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

Black and white Mickey Mouse doll, colored Mickey dolls, Mickey Mouse toys, Disney princess toys, toys kids like, what do kids buy at Disney

Updated for 2017!

Taking the family off on vacation to Disney World can be more difficult than just securing the financing. You haul everybody off to Orlando for fun, maybe a little relaxation, and some family bonding. But people don’t always cooperate with the best made plans, even if you made them months out from your travel date.  Have you ever watched kids at Disney?

Let’s lump them into four categories: excited, tired, tantruming, and sound asleep.  [Read more…]

Disney World Vacation Souvenirs: Sterling Silver Charms

silver charm bracelet, silver jewelry, sterling silver, sterling silver charms, sterling silver jewelry, Disney sterling silver

Updated for 2017!

Lots of people have started Disney collections after taking a vacation to Orlando. I have several actually, ranging from resin picture frames to key chains, but my favorite collection of all time is my sterling silver Disney charm bracelets. If you have a Disney fan in your family, (wife, daughter, girlfriend, mother, etc.) then charms are the item I would suggest you buy your Disney Princess to start or add to a collection. [Read more…]

Three Tips for Surviving Disney World at Christmas with Kids

Survival guide for Christmas at Disney World

Updated for 2017!

Debates occur weekly as to when is the best time to visit Walt Disney World. I am a public high school teacher, so it’s hard for me to play hookey and travel to Orlando while school is in session. If you have ever seen Disney during the Christmas holiday season, then you know why this is a favorite among Disney vacationers. Carols really do fill the air, festive lights are twinkling, and you can almost feel Santa’s impending arrival just by touching any of the thousands of Disney holiday merchandising items. There’s even “snow” on Magic Kingdom’s Main Street on special nights. [Read more…]

The Ultimate Disney World Souvenir? The Mickey Mouse Doll!

Mickey Mouse doll origins

Updated for 2017!

I remember two specific merchandising items from my days spent in the 70s and 80s in the Disney theme parks: the Mickey Mouse ears hat and the Mickey Mouse doll. I wanted both so much, I could hardly stand it. We’ve all stood in Disney World gift shop after gift shop lined with plush Mickey dolls, but have you ever stopped to wonder how these dolls originally came to be?

Read: A Whole Bunch of Tips For a Better Disney Trip!

Mickey Mouse is a cartoon character developed in 1928 by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks at the Walt Disney Studio.  Mickey usually appears in red shorts, white gloves, and yellow shoes. He has become one of the most recognizable cartoon characters ever created. Starting in 1930, kids were able to take a little bit of Mickey love home with them.

A website called skooldays.com reports that Charlotte Clark designed the first stuffed Mickey doll that year, and the first Mickey Mouse Book took him into the publishing world around the same time.

Charlotte Clark dolls

Wikipedia reports Charlotte Clark obtained permission from the Disney Studio to re-produce Mickey Mouse, and soon the dolls began appearing in Los Angeles stores. When the demand for dolls exceeded her production ability, Clark designed sewing patterns so that customers could make their own dolls at home.

Can you imagine buying a pattern to sew your own Disney dolls today?

Walt and Roy Disney were apparently so pleased with Charlotte’s Mickey Mouse doll that they rented a building on Hyperion Avenue near the studio, which they titled “the Doll House.” Here Charlotte and six other seamstresses produced 300 to 400 dolls per week, with these first production dolls rubber stamp on the underside of the doll’s foot: “Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Design Patent Applied For.”

Read: What to Do with All Those Disney World Key Chains? Put Them on a Tree!

history of Mickey Mouse dolls

Wikipedia further tells us that Charlotte Clark continued to hand craft dolls personally for Disney, which he have away as gifts to friends, family and business contacts. These dolls often included a personalized embroidered label that reads, “A Charlotte Clark creation made especially for Walt Disney, copyright W.D.Productions.”

Charlotte Clark Mickey Mouse dolls

The first dolls created, Mickey, Donald, and Pluto, were eight to ten inches in height. Charlotte also produced other prototype dolls for Walt Disney including a 16 inch Pinoccio doll in 1939. All these dolls showcase Charlotte’s signature sewing craftsmanship, labels, original patterns.

Materials for these early dolls included a cotton fabric face with felt sculptured shapes, a black floss embroidery mouth and facial expressions. Oilcloth pie-cut eyes were applied, as were tiny buttons, pin-stripped miniature corduroy clothes, cotton- felt hands, feet or shoes, silk-satin embellishments and hand-sewn seams.

