Disney’s Enchanted Evening Honeymoon Package: A Cheapskate Guide

Updated for 2018!

Have you ever dreamed about enjoying a honeymoon at Walt Disney World? The beauty of a Disney honeymoon is, you don’t actually have to have the wedding on property to honeymoon there.

Maybe a few travel incentives can push you in the right direction… [Read more…]

To Save Money, Visit Disney World During Value Season

to-save-money-at-disney-world-travel-during-value-season

Trying to save money on a Disney vacation? A good place to start is with your hotel. Walt Disney World is considered to be busy year ’round now; there really won’t be a time you’ll experience very short wait times in the parks, like some of us old timers remember. Factors like holidays, school breaks, and weather temperatures can affect when people want to visit Orlando, and that basically results in higher resort room pricing.

So when should you travel? Well, it’s not called Value for nothing…

Read – Cheap Disney World Souvenirs: Where to Purchase a Silhouette

[Read more…]

Jewelry Bargains Found in the Disney Parks Collection by Rebecca Hook

rebecca-hook-jewelry-for-disney-parks

Let’s talk a little bit about souvenir shopping. The word “bargain” is really a relative term; what you call a bargain, I may call insanely expensive. While jewelry may not generally be regarded as cheap, I really believe it’s one of the best souvenirs you can bring home from a Disney vacation. You’re buying a quality item, often produced using high-class metals like sterling silver and gold, which can last for generations if you take proper care.

Some of these styles are no longer for sale in 2018, but you can get an idea regarding how much you’ll pay for high quality jewelry. 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.

See, this $4,000 diamond necklace could be the un-doing of someone’s vacation budget… [Read more…]

Cheap Disney World Souvenirs: Where to Purchase a Silhouette

disney-world-silhouette-cutting

Updated for 2018!

Simple items that can skyrocket your Disney World vacation budget are souvenirs. T-shirts for $30, sweatshirts for nearly $60, and toys that can soar into the hundreds. A small trading pin will cost $10. How can you make the most use of your money without skyrocketing your overall budget?

We’ve searched all over the “World” for the best bargains, and we’re going to suggest a silhouette…

Wait, a what?!
[Read more…]

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

helzberg-disney-jewelry-collection

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…]

Pros and Cons of Staying Off Site at Disney World

disney-offsite-pros-and-cons

Planning a Disney vacation can be very overwhelming, especially considering where to stay in Orlando with so many options for all budgets and accommodation preferences. The first step in deciding where to stay should always be asking, “Do we stay on site at a Disney Resort or do we stay off site?” There are pros and cons staying off site at Disney World, while being in the middle of the magic at Disney World is fabulous and convenient, it comes with a price. On the flip side, off site resorts not operated by Disney or located outside the Disney World property can truly make a Disney vacation thrifty budget friendly, however sometimes offsite isn’t the best option.   [Read more…]

Where Can You Find Disney Character Watches Under $20?

Updated for 2018!

Ever need a cute gift that also shows off your all encompassing love of all things Disney? Head over to Wal-mart, where you’ll find a large assortment of watches for under $20. 
[Read more…]

Cheapskate Princess Extravagance: Haunted Mansion Madame Leota Souvenirs by Dooney & Bourke

Updated for 2018!

The Haunted Mansion is a very popular ride at Disney World, and thanks to Dooney and Bourke, now you can feel at one with the spirits while you take Madame Leota with you all day. Prices are not for the cheap at heart, but especially with the handbags, if you take care of them, they can last for a lifetime of vacations.

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…]

Doing Disney World for Less: Souvenir Picture Frames

Updated for 2018!

Souvenirs are expensive at Walt Disney World. It’s not like walking into Wal-mart of T.J. Maxx where items go on sale. There’s almost nothing on sale at WDW, and paying full retail price hurts.

I like to recommend that vacationers purchase souvenir items they can use every day at home, or at least something you can see every day, so you feel like you got the best use of your money. [Read more…]

Disney World 4 Le$$: Pony Rides Under $10

Tri-Circle D ranch pony ride tips

Updated for 2018!

Looking for activities for the younger crowd on a Disney World vacation that won’t cost a fortune? Head over to The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort for some true horse play! [Read more…]

Understanding Disney World Bus Transportation: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

How to get around Disney World by bus

(Updated September 2016) One huge reason visitors choose to stay in Disney World Resort hotels is because of the free transportation around the property. If you fly into Orlando, Magical Express will drop you and your luggage off at your hotel. If you drive yourself, you can park your car and let Disney do the driving from this point on.

Wikipedia, that source of information most high school English teachers detest, provides a WDW bus 411. “Disney Transport operates a fleet of TMC RTS, Nova Bus LFS, Gillig Low Floor, and New Flyer XD60 Xcelsior bus models. They have approximately 350 buses in their fleet with a further 50 Gillig buses on order. Disney has been expanding their fleet with new Gillig buses, and has recently introduced new articulated New Flyer XD60 Xcelsior buses as a pilot project to increase capacity on certain routes.”

