enthusiasm before you get to Orlando. The Disney Store is making that easy for you right now, with Disney Character inspired jewelry available online at reasonable prices.

Can You Afford This Fabulous Gold and Diamond Disney Store Jewelry?


Mickey Mouse Birthstone Earrings

These sparkling Mickey Mouse Birthstone Earrings give her a reason to celebrate every day of the year. Post-pierced with an anti-tarnish finish, they dress up a casual look and fit right in on a dressy night out.

Princess Cost  $15.95    

Use this Disney Store link for more details. 

Disney birthstone earrings

12 months of Disney Princess earrings

Silver Initial Mickey Mouse Necklace

A Mickey Mouse icon hangs next to her initial on our Silver Initial Mickey Mouse Necklace. A lovely script, coupled with sparkling stones, makes it special with a touch of Disney magic!

Princess Cost  $15.95    

Use this Disney Store link for more details.

Mickey Mouse Initial Necklace

Disney World Mickey Mouse Initial Necklace

Mickey Mouse Birthstone Necklace

Every day is her special day with our Mickey Mouse Birthstone Necklace. Our Mickey icon sparkles with her birthstone on a silver-plated, anti-tarnish bead chain. The chain is adjustable so the perfect gift is also a perfect fit.

Princess Cost  $15.95    

Use this Disney Store link for more details.

Mickey Mouse Birthstone necklace

12 months of Disney birthstone necklaces

Mickey Mouse Icon Necklace

Bring glam and Disney magic together with our Mickey Mouse Icon Necklace. The iconic crystal studded Mickey silhouette is surrounded by a circular pendant with even more crystals to give our necklace extra sparkle.

Princess Cost $26.00  

Use this Disney Store link for more details.

Mickey Mouse Icon Necklace

Mickey Mouse gold icon necklace

Mickey Mouse Birthstone Ring

This Mickey Mouse Birthstone Ring wraps around your finger with a Mickey Mouse head icon, silver band in the center and star. Mickey’s ears and head and the star’s center showcase your birthstone to celebrate you.

Princess Cost  $15.95

Use this Disney Store link for more details.

Disney Mickey birthstone rings

Mickey Mouse Birthstone ring

Mickey Mouse Heart Necklace

You’ll fall in love with the charm of our Mickey Mouse Heart Necklace. The sparkling heart, encrusted with pink cubic zirconia stones, perfectly frames the finely-detailed features of Mickey’s face.

Princess Cost $28.00  

Use this Disney Store link for more details.

Mickey Mouse heart necklaces

Mickey Mouse silver heart necklace

Cubic Zirconia Mickey Mouse Earrings

Bring a sparkle to your eye with our Cubic Zirconia Mickey Mouse Earrings. The brilliant gleam and sophisticated design of our Mickey shaped earrings will add elegance and style to any outfit.

Princess Cost $24.95

Use this Disney Store link for more details.

Cubic Zirconia Mickey Mouse Earrings

Disney Cubic Zirconia Mickey Mouse Earrings

Mickey Mouse Icon Necklace

This concave icon pendant features a cut design so Mickey resembles an elegant snowflake. Using a matte finish metal, the necklace blends contemporary style with the timeless charm of Mickey.

Princess Cost $29.95

Use this Disney Store link for more details.

cheap Mickey Mouse necklace

A Disney Princess knows how to spot a quality item. A Cheapskate Princess knows how to find that item on sale!

If you spend more than you planned, you can still keep the budget for your upcoming vacation on track. You’ll need some FREE entertainment, and we have just the list to get you started.

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


Now let our vacation planner help you plan your trip, totally for FREE!

Earn $20 Rewards for Vacation Referrals!

Erin Johnson, our Cheapskate Princess Travel Agent

Erin Johnson, our Cheapskate Princess Travel Agent

Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from  Erin, our Disney Vacation Planner with Destinations in Florida travel.  She offers promotions like Disney Trading Pin sets, autograph books, and free Mickey Mouse ear hats for kids under age 17.  We know our readers love free…

Give Erin a call at 214-697-7732, or send an e-mail to erin @ destinationsinflorida.com. 

