Benefits of Staying at a Disney Resort: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

Disney Resorts

When planning to visit Walt Disney World, some might say “to do it right, stay at a Disney Resort”. While there is no one “right” way for everyone to vacation at the most magical place on earth, there are benefits of staying at a Disney Resort. Staying close to the parks does come with a price, but keep in mind, you get more than “just being closer to the parks” for your money at a Disney Resort. Comparing what is included can sometimes make off property the same or more cost than staying at a Disney Resort, with less convenience.  [Read more…]

Must Buy Souvenir? Disney Character-themed Beach Towels

Updated for 2017!

My son bought a beach towel years ago on a Disney vacation. I thought he was crazy, and two years after the purchase, he brought it to me, deciding he was too old to use it. Ah, the trials of pre-teen boys. But now I was the owner of a Disney towel, with a cute Mickey Mouse front and center.

I’ve been using it for at least three years now, off and on for special swimming occasions, and it’s still in great shape. The vidid colors have hardly faded, and the towel is still a quality item.

I wouldn’t describe this as a cheap item. Should you purchase a beach towel on your next Orlando vacation?  [Read more…]

The Disney Holiday Gingerbread House Kit: Is It Worth the $10?

disney-gingerbread-house-kit

Updated for 2017!

How do you entertain three older teenage kids during the holidays? Buy them a gingerbread house! We found a Disney “Crafty Cooking Kits” Mickey and Minnie house for $10 at Big Lots.

Here’s what you get for ten bucks: [Read more…]

Cheapskate Princess Extravagance: Disney Parks Icons Handbags by Dooney & Bourke

Updated for 2018!

There sure were some cute Disney Dooneys being released in 2017, although cute and cheap are obviously two different things. Paying hundreds of dollars for purses is certainly no cheapskate move. But Dooney & Bourke handbags are known for their excellent quality, so a purchase on this level can be an investment that will last indefinitely.

Do you buy a $35 t-shirt with a lifespan of five years or more, or do you splurge on an extravagant leather handbag that could last until your retirement? Disney certainly has a lot to tempt you with in every price range imaginable…

Check out the Disney Parks Icons collection, which was still being sold as of September 2018.

[Read more…]

The Pros & Cons of Staying at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

Caribbean Beach Pros and Cons

Situated near Epcot and Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando lies the lush tropical-themed Caribbean Beach Resort.  This moderate resort provides the amenities and comforts one would expect from a Disney resort, with a very relaxing island vibe.  If you are looking for a quiet, tropical vacation, this could be the perfect resort for you. It’s a big property at over 200 acres, which has both good and bad points.

Compared to Disney’s value resorts, the moderate resorts typically provide larger rooms, queen beds – though there are exceptions, more on-site dining options, and upgraded pools with slides. Compared to Disney’s Deluxe resorts, moderates typically provide smaller rooms, not as-lush accommodations, fewer on-site dining options and fewer park transportation options. Caribbean Beach Resort provides a great middle ground for first time and seasoned visitors alike.

Let this Pros and Cons of Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort list help you decide if this is the vacation property for you and your family!

Disney World Resort Hopping

Caribbean Beach Resort of the 2112 rooms, 350 are specially Pirate Themed Rooms

Caribbean Beach Resort Pros:

  • For larger families, rooms can comfortably accommodate 5 adults
  • Other than the Pirate themed rooms, all rooms with 2 beds have 2 queen sized beds
  • Designed like a fortress, complete with water canons, this has one of the best themed resort pools
  • Main pool and kids splash area have zero entry, which is perfect for little ones
  • Never hard to get a chair at the pools, since there are 7 pools to choose from
  • Larger resort size and lower density buildings help keep resort quiet
  • Food Court is adjacent to main pool; very convenient for refill mugs and quick meals and snacks
  • Lush green landscape throughout the resort
  • Newly refurbished rooms feel new and modern yet comfortable and fresh
  • Registered guests receive free resort and theme park parking
  • Registered guests receive access to Extra Magic Hours in the parks when offered
  • Free airport transportation via Disney’s Magical Express
  • Free Disney Theme Park transportation via bus every 15-20 minutes
  • Resort shuttle available, running the interior of all bus stops to Port Royale area
  • Islands of the Caribbean Pirate Cruise offered for the little ones (for an extra fee)

Caribbean Beach Resort Cons:

  • No elevators for those with mobility issues
  • Transportation can take longer than other Walt Disney World moderate resorts as there are two more resort-wide bus stops
  • Larger resort means it can be a long walk from your room to Old Port Royale or to a bus stop
  • Pirate Themed rooms beds are same sized as value resorts and not a fit for those who need queen sized beds
  • No balconies outside of rooms
  • Only location for refill on resort mugs is at the Old Port Royale area, which is not convenient for all rooms

Differences in the Disney World Resort Levels

pros of Disney's Carrbbean Beach Resort

Disney World Caribbean Resort

Disney moderate vacation resorts

Knowing the pros and the cons can certainly help you decide if this is good resort for your family. My assessment is this is most definitely a resort to try for your next Disney vacation.  I think the good qualities outweigh the bad with this property. With the right planning, you can avoid some of the cons with staying here.

