Disney for Le$$: $8.95 Hand Sanitizers

best Disney vacation souvenirs

Updated for 2016!

I touch everything on vacation. How better to totally immerse yourself in the experience than by getting your hands a little dirty? The problem with dirty vacation hands is that they harbor nasty germs and viruses. And if you’ve ever traveled with children, you know those touch-feely hands will wind up in their mouths at some point during the day. We have always recommended packing and using hand sanitizer in case you can’t get to a sink to wash your hands with soap. 

Read: Easy Way to Save Time at Disney World? Buy This for One Dollar

 Decorative Disney-themed hand sanitizers are now for sale in the parks and resorts, and they are really adorable. 

cheap Disney World Disneyland souvenirs hand sanitizers

What do you get?

Each hand sanitizer comes with a specially designed one fluid ounce bottle and a key chain split ring with lobster claw clasp.

About 20 hand sanitizers will feature popular Disney characters and iconic locations including Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Anna, Elsa, Sleeping Beauty Castle and Cinderella Castle.

The cost?

Hand sanitizers retail for $8.95 not including tax.

Disney parks hand sanitizers

Read: The Disney World Do-Over: Tips for Planning a Better Vacation

Refills?

Right now, refill bottles will not be offered. As if they read my cheapskate mind, Steven Miller, Disney Merchandise Communications Manager, said, “yet you can refill the bottle with your favorite hand sanitizer once empty.” Hello half used bottles of Bath & Body Works hand sanitizers, I’ll be coming to find you and put you to good use, only this time better dressed. 

The Fine Print

The Disney Parks Blog offered a reminder, “Please note that retails are subject to change without notice.” I took this to mean if they are über popular, the price may go up, which can happen with any product, and there is no guarantee they will be available for any certain amount of time.  

Why Purchase?

Disney merchandise is expensive, and priced at $8.95 including the actual sanitizer, that’s on par with one of my other favorite and  less expensive souvenirs, key chains. These would be great stocking stuffers come Christmas time, excellent souvenirs for neighbors and friends, and a somewhat inexpensive way for you to hold onto that Disney magic after your vacation.

Did I forget hand sanitizer can help prevent you and the kids from getting sick, which can keep your vacation on track?  You pay a lot for vacations, so that may be the best reason of all. 

Disney Star Wars hand Sanitizers souvenirs

Read: Why this $10 Item May Be the Best Disney World Souvenir Ever!

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you touching the stone walls in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and then passing out the hand sanitizer. 

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.

 

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Cheapskate Princess Extravagance: Disney Runway Princess Handbags by Dooney & Bourke

Disney Dooney & Bourke 2015 prices

Updated for 2018!

A fashion show- that’s what vacationing at the Disney parks has become. Your vacation will cost a lot of money, but have you saved any for a souvenir for yourself?  When you want to treat yourself to something nice, splurge on a really special keepsake from a fantastic vacation, where can a Cheapskate Princess spend her money?

Hang onto your wallets, Disney Princesses, while we check out the Runway Princess handbags by Dooney & Bourke. These handbags were released back in 2015, and 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…]

Disney World’s Crystal Palace Restaurant: Is it Worth the Money?

Updated for 2018!

Have you or the kids wanted to dine with Winnie the Pooh and a few of his pals? Crystal Palace is where you’ll find Pooh, Piglet, and Eeyore. [Read more…]

How to Keep Up with Kids at Walt Disney World and Disneyland

help finding kids at Disney parks

Updated for 2018!

Walt Disney World and Disneyland are enormous places often with substantial crowds. Ask any Disney loving mom or dad planning a vacation to either park if they are a little apprehensive about keeping up with the kids, and most likely they’ll tell you there is a little fear. Talking about child safety is not the time to make a helicopter-parent joke, but parents these days like to keep a really close eye on the kids. Every guardian wants to keep their children safe, which on a Disney vacation can mean within eyesight. It’s undoubtedly easy for little feet to wander off, which could just as easily happen with bigger feet.

So we asked our Cheapskate Princess Facebook Fans to tell us how they kept up with their kids on a Disney vacation so that everyone felt safe and secure. We wanted to share their outstanding answers, from vacationers who have been there, done that, and somehow their kids survived to plan another trip! [Read more…]

Over 190 Disney World Tips for Kids!

best tips for kids on a Disney World vacation

Best Disney Tips

If you are planning a Disney vacation that includes children, you will do a lot of just that – planning. We’re here to help. When we published our most popular article, entitled 120 Walt Disney World DO NOTs: Tips From Real People on How NOT to Screw Up a Disney Vacation!, we had no idea it would be read over one million times in less than two years. So introducing…Over 190 Disney World Tips for Kids. Think of this article as our FREE vacation gift to you, because we love free!