How much money has Mickey earned for Disney through the years? Billions, so much in fact, that schooldays.com reminds us the term “Disneyana” was coined just to describe the massive amounts of Mickey and Disney merchandise that have been purchased since the 30s.

 Read: Why Mickey Mouse is a Modern Symbol of Financial Success

Modern Micket Mouse dolls at Disney World

What are the 2017 going rates for Mickey Mouse dolls for sale in the mass of fantastic stores at Walt Disney World? Remember prices change without notice, but here are a price samples to base your souvenir budgets on.

9 inch mini Mickey bean bag $9.95

12 inch Mickey $14.95

18 inch Mickey $19.95

27 inch Mickey doll $39.95

Read – Life Lessons with a Disney Twist: Teach Kids to Save Their Money

cost of Mickey and Minnie dolls at Disney World

Souvenirs are a big part of vacations these days, and now you know what’s a big favorite, featured in gift shops throughout Disney property.

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

Amanda Major Cheapskate Princess

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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.

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1st Trip to Disney? Avoid These 10 Mistakes!

have a great Disney World vacation

Updated for 2018!

Vacations are designed to whisk you away from reality and give you a break from the ho-hum of every day. A trip to Disney World is very pricey, and if you are not one of the lucky ones who make multiple trips each year, then you are saving and planning for your next your trip for what could be years. Or perhaps it just feels like years. If you make all these plans and pay all this money, how could you possibly screw it up?

Easy.

People do it all the time. [Read more…]

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

teach kids to appreciate nice things you do for them

Updated for 2017!

If you’re planning a vacation, it will probably be one of the more expensive things you budget for throughout the year. Some people plan and save for Disney vacations literally for years, weighing accommodation options, scheduling the entire trip around Free Dining, etc.  Not everyone stays in a Deluxe Disney Resort, because not everyone can afford it. If you are sweating over the money it will take to get to Orlando, then chances are, you are probably on a tight budget that may barely include Value Resort accommodations. [Read more…]

Mickey Mouse: Today’s Modern Symbol of Financial Success

Mickey Mouse, history of Mickey Mouse, Walt Disney and Mickey, how Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse, Mickey Mouse movies, Mickey Mouse cartoons, why Walt Disney drew Mickey

Updated for 2017!

Most people familiar with the success of Walt Disney will recognize one of his most famous quotes, “I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing – that it was all started with a mouse.” Let’s take a Cheapskate Princess look at the history of Mickey and see how he has become a symbol of financial independence and success over 100 years after Walt Disney was born.

Read: 10 Cheapskate Reasons to Vacation on Disney Property

Mickey Mouse character, Mickey Mouse at the Magic Kingdom, Mickey Mouse philosophy, Mickey Mouse quotes

Mickey Mouse

Mickey Mouse is a cartoon character developed in 1928 by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks at the Walt Disney Studio.  Mickey usually appears in red shorts, white gloves, and yellow shoes. He has become one of the most recognizable cartoon characters ever created.

Mickey debuted in November 1928 in the cartoon Steamboat Willie after he appeared in a test screening earlier that year. He went on to appear in over 130 films including some of the most well-known titles like The Band Concert, Brave Little Tailor, and Fantasia. Nine Mickey Mouse cartoons were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, with the film Lend A Paw winning the award in 1942. Mickey Mouse became the first cartoon character to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1978.

Beginning in 1930, Mickey was featured as a comic strip character. His self-titled newspaper strip, which ran for 45 years, was drawn primarily by Floyd Gottfredson. Mickey appeared in comic books, and he had a television series from 1955 to 1996 called The Mickey Mouse Club. He now appears in video games, tons of merchandising, and you can meet him “in person” at the Disney theme parks.

Read: Life Lessons with a Disney Twist: Teach Kids to Save Their Money

Mickey Christmas Ornament, Disney Christmas Ornament, Mickey Christmas, Disney Christmas

Mickey Mouse monorail playset

Walt Disney said of his most popular character, “Mickey Mouse is, to me, a symbol of independence. He was a means to an end. He popped out of my mind onto  a drawing twenty years ago on a train ride to Manhattan to Hollywood at a time when business fortunes of my brother Roy and myself were at lowest ebb and disaster seemed right around the corner. Born of necessity, the little fellow literally freed us of immediate worry. He provided the means for expanding our organization to its present dimensions and for extending the medium of cartoon animation toward new entertainment levels.”