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.

Most Popular Disney World Souvenirs: Mouse Ear Hats

Updated for 2018!

Disney World is like a huge red carpet of Mouse fashion. You won’t be able to turn five feet without seeing someone with a Disney character on their shirt or on their head. This can be intimidating for first time travelers or even long time travelers; you feel the pressure to be dressed like everybody else, and everybody else seems to have paid for Mickey items to show off on vacation. 

And covered in bright colors and shiny sequins, Mouse Ear Hats are now all the rage. They aren’t the least expensive items you’ll find in gift shops, but they are cheaper than many other items like $49.00 sweatshirts and $125.00 sterling silver necklaces.

[Read more…]

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…]

Can a Disney Princess Afford to Stay at a Disney Resort? Check Out These Prices!!

How much does cost to vacation at Disney, Disney room rates 2013, Disney World Rates 2013,

2013

If you ever wanted to stay at a Disney Resort, but you settled for something way less expensive off-property, then you just might be a Cheapskate Princess!

Choosing the right accommodations for your vacation can be simply overwhelming. Visitorlando.com provides the following numerical information:

  • The greater Orlando area contains approximately 450 hotels and 115,200 hotel guest rooms.
  • There are more than 26,000 vacation home rentals available.
  • There are more than 20,000 vacation ownership units.

That’s a bunch of places! Have you looked into prices for the different levels of Disney rooms lately? Disney Resorts are classified in three categories, from the least expensive Value Resorts, Moderate Level Resorts resting in the middle, to the Deluxe Disney Resorts and Villas ready to test the limit on your Disney Visa.

Take a peak at these 2013 per night room prices, straight off the Disney World website, with no discounts, taxes, or fees added. Some of you might need to take a seat, and hold on to your Disney Princess Tiara…

16 Free Indoor Activities At Disney’s Wilderness Lodge…Gotta Love Free!

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Under $200 a Night

All Star Sports, Movies, & Music Resorts –  $96.05

Pop Century Resort – $106.88

Art of Animation Resort $112.50

Caribbean Beach Resort – $182.25

Port Orleans Riverside, French Quarter -$182.25

Coronado Springs Resort  – $187.88

Ready to take a step up into the price level that your average coupon-clipping, cheapskating family will not be able to swing without a significant discount? These prices made my wallet cry out in vicarious-vacationing pain.

Under $400 a Night

Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort – $313.88

Wilderness Lodge – $319.50

Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort – $325.13

Contemporary Resort – $371.25

Beach Club  and Yacht Club Resort – $393.75

Top Ten Cheapskate Tips Every Disney World Visitor Needs to Know

how much does it cost to stay at Disney World Resorts, do they have discounts on Disney Resorts, how can I save money on Disney resorts

Are you sitting down? Perhaps you should be…

Under $500 a Night

Beach Club Villas -$405.00

Boardwalk Inn, Boardwalk Villas – $405.00

Animal Kingdom Villas, Kidani Village – $414.00

Animal Kingdom Villas, Jamba House – $414.00

Villas at Wilderness Lodge – $414.00

Polynesian Resort – $474.75

Under $600 a Night

Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa – $508.50

Old Key West Resort – $508.50

Grand Floridian Resort And Spa – $540.00

Avoid These 10 Mistakes That Can Wreck a Disney World Vacation

Disney pools, what are the best Disney World pools, Polynesian Resort pool, volcano pool,

Under $900 a Night

Bay Lake Tower Resort – $816.75

Now Disney will run specials throughout the year for stays at their resorts. Typical savings are 15% to 20% at Value Resorts, 25% at Moderate Resorts, 20% to 30% at Deluxe Resorts, and 20% to 30% at Deluxe Villa Resorts, which does not include the 3-bedroom Villas.

These discounts will not apply to club level rooms, campsites, or to The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms at the Art of Animation Resort. No group rates or other discounts will apply if you receive one of these discounts, and you will be required to make reservations ahead of time.

The Most Important Thing You Can Do For Your Disney Vacation? It’s a Four Letter Word!

