Get Fabulous End of Summer Value Rates at the Disney Springs Resorts

Downtown Disney Springs hotel rate deals

2015

As the summer heat starts to take a slightly downward spin, special prices are being offered at many of the Downtown Disney Resort Area Hotels. It’s not too late to get a deal for Disney World travel during the next several months. So what kind of deal can you get?! [Read more…]

Save Money on Disney’s Characters In Flight

save money on Characters in Flight at Disney Springs

Updated for 2016!

If you made the trip to Orlando for some theme park visiting, it’s always a good idea to have a “free” day with no park tickets. We’ve devised the ultimate early morning plan for Disney Springs, leading you to an amazing coffee shop, an awesome and discounted balloon ride, followed by world-class Disney shopping. Sorry, roller coaster enthusiasts, but it may not get any better than this! Not for this price anyway…

So here’s what you’ll do for a morning at Disney Springs as you head over to climb aboard  Characters in Flight.

get a discount on Characters in Flight at Disney Springs

Save Time

Traffic is so crazy at the new Disney Springs, with construction going on at every turn and intersection. The whole complex is really going to be fabulous upon completion, but parking and highways are a big mess right now. If you don’t get an early start, you could be headed for some major delays. By getting to Disney Springs before most stores even open, you’ll be looking at a relatively empty parking garage. Several hours later, traffic and parking will be congested and frustrating.

Arrive at Disney Springs by about 9 a.m.

Now walk straight to the new Starbucks right next to Characters in Flight, which is the balloon that takes guests up 400 feet in the air.

where Disney Springs Characters in Flight is located

Enjoy a Snack

Have you been to the new Starbucks by the lake at Disney Springs? As much as I dislike the Starbucks that replaced the bakery on Main Street at the Magic Kingdom, I LOVE this Starbucks location. It’s not that I am anti-corporation or anti-Starbucks coffee. I just disliked how they removed the seating. Perhaps they noted my complaints and set out to rectify that mistake at Disney Springs.

Go in, order a breakfast snack or drink and take a seat. Starbucks prices are not unreasonable, and many drinks and snacks are part of the Disney Dining Plan. I’m not sure there is a coffee shop with a better view anywhere than this Disney Springs location. When you go to the Disney Starbucks early in the morning, I can’t tell you how relaxing it is, without having to wait for a seat or stand in line to order.

Sitting inside smells like coffee with a view. To see more pictures, use this link:

I Completely Disliked Starbucks at Walt Disney World, Until This Happened…

tips for Characters in Flight

Outside seating, interesting on its own, has an even more fantastic outlook of the lake and the balloon. The combination of wood, stone, vegetation, and fire is soothing to the soul. Did I mention how much I LOVE this particular Starbucks? I don’t even like coffee, and I practically run from our car straight here.

To see prices from Starbucks menu, use this link:

Disney World’s Main Street Bakery: Can You Afford Starbuck’s Prices?

how to enjoy Characters in Flight

Grab a table and enjoy the scenery!

save money at Disney World

When to ride the Disney World balloon

Enjoy the Ride + Save $$

Finish your snack by 9:30, 9:40 at the latest, and then walk over to buy your tickets at the balloon. 

Characters in Flight is an attraction that takes guests 400 feet up in the air on an Aero30 tethered gas balloon that was custom-built for Disney by Paris-headquartered company Aérophile S.A..

The yellow striped balloon has hand-painted silhouettes of Peter Pan, Dumbo, Aladdin, Jasmine, Buzz Lightyear, and Tinker Bell. On its 19-foot diameter gondola, up to 29 passengers and an Aérophile-certified pilot can take a ride straight up, floating skyward with the help of up to 210,000 cubic feet of helium.

Because the balloon is tethered, it will not travel beyond 400 feet at any time.

Is Your Starbucks Coffee Habit Taking Money Out Of Your Disney Vacation Fund?

save money on Characters in Flight

If you purchase your ticket and travel up by 10 a.m., ticket prices drop from $18 for adults to $10. For adults, that’s almost half off! You’ll save $2 per child’s ticket. It’s called the Early Bird Special. Kids under the age of three fly free everyday.

Now, this special could change at any minute with no notifications for you or me, but a Cast Member said this promotion had been going on for a long time.

So up you go, Early Bird, but first be sure you have read our ultimate guide to Characters in Flight.

Characters in Flight at Disney Springs: A Cheapskate Guide

Characters in Flight discount

cheap fun at Disney Springs in Orlando

Tips to Know Before You Go Up

The balloon will not fly if winds exceed 22 mph or if there is a storm.

Maximum balloon capacity will be affected by wind speeds.