Warning: this article is long. But this list may seriously be the ONLY planning guide for Disney World vacations with kids that you may ever need. At least we hope it is!

So don’t feel like you have to read it all at one time, because we’ve organized, categorized, and numbered it for you.  Pinterest pin it, bookmark it, e-mail it to yourself, come back later, or just settle in with a cup of coffee for a nice long read. You’ll thank us later.

And if we forgot YOUR favorite tip, leave us a comment so we can add it in. We have some of the most traveled readers and best informed Facebook fans ever!

tips for a Disney World trip with kids

[Read more…]

Going to Disney? Got Kids? Get ’em Gift Cards!

kids and Disney Gift Cards

Updated for 2016!

While there are many parents out there that don’t set vacation spending limit for their kids, I fall in the group that does. My children sure do wish I gave them unlimited funds! We asked our  Cheapskate Princess Facebook Fans if they put their children on a budget while on a vacation, and although some said they had no budget, many, many of our readers said yes, that their kids definitely had a budget when they traveled to Disney World.

Make Your Own Disney Inspired Picture Frames for Super Cheap!

Ashley is an example of the typical budget-using mom, “Last year our kids were five and nine, and we went to Disney for a week. They got $125 each for the entire week. This included money for any souvenirs including ears, shirts, or toys, as well as expensive candies or souvenir cup/drinks. They both budgeted very well!

But not only did parents say their kids have a budget, they also indicated their children spent money directly from Disney Gift Cards. Our Cheapskate Princess Facebook Fans told us why they suggested children benefit from traveling to Disney using gift cards. 

Gift/Visa Cards

LeeAnn, “My kids get Disney Gift Cards for use on souvenirs. When it’s gone, they’re done. This does not include shirts and ears, which we buy for all of us.

Sharon, “We bought them each a gift card, when it was gone, it was gone. Even my 6-year-old understood that.”

Kim, “Budget. We give gift cards. When they are spent… That is it.

Rachel, “We do a budget, usually in the form of a gift card, based on chores and grades. But that goes for mom and dad too – we take a set amount and that is it.

A Disney World Parks Guide: Tips from a Travel Agent

Buy Disney gift cards for vacations

kids on vacation, vacation tips for kids, fun for kids at Disney World, tips for kids on a Disney vacation

So what’s so great about Disney Gift Cards? If this information is old news to you, then consider yourself an “expert.”

Gift Card Features

  • Disney Gift Cards have no fees and they do not expire.
  • They are available online in set amounts from $25 – $500.
  • When purchased online, you receive FREE standard shipping.
  • Disney Gift Cards can be reloaded at many locations at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disneyland Resort in California, and Disney Store locations in the US.

To get the card you want and have it shipped for FREE, well, that seems like a no brainer decision for a Cheapskate Princess.

Gift Card Personalization

  • It’s easy to personalize your Disney Gift Card online order.
  • After selecting your Disney designed card, you will select the “personalized card carrier” option.
  • You will be able to select from several Disney themed carriers and add special messaging.

Why Take a Baby to Walt Disney World? Because It’s FREE!

Disney Gift Cards

kids need a budget on vacation

So what reasons did our Cheapskate Princess Facebook Fans have to use gift cards with their children?

No Begging, and No Means No

Erin, “We always go right around our kid’s birthdays, so we tell all our family and friends to give them Disney Gift Cards for presents. This way we really don’t have to say no. When the cards run out, their shopping stops!”

Julie, “I get all four of us fun Disney shirts before a trip, and then I give both of my daughters $50 each in Disney Gift Cards to spend however they’d like. When it’s gone, then that’s it!”

Independence

Sarah, “We purchased Disney gift cards for our kids. They were advised that was their money to spend, but that was all they would have to spend. It worked well for all three kids (13, 10, and 6), and they loved paying for their own items!

Tammi, “I give them a $100.00 Visa card. They can get what they want, when they want. (9 day trip.)

Kris, “I bought a Disney Gift Card for each one of my four kids. They felt so important using their own cards and when it was gone, it was gone!”

Chores First, Card Later

Jeff, “We have two girls, and they each get a $50 gift card. They also bring money that they have earned over the year from chores or doing yard work for their grandmother. Once the card is gone, that’s it. Snacks and candy are a plus, as my wife and I like them too.”

