Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

Cabana Bay Cheapskate Princess Guide

Looking for a unique resort for your Orlando Vacation? Check out Cabana Bay Beach Resort, a Loew’s hotel located on site Universal Orlando Resort. Cabana Bay’s retro look will take you back to the sleek design of hotels from the the 50’s and 60’s. If you want to watch the lava from Universal’s newest theme park, waterpark Volcano Bay,  [Read more…]

Benefits of Staying at a Disney Resort: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

Disney Resorts

When planning to visit Walt Disney World, some might say “to do it right, stay at a Disney Resort”. While there is no one “right” way for everyone to vacation at the most magical place on earth, there are benefits of staying at a Disney Resort. Staying close to the parks does come with a price, but keep in mind, you get more than “just being closer to the parks” for your money at a Disney Resort. Comparing what is included can sometimes make off property the same or more cost than staying at a Disney Resort, with less convenience.  [Read more…]

New Disney Discount: Disney Quick Service Dining Card Offered at Off Site Resorts

quick Service Dining Card

Prefer to stay off site at Walt Disney World, but want to include Disney Dining with your vacation package?  Good news, a new promotion came out with an optional and discounted Disney Quick-Service Dining Card Package for Off Site select resorts. When you book an off site resort package through the Walt Disney Travel Company at select resorts with park tickets, you can choose to add a Disney Prepaid Quick-Service Dining Card as a part of your package. Did I mention the Disney Quick Service Dining Card is offered to your package at a discount?  [Read more…]

Pros and Cons of Staying Off Site at Disney World

disney-offsite-pros-and-cons

Planning a Disney vacation can be very overwhelming, especially considering where to stay in Orlando with so many options for all budgets and accommodation preferences. The first step in deciding where to stay should always be asking, “Do we stay on site at a Disney Resort or do we stay off site?” There are pros and cons staying off site at Disney World, while being in the middle of the magic at Disney World is fabulous and convenient, it comes with a price. On the flip side, off site resorts not operated by Disney or located outside the Disney World property can truly make a Disney vacation thrifty budget friendly, however sometimes offsite isn’t the best option.   [Read more…]

What’s New At Disney World This Week: Meet Olaf!

Disney News

By Julie

This week’s edition of Disney Cheapskate Princess News Around the Mouse features the dates and prices of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, along with savings on Magic Kingdom After Hours, new Star Wars Rogue One merchandise coming this summer, information on Flower and Garden Festival,  Authentic Details of Animal Kingdom’s Pandora – The World of AVATAR revealed, restaurant news, new shops coming to Disney Springs and more.  Click here to download the whole edition to view on your computer, tablet or smart phone OR click here to watch the Around the Mouse by video.

Frozen fans can now meet Olaf from Frozen in a Character Meet and Greet at a new location in Disney’s Hollywood Studios AND you see him at Blizzard Beach hosting this summers Frozen Games with Kristoff. [Read more…]

Get on Our VIP Free Disney Dining Watch List for 2017

 

Disney world free dining

Walt Disney World’s most popular promotion is Free Dining. The Internet is buzzing with rumors that the Walt Disney World Free Dining 2017 promotional offer will be released for fall, because traditionally, this is the time of year when the offer has been announced. With Free Dining promotions from fall of past years, resort guests received dining at no charge when they book a non-discounted vacation package which included room and park tickets.

If history stands, this offer should be released any time between now and the beginning of May.

10 Tips to Save Money on Food at Walt Disney World

Fall is a prime time to take advantage of this offer, as the crowds tend to be down from summer and the temperatures are still warm but definitely milder. Special events offered in fall include Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. This offer has NOT yet been released, and while there are no guarantees for dates and the free dining offer as of yet, in the past free dining has been for valid packages booked from September through December with some block out dates and resort exclusions.

Free Dining for Value Resorts packages have included the Quick Service Dining Plan for each guest providing:

  • Two quick service meal credits per night of vacation
  • Two snack credits per night
  • Refillable Resort Mug

Moderate and Deluxe Resort packages have included Disney Dining Plan for each guest the providing:

  • One quick service credit per night per night of vacation
  • One table service credit per night
  • Two snack credit per night
  • Refillable resort mug

FREE Disney World Snack and Drink Samples: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

While rumors are circulating, we will not know exactly what the dining offer is until announced. Want to be included and in the know?  The easiest way to take advantage of this offer when released is to add yourself to Cheapskate Princess VIP Free Dining Watch List.