So let’s take a look at navigating your way around The World using the Disney busses. They’re free, after all!

*Almost 130 FREE Walt Disney World Resort Activities!

Why use the Disney bus system?

It can save you time. The Disney resort is a huge piece of property with miles and miles of roadways, some of which can be confusing even with huge signs along the way. If you get turned around while driving yourself, this can waste precious park time. Why use your time parking your car and walking to a tram/the gate when you can have a bus drop you off at the front gate, (for free!) Time = money.

It can save you money. Why use your own gas? Why put the wear and tear on your vehicle? 

Almost areas throughout the Walt Disney World Resort are accessible using a bus, even if some of the routes will need a transfer to another bus. A bus can take you to the following areas:

  • Disney Springs
  • Disney Theme Parks
  • Disney Water Parks
  • Resort hotels

*“Best of the Best” Walt Disney World Freebies*

Disney World bus guide for beginners

When do the busses operate?

The Parks: Bus transportation is available each day 45 minutes before the parks open until one hour after the parks close for transportation from your resort. Theme park hours can vary from day-to-day, and the hours are often different from park to park. Call or visit the front desk if you have questions about specific times buses will be available. To get to Disney Springs from a park, bus transportation runs from 4pm to 11pm (or until 2 hours after the park close, whichever is earlier). There is no service from Disney Springs to the parks. 

Disney Springs to a resort hotel: Bus transportation is available each day from resort hotels to Disney Springs until 1:00 a.m. Between 1:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m., only outbound service from Disney Springs to Resort hotels is available.

Let’s get this bus trip started…

There are convenient and well-marked pickup points throughout Walt Disney World Resort. There are a plethora of Cast Members standing by to instruct you to the bus stop if you cannot locate it on your own.

Bus transportation service at the Walt Disney World Resort operates every 15 to 30 minutes, but remember this is not always an exact timetable. Busses break down, busses fill up during peak travel seasons, and loading can take longer depending on visitors and their needs.

Values & Moderate Resorts ——> Theme Parks

Value and Moderate resorts provide buses to WDW theme parks.

Deluxe Resorts ——> Theme Parks

Magic Kingdom resorts (Polynesian Village, Grand Floridian, Bay Lake, Contemporary Resort, and Wilderness Lodge) provide buses to the other three parks. You can walk to Magic Kingdom from the Contemporary Resort and Bay Lake Tower, in addition to traveling by monorail or ferry to Magic Kingdom.

To get to EPCOT, you can take a monorail to the Ticket & Transportation Center (TTC) and take the Epcot monorail straight to the park

From the Boardwalk Resorts, take a bus to Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. Walking or taking a boat are options to get to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios from here.

*Save Money on Food at Walt Disney World: A Cheapskate Princess Guide*

Disney World vacation tips

Resort ——> Resort

Visitors travel from resort to resort for several reasons. You can “resort hop,” which means yo take a look around resorts where you do not have reservations. You are not allowed to swim at resorts where you are not staying, but looking around is allowable and even encouraged. 

You can grab a bite to eat at different resorts, many of which have fabulous dining entertainment and Character Meals. 

Using a bus to get from your resort to another resort, catch a bus to the closest theme park. Transfer to a different resort bus upon your arrival, or walk/monorail/boat yourself from there, depending on your location.

You can also take a bus to Disney Springs and catch a different resort bus from there.

Resort ——> Fort Wilderness Campground

If you are visiting Fort Wilderness Campground for Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue dinner show, or to visit the Circle D Ranch, catch a bus from your resort to the nearest theme park and ride a bus to the campground.
 
You could also take a bus to the Magic Kingdom and take a boat from there, or from Magic Kingdom, walk to the Contemporary Resort and take a bus.

Theme Parks ——> Disney Springs

As of September 2016, Disney now offers one way bus transportation from each of the four parks to Disney Springs starting at 4pm running through 11pm (or until 2 hours after park close, which ever time is earlier). If you wish to head to Disney Springs prior to 4pm, you will need to travel from a Disney resort. You will need to plan ahead for how you will get back to the Theme Park as bus service is not available. 

Disney Springs ——> Theme Parks

This is where many first time visitors, and those of us that just plain forgot, struggle with bus transportation. Disney does NOT offer bus transportation from Disney Springs directly to any theme park.  You can be pretty sure this is because people were parking for free and riding in on the bus.   If you want to get to a Theme Park from Disney Springs, ride a bus to any resort and then take a bus to the theme park from there. 

Resort ——> Water Parks

Bus service begins from Disney resorts 30 mins prior to water park opening, and the buses run until the water parks guests have departed.

For Typhoon Lagoon, there are afternoon instructions that are very important. 

  • Leaving a resort before two p.m., take the Disney Springs/Typhoon Lagoon bus 
  • Leaving a resort after two p.m., take a bus or monorail to Epcot and transfer to a Typhoon Lagoon bus.

*FREE Disney World Snack and Drink Samples: A Cheapskate Princess Guide*

Disney World resort bus system

Resort ——> Fantasia Gardens Mini Golf

There is no direct bus to Fantasia Mini Golf.

