The Disney Holiday Gingerbread House Kit: Is It Worth the $10?

disney-gingerbread-house-kit

Updated for 2017!

How do you entertain three older teenage kids during the holidays? Buy them a gingerbread house! We found a Disney “Crafty Cooking Kits” Mickey and Minnie house for $10 at Big Lots.

Here’s what you get for ten bucks: [Read more…]

Don’t Throw Out Those Old Disney World Souvenirs Just Yet…

Disney Vacation Club

Several years ago, I played a game at a Disney Vacation Club meeting and won some cool DVC stuff, like a lunch bag, a bottle cover, and a license plate frame. That frame has graced my license plate for so long, the sun bleached out the letters. I contemplated throwing it away, but I have a hard time getting rid of sentimental items. Sound familiar?! After a quick peek on eBay, there are currently none of these frames for sale. And those DVC games are long gone.

The DVC license plate frames were never for sale to begin with, but it seems I can’t buy one if I wanted. Now this has turned into a cheapskate dilemma.

Making a Disney World Scrapbook? Get These Disney Google Maps for FREE!

So what did I do with it?

[Read more…]

Sprinkles Cupcakes at Disney Springs: Go for the View but Skip the Cupcake

Sprinkles Cupcakes at Disney Springs

Updated for 2018!

Sprinkles opened in Disney Springs back in 2016. I love the name. Sprinkles sounds so happy! And while I am possibly the biggest cupcake fan who ever set foot on Disney property, my advice for the Sprinkles is to go for the view but skip the cupcake.

Nobody had their sugar-craving high hopes dashed like mine. So what happened?

[Read more…]

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

7328584998_0643da7d2f_z

Updated for 2017!

As the newest resort on Walt Disney World property, completed in 2012, the Art of Animation Resort will give you and the kids the feeling of being a character in some of your favorite Disney movies. Whether you are going under the sea with Nemo and Friends, swimming with The Little Mermaid, chilling out in Radiator Springs with Lightening McQueen and Mater, or enjoying the essence of the African savanna with Simba and his friends Timon and Pumba, Art of Animation has something for everyone of all ages.

This value resort provides the amenities and perks as other value resorts on property but can comfortablly accommodate larger families.

Compared to the other Disney value resorts, The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms are perfect for any budget. And while the Family Suites are higher priced than those found at All-Star Music Resort, your kids will definitely enjoy the adventurous feel of each differently themed area.

This list of pros and cons for Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will help you decide if this should be your next choice for your magical Disney World vacation!

Read: A Cheapskate Prince$$ Guide: Top 10 Freebies at Disney World

7996404249_d7aeb790c2_zThe Inovabed in the Lion King Suite, one of 1,120 Family Suites available at Art of Animation

Art of Animation Resort Pros:

Standard Rooms: 

The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms can accommodate up to four guests, plus one child under the age of three in a crib.

These rooms have two full beds.

Family Suites

For larger families, the Family Suites comfortably accommodate families of six.

While all rooms have a mini refrigerator, the Family Suites, also have a microwave and a kitchenette.

Family suites also have two bathrooms.

All Family Suites have three separate sleeping areas. The master bedroom has one queen, sleeper sofa with double bed, and the Inovabed that converts from a table to a double bed.

Pools:

There are three amazing heated pools; The Big Blue Pool (the largest at the resort and has an underwater soundtrack in the Finding Nemo Courtyard), Flippin’ Fins Pool (Little Mermaid courtyard), Cozy Cone Pool (Cars Courtyard).

The main pool and kids splash area have zero entry, which is perfect for little ones.

The Schoolyard is a water play area for the little ones; Squirt’s Righteous Reef Playground and The Boneyard Playground are all play areas for your little animators.

 

Read: Prisma: The FREE App You Need for Your Disney Vacation Photos

Dining

Landscape of Flavors Food Court includes five distinctive food shops – The Soup, Salad and Sandwich Shop, The World Flavors Shop, The Pizza Shop, The Burger Shop and The Market.

The Drop Off is a poolside snack bar and delivery service.

Freebies included with your Reservation

Registered guests receive free resort and theme park parking.

Registered guests receive access to Extra Magic Hours in the parks when offered.

Transportation

Airport transportation is free using Disney’s Magical Express.

Free Disney Theme Park transportation is offered via service bus every 15-20 minutes.

There is a dedicated Disney transportation bus for Art of Animation guests only, as opposed to All-Star Value Resorts which all share the same bus line.

Fun Lobby

Animation Hall Lobby houses Pixel Play Arcade as well as, an interactive, hands-on area where a Disney artist teaches guests how to animate favorite characters.

Read: Disney World’s Memory Maker: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

7320062486_45965f6fb0_zFinding Nemo Courtyard features The Big Blue Pool, The Schoolyard, Squirt’s Righteous Playground

 

Art of Animation Resort Cons:

The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms are the farthest away from Animation Hall, like all standard rooms, so at the end of your day in the parks, it can be a long walk.