While details of the promotion are not out yet, you will be contacted by travel partners at Destinations In Florida to find out which resort and dates you are looking at to potentially benefit from Free Dining 2017. When the Free Dining offer is released, you will

  • receive a travel quote, saving you the headache of being on hold for hours to book it yourself
  • Its free to book with  Destinations In Florida! 
  • have no need to worry about missing out, as agents are monitoring release dates very closely

If you are interested at all in Free Dining, get yourself added to the Cheapskate Princess VIP Free Dining Watch List.

Due to the popularity of this offer, these promotional packages will go very quickly. Once released, time is of the essence in securing the resort and package of your choice. More information on 2016 Free Dining will be shared as it is announced, however due to the limited availability of this offer in the past, it is HIGHLY advised to request your quote now  for when the offer is officially released now.

While we do not have the details yet, one thing is for sure with Free Dining, the savings are not to be missed!

 

Disney world free diningErin Johnson is a Disney College of Knowledge Graduate and a Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure Specialist.  She has also recently become a Florida Destination Wedding and Honeymoon Specialist.  She can book and plan your vacation to anywhere.

As an avid scrapbooker and parent, Erin makes sure all her clients know memories are her priority.  Erin’s passion is helping everyone have a once-in-a-lifetime magical vacation, which include excellent customer service, attention to detail, celebrating milestones and bringing families together. Whether it is a honeymoon, a family’s first visit to Walt Disney World, or an extended family coming together from all across the country, Erin specializes in making sure everyone gets the most magic out of their vacation!

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

 

The Top 10 Best Disney Vacation Planning Web Sites

Mickey Mouse ears, unusual Mickey Mouse photo, what are teh best Disney web sites to plan a vacation?

Updated for 2016!

If you ever read Disney planning articles on the internet for FREE, rather than forking over cash for planning books, then you just might be a Cheapskate Princess!

Should you total up all the gift shops, restaurants, events, resorts, theme park rides, the number of Disney related topics of interest for someone visiting Disney World would be in the thousands. Throw in ride refurbishment schedules, Advanced Dining Reservations, park opening and closing times, and generally wondering what everything costs, and it’s probably no wonder people get overwhelmed when they start planning their Disney vacation. Sometimes, if they haven’t done the proper planning, they show up in Orlando only to get overwhelmed on vacation. What should I do? Where should we go? Is this worth the exorbitant price?

I claim to know a lot about Disney, but with prices and policies changing every day, even I have to do my research. Where does a Cheapskate Princess look for vacation planning and general Disney information? Here is a list of websites I use when I need information quickly.

 Top Ten Cheapskate Tips Every Disney World Visitor Needs to Know

photo of Space Mountain, Space Mountain, Best Disney Websites, how to plan a Disney World vacation, help plan my vacation, can you plan my Disney vacation

1. Disneyworld.com.

If I have any questions, this is my number one source for pricing for everything, from room costs, restaurant menus, and entertainment pricing. You can research park hours, order tickets, make room and dining reservations, and there is even a frequently asked questions section for those with a specific concern. This website is a great read for everybody, from first time visitors to old pros. Free Bonus= Use this link to order a free Disney Planning CD. 

2. Disney Parks Moms Panel

The Disney Parks Moms Panel are a group of “advisors,” not employed by the Disney Corporation, chosen every year from thousands of panel applicants. Membership in this exclusive group is a big deal for a lot of people. The members of the Moms Panel answer questions and offer advice, covering topics like planning & budgeting, celebrations, tickets, kids and theme parks, you name it, they have information to assist you. If you can not find the answer you need to your question, then you can submit your own question and hope they have time to answer it.

 Avoid These 10 Mistakes That Can Wreck a Disney World Vacation

snow on Main Street USA, snow at Disney, Cinderella Castle at Christmas, Disney Christmas decorations, best web sites to plan a vacation

3. Mousesavers.com

“Great deals on all things Disney.” This site will give you information about Disney discounts, including ticket discounts, hotel discounts, and Disneyland vacation package discounts. There are tons of trip reports and articles, loads of information for every level of visitor. I have heard lots people say they bought their tickets from Mousesavers.com and were pleased with their savings.

4. Passporter.com

This site offers not only Disney guides, but all around travel guides, and they have a ton of information to help plan your vacation. E-books, podcasts, videos, blog articles, it’s more information that you can read in a day. Speaking of reading, they have over a million books in print. If you sign up for their newsletter, you can receive a %20 discount.

