Universal Orlando Sapphire Falls Resort: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

sapphire falls resort universal cheapskateprincess

This summer, the newest on-site hotel opened at Universal Orlando Resort – Loews Sapphire Falls Resort . If you are planning a visit to Universal Orlando’s Theme Park and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, let this Cheapskate Princess Guide help decide if this is the right resort for your vacation. [Read more…]

Attention Shoppers: Ride to Orlando’s Premium Outlets for FREE!

Orlando Premium Outlet Mall shuttle

Updated for 2017!

Orlando’s Premium Outlet malls offer a free shuttle service from certain area hotels. Simon property group has paired with Mears Transportation for the service connecting hotels to the malls. So many of you cheapskates bargain shoppers will now have the opportunity to do some shopping without having to pay for a cab ride there.

Busses can carry up to 50 passengers and include free wireless Internet. We sure love free, so how exactly does this work?

Operation Times

Hotel pick up runs between 9:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m., while drop off runs between 3:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Participating Malls

Each of the Premium Outlet malls will have a shuttle bus.

Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets

Orlando International Premium Outlets

How to Reserve a Seat

To reserve a seat, call 407-254-0470 or use this link: mallservice.mearstransportation.com.

The form looks like this:

Orlando Premium Outlets complimentary shuttle reservations

When you fill out the form, you will be notified of the drop off point, which looks like this:

Premium Outlet Malls shuttle to Disney resorts

Which Hotels are Participating?

The drop down menu listed the following hotels as of January 6, 2017.

orlandos-premium-outlet-malls-offer-a-free-shuttle-service orlandos-premium-outlet-malls-offer-free-shuttle-service

For those of you staying on Disney property, it looks like the only participating resorts are the Swan and Dolphin, although many of the Disney Springs Resort Area Hotels including B Resort & Spa, Best Western, Doubletree Suites, Hilton, and Holiday Inn will have pick up and drop off availability.

Shoppers still can use the I-Ride Trolley shuttle service that basically runs from the Orlando International Premium Outlet Mall the length of I-Drive to Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets. The I-Ride Trolley will cost $2 for a single trip or $5 for the day.

Orlando Premium Outlets

Orlando Premium Outlets

So, who is ready to go shopping?!

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you at the Disney Character Outlet, looking for bargains.

 

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.

Best Times to Visit Walt Disney World: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

plan a Disney World vacation

Updated for 2017!

One of my favorite comedians, Jim Gaffigan, has a great bit describing his family trip to Walt Disney World. “If you haven’t been to Disney as an adult, just imagine you are standing in line at the D.M.V., and that’s it. Actually it was Orlando in July, so it’s kind of like standing on the surface of the sun. Why would we do this to ourselves? When you were a kid and you’d go on vacation, you’d wonder, ‘Why is Dad always in such a bad mood?’ Now…I understand. How can I spend an enormous amount of money, be uncomfortable, and listen to my children complain and whine? Disney!

If you have spent more than 10 minutes talking to someone headed for or just back from a Disney vacation, almost surely the timing will come up. When did you go? Was it really busy? How was the weather? And then you compare your BEST TIME to their BEST TIME, trying to figure out the real deal best time to head to Orlando. [Read more…]

2016 Beach Princess: Splurging on the Upgrade at the IP Casino

February 2016

We live just a short two-hour drive from Biloxi, Mississippi. My husband grew up on the Mississippi coast, so it’s nice to get back to his roots when we have a chance. I couldn’t win a coin toss, so gambling doesn’t have a huge draw for me personally, but I sure do love staying in the casino resorts and eating at casino buffets. Food is a big draw to people visiting Orlando, but it’s just as important to people vacationing in other parts of the south. [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.

SaveSave

Got Pets? Let’s Talk About Off-Property Rental Homes for an Orlando Vacation

rent a house for Disney World

Updated for 2017!

Pets. They bring so much joy to our lives on a daily basis, but in terms of taking them on vacation, being a pet owner can be a real bummer. With the exception of service animals, no pets are allowed inside any of the theme parks in Orlando including the four Disney parks, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and Sea World. Each park has kennels where you can leave your pet while you play in the parks, but what can you do if you don’t want to leave your pet in a kennel?

Take them with you. [Read more…]

Free Cheapskate Princess E-mail Subscription…Don’t Miss a Single Article!

Cheapskate Princess e-mail

Updated for 2017!

If you’re like this Cheapskate Princess, you enjoy reading as much as you can about Disney resorts, merchandise, restaurants and entertainment. But we live in a fast-paced world where it’s tough to keep up with everything.

