Disney World Extravagance: Shopping for Lilly Pulitzer

lilly-pulitzer-store-at-disney-springs

In addition to theme park tickets, a hotel room, and food, almost a guaranteed part of the overall expenses for a Disney vacation is souvenir shopping. You will stand in too many gift shops not to bring something home, so then the million dollar questions becomes how much will you spend?

Are you going to bargain souvenir shop or shoot for the stars with a full-out princess extravagance?

There are certainly no shortage of both moderately-low to high-end gift shop merchandise available these days, but when looking for a splurge, the name Lilly Pulitzer is becoming synonymous with Disney Vacation extravagance.

Are you ready for a Lilly?!

[Read more…]

Ready to plan a Disney Vacation? Who Wants a FREE Disney Gift Card?!

Dreaming of taking an Orlando vacation? 2018 packages will be available to book very soon. Now’s the time to start planning!

Trips to Walt Disney World can be expensive, so lots of people are looking to cut corners and costs just to make travel dreams a reality.

Do you like free money? Hey, we do too! That’s why we’ve teamed up with Mike Ellis from Pixie Vacations for our new VIP Treatment. Not only are Mike’s travel planning services 100% FREE to you, he’ll include a bonus that a Cheapskate Princess just can’t refuse! [Read more…]

Walt Disney World Tips: Resort Goodies for Kids

Disney Resort goodies for kids

There are several reasons to stay off property at Disney World, one of the most important of which can be a lower cost, but if you are traveling with children, paying more money to be closer to the action and surrounded by all the “Disney Magic” of the resorts may be more desirable than saving money. Many people prefer to stay on property just to take advantage of all that Disney World has to offer.  

There are lots of goodies for the kids if you stay in the on-property resorts.

 10 Cheapskate Reasons to Vacation on Disney Property

1. Pools

As a resort guest, you paid for the room, so you will basically swim for free as a perk of your accommodations choice, and the pools run from kid-friendly with Disney characters in sight to simply amazing with hot tubs and slides. 

Wilderness Lodge resort pool

2. Bathroom Freebies

Shampoos and soaps at the resorts are great, created by a company called H2O just for Disney. Why bring your own toiletries when you can use the H2O soaps, conditioners, and shampoos in your room? If you run out, simply run down the hall to Mouse Keeping and ask for extras. If you don’t mind paying a tip, call the front desk and ask for extras to be delivered to your room. They come in child size bottles too. 

 

3. Fireside Marshmallows

Camp fires at resorts offer free marshmallows and roasting sticks. Complimentary campfire activities can be found at 14 locations at Walt Disney World Resort, as seen in the list below. Call the resort to confirm that night’s fire and get an approximate time, although they usually take place before sunset.

  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort
  • Disney’s Boardwalk Inn
  • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
  • Disney’s Old Key West Resort
  • Disney’s Polynesian Resort
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
  • The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

 

fires and marshmallows at Disney resorts

4. Stationary Freebies

Typically you will find free postcards, stationery, and WDW resort pens in your room. These are for your use, so make sure the kids bring them home.

5. Character Greeting Call

Upon check-in at your resort, ask a Cast Member to set up a “Welcome Call” from a Disney character. Like Disney magic, Mickey or a Goofy friend will leave a message on your room phone. Have the kids answer this call for a big surprise! 

6. Character Wake Up Call

Just like the greeting we mentioned above, schedule a wake up call to your resort room and a Disney character, usually Mickey, will call to wake you up. What better way to get tired kids out of bed to start another magical day. 

7. Use Their Pool Towels 

For registered resort guests, there are towels available that can be used in the pool-side showers located in the bathrooms. Let the kids take a swim on check-out day or a free day when you take a break from the parks, and now they don;t have to drag a towel with them. Are you traveling with a large group and want to speed up the showering process at night after a long day at the parks?  For something a little different, the kids can use the showers near the pool.

8. Mugs 

So the purchase a Resort Mug isn’t free, but the free refills afterward at all the Disney resorts for sodas and drinks are. The Dining Plans already includes a Resort Mug for everyone age three or older. The mugs cost $17.99 for your length of resort stay, no matter how many days. These make excellent dinner cups once the kids get back from vacation.