So in 1930, Mickey turned out to be a symbol of independence for Walt Disney, his family, and the people who worked both with and for him. And today, visiting “the House of Mouse,” “the House that Mickey Built,” in sunny Orlando is easily now a sign of independence and financial success for thousands of people world-wide every year.

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

Mickey Mouse balloon, Mickey souvenirs, Disney balloons, Mickey Mouse photo, Disney's Mickey Mouse

Think about the people who can afford Disney vacations. While many have saved for months, some saving for years, to make it to Disney, just taking a vacation in Orlando is a symbol of financial independence. You have made it to the place many people only dream of visiting, and that’s a real accomplishment given the cost.  Taking a Disney vacation is a sign that you are financially successful, even if you have to pay off part of that vacation on your Disney Visa when you return from vacation. You went to Disney; you’ve made it. You are successful.

For many American families, a trip to Walt Disney World has become known as “a childhood rite of passage.” That rite of passage comes with a pretty steep price, and it seems to get more expensive every year. The face of that passage? Mickey Mouse, of course. You’ll probably see his face when you look at your Disney Visa card.

Mickey t-shirt, the Disney Moms, Disney Princess shirt, Disney World shirt

What’s the problem with “making it” to Orlando? Well, you’ll want to go back…

Keep reading Cheapskate Princess, because we want to help you get there without spending a fortune. You’ll need to buy a t-shirt while you’re there, because your shirt – along with the selfie you post on the Internet of you wearing it- is the physical symbol of your success, like a trophy…

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

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you, standing independently in line for Space Mountain. If you’ve ever checked your credit card balance on your cell phone in line at a Disney theme park, you just might be a Cheapskate Princess!

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.

 

 

Enjoy reading Cheapskate Princess articles? Here is the best way to make sure you keep up with all the cheapskating Disney news. Over on the right side of this page, the right side of any Cheapskate Princess article, and you will find this box.

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Simply type your e-mail address in the blue box, and you will then receive a confirmation e-mail. Once you confirm your e-mail subscription, several times a week, Cheapskate Princess articles will appear in your e-mail in-box, just like Disney magic, and it’s totally free to sign up.

You don’t have to be a cheapskate to know that…is a real bargain.

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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…]

Disney Vacation Must Do: Shop at Disney Springs’ Basin

Mickey Mouse soap, where to you buy Mickey Mouse soap, how much is Mickey Mouse soap, Mickey Mouse, Mickey mouse shapes, I love Disney soap, why I love Disney soap

Updated for 2017!

If you ever cut a bar of soap in three pieces to make it last a few weeks longer, then you just might be a Cheapskate Princess! Some of my favorite “free items” to bring home from a Disney vacation are the free H2O soaps from the Disney Resorts. Ok, I paid for them with the cost of my room, but they feel free, and who doesn’t like free?

Just where is a Disney Princess to go when she wants to pay for soap with a Disney theme? While you are shopping in the amazing newly remodeled Disney Springs, make a stop at a store called Basin. They also have a location called Basin White at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. [Read more…]

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

kids at Disney World, favorite child, do you have a favorite child?, pick a favorite child, take a child to Disney World

Updated for 2017!

Did you hear the story about the dad who blogged about having a favorite child?  Today Moms’ editor Rebecca Dube blogged about it here. It seems a dad announced on his blog how he definitely had a favorite child between his two sons. While he hasn’t specifically told his kids he has this chosen favorite, he announced it to the world through his blog. This guy couldn’t understand why there was such a controversy surrounding his decision to publish this personal information. He told  his critics, “they must be ‘perfect’ parents.” Other writers chimed in to say that lots of parents have favorites, but you shouldn’t actually say that out loud.

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

Growing up, both my parents had an obvious favorite among their three children, the irony being they both favored the exact same child. He easily knew he was the golden child; we actually nicknamed him “the Lamb” or “Lambie-pie,” because my dad frequently referred to my brother as “my lamb.” Probably like every kid growing up as the un-favored sibling, I swore that would never be my parenting style.

Yet with Disney forever on the brain, I had to ask myself, being honest deep within, did I have a favored Disney vacation child? Was there one kid I enjoyed spending time with more than the others?

Duh, like I’m going to announce that!

What I needed was a contest to decide the favorite. I needed a contest winner.