Finding Nemo suites are now considered a “preferred location” which means they are more per night than Cars or The Lion King Family Suites.

There are only a few Standard Rooms available with a King Bed.

While this is value resort, the price of the themed suites are more than the Family Suites at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort.

Because this resort is a great option for families, especially larger families, it can definitely be noisier during high peak travel times.

If you are a family of five, the themed Family Suites at Art of Animation Resort are not the least expensive option on property. If are trying to stick to a tight budget, certain room which accommodate five at the moderate resorts can be more cost effective.

Read: Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival : A Cheapskate Princess Guide

102 (2)The Little Mermaid wing featuring 864 Standard Rooms

These pros and cons will help you decide if Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is the best fit for your family. My opinion is this is a great resort to try for your next Disney vacation. Whether you stay in The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms or any of the Finding Nemo, Cars or The Lion King suites, the pros outweigh the cons with this property.

With the right planning, you can avoid some of the cons of staying here.

7996401717_0aa4d48f04_zSleeper sofa in The Lion King Suite which converts to a double bed

108 (2) (1)Queen Bed in The Lion King Master Bedroom

AOA1The Little Mermaid Flippin’ Fins Pool

AOA2 The Inovabed as a table for four in the Finding Nemo Family Suite

AOA3

The Inovabed as a table for four in the Finding Nemo Family Suite
AOA4
The 4.3 cu. ft. refrigerator and microwave in the Finding Nemo Family Suite Kitchenette

AOA5 The Master Bath in the Finding Nemo Family Suite

Art-of-Animation-Resort-040Squirt’s Righteous Reef Playground in the Finding Nemo Courtyard

AOA6

AOA7

AOA8

AOA9

7996413387_d21636947a_z

7996581882_1695e34979_z

Read: Disney Springs’ Boathouse Restaurant: Tips for Dining Under $20

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 Springs’ Boathouse Restaurant: Tips for Dining Under $20

Boathouse Restaurant at Disney Sorings for less

Updated for 2018!

I don’t mind admitting I was intimidated by the Boathouse restaurant at Disney Springs. The Internet was abuzz with chatter about the prices almost before the doors opened, and the menu just shouted fru fru to my immature pallet. Foodie is the last word people use to describe me, but we gave it a whirl on a trip to Orlando, with the intentions of seeing what you can get for under $20 a person. You won’t get a steak or a lobster, both of which they offer, but there’s definitely meals aplenty for under $20.

Read: Save Money on Food at Walt Disney World

What then should you order that won’t bust up your budget? [Read more…]

Disney World Cheapskate Souvenir Picks: Fridge Magnets for Under $20

best Disney World souvenirs

Updated for 2017!

You may run out of time on your Disney vacation, but you certainly will never run out of souvenir options. Gift shop after shop, your choices are endless. They are also expensive; sticker shock is a common sight among shoppers. What can you bring home that won’t bust your souvenir budget? This may not sound too original of a purchasing suggestion, but you haven’t seen the pictures yet…

You need a fridge magnet! [Read more…]

Walt Disney World Locker Rentals: A Cheapskate Guide

Updated for 2018!

Many Disney park go-ers are not carrying in large bags or strollers will pockets galore. Sometimes, no bags to carry can trump paying a fee to rent a locker.  For your convenience, all the Disney theme parks and water parks offer paid locker rentals.  [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.

Doing Disney World for Less: Souvenir Picture Frames

Updated for 2018!

Souvenirs are expensive at Walt Disney World. It’s not like walking into Wal-mart of T.J. Maxx where items go on sale. There’s almost nothing on sale at WDW, and paying full retail price hurts.

I like to recommend that vacationers purchase souvenir items they can use every day at home, or at least something you can see every day, so you feel like you got the best use of your money. [Read more…]

Top 5 Souvenir Shops at Walt Disney World

top 5 Souvenir Gift Shops at Disney World

Every vacation budget has that one important line item…souvenirs. How much should you spend? What will we buy? What is the one (or two) perfect vacation souvenir to take home that could carry all your magical memories home with it? [Read more…]

Disney World Extravagance: Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show

Updated for 2018!

Food will cost a lot of money at Disney World. Food costs are a huge part of any vacation to anywhere, but you get what you pay for at Disney World, and you’ll be literally forking over a lot for Disney dining. Now if you’re looking for something extra special, a Disney extravagance fit for a princess, then say hello to the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.  [Read more…]

20 Cheapskate Tips for Souvenirs and Activities at Disney World: How to Save Money!!

cheapskate tips for souvenirs and activities at Disney World

Updated for 2018!

Disney vacation souvenirs are expensive, but do you always have to pay retail?

We have some tips on saving money for your next Disney vacation, plus ideas on how to save money on souvenirs and activities. So put your Visa card away, hide your checkbook, and let’s see how the cheapskates do Disney!

Read: Almost 130 FREE Walt Disney World Resort Activities!

[Read more…]