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?

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

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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

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

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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…]

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…]

What Can Make You Sick in a Disney World Hotel Room?

Updated for 2018!

With the occupancy rate sky high these days in Disney Resort hotels, people are in and out of those rooms like you wouldn’t believe. Chances are, they brought with them as many germs as they did items of luggage. How can you protect yourself and your family from bringing home a cold or the flu? [Read more…]

Visiting Animal Kingdom at Night? Be Sure to Catch the Harambe Wildlife Parti!

Updated for 2018!

If you are visiting Animal Kingdom after sundown, be sure to catch the Harambe Wildlife Parti. This safari after-party fills Harambe, which is an African village located within Disney’s Animal Kingdom park, featuring a beautiful theatre district and a hopping marketplace. Busy during the day with local street musicians and entertainment, at night, it’s time to get ready for a parti! [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!

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When You Take a Fitbit To Disney

lose weight on a Disney vacation
Updated for 2017!
One of the best parts about a Disney vacation is enjoying the food and snacks, but sometimes it’s tough to abandon established workout regimens and daily food goals you’ve been working on maintaining for month, sometimes years. Can you continue healthy eating and exercising on vacation and still relax and have fun? Like aren’t exercise and vacation opposite concepts?! Will you come home from trying to stay in good shape on your trip with regrets you’ve missed out on fun and Disney FOOD?!
America is not a nation in great shape. Niddk.nih.gov reports that more than one-third of adults are considered to be obese. About one-third of children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are considered to be overweight or obese. More than 1 in 6 children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are considered to be obese. Livestrong.com cites Boston Medical Center information indicating that approximately 45 million Americans diet each year and spend $33 billion on weight-loss products in their efforts to love weight and look better.
If you are one of the millions on a diet and exercise plan this year, your time spent on a vacation is a struggle to return home with more souvenirs than extra pounds. There are unlimited diet plans and weight loss products out there, but the one I took to Disney World on our last trip was a Fitbit.

[Read more…]

Cheapskate Princess Caribbean Beach Resort Guide

caribbean beach resort guide

Walt Disney World’s Caribbean Beach Resort is a large, with over 200 acres surrounding a 45 acre lake called Barefoot Bay. There is a 1.3 mile path around the resort and lake which connects all the villages that is great for jogging or walking. The lake provides sandy beaches for sunbathing with hammocks for relaxing, though swimming is not permitted in the lake.

The Custom House at the main entrance is where guests check-in and acts as the arrival and departure points for guests using Disney’s Magical Express airport service. Bell Services is located here too. Check in time is 3 p.m.; check out time is 11 a.m. [Read more…]

Save Money on Food While Vacationing at the Alabama Beaches? Cook it Yourself!

caribe-lifeOctober 2016

It’s my firm belief that you can find a pretty cheap place to rent at the beach, but saving money on food is still hard to do, especially if you go out to eat on vacation. Locals know where to go that won’t charge you “tourist prices,” but food is still pretty expensive anywhere. Our family has found that when you travel 40 minutes down the road for a beach stay, you can save money by cooking some of your own meals.

Read: Need to Entertain Teens at the Beach? Take ’em Fishing!

You will need to do some prep work. Cooking for yourself is never as easy as pulling up to a restaurant and placing your order.

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grill-at-the-beach

Caribe the Resort in particular, located in Orange Beach, Alabama, has some nice grills with a fantastic view. Cooking burgers in your backyard isn’t all that exciting, but check out this scenery…

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Caribe has a nice gazebo where you can sit if you are not the one doing the grilling. I dot some work done while I waited for my dinner.

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I also took some walks while the grilling took place. This sure doesn’t look like walking around my neighborhood.

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Read: 2016 Beach Princess: Condo Rental at The Wharf in Orange Beach, Alabama

The results of cooking your own meals can be both yummy and less expensive than dining out.


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Now some of the food you purchase at the grocery store can be expensive, like a $10 steak, but that steak will cost you $30 in local restaurants, so it’s still a savings.

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While I think it’s nice to go out to eat on vacation, you just can’t get a view like this in most restaurants, so who leave the condo?

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There are so many places to stay in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach in Alabama. Getting quotes from multiple rental sources can help you find a lower price, and cooking your own food can save your group some money. You’ll come home rested and relaxed, and that’s usually when I start thinking about heading to Orlando, where I come home sore from walking and ready for a trip to the beach again…

 

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.

Cheapskate Princess Extravagance: Disney Parks Icons Handbags by Dooney & Bourke

Updated for 2018!

There sure were some cute Disney Dooneys being released in 2017, although cute and cheap are obviously two different things. Paying hundreds of dollars for purses is certainly no cheapskate move. But Dooney & Bourke handbags are known for their excellent quality, so a purchase on this level can be an investment that will last indefinitely.

Do you buy a $35 t-shirt with a lifespan of five years or more, or do you splurge on an extravagant leather handbag that could last until your retirement? Disney certainly has a lot to tempt you with in every price range imaginable…

Check out the Disney Parks Icons collection, which was still being sold as of September 2018.

[Read more…]