Disney Parks Launches First-Ever 360-Degree Panoramas on Google Street View

Did you know you can “explore” the Disney Parks down at the street level without ever leaving your seat, wherever that may be, by using either your phone or your computer?  [Read more…]

Official Rules of the Disney Parks (Yes, There are Actually Rules!)

Disney World has rules in place so their guests enjoy safety and wonderful experiences. Before the Internet existed, along with Google searches and cell phones, people went to theme parks without consulting websites for expectations and written rules.

Believe it or not, there is an actual list of RULES for the Walt Disney World Resort, and here’s the list for 2018. [Read more…]

Disney World Tips for Kids: Food and Dining

Food. It’s a vacation must have but man, it’s going to cost a lot of money. Disney World has a reputation for quality menu items, but  food will take up a large portion of your overall trip budget. When you pay for children’s’ food, prices range from $8 for counter service to almost $40 for character meals. This adds up fast.

We’ve grouped together our best tips for Disney dining for the younger crowd, so get out that pen and take some notes! [Read more…]

Tons of Magic Kingdom Vacation Tips for Kids!

Thinking about taking the kids to Disney World on vacation? It’s not as easy as it used to be, when you could just show up, buy your tickets at the gate, pick up paper FASTPASSES from the machines, and walk into restaurants without reservations. Disney is a vastly different place these days, and it’s good to have a plan ahead to ensure things run smoothly.

Magic Kingdom is THE most visited theme park in the world, and it’s the one big must-do when visiting Walt Disney World. We have tips and tricks to make taking kids to Magic Kingdom simpler and easier.  [Read more…]

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…]

It’s Time to Disney Yourself, all for FREE!

It’s hard to find anything truly free these days, I mean, there always seems to be a catch. You didn’t know it, but you really need to “Disney Yourself,” and unlike a vacation, it’s 100% free. It’s catch free as well!

[Read more…]

Where to Find H2O Products After Your Disney Vacation

Updated for 2017!

If you’ve ever stayed in a Disney resort, then you are familiar with the fabulous H2O bath products you receive free with your hotel accommodations. You’ll receive little travel sizes in your room, and if you run out while you’re still a paying guest, you can ask Mouse Keeping to bring you some more. But even if you take some home, they run out fast.

What’s a cheapskate to do then? [Read more…]

Disney Vacation Extravagance: Rent This Amazing Cinderella Carriage!

Updated for 2018!

Are you looking for the Ultimate Royal Experience for your little prince and princess on your next Disney vacation? Hold on to your wallet my friends and get ready for next-level extravagance. A Florida business called Princess Carriage Rentals offers rental strollers that are a miniature copy of a Cinderella carriage. Listen, this is not just a stroller, it’s actually called a Luxury Carriage Stroller.  [Read more…]

Disney World Extravagance: the Designer Collection Jewelry

Disney World has been offering high quality silver jewelry in their upper level gift shops (Epcot’s Mouse Gears, Disney Spring’s World of Disney, etc.) for several years. Now you don’t have to set foot on property to purchase these items, which you can order from shopdisney.com. These jewelry pieces were created especially for Disney Parks. [Read more…]

Over 40 Tips For a Better Disney World Trip!

tips for a better Disney World trip

Updated for 2018!

One of our most popular articles EVER is called120 Walt Disney World DO NOTs: Tips From Real People on How NOT to Screw Up a Disney Vacation!” By popular, I mean that as of January 2018, it has been read over 2,000,000 times. This piece gets pinned like crazy on Pinterest.

We had a lot of our readers leave comments on the article, because frequent Disney visitors love to give advice to friends, family, and even strangers who are planning trips. The DO NOT comments they left on the article will certainly not RUIN a Disney vacation if you do the opposite, but they can definitely add a lot to your trip, depending on the needs and wants of your group.

Take it from our readers… there’s a lot of planning that goes into Disney vacations these days. You might as well benefit from their experience.  

Read: Disney Ticket Prices Just Went Up, So What Can You Do?

[Read more…]

When Disney Ticket Prices Go Up, What Can You Do?

Disney Ticket prices went up so what can you do?

Updated for 2018!

Last year, Disney raised their single day ticket prices for 2017 during certain times of the year. Company officials said they hoped this would prevent overcrowding during the busiest times at the theme parks. Ticket prices seem to creep up every year. So where does that leave you and your wallet? [Read more…]

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

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Updated for 2017!

As the newest resort on Walt Disney World property, completed in 2012, the Art of Animation Resort will give you and the kids the feeling of being a character in some of your favorite Disney movies. Whether you are going under the sea with Nemo and Friends, swimming with The Little Mermaid, chilling out in Radiator Springs with Lightening McQueen and Mater, or enjoying the essence of the African savanna with Simba and his friends Timon and Pumba, Art of Animation has something for everyone of all ages.

