Disney Extravagances I Can’t Afford: Princess Dresses at the Grand Floridian Resort

I know Disney vacations are expensive, but every now and then the cost of some souvenirs shock even me. Get ready for the most fabulous princesses dresses I have ever seen, even if I can’t afford them… [Read more…]

Disney World Extravagance: Helzberg’s Enchanted by Disney Jewelry Line


Updated for 2018!

If you can find some room in your Disney vacation budget to bring home a nice souvenir, jewelry is often great choice. Prices can range from $10 to over $4,000, both in the on-property gift shops and online at the Disney Store. If you spend a lot of time in the parks, you will notice that the same jewelry will hang around for sale for years. Let’s take a look at something different from the usual gift shop merchandise, and you won’t even have to set foot in a park to make a purchase.

While this article was written in 2016, nearly all of these same designs are still sold on the Helberg website, some priced more and some actually priced less. We have the website for you at the bottom of the article, for after you’ve finished browsing the product.

Helzberg Jewelry opened their first store in Kansas City in 1915. They are one of the oldest jewelry chains in America, and they have a brand new line of Disney inspired jewelry designs. We’ll take a look at some of their new designs priced from $49.99 to $1299.

Read: Fabulous Disney-Inspired Wedding Rings, Perfect for a Disney Princess!

[Read more…]

Cheapskate Princess Extravagance: Star Wars Dooney & Bourke Handbags

Star Wars Zip Shopper by Dooney & BourkeUpdated for 2018!

Quality handbag fans always get excited over the announcement of a new line of Disney-inspired Dooney & Bourke handbags. People absolutely flipped for Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie, and what better way to show your love for all things Disney and Star Wars than by sporting around Star Wars themed handbags by Dooney & Bourke

When you save up money for a large purchase that isn’t a necessity for your life or vacation, we call that an extravagance. So check out these prices and decide if you think these new designs are just what you need for your next Disney Parks souvenir purchase.

While these styles are no longer for sale in 2018, you can get an idea regarding how much you’ll pay for Dooney and Bourke Handbags. And if you are heart broken you will be unable to make a purchase, I would definitely try eBay to see if someone has a gently used version for sale.  [Read more…]

Looking for Vintage Disney Items? Try Theme Park Connection

Theme Park Connection directions

**Update for June 2017**    Be sure to call the number listed before you make a drive over. Rumor has it they closed their physical location in favor of an Internet business.

**As of July 2017, their website no longer worked, plus their eBay Store and e-commerce store Internet links no longer worked. 

They were a pretty interesting store that seems to be no more. While you are here, you might as well look at the pictures. On the right side of this page, you’ll find links to some of our most popular articles. Thanks for stopping by…~A.

I don’t remember where I first ran across the store called Theme Park Connection, but I strongly suspect it was on Facebook. After scanning through store photos, I was giddy at the idea of looking back in time at old vintage merchandise that was for sale to the general public.  If you are not familiar with the name of this business, Theme Park Connection is an Orlando area store that sells specialty vintage Disney items. The company goal is “to inspire an emotional, memory or passion for store guests by providing unique Disney items and the best in customer service.” Since 1995, Theme Park Connections has sold over 500,000 Disney related items. [Read more…]

1st Trip To Disney? Seven Ways MagicBands Can Improve Your Vacation

are personalized Disney Magicbands worth the price

Updated for 2018!

Back in January of 2013, Tom Staggs, Chairman of the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, described how the Disney Company would be rolling out a collection of tools at the Walt Disney World Resort called MyMagic+, providing guests with more opportunities to customize and personalize their entire visit. MyMagic+ would allow guests to book guaranteed ride times for their favorite shows and attractions even before setting foot in the parks. MyMagic+ was designed to enable guests to spend more time together, thereby creating a more enjoyable experience for everyone.

Staggs said, “Linking the entire MyMagic+ experience together is an innovative piece of technology we developed called the MagicBand.” [Read more…]

Disney Dooneys Too Pricey? Disney World Handbags Under $40

Dooney & Bourke handbag

This article was published back in 2013. Some of these handbags may not be available in 2017, although some are still sold on property.