 

 

why kids love Disney resort refillable mugs

9. Pool Side Games

Some Disney resort activities include a fee, but many Disney resorts now offer games lead by Cast Members poolside for the kids. Groups of kids participate in these games. By the way, swimming at resorts where you are not a registered guest is not allowed (unless you are a DVC member at certain resorts.) Read: A Guide To Disney World Resort Pool Hopping

10. Outdoor Movies

Come for the campfire, and then stay for a movie. Take in one of the many free “Movies Under the Stars” outdoor movies at WDW resorts following the campfires. Huge screens are blown up for nightly movies outside the resorts. This can depend on weather. At some resorts, you will need to bring a towel or blanket to sit on, and at others, they provide chairs. Call the resort desk for specific information.

Movies and entertainment are subject to cancellation or change without notice. For movie schedules, please check with the Front Desk at your Walt Disney World Resort, or call 407- WDW-PLAY or 407- 939-7529.  How to See FREE Movies at the Walt Disney World Resorts!

movies by the stars at Disney resorts

11. Professional Portrait Service

This may not be so great for kids when they are young, but it could be a fantastic heirloom when they are adults. You can arrange to have professional portraits taken of your family while you’re at Walt Disney World. To make a reservation to schedule a portrait session or get more information, call 407-934-4004. Make reservations up to 30 days in advance.

Portrait sessions are available at the Grand FloridianPolynesian Village, Beach ClubWilderness Lodge, and Animal Kingdom Lodge.

12. Playgrounds

Your feet will be tired, but the kids may still be full of energy.  Walk down to the playgrounds found at the resorts, and they all have one. Playgrounds are great for a free day or when the parks close early for holiday parties. Coronado Springs has an amazing kid’s playground next to the Aztec-themed pool.

playground at Disney's all star resorts

13. Resort Decorations

At the Value Resorts, there are incredible landscaping decorations that will totally entertain the kids in your group. 

what to do for fun at Disney World All-stars resort

Disney's All Star Resort

When my children were young, these seriously were the highlight of their stay at the All-Stars. Going back now that they are teens, they have a true fondness for the property I hope they share with their own children one day.

Disney statues at the All Stars Resorts

So while you may pay a little to a LOT more money to stay on Disney Property, there are lots of extras and goodies for the kids to enjoy. Some you’ll take home with you; others you’ll take home as pictures and memories. 

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you standing by Buzz Lightyear outside your resort room. 

 

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.

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

Disney Ticket prices went up so what can you do?

Disney recently raised their single day ticket prices for 2017 during certain times of the year. Company officials say they hope this will prevent overcrowding during the busiest times at the theme parks. So where does that leave you and your wallet? [Read more…]

To Save Money, Visit Disney World During Value Season

to-save-money-at-disney-world-travel-during-value-season

Trying to save money on a Disney vacation? A good place to start is with your hotel. Walt Disney World is considered to be busy year ’round now; there really won’t be a time you’ll experience very short wait times in the parks, like some of us old timers remember. Factors like holidays, school breaks, and weather temperatures can affect when people want to visit Orlando, and that basically results in higher resort room pricing.

So when should you travel? Well, it’s not called Value for nothing…

Read – Cheap Disney World Souvenirs: Where to Purchase a Silhouette

[Read more…]

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…]

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

a

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

.

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.

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…]

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…]

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…]

Viewing Construction Progress at Disney Springs from 400 Feet Up in the Air!

Saratoga Springs Disney World

Disney Springs is undergoing a massive shopping and dining transformation, and it’s so cool to see all the progress from the air. You have to pay for this view in person, but today you get to view everything for free. Check out our tip at the end on how not to pay retail prices. These photos were taken in early July of 2016.

Let’s get this balloon trip started! [Read more…]

Best Disney World Meals Under $20: Beaches & Cream Soda Shop

Disney World Beaches & Cream meal under $20

Updated for 2017!

Food is expensive at Walt Disney World, but if you look hard enough, you can find some excellent places for a great meal that won’t bust your budget. You want to make a reservation and then drop in Beaches & Cream Soda Shop over at the Beach Club Resort.

What can you get for under $20? Tons of entreés and sides, plus a long list of desserts!

[Read more…]