Pros and Cons of Staying at a Disney Resort: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

pros and cons of staying at a Disney Resort

Your family has decided they want to go to Walt Disney World and you are so excited, but then you have to decide if you want to stay at a Walt Disney World Resort or stay off property. A Disney World vacation has so many moving parts, and there are so many decisions to make while planning your vacation.  But don’t worry, because we are here to help you make the important decision on where to stay!

When you take a Walt Disney World vacation, there really isn’t a bad place to stay.

Read: Benefits of Staying at a Disney Resort: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

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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…]

Disney Vacation Must Do: Contempo Cafe at the Contemporary Resort

Disney World Contemporary Resort

Have you ever looked into prices at the Contemporary Resort? Check out these starter prices for 2017:

Prices like that are going to stretch the budget of even the best of us. I joke about how one of these days, I’ll spend the $400 for just one night at the Contemporary so I can say I actually did it. Maybe one day…but to be realistic, it probably will not happen.

Read: Disney World Resort Hopping: A Cheapskate Guide To Free Fun!

But with Disney’s “open resort policy,” the Contemporary is one of the best resorts to visit for that “Disney experience,” even if you are not spending the night. The grounds are beautiful, with the property situated between Bay Lake and The Seven Seas Lagoon, and the resort itself has a 70s Disney retro vibe. This resort opened at the same time as the Magic Kingdom in 1971, and it still has a Disney old-school feel. Which is why visiting this particular Disney resort is a fabulous idea if you are on that limited budget. Walk around for a little while, soak everything in, and grab a bite to eat.

One of my all time favorite places to grab a counter service meal is at the Contempo Cafe. Monorails will zip through the building. There is a famous Mary Blair floor to ceiling mural that was all the rage when the resort opened. This is an amazing place to have a meal with a true “Disney feel,” and the prices are not in the stratosphere like the resort rooms.

Read: Mary Blair: Why You Should Touch the Tile Mural in Disney World’s Contemporary Resort

Hot breakfasts, bakery items, fresh salads, hot and cold sandwiches, flatbreads and pasta entrées are served in the Contempo Cafe. “Grab ’n’ Go” items are also available. Have a cupcake and a chocolate milk, will travel kinda thing…

Let’s take a look at some menu prices.

Breakfast Menu

Read: Vintage Disney Photos – Take a FREE Mental Vacation Back in Time!


cheap meal at Disney's Contemporary Resort

Dinner and Lunch Menu

save money on meals at Disney World


Contemporary Resort

Food prices here are not as bad as you would think, given how much it costs to stay here. For me, that’s even more reason to grab a meal while I’m here.

The Contemporary Resort was the “flag-ship” of the Disney resorts before the Grand Floridian was built. The changes they have made through the years have added to the atmosphere rather than taken away the magic. There are three nice gift shops on one side of the mural, all within site of the monorails. Even if you can’t afford a meal at Chef Mickey’s on the other side of the mural, you’ll be able to hear the fun from your Contempo Cafe seat.

Spend some time just listening to the happy sounds of vacationers going through the building, the sound of the monorail engine as it speeds up and slows down. Watch the sun come through the 14 story windows.  Other than sitting beside the volcano rock water fall at the Polynesian Resort, there may be no better resort location to feel like you are back at Disney as a kid.

I really wanted to stay at the Contemporary when I was in elementary school. Now, knowing how much of my own money it will cost me, I’m rather content to pop in for a cafe meal and a look around.

I am really partial to the Contemporary during Christmas as well.

Read: The Disney World Resort with the Most Fabulous Christmas Decorations? The Award Goes To…

Much to my surprise, when we took a vote with our  Cheapskate Princess Facebook Fans, the Contempo Cafe did not earn a place among fan favorites. So to get other people’s opinion besides mine, see where the fans suggest you go for a great resort meal.

The Top 5.5 Quick Service Disney Resort Restaurants – Chosen by Our Fans!

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

Amanda Major Cheapskate Princess


Disney’s Cheapskate Princess


Mike Ellis

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