From any theme park or Disney Springs, take a bus to the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. Fantasia Gardens Mini Golf is located very close to either of these two resorts, making it easily within walking distance.

To get back home, ride a bus to any theme park or Disney Springs and catch a bus back to your resort from there. 

Resort ——> Winter Summerland Golf

There is no direct bus to Winter Summerland Golf.

While Blizzard Beach is open, take a bus to Blizzard Beach and simply walk mere steps over to Winter Summerland Golf. 

Things get complicated when Blizzard Beach is closed, because bus service stops at Blizzard Beach an hour after closing.  I called Disney directly on 10-15-15 and was told there is a bus that cycles between Blizzard Beach, Epcot, and Coronado Springs, which is located just down the street from Blizzard Beach. Double check this with your resort front desk, but if you take a bus from your resort to Epcot and transfer to a Blizzard Beach bus, you should be dropped off at Winter Summerland Golf on this cycle, and bus service should cease here around 11 p.m. 

*Differences in the Disney World Resort Levels: A Cheapskate Guide*

Disney World transportation

Resort ——> Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports

From All-Star Sports, All-Star Music and All-Star Movies, Pop Century Resort, and Caribbean Beach Resorts, there is direct bus service to and from the Sports Complex every 30 minutes.

The operating hours on the route to ESPN Wide World of Sports will vary day-to-day and are based on events at the Sports Complex.

If you are not staying at one of these resorts, take a bus to any theme park and catch a bus to one of the resorts listed, and then take a bus over to the Sports Complex. I’m just guessing here, but this sounds like it could take a long time to accomplish this, like over an hour or two with waiting and bus transferring If you are in a big hurry, I would phone a cab.  

*Disney World Resort Hopping: A Cheapskate Princess Guide*

Several Bus Riding Tips

  1. Do not take luggage or alcohol on a resort bus.
  2. All strollers must be folded and stowed out of the aisle, and you need to have this completed before you start to board the bus.
  3. Medical strollers for guests with disabilities are treated as wheelchairs.
  4. If you are traveling when the busses are not operating, taxi cabs are also available, obviously for a fee.

Disney bus

We asked our Cheapskate Princess fans on Facebook what they thought about using Disney bus transportation. 

Galonii,Bring a coat no matter what time of year you’re visiting Disney because the buses will be 50 degrees and you’re going to freeze your butt off on the way back to the hotel!”

C.j.I love love love the bus system! Except when coming back late from Disney Springs, and then it’s awful. The drivers are exceptionally wonderful. Back he was six, our Jackzilla even received a collector token that said ‘I was caught being good’ and that made his day.

Dianna, “I can go anywhere on Disney property! Very convenient. The busses are very cold, and it’s good to be patient. Sometimes you gotta be aggressive and show the bus driver you want to get on the bus. They will leave you because they will think you’re just standing there.

Anita, “Disney Transportation is the best way to get around on your vacation. You don’t have to worry about parking, traffic or Mapquest. Best of all, it’s free.”

CarissaWe avoid them as much as possible. There is nothing magical about the buses! Except, I will say, sometimes you meet the nicest people and can have the best conversations. For us, the extra cost is worth the convenience of a resort with boat or monorail transportation. We’re staying at the Contemporary in November. WALKING to/from Magic Kingdom is heaven to me – especially after Wishes.”

Disney Food Tip #2: Adults Save Money Ordering This Meal!

Cindy, “We used the buses on the last four days of our trip in August, and it was so much less stress. Mind you, we got lost several times driving ourselves around.”

Carissa offers some tips if you do take a bus,” Plan for the worst, and allow an hour to get to the park including waiting. Make the best of it, talk to the people you’re practically sitting on top of! For goodness sake, if you are able to stand, do it and offer the seats to people older than you, pregnant women, or moms who are struggling with a toddler. If you’re traveling with small children, put one on your lap and squish two tiny butts in one seat when it’s crowded. Be kind, be courteous, be patient. And bring a jacket – sometimes those buses are freezing!”

Randy agrees with Carissa, “You nailed it. I was raised to give up my seat to those older than me, women, and children. My boys continue that tradition. The bus transport for our family has always been a big plus for staying on grounds. You learn quickly that planning the extra time when headed to a park is a must just as important as taking your time after park close to let the crowds die down. We have met people from all over the world who share the love of Disney. An experience we would not have if we drove ourselves to the park.”

Items You Can NOT Bring to Disney Theme Parks: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

Disney World bus transportation tips

The wheels on the bus go ’round and ’round, all the Disney day, and because transportation costs are built-in to the cost of your vacation as an on-property guest, there are no additional costs for you.

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you looking out a bus window, headed toward a theme park…

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.

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

Updated for 2018!

While the Christmas holidays are the busiest time to visit Disney World, this time of year, with music, entertainment and fantastic decorations, is also the most beautiful. You don’t need park tickets to enjoy resort hopping and free fun. So where should you go and what should you do for free? [Read more…]