Judy, “We bought our daughter a reloadable gift card. Whatever money she earns from her chores goes on it, and that’s her spending money.”

Free Fun in Celebration Florida: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

pros and cons of Disney gift cards on vacation

kids and souvenirs at Disney World

Plan Purchases More Thoughtfully

Tammy, “We give our kids Disney Gift Cards. Then they know how much they have to spend, and it’s their money so they are more thoughtful about what they want to spend it on.”

Brea, “My son (age 10) gets a $100 gift card that he can use however he wants. We encourage him to look around for a day or two before he buys anything big, in case he sees something he likes more. He keeps track of his balance and determines if the purchase is worth it.”

Cathleen, “My kids each get a Disney gift card with a certain amount every trip. They learn how to make wise choices as well as budget their money. I do buy them a shirt every trip, that’s always been our tradition!”

And while Jan doesn’t use a budget, she still has the kids plan purchases out in advance.

Jan, “We started this on our very first trip. Write down what you THINK you want when you see it, include where, how much, etc (now we just take photos with our phone, lol). Then the last day of the trip go through that list and decide what you STILL want, and those are the souvenirs we get. The girls learned quickly that the desire to have something sometimes only lasts until it’s out of sight. This means we spend less, and what we do take home is something that they really want to own. This made a budget not necessary, really, because they were waiting and getting the one or two things that they REALLY wanted. Works with me too!”

10 Ways to Save Money on Disney World Food

Why use Disney gift cards on vacation

Disney Mickey Minnie phone case

Here is the 411 on Disney Gift Cards in general. Some of this information was news to me, and I thought I knew everything about gift carding.

Can a Disney Gift Card be used at the Magic of Disney and Disney’s Earport at the Orlando International Airport?

Yes, gift cards can be used at both locations.

Can I give my Disney Gift Card to someone else?

Yes. Disney Gift Cards can be used by anyone. It is recommended that you keep it in a safe place until you are ready to use it, since anyone who has the card will be able to make purchases with it.

Do you keep the cards when you are finished using them?

Yes. Your Disney Gift Card can be reloaded or kept as a souvenir.

You use Disney Gift Cards just like cash for items at the theme parks, resort hotels, cruises, as well as merchandise at Disney Store, DisneyStore.com, and at DisneyMusicStore.com.

Mickey Mouse Decorating on a Cheapskate Princess Budget!*

Disney moms and Gift cards

Disney World jewelry

Where can I use my Disney Gift Card?

The Disney Gift Card can be used for purchases at participating locations such as:

  • Walt Disney World Resort
  • Disneyland Resort
  • Disney Store locations within the US
  • DisneyStore.com
  • Disney Cruise Line
  • Aulani Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaiʻi

Where Can You Purchase Disney Gift Cards?

In addition to stores everywhere like Wal-mart, grocery stores, Walgreens, etc., Disney Gift Cards can be purchased at select locations at the Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort, Disney Store locations in the U.S., and DisneyStore.com. So you don’t have to purchase them on Disney property, but they are available if you decide to purchase one there.

You should allow 10-15 business days for delivery of Disney Gift Cards purchased online.

Don’t Eat Too Much of This at Disney World*

why get kids Disney Gift Cards

Star Wars jewelry

Can You Reload Disney Gift Cards?

Yes, your Disney Gift Cards can be reloaded for any amount between $5 and $1,000. Just reload them at any Disney location that sells the gift cards.

Online reloads are not currently available.

Does a Disney Gift Card expire?

No, the Disney Gift Card you purchased or received is valid for purchases until all remaining funds have been depleted from the card.

You will not be assessed a service fee for unused balances on your card

How do you check the balance and transaction history on a Disney Gift Card?

You can check your balance using this link, which is just a web page always available on the Disney gift card website, or call the toll-free number on the back of the gift card.

What items cannot be purchased with a card?

Don’t use gift cards to purchase Disney on Ice and Disney Theatrical tickets, Disney Dollars, or anything outside of the United States.

5 Steps for Planning a Disney Vacation: A Cheapskate Princess Guide*

How to Personalize a Disney Gift Card

Disney Sar Wars luggage

It’s just a gift card. How can you make that more “Disney” magical?

  1. You can choose from a number of designs.
  2. Your card will arrive in a custom enclosure with your personal message, which means you have endless possibilities.
  3. You can use your own photo. This gift card template features a confetti and balloon covered border perfect for any celebration. You will select the “Buy Now” button and follow the prompts to personalize your card.