Items that are not permitted aboard are bags, food and drink, smoking and strollers. You’ll need a place to secure these. 

There is a safety net, but the holes are large enough that you could drop your camera or phone. You won’t save enough on Early Bird tickets to replace anything electronic that you drop, so hold on tight. 

best things to do at Disney Springs

Do Some Shopping

Well, now you are now at the perfect time to do some shopping, assuming you are finished with the balloon by around 10 a.m. Stores at Disney Springs traditionally start opening at ten, so the crowds aren’t crazy yet. Temperatures in the summer start to rise at this point, so being in the air-conditioned stores will keep you cool.

There is so much to do at Disney Springs, you could easily spend half a day here. Even with the current construction woes, it’s a great place to spend some time on vacation.

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you with an almost finished Starbucks coffee in hand, headed for the ticket counter.

 

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 the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Worth the Big Buck$? Just Ask a Cheap$kate Princess

bibbidy-bobbity-boutique-benefits

Updated for 2016!

Rolling change, clipping coupons, eating at home…whatever it takes to get to Disney World is what many of us will do. But sometimes you just have to put financial thought aside and go for “the splurge.” A Disney Splurge occurs when a cheapskate finds an event so fabulous, it’s oh so worth it to spend the extra money.

We checked with the Cheapskate Princess fans on Facebook to get their opinion about the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Walt Disney World. Prices start at a minimum of $59.95 before taxes, and that’s also before any dresses, extra accessories, or purchasing of special photos. Did the Cheapskate fans think it worth the extra money? Would they go back? Did they have any words of wisdom for those who haven’t decided to take the plunge and make the splurge?

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Definitely

Kristin speaks for a lot of Disney Moms when she says, “The moment your little one turns to see herself in the mirror makes it worth it.”

Jennifer states emphatically, “Yes completely!! It’s magical the way they transform the children!! They feel like a real princess when they are done being pampered!!”

Tanya, who splurged for the special boutique photos, tells us, “I think it’s worth it to see how special my daughter feels as a princess. The Cast Members play into it by calling them ‘Princess’ through out the park.”

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Tonya Pimental’s beautiful Disney Princess!

LeAnn took her daughter to the Boutique at a location where we’ll all be envious…a Disney Cruise ship!  “We just went on the Fantasy ship and actually booked it for my daughter and my son ended up doing the captain Mickey outfit… Yes, expensive, but they had a fantastic time. It’s totally worth it!”

Lyndsey gives us some info and the thumbs up,”Worth every penny! The Downtown Disney location is not any cheaper than the Magic Kingdom. They are the same price, and Cast Members play into it there as well. We have done it at both locations, and they are both nice.”

You Might Be A Cheapskate Princess If..

All About the Memories

Kathy loved it for her granddaughter. “Indeed it is… The memories my 6-year-old granddaughter will keep with her from her day at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique will last her a lifetime!! Precious!!”

Kim tells us, “Absolutely worth it! A MAGICAL memory, one of the best from our trip. We went to the BBB at DTD and the ‘Princess Parade’ to the carousel was adorable!!”

Sherie says, “Definitely! The year we did it with my daughter was the year they were picking families to do special things in the park. We came out of Cinderella’s castle and were picked to walk in the parade. We got to march down Main Street with her in her Belle dress and hair and makeup done waving to everyone! Magical!”

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Kim Merlo's adorable little Princess Jasmine

Kim Merlo’s adorable little Princess Jasmine

Make Your Plans to Go…Again

Khara, “I can’t wait to do it with my daughter… she’ll finally be old enough on our next trip. The past three trips, I’ve bought tiaras, a bun hairpiece, princess gown pajamas, light-up shoes from the Disney Store, and spray glitter. We had our own BBB in the room! Didn’t break the bank and she could dress up every day! I’ll still bring down her princess stuff even if we do BBB.”

Kimberly is already making plans to go again, “It’s so worth it. My 5-year-old daughter did it last year and became the Little Mermaid bride. This year we are going back, and she wants to be Cinderella. She is so excited to do it again!”

Kathleen, “We will be going there for the third time this summer. My daughter will be twelve when we go and she is soooo excited. They do such a great job, and the photo pass person during takes awesome pics (as well as the ones I take). This is a present from my parents, her aunt, and us, so we are able to go all out and do the photo session too. The pictures are just gorgeous. We go to Magic Kingdom when we are done and she is loves being all dressed up like a princess.”

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Not So Into The Whole Idea

There are those Disney fans that are not so into the idea of splurging for the Boutique.

Kim tells us, “Those slicked back hairdos are awful looking!

Annette laments, “I have two boys. They don’t like to be pirates, but they deserve to have that kind of experience too. I feel the boys get left out. They deserve to feel special too!!!”