Facebook only shows you only about two percent of everything posted, and that’s almost nothing. Miss a day cruising Pinterest, and you could miss a pinned article.

Surely it has to be easier than hit or miss?

If you enjoy reading Cheapskate Princess articles, then you should subscribe to our e-mail service. Over on the right side of this page, the right side of any Cheapskate Princess article, and you will find this box.

great Disney blogs, Disney information

Simply type your e-mail address in the box, and you will then receive a confirmation e-mail. Simply confirm your e-mail subscription, and one or two times a week, Cheapskate Princess articles will appear in your e-mail in-box, just like Disney magic,

Why sign up?

  • Receive the latest information about special offers and discounts
  • Get planning information just in time for your next vacation
  • It’s totally free to sign up
  • You can unsubscribe anytime you want
  • We don’t share e-mail addresses with anyone or send out spam
  • Your Fear of Missing Out will be satisfied

You don’t have to be a cheapskate to know that…is a real bargain.

free Disney World planning tips

Have friends that love Disney and look for money & time-saving options before or during Disney vacations?

Let them know where to sign up for the FREE e-mail, and way better than a Jelly of the Month Club, Cheapskate Princess articles will be the gift that keeps on giving, all year long.

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

Amanda Major Cheapskate Princess

.

Disney’s Cheapskate Princess

.

Mike Ellis

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.

 

free tips for Disney World vacations

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

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…]

1st Trip to Disney: Is There No “Bad Time” to Visit Walt Disney World?

Bad Time to visit Disney World

Updated for 2017!

“There is no such thing as a bad time to visit Disney World.”

I hear this every now and then in discussions of Disney vacation planning. It’s almost like no mater how bad the crowds get, the temperature, or the cost of your hotel, you should just be caught up in the magic, adventure, and fantasy of Disney World itself, no matter how many people are elbowing you or how long you waited, sweating profusely, for a bathroom stall. I personally disagree, as I hate crazy lines, long waits, and elbow to elbow people. My opinion contradicted visitors who said they would prefer to be standing in a two-hour line in Orlando rather than be at work. What? There are entire chapters in planning books devoted to when you should vacation in Orlando, so scheduling your travel dates is fairly important when mapping out your vacation.

Really, no bad time? [Read more…]

Free Outdoor Activities at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

free activities at Disney World Wilderness Lodge

Updated for 2017!

There is way more to do at Walt Disney World than ride amazing rides and eat at fantastic restaurants. There are wonderful resorts just waiting for you to tour, and one of the best themed resorts Disney has to offer is Wilderness Lodge. Inspired by turn-of-the-century National Park lodges, this resort celebrates American craftsmanship and replicates the beauty of the unspoiled wilderness. While the Lodge has many free activities inside,this is our Cheapskate Guide to over 11 activities you can do outside. [Read more…]

Wyndham Bonnet Creek Resort in Orlando: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

Wyndham's Bonnet Creek Resort review, photos of Bonnet Creek Resort, why stay off Disney property

If you are a vacationer who stays on Disney property every time you visit Orlando, you may never have heard of Wyndham Bonnet Creek Resort. Surrounded on three sides by the Walt Disney World Resort and next door to Epcot and next to Downtown Disney, Bonnet Creek covers 482 acres perfect for business meetings to extraordinary vacations. What Bonnet Creek offers is nearly 1,500 guest rooms and suites, a spectacular convention center, spa facility, a superb golf course, and fabulous restaurants are just some of what you get if you can afford a vacation at this resort. For years I didn’t think I could afford to stay here, until I discovered a way to take a vacation here that didn’t kill my budget.

Check it out and you’ll be ready to book your stay.

Forget Your Regular Disney Hotel; How To Save Money At Bonnet Creek Resort

Ready to head off to Bonnet Creek? Here are some commonly asked questions that will help you in your planning and packing.

1. What comes standard in the kitchen?

The kitchens have a full size refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave, four burner stove top, oven, blender, coffee maker, toaster, pots, pans, utensils, dinnerware and glasses for four to eight people, depending on what size unit you stay in.

Bonnet Creek dining room photo,

Bonnet Creek Dining Room, 2 Bedroom Unit

2. How close to my own comforts of home will my unit be?

Every suite comes complete with a fresh set of linens, extra pillows and towels.  A full-sized washer and dryer and laundry detergent are also included in every suite.  I wasn’t too impressed with the free detergent; it did clean the clothes, but I brought my own detergent on our next stay. Daily housekeeping is available only upon request, and there is an additional charge for this service.

The Most Important Thing You Can Do For Your Disney Vacation? It’s a Four Letter Word!