What if your Disney Gift Card is lost or stolen?

Call 1-877-650-4327 and report your card has been lost or stolen. Your card will then be “frozen” and the funds remaining on the card (at the time of the call) can be transferred onto a new card.

Please note that you will need an original proof of purchase receipt for the Disney Gift Card to transfer any funds onto a new card.

Can You Afford the New Disney Dooney & Bourke Faces Collection?*

Disney Gift

Order Disney Visa Cards

For more detailed information, use this link. 

To shop for cards by character, use this link. 

A Word of $Caution$

Because Disney Gift Cards can be used by anyone, you do run the risk of your children losing the cards. But this is probably no bigger risk than kids carrying cash. Many children are not ready for the responsibility of hanging onto their own money, be it in cash or card form, and that’s a decision you may have to help them make. Because if that card is lost, the money could be spent before your child remembers to tell you or even notices it’s gone.

But keeping up with money is a life skill, one that they will need as they grow older, so in small amounts, gift cards can be a great way to transition kids into vacation responsibility.

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you shopping with the kids as they hand over their personalized gift cards!

 

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.

FREE Disney Minnie and Mickey Mouse Holiday Paper Dolls

Planning a future Disney trip or simply looking for an afternoon Disney themed craft? Say hello to these FREE Mickey and Minnie paper dolls by Cory Jensen. [Read more…]

Cheaper Than Disney Dooney & Bourke? Loungefly Handbags!

Minnie Mouse Loungefly

Updated for 2018!

If the word “cheapskate” is a part of your vacation vocabulary, well, then perhaps the words “Dooney & Bourke” are not. Their handbags are simply fabulous, but the prices are unfortunately out of many souvenir budgets. If you just can’t set aside $200-$300 for a real Disney Dooney, then perhaps the handbag designer name “Loungefly” should become a word you are familiar with.

Because Loungefly can deliver really adorable handbags with a Disney World flare at a fraction of the cost of a Dooney.

While these styles are no longer for sale in 2018, you can get an idea regarding how much you’ll pay for Disney handbags that are less expensive than Dooney & 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.

Disney World Meals Under $20: Whispering Canyon Cafe Breakfast

Minnie Mouse Floral Tote Bag – $90

You’ll be the epitome of Disney Princess style when you tote this spacious faux leather bag, part of the Disney Boutique Collection, where Minnie stars among a trendy mix of polka dots and florals. 10 1/2” H x 16” W x 5 1/2” D. The details:

  • Includes detachable faux leather Minnie icon key chain with 3D bow
  • Golden Minnie signature at back 
  • Faux leather tote 
  • Minnie floral pattern at center
  • Polka dot print at sides 
  • Zippered opening 
  • Interior zip pocket and open pocket 
  • Reinforced carry handles 
  • Silvertone hardware
  • Disney Boutique metal logo plate 
  • Fully lined with Disney Boutique print

Minnie Mouse Floral Tote Bag by Loungefly

Minnie Mouse Floral Tote Bag

Minnie Mouse Disney World Floral Tote Bag by Loungefly

 

Christmas Holidays at the Disney World Resorts…Where to Find the FREE Stuff!

Minnie Mouse Floral Crossbody Bag – $85

This spacious faux leather cross body bag, part of the Disney Boutique Collection, stars Minnie among a trendy mix of stripes and florals. 8” H x 14 1/2” W x 3 1/2” D. The details:

  • Striped panel at center 
  • Minnie Mouse appliqué with embroidered details 
  • Floral print with Minnie at sides 
  • Zippered opening 
  • Interior zip pocket and open pocket 
  • Carry handles 
  • Adjustable and removable shoulder strap 
  • Silvertone hardware 
  • Fully lined with Disney Boutique print 
  • Disney Boutique metal logo plate

Minnie Mouse Floral Crossbody Bag by Loungefly

Minnie Mouse Disney World Floral Crossbody Bag

Minnie Mouse Floral Crossbody purse

 

First Trip to Disney World? What You Probably Don’t Know

Minnie Mouse Satchel – $74.95

A faux leather bag spacious for your essentials, this sturdy handbag is effortlessly on-trend while embossed with the face of fashion icon Minnie. 9” H x 11” W x 5” D. The details:

  • Embossed Minnie faces
  • Minnie Mouse by Loungefly logo plate
  • Two interior open pockets, including one fit for cell phone
  • Interior zippered pocket
  • Reinforced carry straps with Mickey icon
  • Minnie Mouse decorative tag with detachable buckle
  • Silvertone hardware
  • Four metal feet
  • Fully lined

Minnie Mouse Satchel by Loungefly

 

 

Minnie Mouse handbag by Loungefly

Minnie Mouse purse by Loungefly

 

Cheapskate Princess Extravagance: Disney Princess Tiaras by Arribas Brothers

Minnie Mouse Duffle Crossbody Bag – $69.95

Wear the many faces of fashion with our stylish faux leather crossbody bag starring Minnie Mouse. This bag has plenty of room for all your beauty and work essentials. 8” H x 10 1/2” W x 6” D. The details:

  • Minnie pattern
  • Minnie Mouse by Loungefly logo plate
  • Two interior open pockets, including one fit for cell phone
  • Interior zippered pocket
  • Reinforced carry straps
  • Adjustable and removable shoulder strap
  • Silvertone hardware
  • Fully lined

Minnie Mouse Duffle Crossbody Bag by Loungefly

Minnie Mouse Crossbody Bag Loungefly

Disney World Minnie Mouse Duffle Crossbody Bag by Loungefly

 

Make Your Own Disney Inspired Picture Frames for Super Cheap!

Minnie Mouse Icon Crossbody Bag – $54.95

Minnie Mouse lends her classic silhouette to our must-have faux leather crossbody bag. With quilted front and metal studded Mickey icons, this designer bag is crafted especially for a leading lady of trends. 8 1/2” H x 8 1/2” W (at ears) x 2” D. The details:

  • Faux leather quilted bag
  • Zip opening with faux leather pull 
  • Metal Mickey icon detailing 
  • Faux patent leather bow with embroidered trim
  • Braided metal and faux leather shoulder strap 
  • Silvertone hardware
  • Fully lined with polka dot print
  • Minnie Mouse by Loungefly logo plate
  • Part of our D/Style Collection

 Minnie Mouse Icon Crossbody Bag by LoungeflyMinnie Mouse Disney World Crossbody Bag by Loungefly

Minnie Mouse Icon Crossbody Loungefly

Disney World Tote Bag by Loungefly

10 Tips to Save Money on Food at Walt Disney World

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you in the gift shops, comparing handbag prices and doing some mental math!

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 mike@pixievacations.com.

 

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Make Your Own Disney Inspired Picture Frames for Super Cheap!

Mickey Mouse picture frame craft copy

Updated for 2018!

I sure love Disney them park picture frames, but I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t purchase many because they are all priced over $20, and if memory serves, some float up into the $40 range. That’s really not a tremendous amount of money to pay for a souvenir, especially in a fantasyland of gifts that can leap into the thousands, but I’m always on the lookout for a cheaper alternative. [Read more…]

Space Mountain…with the Lights On!

Updated for 2017!

If you’ve been to Walt Disney World, you’ve undoubtedly seen Space Mountain. It remains one of the most popular rides in Disney World, despite the fact that it is not the fastest ride in the park. [Read more…]

Taking Baby to Disney World: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

how to take a baby on vacation

Updated for 2016!

I have a good friend who struggled for years to have a baby, and when she finally got pregnant, my first question was, “When are you going to Disney World?” She said she and her husband had discussed it, and they decided when the baby turned five, that was a good time. I think I gasped. I seem to recall my mouth fell open. I thought she was joking, until she said that considering what the vacation would cost, they knew they wouldn’t have any fun at Disney with a baby.

When you talk about Disney World being an expensive vacation, that would be a valid point. Given the cost added to babysitting duty, can you really have any fun with a baby in tow at Disney World?

Babies are work, man, lots and lots of work. I believe you can have fun, although it may not be the most relaxing vacation you ever take. Is life ever easy with a baby? I’ve seen parents struggling at WDW with wailing infants that looked four days old, all the way up to those babies reaching up to touch Goofy in Chef Mickey’s. There are a lot of babies hanging out at Disney World, probably more than you would expect.

Read: Vacationing at Disney World? Then You’ll Need a Nap!

take a baby to Disney World

 Why Take a Baby To Disney?

1) No school to miss. Babies have all the time in the world, and there are no tests or home work to make up. And baby is learning anyway, all about colors, shapes, and songs, and he’s picking up language while you talk to him.

