A Whole Bunch of Tips For a Better Disney Trip!

tips for a better Disney World trip

One of our most popular articles EVER is called120 Walt Disney World DO NOTs: Tips From Real People on How NOT to Screw Up a Disney Vacation!” By popular, I mean that as of January 2017, it has been read over 1,500,000 times. This piece gets pinned like crazy on Pinterest.

We had a lot of our readers leave comments on the article, because frequent Disney visitors love to give advice to friends, family, and even strangers who are planning trips. The DO NOT comments they left on the article will certainly not RUIN a Disney vacation if you do the opposite, but they can definitely add a lot to your trip, depending on the needs and wants for your group.

Take it from our readers… there’s a lot of planning that goes into Disney vacations these days. You might as well benefit from their experience.  

Read: Disney Ticket Prices Just Went Up, So What Can You Do?

[Read more…]

20 Tips for Taking Kids to Walt Disney World

20 Tips for taking Kids to Walt Disney World

Planning a Disney World vacation with kids in tow? Visiting theme parks with children can sometimes be like traveling with a herd of wild house cats on vacation; it can be every man for himself. We’ve gathered some words of wisdom for not only surviving the trip but thriving at the House of Mouse.  [Read more…]

What to Expect at Tiffins in Disney’s Animal Kingdom: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

Tiffins Animal Kingdom

Got a special occasion and want to try some new dining on your next visit to Walt Disney World in a restaurant like no other on the property? Give Tiffins a try, Disney’s newest signature restaurant and part of the largest expansion in the history of Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park in the summer of 2016.  [Read more…]

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


Updated for 2017!

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

Here’s what you get for ten bucks:

Mickey Mouse gingerbread house

This is the look we were going for:


First we rounded up all our helpers, including this one…

making a Mickey Mouse gingerbread house

The kit comes in a pretty big box, which you really didn’t need for the contents. The box makes it appear as if you are getting more than you get.

Disney gingerbread kit and instructions

Disney World gingerbread kit

Look closely and you can see our problem, although I didn’t notice the issue until we removed the thin wrapping, 20 minutes away from the store.

trouble making the Disney gingerbread kit

how to repair a broken gingerbread house

We took that kit back to Big Lots and got a replacement with no problems. They were very nice.
The first thing the instructions say to do is to prepare the icing, kneading it for one minute until it reaches a soft, creamy consistency, or you can place it in a bowl of warm water. We kneaded, and knew well because hard icing doesn’t spread very well.
Next, the instructions say you snip the corner of the icing pouch to a 1/4-inch opening. I would start smaller than that and go larger if needed, because you can not un-do that hole once you cut it too big. We actually did this with another gingerbread house from Wal-mart, and once we squirted the icing in a Ziolock bag, we cut the end off way smaller. That worked ok as a solution.
This kit just had a small broken end. The instructions say any pieces of gingerbread that are broken can be mended with icing.
This is us mending:
fix a broken gingerbread house
making a Disney Mickey gingerbread house
You can see why that would not work for large entirely broken pieces.
The instructions suggest you pipe a line of frosting in the channels of the house base. Now, we were scared we would run out of icing, so we did not do this. The house stayed together mostly just fine (see below). If you plan to move your house around a lot, you might not want to skip this step, as it might hold it more securely.
We got the four walls put up, and we let that sit about 15 minutes to harden. The box suggests you wait just five minutes. We say triple that to be safe.
Disney gingerbread Mickey Mouse house
Then we applied the roof and held it for a few minutes. The instructions say 10 minutes wait time, and again, we say 15.
how to make a gingerbread house for Christmas with a Disney theme
And that’s when the wall caved in.
Disney gingerbread house
We took off a roof panel, pulled that wall back out, and reapplied the ceiling icing to glue it together again. That really wasn’t a huge deal, and it held this time.
Next we decorated the ceiling. While the box instructional photo used all white icing, we had purchased some red cookie icing for about $2.50. This added a little color.
My son would tell you straight lines without guidelines are harder to pull off than you think.
Mickey gingerbread house instructions
make a cute Christmas gingerbread house
Then the decorating with the candy enclosed in the kit began, which was probably the most fun.
decorate a Disney gingerbread house
Icing was added to the base for decorating candy.
Disney gingerbread house for Mickey Mouse
What did we think about out $10 investment?
To add a little Mickey and Minnie to your holiday decor, we would give a thumbs up to the $10 gingerbread kit. Again, ours was purchased at Big Lots.
Minnie and Mickey at Christmas
This isn’t professional level material, but then, we aren’t professionals, so…
I think if a 17-year-old boy who can’t do the dishes much less decorate anything can put 98% of this house together by himself, you and your kids will have a nice couple hours of family bonding.
Several tips:
Make sure the gingerbread pieces are not broken before you leave the store. Driving back with broken pieces is a bummer.
Make sure you get the icing warm enough by kneading the bag or warming up the container in a bowl of warm water. The kids complained about working with icing that was too hard.
If you use other icing besides what comes with the kit, make sure it’s not too soft, because soft icing will roll off and down slanted or horizontal surfaces.
best Disney World gingerbread house ever
Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you in Big Lots buying gingerbread. They had a cute Snoopy house as well…
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 and Julie, 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 and Julie. You can also e-mail them at cp@destinationsinflorida.com.

