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…]

Ferrytale Fireworks Dessert Cruise: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

Disney ferrytale wishes dessert party

Updated for 2018!

For those vacation planners looking for a different activity for an upcoming trip, Disney World has an unusual opportunity to see Magic Kingdom’s nightly fireworks show while enjoying yummy snacks and drinks courtesy of the Disney Chefs. While it’s a pricey experience, this event has the potential to make some lasting memories.  [Read more…]

Disney World 4 Less: Wagon Rides for $12 and Under!

cost of Fort Wilderness Wagon Rides at Disney World

Updated for 2019!

Sometimes it’s nice to find Disney vacation activities outside the theme parks, big crowds, and big prices. Over at Fort Wilderness Campground at the Disney Wold Resort, you will find the Tri-Circle-D Ranch. Circle-D features trail and pony rides, plus wagon and carriage rides right next to the campground by the shores of Bay Lake.

Are you looking for outdoor Disney fun at a discount price? That’s what we call Doing Di$ney for Le$$. It’s time to take an evening wagon ride! [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…]

Dining and Drinking at Disney World’s Trader Sam’s

Trader Sam's Orlando Disney World menu

Updated for 2016!

I’ll admit, I am a sucker for a cool setting combined with some good food, so when I saw the pictures from the 2015 opening of Trader Sam’s at Disney World’s Polynesian Village, I knew this would be a future Orlando vacation must-do. [Read more…]

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…]

Disney PANDORA Charm Bracelets Don’t have to Cost a Fortune!

Cinderella Pumpkin Coach Disney Charm

Updated for 2016!

My PANDORA charm bracelet does indeed have several Disney-themed charms, and the only bad part about that was the cost. Many of the really stunning Disney-themed charms are almost $100. They are really cute too…

$90 – Mickey and Minnie Mouse ”Mickey & Minnie” Charm

Mickey and Minnie Mouse ''Mickey & Minnie'' Charm by PANDORA

$85 – Mickey Mouse ”Believe” Charm

Mickey Mouse Believe Charm

$100 – Cinderella Pumpkin Coach Charm

Cinderella Pumpkin Coach Disney Charm

Renting a Pool Cabana at Disney World: A Cheapskate Princess Guide*

When you look at the bracelets in resort gift shops, as well as in your mall PANDORA store, the sample bracelets are usually just filled with charms. I look at these and start doing the mental math – $55 + $90+ $55+ $80 and on and on..

Disney Pandora charm bracelet ideas

Pandora bracelet Walt Disney World

Pandora Disney World

When you look at these bracelets with many, many charms, one thing that seems obvious to me, given my penchant to look for a cheaper alternative, is to realize that you do not have to purchase all Disney-themed charms to achieve that Disney look.

PANDORA currently offers almost 25 charms that are $25 each, a far distance below the $100 Disney charms and half of what the other lower-priced Disney charms cost on average, which is about $55.

These are some of the really cute $25 charms.

Pandora charms 1

Pandora charms 2

pandora charms 3

pandora charms 4

pandora charms 5

pandora charms 6

Did you notice these two heart charms on the bracelet above?

pandora charms

The plain heart charm costs $25, while the Disney heart charm costs $55. In reality, you could purchase two plain heart charms for the price of one Disney heart “dream” charm.  If you are buying a starter bracelet for a younger child and don’t want to risk a $700 bracelet turning up lost or stolen, then make sure some of the charms you purchase are of the less expensive variety.

If you are like me, prone to losing or dropping things, you might want to go slow on amassing too many of the $100 charms, in case, ya know…

You can always make the pricey Disney charms a special present or gift to justify the higher expense. 

Senses Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort: A Cheapskate Princess Guide*

Pandora

While I am a huge eBay shopper, I do caution people about purchasing PANDORA charms on eBay. I bought two charms once for $40 including shipping, while these charms normally retail for $50 each. The seller assured me they were authentic.

I took them for inspection to the nearest PANDORA retailer, where we all agreed they were very similar to the in-store charms yet slightly different. The salesgirl took close up photos and sent them to corporate, who confirmed they were fraudulent and asked for the eBay seller’s name.

So buyer beware…there are fakes out there.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 

Disney Pandora for kids

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you doing some Internet shopping, although gift shop shopping is definitely more exciting…

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.

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

you need this at Disney World

Updated for 2018!