2) Food is practically free for babies. Breast feeding a baby is free.  If you are bringing formula and baby food from home, that is a normal every day expense for you. It is also nowhere near the cost of a childs’ meal. So food is not really an additional expense, because you had to feed her anyway.

3) Tickets are free. There is no Disney admission charge for children up until they reach the age of three. A one-day ticket in 2019 for a 10+ age child starts at $109, so think of the money you are saving by not buying tickets for that precious baby.

4) They take up very little space in a hotel room. If you didn’t bring your own Pack ‘n’ Play, you can borrow these at the resorts. Check for availability when you make your reservation. My babies have slept in laundry baskets before; they can’t roll out of it, and we packed up the hotel room with the basket when we left. That’s a multi-functioning bed at its finest.

5) You can still ride roller coasters. Rider Switch, which is sometimes called “Child Swap,” is a pass system that allows people with small children to take turns riding the “tall people” rides while the other person/people wait with the child. Now you won’t have to miss the ride because someone has to watch the baby in line. With your entire group  present, tell the Cast Member that you would like to use Rider Switch. The “waiters” receive a Rider Switch pass, similar to a FastPass, and the “riders” proceed on through the line. When they finish, you will swap. This will also work if a child is tall enough but doesn’t want to ride.

6) You Love Disney. Here is the part where I am talking about you having funIn reality, this vacation isn’t really about the baby, who wot remember the vacation anyway, it’s about YOU! You love Disney, you love spending time with your child, so overcome your fears and combine your two loves.

Read: “Best of the Best” Walt Disney World Freebies

take a baby to Disney World on vacation

Anyone who has spent time around a baby knows that life can be stressful, especially if you have ventured out of your comfort zone and onto a monorail with a stroller. Here is a list of things that I believe can make your time with a baby at Disney a little easier.

Things You Need

1. Nap

Number one on my list is a nap. You need one and baby needs one, and I suggest you go back to your hotel room to take it. Everybody wakes up refreshed and happy. That said, my babies took naps on the Peoplemover, the monorail, and occasionally in a stroller. I know some Disney moms worry about schedules, but altering regular plans slightly for a few days won’t cause permanent damage.  You should definitely get that nap in though. Power nap = happy momma.

There are babies and toddlers asleep all over Disney parks. Babies can and do nap on shoulders, in strollers, on slow-moving rides like the train, and in movies like The Muppets 3D Adventure, etc. They can nap most anywhere. While baby is asleep, have some fun pushing the stroller through a gift shop.

2. Distractions

For those babies old enough to eat solids, snacks can make waiting in line a little easier. So can distracting toys and the occasional song sung softly in a little ear. If baby gets fussy in line, it’s not the end of vacation if you step out and take a break. You can hop on a ride later. While you walk baby around, have some fun just looking at the Disney architecture and the other people on vacations.

3. Essentials

You’ll need the essentials. Making a run to a store can be time-consuming and will be more costly than bringing these supplies from home.

Here’s a good generic baby packing list.

  • blankets
  • clothes, pajamas
  • bottles/extra nipples, formula, possibly a breast pump
  • bibs
  • diapers, wipes
  • pacifiers
  • toys
  • medicines, hand sanitizer
  • gallon size storage bags for emergencies
  • shampoos, soaps, and lotions
  • car seat
  • stroller
  • baby monitor
  • Pack ‘n’ Play, if you think you need your own.

What if you forget to take these items into the parks? Can you buy them there? Sure, most of it.

All the theme parks, the water parks, and Disney Springs carry baby supplies like diapers, diaper pins, formula, and sunburn treatment. If you don’t see it, you can ask for it. You will pay a lot more for these items at Disney than at home, but you are paying for convenience and ultimately paying a high price for poor planning.

There are also baby care centers with supplies available in small quantities, which we will discuss further on.

4. Sunblock

I know there are rules and regulations on sunscreen use with babies of a certain age, but their little skin can get easily burned out in the sun, so cover them up or bend the sunscreen rules.  Sunburn is a great way to ruin a baby’s day and thus yours as well. I know people are having a stroke to get to the parks early. 

I’m thinking if you make an early day of it, go back to the room for a nap and/or a swim, and then head back to the park between four and six when the sun is going down.

Read: When Should You Tell the Kids About A Disney Vacation?

Cheapskate Princess Guide to taking babies to Disney World

What if Baby Gets Sick?

Many of the reasons we suggest babies go on vacations won’t make new moms feel any better. You’re not in your comfort zone on vacation, away from your home and a regular schedule, and things can go wrong.

If baby gets sick at the park, where do you go?