A Cheapskate Princess current with fashion trends knows a Dooney and Bourke handbag is the height of Disney Princess fashion. Other than gold jewelry, there aren’t too many Disney souvenirs I can think of that are more pricey than a D&B purse. The majority of Dooney and Bourke handbag owners say they are very happy with almost every aspect of their Dooney handbag, from quality down to every day appeal.

What seems to hold most princesses back from purchasing a Disney Dooney is the cost. Have you seen the prices on Dooney and B0urke handbags this year? Use this link and then check back here.

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

Dooney & Bourke logo

We’re not all prepared to drop $100 to over $300 on a vacation-themed purse. What sort of options does that leave us with if we don’t want to kill our vacation budget but still be able to wear our love for Disney on our arm?

Priced at a quite reasonable $34.95, the Disney Parks are offering several options for Disney Princess fashion at a Cheapskate Princess price.

This red Minnie Mouse handbag features her classic red, black and white theme with an image and Minnie’s signature. $34.95.

Minnie Mouse Disney World purse

Can You Afford Disney’s New Dooney & Bourke “Rainbow Letter Collection?” Grab Your Disney Visa…

This black handbag rings in at $34.95, with Minnie’s name featured prominently and her trademark red (satin in this case) bow fastened to the side.

Minnie Mouse handbag

This white handbag features both Minnie and Mickey Mouse and Pluto in what I call the “old cartoon style.” $34.95

Disney Princess, cheapskate vacation

Read: Move Over Disney Dooney & Bourke…Make Way for the Disney Vera Bradley!

And our last bag in this style, also ringing up at just $34.95, has Bambi, Dumbo, the Disney logo, plus Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse’s signatures. This is the most colorful handbag of the bunch.

Disney purse

While these handbags were photographed at BVG (Bay View Gifts) at the Contemporary Resort, you can find them throughout the parks and resort gift shops.

Want to show the gals at work or PTA meetings your love for a Disney vacation without sacrificing a mortgage payment?  These handbags may be just what you need. You’ll have to pick them up on property though, because they do not appear to be available at the Disney Store.  If you would like to see the bags they do have available online, use this link. 

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

Amanda Major Cheapskate Princess


Disney’s Cheapskate Princess


Mike Ellis

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.






1st Trip to Disney World? Should You Buy Souvenirs Before Your Vacation?

where to buy Disney World souvenirs in Orlando

Updated for 2018!

What two things keep me from saving money on a Disney vacation? Food and souvenirs. I can save money on accommodations, be it staying off property or waiting for a super sale, you know, the kind advertised on television right now where you can save up to 30% on select WDW resorts. I could save money on food if we could travel during the Free Disney Dining promotions, but we can never seem to get away during the golden days of free food. I can also bring my own meals and snacks into the parks, and that saves a great deal of money, even if it’s not as fun as eating a counter service meal at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe.

But souvenirs?

[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…]

Christmas at Disney World: Would You Spend up to $30 for a Christmas Ornament?

Mickey Mouse christmas ornament, Mickey Mouse snow man, Mickey Mouse Club, Christmas ornaments

Updated for 2017!

Souvenirs seems to take on an extra special sparkle during the Christmas holidays at Disney World. T-shirts, hats, coffee mugs, and rows upon rows of Christmas decorations. We put our Christmas tree up about November 1st every year, so I keep Christmas on the brain. But nothing good comes cheap these days, and with the retail cost of Disney holiday ornaments ranging from $10 to $30, I often wonder if this piece of merchandise is worth the expense.

Would a cheapskate pay up to thirty bucks for a Christmas decoration you will enjoy less than probably 1/12 of the year?

Read: The 5 Worst Times to Vacation at Walt Disney World?

fancy Christmas decorations, fancy ornaments, Disney ornaments, Disney Christmas ornaments

We went to the Cheapskate Princess fans on Facebook to see what they thought about buying Disney Christmas decorations.

Yes, it’s worth it.

Tonya,In 2005, we took our boys to Disney World for their first trip.  Zach was into Woody and Ryan was all about Buzz.  My parents bought each of them a Toy Story ornament with their names painted on the backs.  My boys are teenagers now, yet those ornaments are their favorite to hang on the tree still.”

Kelly-Ann, “No matter what time of year we go to Disney we always get an ornament. I love hanging them on our Christmas tree and remembering how much fun we had. They are worth the money in my opinion.”

