Disney World Character Dining Options: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

Updated for 2019!

Just after determining where you’ll stay, when you’ll travel, and how many days worth of tickets you need, what you plan to eat has become a huge vacation decision. Through the years, Disney Character meals have become a larger part of many trips, meals that are way more expensive than counter service food items or breakfast in your hotel room.

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Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

Have you ever dreamed of staying at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort? This amazing resort is worth the dream. The amenities and location make this resort one of the best at the Walt Disney World Resort. It is a deluxe level resort, so it is one of the more expensive resorts on property, but for some this is considered a bucket list resort for many guests.  Is this one on your bucket list? [Read more…]

Holiday Wishes Dessert Premium Package: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

If you are planning on visiting Walt Disney World during November or December, then chances are you will be enjoying some of the amazing holiday experiences and touches that Disney does so well. A lot of guests visit during this time so they can attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. While it can be pretty busy, there is so much to see and do that it really is a magical time to visit Walt Disney World.

dessert party

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8 Reasons Not to Go to Disney World in the Fall

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Updated for 2017!

Fall. Leaves start dropping out of the trees, footballs are flying through the air again, and kids everywhere have begrudgingly snatched up their backpacks and headed back to school. What does this signal?  The crowds are suddenly lighter at Walt Disney World.  Does this mean fall a good time for you to go to Disney? Well…

8 reasons you should not go to Disney World in the fall.

1. School

Kids have gone back to school and could fall behind in their studies, especially in upper middle school grades and high school. Now this is a hotly debated topic on the internet. Teachers say keep them in school, and yet many parents want to get the most from their vacation dollar during the less crowded “off season” of fall. You know what works for your child, and for some, missing school may be too much.

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2. The Temperature

It’s still hot. It’s not as hot as summer, but it’s warmer than winter.

3. Shorter Hours 

Hours are shorter in the fall than other times a year, because there are fewer people. Every park except Epcot can close as early as 7 p.m for parties. Compare this to midnight in the summer, and while you may be standing in shorter lines during fall, you will spend less time in the parks.

Read: Would a Disney Princess Spend $25 for A Disney World T-Shirt?

Mickey Mouse Hollywood Studios, Mickey Mouse costume, Hollywood Studios,

4. Not As Much Entertainment

If the parks close early, they may not show some of their night-time entertainment. Or these shows may only run on the weekends, and crowds are definitely heavier on the weekends.

5. Special Parties Mean Higher Crowds

Because fall is the time for Mickey’s-Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) and Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival, crowds will be higher during these specific times.

6. Parks Close Early

If you do vacation during MNSSHP, the park will close early on those days. You paid for a full day, but you’ll feel like you’re being kicked out early as party-goers pass you on the way in. With tickets for MNSSHP $50.95 for kids ages 3-9 and $55.95 for ages 10 and up, and these are advanced purchase prices, then you’ll pay a pretty penny to stay from 7 p.m. until midnight.

Read: Planning a Disney Vacation? Why You Need a Disney Change Jar!

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7. Ride Refurbishment

With crowd levels being lower, some of your favorite rides may be closed for refurbishment. This makes sense from a Disney stand point – less people in the park is a better time to spruce up the rides. I can still hear my sons wails of heart-ache when we showed up one year to find Space Mountain closed for refurbishment. It’s wise to check the refurbishment schedules before you plan anything for certain.

8. Free Dining

Free Dining is offered in the fall, and many money conscious families plan their vacations around free dining. And why not, because you can save a lot of money taking vacations during these specific times. Free Dining means more people vacationing during this offer, and many of the table service restaurants you hoped to enjoy will be filled with free diners. If you don’t make your Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) as soon as possible, then you may not get to eat at the restaurant of your first choice.

Read: How NOT to Lose Your Kids at Walt Disney World and Disneyland

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Admittedly, these are not super strong reasons to skip that Disney vacation in the fall. Most people love Disney during the off season, but if you are one of the many that just can’t take off work during the fall, these 8 reasons may make you feel a bit better, take the edge off your Disney Depression Syndrome. I have to admit, it would be hard to talk myself into NOT going to Disney during fall, if it was a time of year when I could plan a vacation.

Now if you need some reasons to go during fall, we have that covered for you as well!

Read: 7 Reasons You Should Definitely Visit Disney World in the Fall

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.


Look in Davenport, Florida for Great Disney Vacation Rental Homes


Golfing Mickey rental house

December 2015

I read all the time on Facebook comments where die-hard Disney fans just cannot understand why someone would ever stay off property during their vacation. I have been on that mental thought train. We have truly enjoyed some fantastic on-property trips. And then we got two dogs, making on-property stays impossible without kenneling the furry members of the family. Not only am I too cheap to pay the kenneling fee, but it just seems like a choice I would rather avoid. And then my children grew taller than me, so sharing a couch bed was no longer so much fun for three kids. I then found myself on the Internet researching the costs of rental homes.

Have you done any research lately on the cost of rental homes? Granted, you are away from the magic and not in the heart of Walt Disney World, but there certainly are perks to renting your own home away from home. [Read more…]

Free Disney Dining…Is It Really Always Free?

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Updated for 2017

If you have ever planned your entire Disney vacation around the free food offer, then you might be a Cheapskate Princess. Some guests go to Disney only when they offer the free dining incentive.  But is the free Disney dining always free?

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