 The Day You Arrive at Disney World, Don’t Waste Your Tickets on This…

sunset, sunrise, lakes, bay Lake, Bay Lake in Orlando, Bay Lake Resort, what websites to use to plan a vacation, best vacation ever, plan a vacation, Disney vacation planning

5. Couponing to Disney

This site is not your average planning site, but for those of you on a budget that use coupons or look for deals, this is the place to be.  There are many other great planning articles as well, especially the popular 101 Best Disney Tips. 

6. Jim Hill Media.com. 

From current Disney information and events, movie reviews, podcasts, theme park news, and travel tips, this site is a hodge-podge of Disney information. I especially like the “Why For” section that examines WHY the way things are.

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

Disney balloons, Disney Princess Balloons

7. WDW info.com

The “DIS” has been around for 15 years and is billed as the Internet’s largest un-official online guide to Disney World. With a large photo gallery, there is info. on Disney vacations, Adventures by Disney, DVC news, and Universal news. You’ll also find theme park times, videos, podcasts, information on discounts, and lots of Disneyland info.

8. Allears.net

This is one of the oldest and most trusted sites for Disney information. From sample menus, reviews of all the resorts, event schedules, and a “Reader Tip Archive,”  this website is a massive wealth of information to help you plan your next Walt Disney World trip.  If you want to know about almost anything about Walt Disney World, you may have to search a few minutes, but it’s there among really large amounts of information.

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

Best Disney Web sites, plan my Disney World vacation, Disney Vacation, Cheapskate Princess, Disney Princess

9. Disney Parks/Disney Trading Pins

Want some info on Disney PinTrading? This is an official Disney site that, while not as fancy as many of these other sites, can help you with everything you need to know about pins. Find out what trading events are happening at Disney World and Disneyland. There are pages of upcoming pins to be released with prices and nice photos that kids and adults will enjoy.

10. WDW Prep School

If you’re planning a trip to Disney World and want to know all of the tips and tricks to making it a great trip, they have tons. Shannon has a great social media presence and a free e-mail. She also has sites for Disneyland and Disney cruises.

Andrea stopped by the blog to provide another great site.

Thanks for the great website tips! I would just like to highlight at least one more, militarydisneytips.com.  This is geared more for military personnel, active, retired and disabled. They work a lot with Allears, which is listed, but thought they should get some kudos on their own. Thanks again for all the great tips!”

10 Cheapskate Reasons to Vacation on Disney Property

Chef Mickeys, I love Chef Mickeys, plan my vacation, vacation

And we are glad you stopped by Cheapskate Princess.

We’re not reinventing the Mickey Mouse wheel here. There are a ton of great websites out there, thousands actually. But the Cheap Princess will focus on easy ways to save money on vacation, fun events that may be worth your hard-earned money, and we’ll take a look at activities you just might not be able to afford as well. Nothing wrong with doing some dreaming… or some planning. The pictures are pretty cool as well.

Be sure to sign up for our free e-mail so all our articles are delivered right to your inbox.

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you researching your next vacation…

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 Julie, Elizabeth, 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, Julie, Elizabeth, and Erin. You can also e-mail them at cp@destinationsinflorida.com.

Free Outdoor Activities at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

free activities at Disney World Wilderness Lodge

Updated July 2015!

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…]

Save Money on Food at Walt Disney World: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

save money at Disney World and Disneyland on Food
Updated July 2017!
 
If you ever ate half a Disney kid’s meal for lunch to save money for a character meal for dinner, then you just might be a Cheapskate Princess!

You will need to bring an empty stomach and a full wallet to Walt Disney World. Tickets, accommodations, food, travel costs, and souvenirs will all set you back a pretty penny. We are always on the lookout for ways to save you money both for and during your long-awaited Disney vacation.  Here’s our guide to a multitude of ways to save some cash on your next vacation, even if it’s not exactly your first time to see the Mouse. [Read more…]

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

Walt Disney World coffee mug, Disney mug, Mickey Mouse mug, coffee mug, I drink coffee, Starbucks coffee at Disney World

Surely by now you have heard that Starbucks has landed at Walt Disney World. For a while, Starbucks was a huge topic of conversation on the Internet in the Disney community, because many life-long Disney fanatics do not handle change very well.  Starbucks has taken the Main Street Bakery over in the Magic Kingdom.  The shop closed in January of ’13 and re-opened open in early June of this year. Over at Epcot, Starbucks is now inside the Fountain View.

It’s not surprising that people have been worried about change, given that the Main Street Bakery is about as American as apple pie, or at least it’s a favorite spot to pick up a snack that has nothing to do with a “big corporation” company like Starbucks. Disney locations that are inhabited by Starbucks are expected to serve all the general items that Starbucks usually serves. Additional Starbucks locations for Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom should be announced soon.