Read: Life Lessons with a Disney Twist: Teach Kids to Save Their Money

I immediately went and asked all three of my kids whom I should choose as my favorite Disney child. “I need to decide who is my favorite Disney kid on vacation. I need a favorite kid to hang with. Why should I pick you?”

Here are the candidates.

  • 5th grade son, child #3.
  • 7th grade son, child #2.
  • 9th grade daughter, child #1.

My 5th grade son talks about Disney just about every day. He helps me plan our days, saves his money for the trips all year ’round, and offered to buy my breakfast at Chef Mickey’s for my Christmas present. Looking out the window of the car, he has been known to say, ”Mom, I miss Disney.”

My 7th grade son loves Disney roller coasters, offers me samples of the snacks he buys with his own allowance, and will not turn down late night adventures at the parks no mater how much his feet hurt. This kid went to bed every night when he was five saying, ”When I wake up, I want to go to Disney World and ride the monorail.”

My 9th grade daughter likes to look in gift shops with me, is the first one dressed and ready to head back into the Magic Kingdom at night, and insists we skip all rides to watch the Magic, Memories, and You! show that was formerly displayed on Cinderella Castle right before and after Wishes. She can walk for Disney miles without complaining.

Let the “Pick Me!” arguing commence to determine the winner.

Read: Can a Disney Princesses Afford a Vacation at WDW’s Bay Lake Tower Resort?

5th grade son, child #3, said he truly appreciated being at Disney (way more than the other two, he unhesitatingly pointed out.) He also looked forward to spending time with me all by myself, quality mom-time, he said. He reminded me that one day, he really wants to go to the Magic Kingdom with just me, just he and I hanging out, rather than having everyone else tag along. “Everyone else,” he said, are the family members who don’t appreciate Disney World’s qualities like he does, and they most certainly do not appreciate alone time with me like he does. He made a strong case.

My 9th grade daughter, child #1, was texting when I asked for her sales pitch. By the way, the running joke in my house is that she is already my “favorite daughter.” Now, this particular favoritism is psychologically acceptable, because she is my only daughter, and there is no step mom in the picture. She stopped texting long enough to see me lying on her bed, waiting for her reasons why she should be favored, and she came up with this deep sentiment. “I love when you buy me stuff at Disney.” “That’s it? That’s all you have?” I enquired? “I can’t wait to look at purses with you in November.” She does have good taste in merchandise, and she doesn’t hesitate to tell me when a t-shirt is not for me.

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

Harley Davidson for kids, kid on a motorcycle

7th grade son, child #2 immediately asked about the answers from his competition. “What were their answers?!” he inquired. “Cheater,” I declared. He said that he was always willing to go anywhere with me when the other kids were too tired. I can never relax on vacation in Orlando,with my ADD motored revved up to Main Street cotton candy overdrive. He was there for me, he stated for the record, so he was my partner in Disney crime. Point well taken.

The beauty of my children is that five minutes after I talked to them, they forgot I had even asked. Not one kid came to find out who won, which told me I must be doing Ok on not actually playing favorites. There are no “lambs” in this Disney home.

And the winner is? Me, of course, for I am truly the actual winner as the mother of  kids who love visiting Disney with me, and how cool is that?!

So, do you have a favorite Disney child, and would you ever admit it?

Read: Avoid These 10 Mistakes That Can Wreck a Disney World Vacation

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you, walking through the park with the kids…

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.

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Making Your Own Disney World T-Shirts: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

Mickey Mouse Premium Ice Cream bar shirt, ice cream bars, Disney ice cream bars, Disney World ice cream bar t-shirts

Updated for 2017!

There’s probably not a Disney World t-shirt I haven’t given a look-over, held the fabric between my fingers, and pondered if there was enough cash in my vacation budget to bring it home. Some I liked more than others, but it seems for a few minutes, I liked them all. What can you do if the money just isn’t there to but your family Disney shirts that start at around $20 and sometimes soar over $40? How about make your own! [Read more…]

Life Lessons with a Disney Twist: Teach Kids to Save Their Money

Updated for 2018!

If it seems like it’s been forever since you started saving money for your family’s vacation to Disney, then you just might be a Cheapskate Princess. It’s no secret that Disney World vacations are really expensive, but they can also provide an excellent opportunity to teach your child life skills before, during, and after the vacation.

Money. Mullah. Cash. Greenbacks. Dap. Cha-ching! [Read more…]