That would be every parents’ fear, that a baby would get sick or hurt on vacation. Colds can come on fast, little arms can get cut or scraped. Every park has a First Aid Center, and here is a list of where to find them:

  • Magic Kingdom- at the end of Main Street, turn left. It’s located between Casey’s Corner restaurant and the Crystal Palace.
  • Epcot – It’s located on the World Showcase side of Odyssey Center.
  • Hollywood Studios – You’ll find it in the Guest Relations Building inside the main Entrance.
  • Animal Kingdom- It’s located in Discovery Island, on the left side before you cross the bridge to Africa. It’s basically behind Creature Comforts.

The beauty is that in all four Disney parks, the First Aid Center is located next to the Baby Care Center. You can take a baby into any of the First Aid Centers, and they can handle anything from minor cuts and scrapes to allergic reactions.

Speaking of Baby Care Centers, what can they do for adults?

At a Baby Care Center, you can do the following:

  • change diapers
  • prepare formula
  • warm bottles and baby food
  • purchase supplies
  • rock in rocking chairs
  • nurse infants in special chairs

Dads are welcome at all the Baby Care Centers, and they can use most of the services.  Many men’s restrooms now offer diaper changing tables, so the burden won’t all fall on mom’s shoulders.

Read: Beware of Buying These Disney Vacation Souvenirs on Ebay

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So are you ready to make those reservations and bring that baby to Disney? Summer is probably not the best recommended time to go with a newborn, but you can still have a good time, even if you sweat a lot. See my above plan for taking a nap mid-day when the heat is the worst.

When it comes right down to it, taking a Disney vacation with a baby isn’t really about the baby at all. It’s about you, and you want to go to Disney World, and baby will be happy just hangin’ out with you.

You may feel stressed and overwhelmed, but you can feel stressed going to Wal-mart on a particularly rough baby day. You’ll forget to pack things, baby will cry, and you’ll have a few moments where you question your sanity. But then you’ll remember I said to take a deep breath, stop for a second, and remember how much you love being at Disney World. Then you’ll be just fine.

For every bad moment, hopefully you’ll have 12 good ones, plus you’ll have some fabulous pictures to show at baby’s high school graduation party years later.

So start planning that vacation.

Read: Should You Pull Kids Out of School for a Disney Vacation?

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll probably see you in a Magic Kingdom restroom as you search for the diaper changing table. I’ll be the one green with envy, as my babies are all tall enough now to ride Splash Mountain without me. I sure do miss a baby asleep on my shoulder on the WDW train…

 

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 mike@pixievacations.com.

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Disney World Food Tip #8: Avoid Eating Too Much Sugar

stay healthy on a Disney vacation

Updated for 2018!

My son and I have a little verbal game we play on walks when we are not visiting Disney parks. You know on those mundane days when we are surviving non-Disney reality, because somebody has to walk the dog in reality-ville. He likes to ask me, “What snack would you eat at Disney World right now?” I answer based on how long ago I ate a meal and which resort or park I can re-call to mind first. He always starts off with that same question, “What snack would you eat at Disney right now?” He doesn’t ask that repeatedly because he lacks imagination, but rather he asks because snacks occupy a HUGE part of our Orlando trips.

Ask anybody…Disney snacks and goodies are the stuff vacation legends are made of.

Read: 5 Steps for Planning a Disney Vacation: A Cheapskate Guide

sharing snacks at Disney World

I remember like it was yesterday. Several years ago, our children all went to the video arcade at the Contemporary Resort, leaving me and my husband to explore without kids. We wound up at the Contempo Cafe, so I could watch the monorails zip through the building. I bought a Black Forrest cupcake, and knowing my children wouldn’t be around to beg, I proceeded to eat the entire thing. That cupcake was as big as my fist; pretty soon after finishing it, I felt sick as a dog. And what should have been a lovely adult-quiet-time snack turned into an all too common occurrence on vacations. I had a sugar crash.

Wait, wait. I thought sugar was supposed to make you feel good?

Livestrong.com explains that eating sugar gives you an instant surge of energy, but this doesn’t last very long. Your blood sugar will surge to respond to the sugary snack you just ingested, your metabolism will burn through it, and then your “system crashes.” Now you wind up feeling sluggish and tired. You could feel yucky after eating too much sugar because your fullness sensors become impaired. When this happens, you may wind up eating more food or snacks than your body needs, and again, you feel uncomfortably full and sluggish.

I now call this phenomena “cupcake crash.” 