This value resort provides the amenities and perks as other value resorts on property but can comfortablly accommodate larger families.

Compared to the other Disney value resorts, The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms are perfect for any budget. And while the Family Suites are higher priced than those found at All-Star Music Resort, your kids will definitely enjoy the adventurous feel of each differently themed area.

This list of pros and cons for Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will help you decide if this should be your next choice for your magical Disney World vacation!

Read: A Cheapskate Prince$$ Guide: Top 10 Freebies at Disney World

7996404249_d7aeb790c2_zThe Inovabed in the Lion King Suite, one of 1,120 Family Suites available at Art of Animation

Art of Animation Resort Pros:

Standard Rooms: 

The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms can accommodate up to four guests, plus one child under the age of three in a crib.

These rooms have two full beds.

Family Suites

For larger families, the Family Suites comfortably accommodate families of six.

While all rooms have a mini refrigerator, the Family Suites, also have a microwave and a kitchenette.

Family suites also have two bathrooms.

All Family Suites have three separate sleeping areas. The master bedroom has one queen, sleeper sofa with double bed, and the Inovabed that converts from a table to a double bed.

Pools:

There are three amazing heated pools; The Big Blue Pool (the largest at the resort and has an underwater soundtrack in the Finding Nemo Courtyard), Flippin’ Fins Pool (Little Mermaid courtyard), Cozy Cone Pool (Cars Courtyard).

The main pool and kids splash area have zero entry, which is perfect for little ones.

The Schoolyard is a water play area for the little ones; Squirt’s Righteous Reef Playground and The Boneyard Playground are all play areas for your little animators.

 

Read: Prisma: The FREE App You Need for Your Disney Vacation Photos

Dining

Landscape of Flavors Food Court includes five distinctive food shops – The Soup, Salad and Sandwich Shop, The World Flavors Shop, The Pizza Shop, The Burger Shop and The Market.

The Drop Off is a poolside snack bar and delivery service.

Freebies included with your Reservation

Registered guests receive free resort and theme park parking.

Registered guests receive access to Extra Magic Hours in the parks when offered.

Transportation

Airport transportation is free using Disney’s Magical Express.

Free Disney Theme Park transportation is offered via service bus every 15-20 minutes.

There is a dedicated Disney transportation bus for Art of Animation guests only, as opposed to All-Star Value Resorts which all share the same bus line.

Fun Lobby

Animation Hall Lobby houses Pixel Play Arcade as well as, an interactive, hands-on area where a Disney artist teaches guests how to animate favorite characters.

Read: Disney World’s Memory Maker: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

7320062486_45965f6fb0_zFinding Nemo Courtyard features The Big Blue Pool, The Schoolyard, Squirt’s Righteous Playground

 

Art of Animation Resort Cons:

The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms are the farthest away from Animation Hall, like all standard rooms, so at the end of your day in the parks, it can be a long walk.

Finding Nemo suites are now considered a “preferred location” which means they are more per night than Cars or The Lion King Family Suites.

There are only a few Standard Rooms available with a King Bed.

While this is value resort, the price of the themed suites are more than the Family Suites at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort.

Because this resort is a great option for families, especially larger families, it can definitely be noisier during high peak travel times.

If you are a family of five, the themed Family Suites at Art of Animation Resort are not the least expensive option on property. If are trying to stick to a tight budget, certain room which accommodate five at the moderate resorts can be more cost effective.

Read: Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival : A Cheapskate Princess Guide

102 (2)The Little Mermaid wing featuring 864 Standard Rooms

These pros and cons will help you decide if Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is the best fit for your family. My opinion is this is a great resort to try for your next Disney vacation. Whether you stay in The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms or any of the Finding Nemo, Cars or The Lion King suites, the pros outweigh the cons with this property.

With the right planning, you can avoid some of the cons of staying here.

7996401717_0aa4d48f04_zSleeper sofa in The Lion King Suite which converts to a double bed

108 (2) (1)Queen Bed in The Lion King Master Bedroom

AOA1The Little Mermaid Flippin’ Fins Pool

AOA2 The Inovabed as a table for four in the Finding Nemo Family Suite

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The Inovabed as a table for four in the Finding Nemo Family Suite
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The 4.3 cu. ft. refrigerator and microwave in the Finding Nemo Family Suite Kitchenette

AOA5 The Master Bath in the Finding Nemo Family Suite

Art-of-Animation-Resort-040Squirt’s Righteous Reef Playground in the Finding Nemo Courtyard

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Read: Disney Springs’ Boathouse Restaurant: Tips for Dining Under $20

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

Amanda Major Cheapskate Princess

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Disney’s Cheapskate Princess

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Now let our vacation planner help you plan your trip, totally for FREE!

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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.