Khara, who is gearing up to take her daughter, has a suggestion for Annette. “Your boys can do a “Knight’s Package” at BBB!  My friend’s son did it and LOVED it. They get a sword and shield and get their hair spiked and colored. I actually saw a dad and his daughter… dad did the knight’s package and daughter did the princess one… sooo adorable!”

Candace votes no. “I say no. Not for the price. It’s worth it for the wow princess factor, so yes, if money is no object. But please don’t let them do the colored hair extensions. It’s not cute. LoL”

Marisa also concurs with a no vote. “No. Three kids equals mommy and daddy completely broke! Two daughters at Bibbidy Boutique and then my son doing Pirates League. Geesh. They make enough money off of us in that park.

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being a Princess at Disney World, become a Princess, become a Disney Princess,

Tips from the Cheapskate Princess Fans

What suggestions do the Cheapskate Princess fans have for those of you as of yet undecided to spend the money?

Buy your dress and accessories ahead of time

Tara says, “We purchased our favorite princess dress on Amazon before arriving and brought it with us. That really saved on the cost. When at BBB we only paid for the hair/make-up package and it was totally worth it. They absolutely spoil the girls, and my daughter felt so special. The treatment, the photos, and the the trip over to the photo studio, which was FREE, thrilled her. Those were some of the best pictures. We scheduled her appointment right before dinner at Cinderella’s castle, and it added so much magic to that experience. It’s a must-do in our opinion, and we’d probably even do it again.”

Be a Disney PrincessDisney Dad Bill says, “Absolutely worth it. Bring your own dress and extras to save money on the add -ons.

Last christmas, on the way out of BBB walking down Main Street just ahead of a parade, a girl asked my DD for her autograph.

Without hesitation my DD signed her autograph book and the Photopass photographer caught it. All made possible by BBB.”

That’s Bill’s daughter featured at the top of the page at the Magic Kingdom, and here she is signing autographs.

Disney princess signs autographs

princess-costumes-at-disney-world

Kids can help out with the cost

Angie tells us, “The year we went, my daughter asked for Disney gift cards so that she could do it. Of course, we also helped her so that she could do the whole experience. She was five at the time and loved every minute of it. She kept saying, ‘I love being a princess!!'”

Make reservations during cooler weather

Rachel Hakkarainen reports on the difference between the locations, “Downtown Disney has more room to wait in than MK. They both accept walk-ins; can you imagine in the Magic Kingdom, all the people just waiting for an open spot?  I think if you do it once, it is worth it. We took our daughters for their first trip to WDW, and we did this for them. They were very uncomfortable since it was July 2nd. It was very hot and their hair was tight, but the LOVED the attention…”

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Jenny Eubanks and her precious Disney Princess Ashley

Jenny Eubanks and her precious Disney Princess Ashley

Maybe it’s not an “every trip” experience, but try it once

Dawn says, “It is definitely worth doing once. It’s a once in a lifetime, memory-filled experience. And the Cast Members totally play into it. One fun time was while waiting for Spectromagic, a Cast Member seemed thrilled to be in the presence of the Princesses, and she asked for their autographs.  She fawned all over them. Soooo fun!”

I’m going to side with Stephanie who said, “Glad I have two boys. Lol!” I have three pre-teens, and I am pretty grateful every trip that we didn’t drag costumes and make up to the parks with us. Arriving with diapers and fresh undies was tough enough some trips when they were still into watching Disney Movies on the eight hour ride to Orlando. I won’t go into details about the trip I left all my daughter’s clothes sitting on the upstairs couch, necessitating a new Wal-mart wardrobe just outside Orlando. I can’t imagine buying Disney Pirate and Princess costumes, and then paying for hair and make-up.”

So cheapskates, what do you think? Is the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique worth scrimping and saving for tickets and then the extra splurge for the pleasure of seeing your little princess or pirate transform into a Disney creation right before your eyes?

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Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you booking your princess an experience she’ll never forget, or doing her hair yourself, whatever works for your budget!

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.

Over 30 FREE Activities at Disney Springs: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

Free Activities in Downtown Disney Disney Springs

Updated for 2017!

If you ate french fries off your child’s childs’ plate as a meal so you could afford a pricey Disney souvenir, you just might be a Cheapskate PrincessAre you looking for some fun without the big expense of more theme park tickets?  Cheapskate Princesses have an absolute favorite shopping spot in Orlando that, if you do it right, doesn’t have to involve any money at all…Disney Springs, formerly known as Downtown Disney.

Here are over activities at Disney Springs to do for FREE, because a true Disney Princess loves FREE. [Read more…]