Great Perks for your Walt Disney World Vacation at Destinations in Florida


Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you, shopping on Black Friday from the comfort of your living room. It’s OK if you put on your Mickey Mouse ears, because nobody will ever know…

70% Off Disney Parks Authentic Merchandise? Cheapskate Bargains Galore!

where to find Disney's character Warehouse in Orlando
Updated for 2017!
If you ever waited a month to buy something until it went on sale, you just might be a Cheapskate Princess.  I sure love buying Disney souvenirs, even if I can’t afford most of them. What I hate is paying full retail prices, and nothing ever seems to be on sale at Walt Disney World. There is a fabulous store in Orlando where you don’t have to wait, because almost everything is on sale. With two locations, this is where can you find official Disney merchandise, Theme Park Authentic I might add, and tremendous Disney deals for up to 70% off.
You have got to make a run by this store, because the prices will stop you in your tracks…

Let’s go shop smarter for souvenirs in Orlando.

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

[Read more…]

Can a Cheapskate Princess Afford a Dooney & Bourke Disney Handbag?

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If you ever stood before a $300 purse at Walt Disney World, vowing some day you would buy a “Disney Dooney,” but just not this year, you are probably a Cheapskate Princess. To get to Disney Word, you have worked hard and probably saved money for a very long time. Will you ever find yourself justifying the price of a Dooney & Bourke handbag, because a purchase like this is a total Disney Princess splurge. While they feature some of the greatest prints on Disney merchandise today, a Dooney & Bourke handbag is certainly pricey.

What is so great about a Disney D&B purse, and can you afford one?

The Dooney and Bourke website states than in 1975, the company was launched with the idea that they could make a difference in the fine leather goods market.

  • commitment to enduring style
  • uncompromising quality
  • use of the finest raw materials
  • time honored techniques of old-world leather craftsmen
  • inspired from a variety of classic bag shapes
  • styles are a blend of class and contemporary.

So just how much is a Disney and Dooney going to cost you? All the photos featured today and current prices are from the Disneystore.com, (click here to go straight to the site) but remember that prices and styles change without notice.

Disney Dooney & Bourke wristlets typically start at $65 before tax and shipping.

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This purse is an Online Exclusive; the Dooney & Bourke Mickey Mouse Mini Barrel Bag is $105 before tax and shipping.

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The Disney Dooney & Bourke sketch letter carrier bag is $128 before tax and shipping.

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6 Cheap Ways to Keep the Disney Magic Going After Your Vacation

The Disney Dooney and Bourke backpack starts at $198 before tax and shipping.

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The Retro Disneyland Davis Tassel Bag is $285 before tax and shipping.

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The Disney Dooney & Bourke Sketch Leather Shopper Bag is $345 before tax and shipping.

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11 Cheapskate Ways to Save Time (Equals Money) at Walt Disney World

The Disney Dooney & Bourke Sketch Weekender Large Duffle Bag is $395 before tax and shipping.

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So we have a range of less than $100 to almost $400 for a Disney Dooney. You can see all these photos, a total of 52 different styles and color combinations at the Disneystore.com. 

Only you know if you hand the funds to bring one of these babies home to live in your castle. I honestly think my husband would have a stroke if I hauled the $399 Weekender Bag up to the gift shop counter.  A princess can dream, eh?!

Now before you decide only a true Disney Princess has the money to afford a purse of this magnificence, there are frequently promotions online at the Disney Store.

Look for ads on the site that appear similar to this:

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Sometimes they offer a promotion for a free $15 card holder with any purchase of a Dooney & Bourke handbag. Look to see if you spot this:

Use this link to head over to Disneystore.com to see which style you like. 

Be sure to use the promo code DOONEYTEN.

Would a Disney Princess Spend $25 for WDW T-Shirt?

For $400, I could buy an awful lot of snacks for my family. Have you bought your own Disney Dooney? Leave us some comments if you think they hold their value and are a worthwhile investment in…you!


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

Amanda Major Cheapskate Princess


Disney’s Cheapskate Princess


Now let our vacation planners 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 Elizabeth, Julie, and Erin, our Disney Vacation Planners with Destinations in Florida travel.

You can also e-mail them at cp@destinationsinflorida.com.

Great Perks for your Walt Disney World Vacation at Destinations in Florida

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 Princess Travel Experts with Destinations in Florida travel,  Elizabeth, Julie, and Erin. You can also e-mail them at cp@destinationsinflorida.com.