Do you realize how big those Disney theme parks really are? Can you imagine the toll all that walking will have upon your body? As I hit my late 40s, slipping and sliding toward the big FIVE-OH, I’ve come to one huge conclusion. I don’t care how much fun I am having riding roller coasters and seeing character shows, I need a nap to get through the Disney World day, and my friend, so do you. [Read more…]

What Do You Wear to Disney World in the Winter?

Items to bring to Disney World in winter

Updated for 2017!

It’s hard to think of every item you need to bring on a Disney World vacation. There are packing lists floating about the Internet ranging from luggage and park bags to food for the room and toiletries. Many first time visitors, new to long hours at Disney parks or new to Orlando itself, often wonder what to wear to Disney World in the late fall, early winter. Come on, now, is there really a winter in sunny Florida?

One of my most miserable, did I mean to say memorable, Disney trips has nothing to do with characters meals or riding Space Mountain using an actual printed Fastpass. Our family went to the Magic Kingdom one warm day in early December. We were sweating, and not because we were running back and forth to Fastpass machines. It was hot! By nightfall however, the temperature dropped, and there we stood – FrEEzInG – in shorts and short sleeves. I’m talking about teeth chattering, huddled around and hugging each over, jumping in place freezing.

This is Florida, right? What happened to those balmy warm breezes?

Read: Ten and 1/2 Tips for 1st Time Walt Disney World Visitors

This chart from weather.com shows that the high temperatures from October until February (74 to 85) only vary by 11 degrees. The low temperatures from the same time period (52 to 66) only vary by 14 degrees.

But when you are looking at days and nights that can change as much as 22 degrees in one day, will your luggage really be prepared for hot days and cooler nights?

Temperature in Orlando all year

So we asked our  Cheapskate Princess Facebook Fans what they recommend, and we’ll break it down for you month by month.

October

Beka, ” In October, shorts and tees are fine or capris, with long-sleeved tees or a light jacket would be fine for night.”

Jessica, “I went in October last year and we were hot in shorts and tanks or tees every day, maybe a light jacket for fireworks.”

November (sliding into December)

Charissa, “We’ve only been in Nov. or Dec. and have always been lucky with the weather. We bring shorts, capris and t-shirts, with a hoodie or sweater for evenings or early mornings.”

10 Things They Forgot to Mention About Walt Disney World Vacations

pack for Disney World in the Winter

December (sliding into January)

Rebecca, “When I first visited from Illinois at the end of December/beginning of January, I wore t-shirts, capris and had a light jacket for evenings. So I honestly think it depends on where you are coming from! But also watch the weather forecast; our “winter” may be nothing compared to those up north, but we have had some chilly winter days, so really layers are best! I’d honestly suggest pants with a t-shirt and sweatshirt/jacket.”

Shea, “I have been in December a couple of times and in February this year. I usually wear capri pants and t-shirts. I always bring a jacket or sweatshirt but rarely use it. The one time I wore jeans to the park during the day in mid December, it was a big mistake and I was burning up.

Robin, “I have been in early Dec. for Pop Warner. Check the weather for that week! Some years it’s warm and others are cold. I have had to purchase a scarf, gloves and a hat at Disney World, and it is not cheap! Think layers and jackets. Pack well. I remember in 2009, it was in the 30’s one night. The next year, I did not even need a jacket.”

Tanya,For winter, I bring jeans and capris, and t-shirts with a light jacket. I wear the jeans or capris in the morning, and the t-shirt with the jacket. When it warms up, the jacket goes around my waist, ready to put back on in the evening after the sun goes down.

January

Heidi, “We went last January and went from a high in the 80s the first day we got there to the temperature going down each day and by the 5th day the high was only in the low 50s! I’m glad we were prepared for every season!”

Karla, “We wear sweat pants with shorts under them, a t-shirt and a sweatshirt, but when the sun goes down, it’s gets very cold. So depending on your blood, you might need a jacket.”

Read: What You Can NOT Wear to Walt Disney World Theme Parks

What to wear to Disney in the winter

Bring a Variety of Clothes

Randy, “I always pack my WDW hoodie from 2000 and my WDW full zip polar fleece. Bring a pair of jeans. Make sure you have shorts because Oct-January in WDW is still warmer than central IL during that time!”