Lauren, “I keep my ornaments year after year, so I look at it as an investment. I still have my honeymoon ornament from almost 10 years ago and many others.”

Read: Understanding Disney Park Closure Phases: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

Tinkerbell ornament, Tinker bell Christmas,

Dana, “They do have wonderful ornaments this year. I love quite a few of them. But my favorites are the storybook ones that are priced around $10 each. And I think that is affordable for just how cute they are!!!!”

Carrie, “Every year we get out our special $25.99 ornament, and we smile and laugh and remember an incredible trip. Worth every cent.”

Sara, “We started a tradition our first year.  We buy one ornament in the Mickey ear shape and get it personalized with the year on it.  That way every year when we put up the Christmas tree, we can remember each year that we went and relive them.  Love it!”

Read: Are You Crazy Enough to Go to World Disney World at Christmas?

Mickey Mouse as Santa, Mickey Mouse dressed as Santa, Mickey Mouse Santa, Santa, Disney Santa,

No, it’s a bit pricey.

Ashley“I’ve always wanted to buy an ornament but the price really has kept me from doing so up to this point.  I still plan on getting one, but I’m still waiting to find the special one that I won’t mind dropping that much money on!”

Charlotte“I think ornaments are beautiful, but I can’t see spending that for them. I would want more than one for more impact and just can’t see spending so much for ornaments when there are smarter places to spend that kind of money this time of year. If it was after Christmas and I could find them on clearance for under $10, then maybe I would consider it.”

Looks like I fall under the no votes. As you can see by my photos, I love Disney Christmas decorations. I would readily admit they are quality items, and for what you get, they are probably worth what they charge. Unless you drop it. My non-coffee drinking son dropped his just-purchased coffee mug last summer as we loaded the car to come home from Disney. He then announced purchasing anything glass was definitely not worth the money. I have two metal ornaments, not even featured in my photographs, and both were purchased full price at $12.99 in 2012 prices. Those same ornaments are now $17.99 each.

I haven’t found one for more than that amount that I just had to have, so strangers stare at me while I photograph ornaments I never purchase.

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

Walt Disney World Christmas ornament, Christmas at Disney, what to buy at Disney at Christmas

Find a sale.

Maybe what I need to convince me is a sale! All Cheapskate Princesses love a sale.

Kristie, “I love them but wait ’til they’re on clearance after Christmas to expand my collection!

Tom pointed out that you can find sales online, in fact, the Disney Store has sales going on all the time, and shopping on eBay can result in fantastic savings.

Dianna, “We got a few at the Disney store (at the mall, not at Disney) I don’t think they were that much, on sale I think.”

Gretchen, “I got some on clearance online from the Disney Store for super cheap when they had an extra percentage off a while back. They are plain Mickey glass balls. I’m going to personalize them with our names and the year.  Since I got a set of four for about $10 it’s quite a bargain!

Read: It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! Photos of WDW during the Christmas Holidays

Santa Christmas Ornament, Santa ornaments, Disney Santa ornaments, Santa, Disney Moms at Christmas

Find another store.

Jay is shopping non-Disney Stores. “While I love them – check out Target. They usually have Mickey shaped ornaments much cheaper than the theme parks.”

Check out this suggestion from Jarett, “If you visit any of the character warehouse stores, (I know there are two in south Florida, and at least two in Orlando) you can find them much cheaper. Not as big of a selection but always at least 10-20 to choose from. I just bought two for $5, and another for $10!”

So it looks like purchasing pricey Disney Christmas ornaments for some people are an investment in memories, the commemoration of special holidays and happy times.

And for others, paying full price on the spot is definitely out of the question, with the search for a bargain being front and center, regardless of when and where it was purchased.

Read: Where to Find FREE Disney World Theme Parks Christmas Music

Mickey Minnie Mouse Christmas, Mickey Minnie ornament

And if you want to pop over to the Disney Store online to their Ornament Section, just use this link. There are three pages of ornaments, just calling your name, but maybe you better leave your Disney Visa card in the other room, with someone financially responsible.

Disney Christmas decoration prices

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you checking prices, wondering how soon is TOO SOON to put up a Christmas tree!

In my opinion, it’s never too soon. We’ve had Christmas trees in our dining room for years now, covered in…key chains. You can read about it here:

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

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.