Life Lessons with a Disney Twist: Mastering the Art of Window Shopping

Best thing for kids at Disney World
One of those terms that seems to be lost on the younger crowd these days is “window shopping.” This terms is so old, they now have an entry for it on Urban dictionary.com. They define it as “When one visits a store or mall to admire goods rather than to purchase them. The ‘shopper’ seems to be looking so intently at the glass in storefront windows that he appears to want to buy the window itself, hence ‘window shopping.'” So to window shop, you simply look around stores without serious intentions of making any purchases.  

[Read more…]

First Trip to Disney? Over 20 Tips for Parents With Younger Children

How to Have fun at Disney World with small kids.

Updated for 2018!

Shopping at the local grocery store can be overwhelming for a parent. My three kids are well past the elementary school ages now, but I talk with a lot of moms who have younger children. Many say there is no way they would tackle Disney World with younger children. I always laugh first, and then I tell them that it can be done with proper pre-planning and mental and physical breaks. [Read more…]

Best Disney World Souvenirs Ever? $.51 Pennies

collecting pressed pennies, collecting Disney pennies, Disney penny, history of pressed pennies

Updated for 2018!

Love to save money on Disney World souvenirs? With child size Disney t-shirts almost above the $30 mark and key chains sliding over $10, you’re going to have a hard time finding most anything under $5, much less $1. In what may be the absolute cheapest Disney World souvenir EVER, let’s talk about the pressed penny, and why, if you have children, this may be a great way to bring home souvenirs from the parks without breaking their little piggy banks.

You just might like it for yourself, with or without any kids tagging along… [Read more…]

Disney World Food Tip #5: When to Schedule Your Best Times to Eat

When to eat meals at Disney World when to eat lunch at Disney, when to eat dinner at Disney

Updated for 2018!

Meal time can be what I call “crazy time” at Disney World. Do you want to dine at a resort restaurant or one of the food courts? Were you able to snag Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) far enough in advance to book the actual restaurant where you really wanted to eat? Did you wind up standing in line at Casey’s Corner with 100 people after a Main Street parade? Did you have to leave your kids at a table by themselves so you could order the food?

[Read more…]

Disney’s Fireworks Dessert Party at Tomorrowland Terrace: A Cheapskate Guide

Disney Tomorowland Terrace Fireworks Dessert Party

Updated for 2017!

What’s better than a great view of Magic Kingdom’s Happily Ever After fireworks? How about a table reserved just for you, those fireworks plus unlimited dessert and beverages! If that sounds pretty good, then the Magic Kingdom’s Fireworks Dessert Party at Tomorrowland Terrace might be the next choice of entertainment for you and your family.

There are now dessert parties in multiple locations across Disney property, but this sweet party takes place on the Tomorrowland Terrace. [Read more…]

Got Pets? Let’s Talk About Off-Property Rental Homes for an Orlando Vacation

rent a house for Disney World

Updated for 2018!

Pets. They bring so much joy to our lives on a daily basis, but in terms of taking them on vacation, being a pet owner can be a real bummer. With the exception of service animals, no pets are allowed inside any of the theme parks in Orlando including the four Disney parks, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and Sea World.

Each park has kennels where you can leave your pet while you play in the parks, but what can you do if you don’t want to leave your pet in a kennel?

Take them with you. [Read more…]

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…]

Disney Vacation Must Do: Try Epcot’s Beverly!

How bad is Beverly at Epcot, free drinks at Epcot

Updated for 2018!

Club Cool is a great little spot in Epcot that offers FREE drinks, and if you ever paused your vacation roller-coaster ridin’ fun to get a free drink, you just might be a Cheapskate Princess!  Disney rumor has it that Club Cool was initially designed to be a temporary free attraction, but the Mouse kept it around because the drinks can reduce the cases of dehydration. If you’ve walked from one side of Epcot to another during any part of the summer, you know how incredible hot this park in particular can be.

So if you are feeling thirsty, or just up for a little fun, drop by Club Cool over in Epcot. Disney fans in the know will tell you…the drink everyone is talking about goes by the pretty name “Beverly.” [Read more…]

Disney World Food Tip #10: When to Schedule Table Service Meals to Save Money

Updated for 2018!

Headed to Walt Disney World? Chances are, you have several special restaurants you want to visit for a memorable meal. Table service meals, where a Cast Member brings food or drinks directly to your table, are a great way to add to your Disney dining experience, but it doesn’t come cheap. Table service meals are more expensive than counter service meals, sometimes by a rather large amount, and that’s before you even add in the tip.

Let’s say you ate breakfast in your room. Do you schedule your table service meal at lunch or dinner? 

[Read more…]

1st Trip to Disney: Is There No “Bad Time” to Visit Walt Disney World?

Bad Time to visit Disney World

Updated for 2018!

“There is no such thing as a bad time to visit Disney World.”

I hear this every now and then in discussions of Disney vacation planning. It’s almost like no mater how bad the crowds get, the temperature, or the cost of your hotel, you should just be caught up in the magic, adventure, and fantasy of Disney World itself, no matter how many people are elbowing you or how long you waited, sweating profusely, for a bathroom stall. I personally disagree, as I hate crazy lines, long waits, and elbow to elbow people. My opinion contradicted visitors who said they would prefer to be standing in a two-hour line in Orlando rather than be at work. What? There are entire chapters in planning books devoted to when you should vacation in Orlando, so scheduling your travel dates is fairly important when mapping out your vacation.

Really, no bad time? [Read more…]

Disney Food Tip #1: Share This Meal!

sharing food on a Disney World vacation

Updated for 2018!

Food is a hot topic among Disney vacation planners. People online are raving about their favorite restaurants and special meals. But food is also pricey, and if you’re on a limited food budget, character meals and Disney Signature Dining meals may not be on your trip itinerary.

Budget WDW trips often call for counter service meals. Counter service is simply where you walk up to the restaurant counter and order your meal, take it back to your table yourself, and clean up your own mess. There is no wait staff at counter service restaurants like there are at table service locations, and this meal will be less expensive than table service.

You can save money by choosing counter service meals over table service, and then save even more by sharing, because who says you have to eat the whole meal by yourself?

Remember when mom said, “Sharing is caring.” Well, it’s also cheaper…

[Read more…]

Disney’s Famous Kitchen Sink: The Cheapskate Princess Guide

Beaches and Cream Soda Shop, what is Disney's Kitchen Sink, the best Disney dessert, Disney ice cream

Updated for 2018!

When they write a guide for a vacation dessert, you know it has to be a big deal. Ever heard of Disney’s “The Famous” Kitchen Sink? It’s one of the most unusual dessert experiences found in all of Walt Disney World, and it feed upwards of four people. Rumor has it this is probably the largest dessert you will ever lay eyes on, and that’s really not a big exaggeration. I’ve poured some big bowls of cereal before, but this thing is crazy!

Welcome to our Cheapskate Princess Guide to The Kitchen Sink!

[Read more…]