Crystal, “I suggest taking a variety of clothing options. During our trip the second week of December 2010, my Disney husband, who is always hot, swore he didn’t need more than one pair of pants or anything long-sleeved. I decided maybe he was right and only packed one or two long-sleeved shirts for the rest of us and about the same in pants. I made sure everyone except him had a sweater. Needless to say, they had what we were told were record lows that week – I want to say 33. We had to buy hats, scarves, blankets, sweaters, and my Disney husband was even freezing in layers. Thank goodness for our DVC room with a washer and dryer, or we would’ve had to buy more!”

Dianna, “The weather can vary from day-to-day, but I would say generally for me it’s t-shirts, jeans and a lightweight Disney hoody if it’s chilly. When it’s freezing, swap the Disney sweatshirt for a hoody.”

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

Layers, LaYeRs, LAYERS!

Erika, “Layers!! I always get cold at rope drop and fireworks, but midday is usually comfortable. For me, layers of t-shirts, fleece, and socks works best.”

Leslie, “Layers! It can get cold after dark but days could be like summer to “Yankees.”

Melissa, “Layers. The evenings are quite cool and the afternoon in the sun is warm. There can be a difference of 15-20 degrees in a day, so dress in layers so you can peal off or put on. I like one of the layers to have a hood. Wear long lighter weight pants for all day. My teens like a jogging pant that they can push up during the day and pull down at night. And of course bring good walking shoes.”

Tori, “Layers. Early winter usually I bring an equal mix of shorts, jeans and capris then pair them with t-shirts with a sweatshirt. The weather can be very unpredictable. In the winter I usually bring more jeans and capris, but I still wear t-shirts and sweatshirts. I also bring a jacket and gloves and hats, which is not too hard to do since I have to wear them to the airport!”

what-to-wear-to-disney-world-in-the-winter

Florida Residents give their Two Cents…

Addison, “Being a Florida resident currently in Nashville, I know what those “cold” Florida winters feel like! And believe me they are cold for us when you factor in wind! Every winter trip we took, we ALWAYS brought clothes for both circumstances: Warm and Freezing your butt off weather. We could usually survive with shorts and a HUGE jacket, and a few hot chocolates! But in the case that you just rode Splash Mountain and the sun went down, you might want to bring jeans, a long-sleeves shirt and a jacket.”

Tammy, “I live in Florida, and we’ve been known to be down right cold here. We go to Disney EVERY February every year and 2 years ago the high for our trip during the day was 52* and it got down to 28* in the park that night! Disney doesn’t sell very much warm clothes. If you can find them, you’re going to shell out a big bill to pay for it! We also have something down here call humidity; everyone knows about it in the summer, but we have it in the winter too, and just like summer where it feels a whole lot hotter than it actually it, in winter it feels a whole lot colder than it actually is. My family says 50* here feels like their 30*’s. So bring clothes for every season and dress in layers.”

So if you get anything out of our fan’s advice, it’s obviously layer your clothing. Florida can be pretty warm during the day and drop down into outright COLD at night. Those warmer layers may be somewhat of a pain to have during the day, but come night-time, you’ll be glad you have them.

Read – What Items Can You NOT Bring to Walt Disney World Theme Parks?

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you wearing your shorts and your Mickey hoodie at the same time.

 

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.

How to Keep a Good Disney Character Meal From Going All Wrong

character meals at Disney World

Updated for 2018!

Ever taken a small child to eat dinner with a towering, walking, stuffed doll? There you have it…a Disney Character Meal. Many parents are understandably giddy at the thought of booking a character meal for their next Disney vacation, but is your child really ready to dine with Mickey and all his pals? [Read more…]

Telling Kids About A Disney Vacation: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

When do you tell kids you are going to Disney World?Updated for 2018!

When should you tell the kids about your plans? There are really two ways to do it; tell them way ahead of time or wait until the last-minute. They get the fun (or stress!) of planning the vacation with you, or they get the surprise of a lifetime. Is there a preferred choice? [Read more…]

Stunning Mickey Mouse Jewelry by CRISLU

Updated for 2018!

Shopdisney.com has all sorts of beautiful sparkley trinkets created by CRISLU that are perfect for a pre or post Disney vacation purchase. There are part of the CRISLU Disney Boutique jewelry collection. These are current February 2018 prices, although remember that availability can cease at any time.  [Read more…]