Read – Differences in the Disney World Resort Levels: A Cheapskate Guide

cupcakes at Walt Disney World

I don’t eat sugary treats on vacation for energy; I eat them because, for the most part, they just simply taste amazing!  Assuming these snacks and desserts are sometimes about equal to what I can purchase at home in terms of quality, home food 100% of the time remains unmatched by Disney atmosphere and theming. I swear that cupcake truly tastes better than the average home-made cupcake when eaten outside by the pool at Coronado Springs. A Goofy’s Glacier icee is definitely better than the absolute best Slurpeee I ever slurped, because it was consumed outside the Word of Disney Store, Tinker Bell lights twinkling in the trees, Disney music piped in from the bushes. A hot fudge sundae during Wishes? Man, oh man…

Any of those treats seriously trumps a Zinger eaten at my back yard table any day.

The key to vacation snacking dining success is to examine the type of sugars you are consuming.

Read: Should You Purchase the Disney Dining Plan?

caramel apples snacks at Disney World

Bodybuilding.com explains there are two types of sugars, simple sugar and complex sugars.

Simple Sugars

Simple sugars are those that can get absorbed into the bloodstream very quickly. They are sometimes called “fast sugars,” and foods containing these types of sugars are high on the glycemic index. This sugar can be sucrose, glucose, maltose, fructose, or different types of natural sugar.

Simple sugars can be disguised as jams, sweets, cakes, pastries, soft drinks, chocolates, biscuits, ice creams etc. They can also be found in mass quantities at the Magic Kingdom’s Main Street Confectionary. I can just imagine the sweets counter now, with a Cast Member asking what I need today…

Complex Sugars

Complex sugars are those that release sugar slowly into the blood, thus they are referred to as “slow sugars.” Foods containing complex carbohydrates are generally low on the glycemic index. Fairly common examples of these foods are apples, peanuts, strawberries, lentils, green vegetables and mushrooms.

Low glycemic foods release sugar into the blood in quantities that the body can cope with without having to release high levels of insulin. Also these foods provide the body with nutrients it needs to burn sugar effectively.

Read: Walt Disney World’s Giant Turkey Leg; Gotta Have It or Skip it?

best snacks at Walt Disney World

Eating more of the slow sugars (complex) and less of the fast sugars (simple) ensure your energy levels stay constantly ramped up. When there is no huge sugar crash, this usually means you are less likely to crave another instant sugar hit.

So what are you to do, surrounded by all those delectable treats and desserts? Because like Mickey t-shirts and key chains, there are desserts, ice creams, and pastries everywhere you turn. If you don’t see them, chances are you can smell them as you walk down the sidewalks. And darling, they smell fantastic!

Try to eat more fruits and vegetables than sweets while you are at Disney World. That’s a simple concept that most of us learned in high school health class, but it’s easier to say than actually to do on vacation. You can bring healthy snacks with you or spend more for them on property.

And yet sometimes you will just need to give in to that yummy Disney treat-temptation.

Go buy that cupcake, purchase that Glacier drink, order that chocolate pie with a Dole Whip on the side. But then in true Cheapskate Princess style, you are going to share it.

Grab a knife ands split it in half, fourths even if you are traveling with a larger party. Divide it up, and have a “snack sample.” I tell my children all the time that a Disney snack isn’t meant to be a meal, it’s a sample. And some of those Disney muffins, pastries, fritters, cakes, pies, ice cream bars, and frozen drinks have enough substance to make you as full as if you had just consumed a meal.

Your vacation problem arrives when you overindulge on sweets, because a “cupcake crash” can be right around the corner.

Read – Walt Disney World’s Giant Turkey Leg: Gotta Have It or Skip it?

Mickey Mouse cake pop at Disney World

Buy three snacks, cut them up, and make your own dessert sampler. Just get a taste, and your body will thank you later. Trust me, your kids will LOVE this idea if you present it the right way. Hey kids, you get to try more desserts with the Cheapskate Sharing Plan, just in smaller amounts. You get what you pay for at Disney World, and sometimes it’s more about quality than quantity.

Ok, maybe they won’t thank you immediately, but you’ll be glad their little stomachs aren’t aching after consuming a cupcake built for four.

If you ever divided a cupcake into four parts because another snack time is only several hours away, you just might be a Cheapskate Princess!

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you with a knife in hand, explaining to the kids the differences between a snack and a meal.

how to save money on food at Disney parks

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 mike@pixievacations.com.

 

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