How to Budget for Your 2017 Walt Disney World Vacation: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

How to Budget for your Walt disney World Vacation

The 2017 Walt Disney World Vacation Package Pricing came out this month and well yes, prices went up. Don’t let that discourage your from planning a vacation in 2017. Half way through 2016 is a great time to think about and plan how to budget for your 2017 Walt Disney World Vacation.  Want to know WHY you should plan your vacation now rather than later? Soar into 2017 with your plans set and have one less thing to worry about next year. If you plan and book now, you have between 5 months to 16 months to budget, save up, and pay for your 2017 vacation. [Read more…]

Sign Up for Our 2018 Disney Vacation Package Watch List

Dreaming about taking a vacation to Walt Disney World next year? Now is the best time to start planning, and your Princess Travel Experts are here to help. Booking your 2018 Disney Vacation now is almost like putting it on a free layaway plan. You have until 30 days before you check in to pay it off, which means you can make payments from the time you book it until them, and you’ll pay no interest or additional fees!

Earn $20 for Vacation Referrals!


2018 Walt disney world packages


The 2018 rates have not been released yet, but you can be one of  the first to get a quote. Amanda has teamed up with your Princess Travel Experts Team and created the Disney’s Cheapskate Princess 2018 Disney World Package Watch List.

What does this mean and how can it help you?

Once the 2018 rates are released and you are on the list, you will be notified by one of the Princess Travel Experts so the magic can begin. We’ll work together to plan the most magical vacation for you and your family.

Heads up… we have a little pixie dust for our Cheapskate Princess Readers. There are some extra special surprises in store for those booking a 2018 Vacation Package referred by Disney’s Cheapskate Princess. More information will be announced closer to the 2018 rates being released.

Now get on the list!

Written by Elizabeth Mallers: 


2018 Walt disney world packagesElizabeth fell in love with Disney World as a little girl and has continued to visit again and again. She has been to Disney as a little girl, in her 20’s with friends, pregnant, with a preschooler, and with a child who has severe food allergies. Elizabeth is an agent with Destinations in Florida, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. She is ready to help you plan a magical Disney vacation, all at no cost to you!

Elizabeth loves planning and researching any adventure! She will work with you and your family to ensure that your vacation is everything you dreamed of and more! You can reach Elizabeth at elizabeth@destinationsinflorida.com or call her at 317-753-5959. You can fill out a quote request form here.

10 Things They Forgot to Mention About Walt Disney World Vacations

10 Things they forgot to mention about Disney World

Updated for 2016!

Planning a vacation at Walt Disney World is fast becoming a very complicated ordeal. Between deciding where to stay, choosing restaurants, and now scheduling Fastpass+ rides up to two months in advance, it’s enough to stress out even the most avid planners. Cheapskate Princess teamed up with another great planner, Linda from Great WDW Tips (aka The Disney Tip Curator) to provide you with a list of items that people often forget to tell you about Disney World. It’s hard to remember everything, so we’ll help you out with 10 of our best tips. [Read more…]

The Disney World Do-Over: Tips for Planning a Better Vacation

the best Disney vacation tips

Updated for 2017!

If you’ve ever planned a Disney World vacation, you know choices and decisions can be daunting. A big fear many people have is trying something new; sometimes it is really, really tough to get out of your WDW comfort zone. High expectations combined with the knowledge of how much money it will cost to get to Orlando can lead many people not to make decisions or make choices they later regret. Good thing for Disney park veteran travelers, it’s easy to look back and decide what you should or shouldn’t have done on a previous trip.

At Cheapskate Princess, we have a wide variety of been-theres and done-thats to call upon their years of experience. [Read more…]

1st Trip to Disney? 10.5 Tips for a Great Vacation!

Tips for first time Disney World visitors

Updated for 2017!

Walt Disney World is a crazy busy place. In the latest numbers I can find, back in 2015, Magic Kingdom had 20 million visitors in that year alone! If you’ve never been to Orlando to visit Disney World before, you are in for a real treat, but you can also be in for some disappointment. Along with four theme parks comes two water parks, thirty-four resorts and hotels on the Walt Disney World property, two spas and fitness centers, five golf courses, Disney Springs, and on and on and on. Disney can be a mad rush to do and see it all for first time visitors. The truth? [Read more…]

1st Trip to Disney? Why You Should Limit Electronic Devices

great-advice-for-a-disney-tripUpdated for 2017!

The last time we went to Disney World, my family brought along five cell phones, three Mac laptops, two iPods, and two iPads. Given all those devices, it would be rather hypocritical for me to give the following advice without admitting up front that we are a family deeply wired into technology. Planning a first trip to Disney World? The one thing you need less of on your Disney vacation are electronic devices. [Read more…]

1st Trip to Disney? Avoid These 10 Mistakes!

have a great Disney World vacation

Updated for 2017!

Vacations are designed to whisk you away from reality and give you a break from the ho-hum of every day. A trip to Disney World is very pricey, and if you are not one of the lucky ones who make multiple trips each year, then you are saving and planning for your next your trip for what could be years. Or perhaps it just feels like years. If you make all these plans and pay all this money, how could you possibly screw it up?


People do it all the time. [Read more…]

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

teach kids to appreciate nice things you do for them

Updated for 2017!

If you’re planning a vacation, it will probably be one of the more expensive things you budget for throughout the year. Some people plan and save for Disney vacations literally for years, weighing accommodation options, scheduling the entire trip around Free Dining, etc.  Not everyone stays in a Deluxe Disney Resort, because not everyone can afford it. If you are sweating over the money it will take to get to Orlando, then chances are, you are probably on a tight budget that may barely include Value Resort accommodations. [Read more…]