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…]

6 Reasons to Schedule a Haircut at the Harmony Barber Shop at Disney’s Magic Kingdom

Disney World Harmony Barber Shop
Updated for 2018!
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…]

Haircuts at Walt Disney World For $20: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

price of hair cuts at Harmony Barber shop Disney World

Updated for 2018!

Getting a hair cut is not necessarily what you would normally associate with taking a vacation, in fact, my sons associate haircuts with the pain of going to the dentist. Leave it to Disney to put some fun into something as simple as personal grooming.

There is a barber shop on Main Street, U.S. A. in Magic Kingdom, and many Disney visitors who only use Main Street as their route to a roller coaster are surprised to learn this is not just a fake store front. Lots of hair, for both adults and children, is styled here every day. Cheapskates, get ready for your next fun Disney World adventure, one that won’t break the bank. [Read more…]

Need a Reason to Visit Disney’s Aulani Resort? How About the Pools!

Visiting Hawaii will be a once in a lifetime trip for many people, so it’s easy to see why staying at Disney’s Aulani Resort resides at the top of many vacation bucket lists. If you need a reason to plan a trip, look no further than the pools.






Ka Maka Grotto is a family pool at Aulani with views straight out to the ocean, with water flowing over an infinity edge overlooking the beach. The pool water of Ka Maka Grotto is approximately 82 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit year round. This pool is free to enjoy with your stay.

This is a fabulous location to watch the sun go down on a fun-filled day.



The Wailana Pool is for guests 18 years of age and above, and it’s located a little further back from the main pools. This quiet pool features 1,500-square-foot, tension-edge pool with a water wall that empties into the deep end. Tropical shade trees are a highlight of this area, plus there are lots of umbrella covered lounge chairs just perfect for reading a book or napping. There are children running and playing all over Aulani, so if you want some alone time, this is your perfect location.





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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


1st Trip to Disney? 10.5 Tips for a Great Vacation!

Tips for first time Disney World visitors

Updated for 2017!

Walt Disney World is a crazy busy place, like so busy, Magic Kingdom can have 20 million visitors in one year alone! If you’ve never been to Orlando to visit the Disney parks before, you are in for a real treat, but you can also be in for some disappointment. Along with four theme parks comes two water parks, thirty-four resorts and hotels on the Walt Disney World property, two spas and fitness centers, five golf courses, Disney Springs, and on and on and on. Disney can be a mad rush to do and see it all for first time visitors. The truth? [Read more…]

Love Disney World Jewelry? Ya Gotta Shop eBay!

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

Updated for 2017!

If I had the choice between standing in a 120 minute Disney line to ride Space Mountain or standing at a jewelry counter to window shop, I’m picking the jewelry. Disney World has an amazing assortment of jewelry options for Cheapskate Princesses all the way up to the Disney Dooney carrying Disney Princesses.

The worst part of shopping is obviously the prices. You get what you pay for in terms of quality when you make purchases in Disney gift shops, but sometimes buying a nice piece of jewelry on vacation just isn’t in the financial cards. If you ever bought Disney items on eBay to get a bargain, then you just might be a Cheapskate Princess! [Read more…]

Gotta Have it! 12 Cheapskate Extravagances at Walt Disney World

best things to spend money on at Disney World

Updated for 2018!

There is no one size fits all Disney vacation. You can customize your trip to fit your needs and desires, sprinkling as much Pixie Dust as you can afford to spread. From Value to Deluxe Resorts, standard park tickets to Annual Passes, and Signature Restaurants to cereal in your hotel room, there is seemingly no end to the choices you can make concerning your Disney experience.

I always believe it’s a good idea to ask real people who spend lots of hard-earned money on vacations what they thought of experiences, accommodations, and purchases before I decide where and when to drop my Disney money. We asked our Cheapskate Princess Facebook fans, “What is the one thing you’ll spend money on for a Disney vacation, even if it’s pricey?

[Read more…]

Why Celebrate with a Birthday Button at Disney World? Let a Cheapskate Princess Tell You!

Disney birthday button, celebrate a birthday at Disney World, celebrate a birthday at Disneyland

Updated for 2018!

Seasoned Disney visitors are familiar with the Birthday Button you can pick up both Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Most guidebooks and website wisdom tells you that if you are celebrating a birthday at the Disney Parks, you should be sure to pick up a Birthday Button to get extra attention and possibly free treats from Cast Members. We asked the Cheapskate Princess fans if they had ever received anything extra special (translation = FREE!) for wearing their Birthday Buttons into the parks, and the answers were fabulous!

If you have ever thought about celebrating a birthday at a Disney park, here are some details about the free swag our fans picked up on their vacations. [Read more…]

Celebrating Birthdays at Walt Disney World with FREEbies: A Cheapskate Princess Guide!

how to get free stuff at Disney World

Updated  for 2018!