To Save Money on Food At Disney, Bring This Bottle With You

Mickey Mouse mug, Mickey Mouse coffee, Disney World coffee, coffee, drink coffee, how much does coffee cost, how much does Starbucks cost per year

Going to Disney had meant that vacationers left their regular Starbucks habits behind, since there was no access to Starbucks coffee on Disney property. Unless perhaps you thought ahead, bringing your own crystals with you so you could make your Starbucks coffee in your hotel room. I am not a coffee drinker, but my goodness, lots of people are.  I absolutely love the smell of a cup of java, and I really love hanging out in quaint little coffee shops with dark lighting and yummy warm smells.

But my coffee love affair ends just short of the cup hitting my lips. And given the cost of coffee at coffee shops like Starbucks, I guess my coffee aversion has saved me some cash through the years. I don’t guess it has; I know that not drinking coffee has saved me money. So while some people are worried about Starbucks coming to Disney, many coffee drinkers should be worried about what coffee did to their bank account before they ever arrived in Orlando.

Can a Cheapskate Princess Afford the Disney Dining Plan?

Grumpy mug, different coffee mugs, Grumpy, I love coffee, drinking Disney coffee

Agbeat.com ran an article with some interesting stats on the coffee habits of Americans. While drinking coffee can improve endurance while working out and can prevent heart disease and Alzheimer’s, when you compare the price, coffee costs more than gasoline when poured by the gallon. A recent new study revealed that the average American drinks 70 gallons of coffee each year, which is enough to fill an entire bathtub. Whoa, that’s a lot of cash floating in that tub!

Consumerist.com reports that claimed the average American worker spends more than $20 a week on coffee.  This comes out to be an average of  almost $1,100 a year.  That’s a lot of money, especially when you consider the average commuter is paying around $1,476 per year to get to work. Some coffee drinkers are paying almost as much in coffee expenses on the way to work as they do to get to work. I think I mentioned before, being a cheapskate, that I was glad I didn’t drink coffee.

Free Disney Dining…Is It Really Always Free?

Mickey Mouse coffee mug, mugs, Disney mugs, special coffee mugs

CBS news looked into coffee houses and how much Americans spend on their coffee, and the numbers in their study were slightly lower than Agbeat.com. The average cost for a single trip to a nationally recognized coffeehouse (Dunkin Donuts, Caribou Coffee, and Starbucks, but for the sake of argument, let’s just say Starbucks, since we’re talking about them anyway) was $3.25. The cost of one purchase made five days a week  = $16.25. This makes the cost of “Starbucks” coffee $65 a month and $780 per year.

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

This is certainly not a judgement against coffee drinkers, but enjoying a nice cup of Starbucks or Duncan Doughnuts coffee is expensive. And if you enjoy a cup frequently, you may be spending some of your Disney vacation money each morning on your commute to work. That’s why I said that Starbucks coming to Disney World may be the least of your financial worries, as some of you are spending thousands of discretionary dollars per year on coffee even while clipping coupons to get to Disney. Oops…your coffee habit may be working against your vacation habit. Like to know how much are you spending on your “Starbucks” coffee habit?

Hughchou.org has a coffee expense calculator that you can use to determine how much money you are spending on coffee. Could you do it? Could you cut back on your Starbucks coffee habit to get to Disney faster?

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you in the Main Street Bakery, sipping, what else…coffee!

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

Earn $20 Rewards for Vacation Referrals!

Cheapskate Princess travel agent

Erin, 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

To Get Home From Disney With Your Souvenirs, Bring Less of This…

Christmas on Main Street, Toy Soldiers, Disney Toy Soldier, Disney Christmas, packing for Disney, what to pack for vacation

Getting to and from a vacation seems to be the worst part of the whole deal, and don’t get me started on the depression that can set in once you are back home. Either flying or driving to Walt Disney World Disney, chances are you will over-pack, especially if you are traveling by car. You know Disney Princesses – we overpack for everything! My husband commented for years that we looked like the Clampetts from the Beverly Hillbillies as we pulled into our hotel. Well, it’s tough to pack light with a family of five. But as our children have grown older, we have tried to take along just the necessities. He swears on the next trip, we can make it it in just two large suitcases. The number one thing we always over-pack?

Clothes.

Today’s Cheapskate Princess tip? Cut back on the amount of clothing you bring.

