Bringing Food into Disney World Theme Parks: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

yummy snacks to bring to Disney World

Updated for 2018!

If you ever tried to sneak food into some sort of establishment, you just might be a Cheapskate Princess! Most Walt Disney World visitors are aware that you no longer have to sneak your food into the theme parks, because the rules have changed from years past. I have a mini-anxiety attack every time we go through Security, because my dad snuck in food during every trip we made to Disney when I was a child. I call it “Post Traumatic Cheapskate Syndrome.”

Even the most well-traveled Disney visitors could use a refresher on just what you can bring and how to transport food for a day at the parks. [Read more…]

Impulse Buys: How Returning Kid’s Purchases Is Costing You Money at Disney World

Disney World best souvenirs for kids

Updated for 2017!

With my family right next to me, I spend a lot of time in Disney gift shops when we’re in Orlando on vacation. I’m as much at home and happy on the back bench in the Small World ride as I am in a gift shop at the Polynesian Resort. Through the years, I have realized that my vacation time spent shopping for and purchasing Disney items wasn’t nearly the waste of time that returning those purchases was. [Read more…]

A Disney Princess Wouldn’t Wear a Fanny Pack, but a Cheapskate Princess Might!

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Updated for 2017!

The fanny pack. I’m really not a clothes snob, but those are two words I can’t even say with a straight face. The thought of fanny packs have struck fear into the heart of Disney fashionistas for years. Can you imagine Cinderella with a sparkly fanny pack to hold her car keys and lipstick?

Uh, no. [Read more…]

Disney’s Extra Magic Hours: a Cheapskate Princess Guide

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Updated for 2017!

If you ever said,”Let’s just stay at a cheap hotel, because with the money we save, the longer we can stay at Disney World longer,” then you just might be a Cheapskate Princess. I’m all about finding a bargain. And there is no doubt that staying at a Disney World Resort can be more expensive than staying “off property.” 

But Disney offers a huge perk other off-property hotels don’t: Extra Magic Hours. Staying fewer days in a Disney resort to play longer in the parks is what a Cheapskate Princess would call a splurge.   [Read more…]

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

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Updated for 2017!

Time is money at Walt Disney World.  You will spend a ton of your hard-earned money at Disney, and wasting time is really the equivalent to wasting your precious vacation dollars. The more time you spend standing in lines, the more time you are not doing something else fun. So let’s get to it and not waste any more…time.

Here are 10 ways to save time (equals money), because who among us doesn’t need more of both? [Read more…]

Disney World Food Tip #7: Eat Breakfast Here!

save money on food at Disney World

Updated for 2017!

When some people go on vacation, many times they don’t want to cook a thing. Vacations are for relaxing and having fun, and for most people, cooking doesn’t fall under either of those categories. This carries over to a trip to Disney World, because the majority of travelers have specific ideas about where they want to eat in Orlando. Entire books are dedicated to planning out your vacation, hour by hour, meal by meal, advising you to make all your Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) months in advance. Let me concur that this is sage advice. When would I suggest you go against traditional wisdom and skip a Disney meal? [Read more…]

1st Trip to Disney? Why Hand Sanitizers are a Must Bring

how not to get sick on vacation at Disney World

Updated for 2017!

If you ever washed your hands 10 times a day to ensure you didn’t get sick on vacation, you just might be a Cheapskate Princess! Time is definitely money at Walt Disney World. Going on vacation in Orlando is going to cost you lots of pretty pennies, and if any family members wind up sick in bed, then there are certainly better things to do with your time, and conversely, your money. [Read more…]

8 Reasons Not to Go to Disney World in the Fall

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Updated for 2017!

Fall. Leaves start dropping out of the trees, footballs are flying through the air again, and kids everywhere have begrudgingly snatched up their backpacks and headed back to school. What does this signal?  The crowds are suddenly lighter at Walt Disney World.  Does this mean fall a good time for you to go to Disney? Well…

8 reasons you should not go to Disney World in the fall.

1. School

Kids have gone back to school and could fall behind in their studies, especially in upper middle school grades and high school. Now this is a hotly debated topic on the internet. Teachers say keep them in school, and yet many parents want to get the most from their vacation dollar during the less crowded “off season” of fall. You know what works for your child, and for some, missing school may be too much.

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2. The Temperature

It’s still hot. It’s not as hot as summer, but it’s warmer than winter.

3. Shorter Hours 

Hours are shorter in the fall than other times a year, because there are fewer people. Every park except Epcot can close as early as 7 p.m for parties. Compare this to midnight in the summer, and while you may be standing in shorter lines during fall, you will spend less time in the parks.

Read: Would a Disney Princess Spend $25 for A Disney World T-Shirt?

Mickey Mouse Hollywood Studios, Mickey Mouse costume, Hollywood Studios,

4. Not As Much Entertainment

If the parks close early, they may not show some of their night-time entertainment. Or these shows may only run on the weekends, and crowds are definitely heavier on the weekends.

5. Special Parties Mean Higher Crowds

Because fall is the time for Mickey’s-Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) and Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival, crowds will be higher during these specific times.

6. Parks Close Early

If you do vacation during MNSSHP, the park will close early on those days. You paid for a full day, but you’ll feel like you’re being kicked out early as party-goers pass you on the way in. With tickets for MNSSHP $50.95 for kids ages 3-9 and $55.95 for ages 10 and up, and these are advanced purchase prices, then you’ll pay a pretty penny to stay from 7 p.m. until midnight.

Read: Planning a Disney Vacation? Why You Need a Disney Change Jar!

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7. Ride Refurbishment

With crowd levels being lower, some of your favorite rides may be closed for refurbishment. This makes sense from a Disney stand point – less people in the park is a better time to spruce up the rides. I can still hear my sons wails of heart-ache when we showed up one year to find Space Mountain closed for refurbishment. It’s wise to check the refurbishment schedules before you plan anything for certain.

8. Free Dining

Free Dining is offered in the fall, and many money conscious families plan their vacations around free dining. And why not, because you can save a lot of money taking vacations during these specific times. Free Dining means more people vacationing during this offer, and many of the table service restaurants you hoped to enjoy will be filled with free diners. If you don’t make your Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) as soon as possible, then you may not get to eat at the restaurant of your first choice.

Read: How NOT to Lose Your Kids at Walt Disney World and Disneyland

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Admittedly, these are not super strong reasons to skip that Disney vacation in the fall. Most people love Disney during the off season, but if you are one of the many that just can’t take off work during the fall, these 8 reasons may make you feel a bit better, take the edge off your Disney Depression Syndrome. I have to admit, it would be hard to talk myself into NOT going to Disney during fall, if it was a time of year when I could plan a vacation.

Now if you need some reasons to go during fall, we have that covered for you as well!

Read: 7 Reasons You Should Definitely Visit Disney World in the Fall

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Amanda Major Cheapskate Princess


Disney’s Cheapskate Princess


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Amanda Major CheapskatePrincess.comAmanda Major is the creator of 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