Happy Birthday to you! Or your child, or your friend, or even grandma. Did you know that you can “celebrate” a birthday at Disney World six months before your actual birthday and up to six months after your actual birthday? That’s a Disney World suggestion, not something I made up because I am cheap. Using my math, that gives you about 365 days a year to celebrate a birthday at Walt Disney World.

Why would you celebrate a birthday on vacation? Because Disney makes it WAY more fun than celebrating at home! [Read more…]

Cheapskate Princess Extravagance: Vera Bradley Laser Cut Disney Totes

Disney Vera Bradley

Updated for 2018!

There will be many a day on vacation where you just want to spend some money. Disney has no trouble making sticking to a tight budget an issue. So when you want to treat yourself to something nice, bring home a really special souvenir from a fantastic trip, where will a Cheapskate Princess spend her money?

Disney’s Charmed in the Park Jewelry: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

[Read more…]

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

Disney photopass Princess photo

Updated for 2018!

If you’ve been to Disney World lately, surely you have noticed the astounding amount of little Disney Princesses running rampant (in full make up and plastic heels, no less) through the parks. Dresses, shoes, tiaras, shiny jewelry, and let’s not forget the princess up-do and sparkly make up. Holy Minnie Mouse, if your princess isn’t dressed to the nines, then she’s liable to feel like she’s been left out of all the fun.

The quest for fun-time entertainment is probably not the issue if you are on a budget; it’s the ca$h.

How much will transforming your princess into an official Disney-fied Princess cost? [Read more…]

Is the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Worth the Big Buck$? Just Ask a Cheap$kate Princess


Updated for 2018!

Rolling change, clipping coupons, eating at home…whatever it takes to get to Disney World is what many of us will do. But sometimes you just have to put financial thought aside and go for “an extravagance.”  That occurs when a cheapskate finds an event so fabulous, it’s oh so worth it to spend the extra money.

We checked with the Cheapskate Princess fans on Facebook to get their opinion about the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Walt Disney World. Prices start at a minimum of $64.95 before taxes, and that’s also before any dresses, extra accessories, or purchasing of special photos. Did the Cheapskate fans think it worth the extra money? Would they go back? Did they have any words of wisdom for those who haven’t decided to take the plunge and make the splurge?

Love the Disney Princesses? 10 Ways to Act Just Like One!


Kristin speaks for a lot of Disney Moms when she says, “The moment your little one turns to see herself in the mirror makes it worth it.”

Jennifer states emphatically, “Yes completely!! It’s magical the way they transform the children!! They feel like a real princess when they are done being pampered!!”

Tanya, who splurged for the special boutique photos, tells us, “I think it’s worth it to see how special my daughter feels as a princess. The Cast Members play into it by calling them ‘Princess’ through out the park.”

Can a Cheapskate Princess Afford a Dooney & Bourke Disney Handbag?

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Tonya’s beautiful Disney Princess!

LeAnn took her daughter to the Boutique at a location where we’ll all be envious…a Disney Cruise ship!  “We just went on the Fantasy ship and actually booked it for my daughter and my son ended up doing the captain Mickey outfit… Yes, expensive, but they had a fantastic time. It’s totally worth it!”

Lyndsey gives us some info and the thumbs up,”Worth every penny! The Downtown Disney location is not any cheaper than the Magic Kingdom. They are the same price, and Cast Members play into it there as well. We have done it at both locations, and they are both nice.”

Read: You Might Be A Cheapskate Princess If..

All About the Memories

Kathy loved it for her granddaughter. “Indeed it is… The memories my 6-year-old granddaughter will keep with her from her day at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique will last her a lifetime!! Precious!!”

Kim tells us, “Absolutely worth it! A MAGICAL memory, one of the best from our trip. We went to the BBB at DTD and the ‘Princess Parade’ to the carousel was adorable!!”

Sherie says, “Definitely! The year we did it with my daughter was the year they were picking families to do special things in the park. We came out of Cinderella’s castle and were picked to walk in the parade. We got to march down Main Street with her in her Belle dress and hair and makeup done waving to everyone! Magical!”

Read: Fabulous Gifts For A Disney Princess? Where To Find Inexpensive Silver Jewelry

Kim Merlo's adorable little Princess Jasmine

Kim’s adorable little Princess Jasmine

Make Your Plans to Go…Again

Khara, “I can’t wait to do it with my daughter… she’ll finally be old enough on our next trip. The past three trips, I’ve bought tiaras, a bun hairpiece, princess gown pajamas, light-up shoes from the Disney Store, and spray glitter. We had our own BBB in the room! Didn’t break the bank and she could dress up every day! I’ll still bring down her princess stuff even if we do BBB.”

Kimberly is already making plans to go again, “It’s so worth it. My 5-year-old daughter did it last year and became the Little Mermaid bride. This year we are going back, and she wants to be Cinderella. She is so excited to do it again!”