One good question to ask when you make your Disney reservations is, “Where can I wash clothes?”  Many hotels and resorts, both on Disney property or otherwise, have laundry facilities. You can find out if your accommodations have washers and dryers in one quick phone call or with a little Internet research. This will leave room in your suitcases for fabulous Disney souvenirs.

10 Cheapskate Reasons to Vacation on Disney Property

packing for vacation, what to pack for vacation, what not to pack for vacation, back pack, Disney bag, Disney backpack

If you’ve packed lighter and don’t have access to a washer and dryer, there’s always a sink and a bar of soap. I readily admit, this is not my number one choice. Faced with no room for my new Mickey sweatshirt in the suitcase or washing out a few socks pairs of socks, those socks are headed for the sink, pronto. It’s not the ideal situation, but hey, you do what ya gotta do to get it all home!

Multi-pack. If you have a big t-shirt, use that as a bathing suit cover-up and pajamas.  Bring a light jacket, as this can serve as both the jacket and a raincoat.

Save Money on Disney World T-Shirts by Making Your Own!

Dooney & Bourke purse, Disney bag, Disney luggage

What can you do while you wash clothes?

Take a little nap.

Take a walk around your resort/hotel.

Grab a light snack.

Prop up your weary feet and watch some TV.

Take a dip in the cement pond. (see above Beverly Hillbillies reference)

Window shop without your wallet to avoid overspending.

Disney’s Basin: For $5.99, I Can Smell Like Disney All Day!

stroller at Disney World, stroller, Disney souvenirs

One thing about vacation is that most people find themselves toting too many items, which in the long run just causes additional stress. Vacations can be stressful enough just fighting crowds and worrying about finances without sitting on your suitcase to get it packed, or paying those extra fees at the airport when your luggage goes over a certain weight.

There are definitely an abundance of packing lists floating around, but with all that stuff crammed in your suitcase, there may not be enough room for the important things, like bringing home your new Mickey Mouse ears hat or a coffee mug. Stuff that shirt/pajamas/beach cover-up in the mug for extra travel protection.

Can You Afford a Vacation at WDW’s Bay Lake Tower Resort?

Mickey Mouse, Mickey Mouse parade, I love Mickey Mouse, Disney parades, vacation at Disney World, picture of Mickey Mouse, photo of Mickey Mouse

So to get home from Disney with all your souvenirs, you will definitely need more cash and probably less laundry!

 

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

Earn $20 Rewards for Vacation Referrals!

Erin, our Cheapskate Princess travel agent

Erin, 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 for a quick Disney tip, and we’ll see you in the resort laundry mat with a roll of quarters.

A Disney World Vacation: Can You Put A Price On Buying Memories?

 

why take kids to Disney world

Your Disney vacation is going to cost you a ton of money, but can you really put a price on the memories you make there with your children? I tell every new mother the same thing, “Time goes by heart-breakingly fast, so you better take a lot of pictures.”  And I follow it up with this, “The only piece of advice I will offer you? Take that baby to Disney.” They most-often don’t, of course, usually choosing to wait until Jr. is headed for pre-school. “Babies don’t remember vacations. Those trips cost a fortune. I want to take Jr.  when he is old enough to remember everything.”

Point taken. I took my babies to Disney, and they don’t remember a minute of it. I took a lot of pictures, though, so I have the memories. Time does indeed go by fast, and in a short five more years, all my children will have flown the coop off into the real world, where I won’t make their breakfast and wash their clothes. They are still excited about Disney vacations at this point, those trips that cost a fortune. I probably could have pre-paid for one year of college for what I have paid in Disney tickets and hotel rooms over the last 14 years.

What I am buying now is not just a vacation, which I can easily put a price on. What I am buying is memories for my children, memories I hope will lead them back to me in adulthood, and those memories, you cannot put a price on.

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

why Children love Walt Disney World

I witnessed a proposal at the Magic Kingdom last summer, sitting quietly beside my three kids as we waited for the Magic, Memories, and You! show. I remember wondering if the Disney memories I give my children now will affect their lives as adults. I want our happy times at Disney when they were kids to bring them back to me as adults for more of the same.

30 minutes after the proposal, my 7th grader verbally started planning where he would propose to his wife. He has always talked about having a family of his own, and he declared Cinderella Castle was a fabulous spot to pop the question. I told him I would always have a camera ready to capture the moment if he would have me along on his special trip. He hugged me and said, “Of course you’ll be there. Where else would you be?” Oh, if life were only as simple as seen through the eyes of a ten-year-old.