Bonnet Creek master bedroom photo,

Bonnet Creek master bedroom

3. What do we need to bring to the unit?

Just bring your clothes, personal items, and stop by the store for any food you plan to cook in the unit.  Show up ready to have fun and relax.

4. Is Internet service available?

There is free Wi-Fi service in units and common areas. Gotta love free!

Bonnet Creek 2nd Bedroom photo

Bonnet Creek 2nd Bedroom with 2 Full Size Beds

5. Can Bonnet Creek Resort help you plan your Disney vacation?

Bonnet Creek offers an on-site Disney Planning Center that is staffed with Disney Cast Members who would be happy to assist you with tickets, Disney Dining Reservations, and insider tips for visiting the parks. So if you didn’t finish making all your reservations at home, head over to the building where you checked in for some planning help.

10 Cheapskate Reasons to Vacation on Disney Property

Bonnet Creek heated pool

Bonnet Creek heated pool and lazy river

6. Do any rooms offer whirlpool tubs? 

Yes, most one and two bedroom units offer whirlpool tubs. They are large enough for three or four small children and  maybe two mid-sized adults. The water is hot and the jets are fabulous – what a great way to start or end a day of theme park walking. If you walk as much as I do, you will definitely want to take advantage of the jet tub relaxation.

Bonnet Creek whirlpool tub, Bonnet Creek jet tub photo

Bonnet Creek Resort whirlpool tub

7. Is this a Pet-Friendly resort?

Sorry, pets are not allowed. You’ll have to leave Fido at home. You’ll probably be too busy out having fun to entertain a pet anyway.

do you have a balcony at Bonnet Creek Resort, Bonnet Creek Resort pictures, Bonnet Creek Resort photos, balcony,

Bonnet Creek Resort Private Balcony

8. Is smoking allowed at this resort? 

Bonnet Creek is a non-smoking resort. I found this information on the official Bonnet Creek Resort site, and then I noticed ash trays in the photo above on the balcony. Those came with the unit, so perhaps the no smoking mandate was for inside areas. There are definitely no ash trays inside the unit or main buildings.

Here’s Why the Wrong Shoes Can Cost You Money on a Disney Vacation

9. Are there things to do for my kids at the resort?

There most certainly are. Mini-golf, ping-pong (bring a quarter to purchase your own ball), heated swimming pools and lazy rivers, water play areas, swing sets, a recreation room with pool tables and video games, and a video arcade. You may have to pry the kids away from all the resort activities to head over to that other famous Orlando park.

Bonnet Creek mini-golf, Bonnet Creek resort golf,

Bonnet Creek Resort mini-golf

10. How can I get to the Disney theme parks?

The resort offers free scheduled transportation to the Disney Theme Parks. I never personally experienced riding on the shuttles, as we always drove our own car. Angela Klakamp, a Cheapskate Princess fan, had this to say of her vacation at Bonnet Creek.  “I stayed there last time; very nice, clean, pretty, and really nice pools. I hated the shuttle service. It was inconvenient for park hopping. You also had to clock watch so you didn’t miss the bus. Long waits if you missed one…” So if you use the Bonnet Creek shuttle service, just make sure you keep track of time, so you don’t miss the bus.

Bonnet Creek Resort swimming

One of the best things about Bonnet Creek? There are amazing sunsets in Orlando, and with this much open space, you’re guaranteed a fine viewing point.

Disney sunrise, Disney sunset, Bonnet Creek Orlando, Disney Bonnet Creek

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.

Don’t Get Sick on a Disney Vacation: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

Magic Kingdom, Disney World, Best Disney vacation ever, how to stay well on vacation, how not to get sick on vacation

Updated for 2017!

On a trip to Orlando just after Thanksgiving, I picked up a stomach bug of some sort that put me in the bed for the last 24 hours of our stay. My kids are I are big on “one last time at Disney,” because we never know when the next time will be. Completely gone was one was my last chance to ride the monorail over to the Grand Floridian to see the Christmas tree again. Gone was my chance to stand on Main Street after the park closed just that last one last time. Gone was my opportunity to put my arms around my children and gaze at Cinderella Castle for just a few minutes longer. Gone, gone, (cue vomiting sounds) and then I had to ride eight hours home feeling miserable.

Plus the other four members of my family got it when we returned home.

If you get sick while on vacation, you could be in big trouble. I really lucked out, because while I felt terrible, at least I didn’t have to go to the walk-in clinic, or heaven forbid, the hospital. There are serious horror stories out there of happy people who arrived in Orlando and illness derailed most of their entire trip. Time is money on vacation, and if you get sick, well, it can waste both. [Read more…]