Kathleen, “We will be going there for the third time this summer. My daughter will be twelve when we go and she is soooo excited. They do such a great job, and the photo pass person during takes awesome pics (as well as the ones I take). This is a present from my parents, her aunt, and us, so we are able to go all out and do the photo session too. The pictures are just gorgeous. We go to Magic Kingdom when we are done and she is loves being all dressed up like a princess.”

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

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Not So Into The Whole Idea

There are those Disney fans that are not so into the idea of splurging for the Boutique.

Kim tells us, “Those slicked back hairdos are awful looking!

Annette laments, “I have two boys. They don’t like to be pirates, but they deserve to have that kind of experience too. I feel the boys get left out. They deserve to feel special too!!!”

Khara, who is gearing up to take her daughter, has a suggestion for Annette. “Your boys can do a “Knight’s Package” at BBB!  My friend’s son did it and LOVED it. They get a sword and shield and get their hair spiked and colored. I actually saw a dad and his daughter… dad did the knight’s package and daughter did the princess one… sooo adorable!”

Candace votes no. “I say no. Not for the price. It’s worth it for the wow princess factor, so yes, if money is no object. But please don’t let them do the colored hair extensions. It’s not cute. LoL”

Marisa also concurs with a no vote. “No. Three kids equals mommy and daddy completely broke! Two daughters at Bibbidy Boutique and then my son doing Pirates League. Geesh. They make enough money off of us in that park.

Read: Life Lessons With a Disney Spin: Learning Financial Responsibility in a WDW Gift Shop

being a Princess at Disney World, become a Princess, become a Disney Princess,

Tips from the Cheapskate Princess Fans

What suggestions do the Cheapskate Princess fans have for those of you as of yet undecided to spend the money?

Buy your dress and accessories ahead of time

Tara says, “We purchased our favorite princess dress on Amazon before arriving and brought it with us. That really saved on the cost. When at BBB we only paid for the hair/make-up package and it was totally worth it. They absolutely spoil the girls, and my daughter felt so special. The treatment, the photos, and the trip over to the photo studio, which was FREE, thrilled her. Those were some of the best pictures. We scheduled her appointment right before dinner at Cinderella’s castle, and it added so much magic to that experience. It’s a must-do in our opinion, and we’d probably even do it again.”

Be a Disney PrincessDisney Dad Bill says, “Absolutely worth it. Bring your own dress and extras to save money on the add -ons.

Last christmas, on the way out of BBB walking down Main Street just ahead of a parade, a girl asked my DD for her autograph.

Without hesitation my DD signed her autograph book and the Photopass photographer caught it. All made possible by BBB.”

That’s Bill’s daughter featured at the top of the page at the Magic Kingdom, and here she is signing autographs.

Disney princess signs autographs


Kids can help out with the cost

Angie tells us, “The year we went, my daughter asked for Disney gift cards so that she could do it. Of course, we also helped her so that she could do the whole experience. She was five at the time and loved every minute of it. She kept saying, ‘I love being a princess!!'”

Make reservations during cooler weather

Rachel reports on the difference between the locations, “Disney Springs has more room to wait in than Magic Kingdom. They both accept walk-ins; can you imagine in the Magic Kingdom, all the people just waiting for an open spot?  I think if you do it once, it is worth it. We took our daughters for their first trip to WDW, and we did this for them. They were very uncomfortable since it was July 2nd. It was very hot and their hair was tight, but the LOVED the attention…”

Life Lessons with a Disney Spin; Why Kids Need a Vacation Budget

Jenny Eubanks and her precious Disney Princess Ashley

Jenny Eubanks and her precious Disney Princess Ashley

Maybe it’s not an “every trip” experience, but try it once

Dawn says, “It is definitely worth doing once. It’s a once in a lifetime, memory-filled experience. And the Cast Members totally play into it. One fun time was while waiting for Spectromagic, a Cast Member seemed thrilled to be in the presence of the Princesses, and she asked for their autographs.  She fawned all over them. Soooo fun!”

I’m going to side with Stephanie who said, “Glad I have two boys. Lol!” I have three pre-teens, and I am pretty grateful every trip that we didn’t drag costumes and make up to the parks with us. Arriving with diapers and fresh undies was tough enough some trips when they were still into watching Disney Movies on the eight-hour ride to Orlando. I won’t go into details about the trip I left all my daughter’s clothes sitting on the upstairs couch, necessitating a new Wal-mart wardrobe just outside Orlando. I can’t imagine buying Disney Pirate and Princess costumes, and then paying for hair and make-up.”

So cheapskates, what do you think? Is the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique worth scrimping and saving for tickets and then the extra splurge for the pleasure of seeing your little princess or pirate transform into a Disney creation right before your eyes?

Read: 6 Reasons to Schedule a Haircut at the Harmony Barber Shop at Disney’s Magic Kingdom

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you booking your princess an experience she’ll never forget, or doing her hair yourself, whatever works for your budget!

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


Amanda, 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