Disney has given my youngest child something to talk about with me for years, planning trips and chatting about the snacks we’ll share. We talk about our plans for my retirement in Orlando, and how he wants to get a job as a dentist and work there. He thinks we can live in the same neighborhood. If he can just find the right girl who will allow him to bring his mother on vacation, I’ll be set up. I’ll miss our Disney talks as he grows older and starts planning dates with cooty-infested girls and practicing his trumpet without me, but I hope the seed is planted.

Come back and visit me, buddy, when you are 34 and have your own children. I’ll hold their hands and walk them through the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House.

 Do You Have a Favorite Disney Child, and Would You Admit It?

Making memories with family at Disney World

My middle child, a 9th grader and high school school drummer, reacted to the proposal by reiterating,”Ugh. I am never getting married. Can we go ride Space Mountain now?”  This child has been saying he wanted no part of marriage or kids since he was four, which I have to admit, tears greatly at my heart. I have been married for 22.5 years, and I have three kids, a mortgage, and two dogs. You don’t get much more family oriented than that. Middle child not getting married is going to mess up my plans for playing with his children, my grand-children, in the sand in front of the Polynesian Resort.

But then, this is not my life, it is his.

So I don’t tell middle child that he might one day bring a girlfriend or a family to Disney, but I do wonder if watching all the families there will shape his choices as an adult. I just simply say,”I bet Space Mountain will still look like this when you have to help me out of my wheelchair to ride it.”

Come back to Disney with me, oh-kid-O-mine, because the songs will still be the same in the Tiki Room when my hair is all gray, and we’ll sit in the back and sing real loud, just like we used to before you got your own cell phone.

Fabulous Disney-Inspired Wedding Rings, Perfect for a Disney Princess!

Do teens love Disney World?

My teen-age daughter, 11th grade high schooler this year, stood up from the Magic, Memories and You! show and announced,”If I don’t get proposed to in front of Cinderella Castle, then the whole deal may just be off.” I laughed and said,”I guess I should have a talk with the boy then, once you are 28, and he can afford a ring. You have to meet him first. Don’t rush it.” I have to tell myself not to worry. She will find the right guy one day, and she will be stunning in a wedding dress, and I will be totally broke if she plans the wedding I anticipate she will plan. I don’t even mention you can get married at Disney to this one; I just keep it in the back of my mind. And maybe I roll some quarters and hide them in a sock drawer for the wedding deposit.

Come back to me when I am old and gray, my first baby, my precious girl, and bring that boy with the ring with you. I will be there with a camera and a front row seat in front of Cinderella Castle, Kleenex in my pocket and joy in my heart.

Like to see the whole story of the proposal?

The Absolute Most Amazing Thing I Ever Photographed at Disney World? It was a …

proposal at Disney World

It’s just a crazy time we live in these days. My goodness, the world was supposed to end days ago (this was originally written in December of 2012, you know the whole Mayan calendar thing?) yet here I am, planning my next Orlando vacation. I hope I live long enough to see my kids married and happy. I have no reason to think I will be any place other than attending two weddings and watching two sets of grandkids. Ok, three sets if middle child changes his mind. But in a day and age where people get shot in movie theaters, and little children die in school classrooms, nothing seems very certain anymore.

I sometimes ponder the inevitable, because I won’t always be here to vacation with my kids.

Have I done all I can to make my children the best people they can be?

Did I talk to them enough?

Will they remember our late nights sharing cupcakes in the Contemporary Resort, and walking the dog around our block while planning the perfect Disney spot to share a snack?

Will they remember enough to come back and hang out with me when I will be called “Granny” and not “Mommy?” I took them to Disney, and one night, we sat and watched a proposal together. For today, I’ll just have to hope that memory stays with them as a reminder that I was there, and that I tried my best as their mom.

10 Things They Forgot to Mention About Walt Disney World Vacations

where to propose at Disney World

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

For better or worse, in sickness and in health, I took them to Disney and we made some memories. What they do with those memories remains to be seen. I’ll forget what I paid for the tickets, but they won’t forget me crying through “Wishes.”  I’ll forget the price of the hotel, but they won’t forget riding the monorail at two a.m. that one summer night, just us by ourselves, my arms around them, humming “When You Wish Upon A Star.”

Hotel and ticket numbers come and go, but you can’t put a price on memories with your family.

Thanks for stopping by. Time goes by fast, so go hug your kids…

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

Earn $20 Rewards for Vacation Referrals!

Erin, our Cheapskate Princess travel agent

Erin, 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