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Top Ten Cheapskate Tips Every Disney World Visitor Needs to Know

Bay Lake Tower, how to make Disney reservations, why use a travel planner, Disney Moms, Disney Princess, Deluxe Disney Resorts

Quick Money Saving Tip!

It’s important to note that the Disney World website will automatically charge you regular = full price unless you go through their special offers page (use this link for their special offers.) If you make your reservations at full price and special offers are announced, you can have Disney or your travel agent apply the special offer to your vacation. Be sure you tell them to apply the discount, because this will not happen automatically.

Disney World Resort Hopping: A Cheapskate Guide To Free Fun!

Yacht Club, why I stay on Disney property, how much will vacation cost, how to save money on vacation, how to Vacation like a Disney princess.

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.

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Fun Facts about Disney World Christmas Decorations

how tall is the Contemporary Resort big Christmas tree, Christmas Tree, Disney Christmas tree

Updated for 2017!

The cost of spending Christmas Holidays at Walt Disney World are, if not THE highest, among the highest rates you will pay to stay in Orlando all year-long. Even the off-property hotels charge more this time of year. School will be out, which means so many people will haul the family off to Disney that entire theme parks will close their gates as they reach capacity. So you pay more money for accommodations, stand in longer lines with tons of people, and stress yourself out during your time off from work just to get your Disney fix. Only a true Disney fan would understand this mentality.

Because Christmas at Walt Disney World is like no other place on earth. [Read more…]

Mickey Mouse: Today’s Modern Symbol of Financial Success

Mickey Mouse, history of Mickey Mouse, Walt Disney and Mickey, how Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse, Mickey Mouse movies, Mickey Mouse cartoons, why Walt Disney drew Mickey

Updated for 2017!

Most people familiar with the success of Walt Disney will recognize one of his most famous quotes, “I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing – that it was all started with a mouse.” Let’s take a Cheapskate Princess look at the history of Mickey and see how he has become a symbol of financial independence and success over 100 years after Walt Disney was born.

Read: 10 Cheapskate Reasons to Vacation on Disney Property

Mickey Mouse character, Mickey Mouse at the Magic Kingdom, Mickey Mouse philosophy, Mickey Mouse quotes

Mickey Mouse

Mickey Mouse is a cartoon character developed in 1928 by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks at the Walt Disney Studio.  Mickey usually appears in red shorts, white gloves, and yellow shoes. He has become one of the most recognizable cartoon characters ever created.

Mickey debuted in November 1928 in the cartoon Steamboat Willie after he appeared in a test screening earlier that year. He went on to appear in over 130 films including some of the most well-known titles like The Band Concert, Brave Little Tailor, and Fantasia. Nine Mickey Mouse cartoons were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, with the film Lend A Paw winning the award in 1942. Mickey Mouse became the first cartoon character to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1978.

Beginning in 1930, Mickey was featured as a comic strip character. His self-titled newspaper strip, which ran for 45 years, was drawn primarily by Floyd Gottfredson. Mickey appeared in comic books, and he had a television series from 1955 to 1996 called The Mickey Mouse Club. He now appears in video games, tons of merchandising, and you can meet him “in person” at the Disney theme parks.

Read: Life Lessons with a Disney Twist: Teach Kids to Save Their Money

Mickey Christmas Ornament, Disney Christmas Ornament, Mickey Christmas, Disney Christmas

Mickey Mouse monorail playset

Walt Disney said of his most popular character, “Mickey Mouse is, to me, a symbol of independence. He was a means to an end. He popped out of my mind onto  a drawing twenty years ago on a train ride to Manhattan to Hollywood at a time when business fortunes of my brother Roy and myself were at lowest ebb and disaster seemed right around the corner. Born of necessity, the little fellow literally freed us of immediate worry. He provided the means for expanding our organization to its present dimensions and for extending the medium of cartoon animation toward new entertainment levels.”

So in 1930, Mickey turned out to be a symbol of independence for Walt Disney, his family, and the people who worked both with and for him. And today, visiting “the House of Mouse,” “the House that Mickey Built,” in sunny Orlando is easily now a sign of independence and financial success for thousands of people world-wide every year.

Read: Life Lessons With a Disney Twist: Teach Kids to Be Appreciative

Mickey Mouse balloon, Mickey souvenirs, Disney balloons, Mickey Mouse photo, Disney's Mickey Mouse

Think about the people who can afford Disney vacations. While many have saved for months, some saving for years, to make it to Disney, just taking a vacation in Orlando is a symbol of financial independence. You have made it to the place many people only dream of visiting, and that’s a real accomplishment given the cost.  Taking a Disney vacation is a sign that you are financially successful, even if you have to pay off part of that vacation on your Disney Visa when you return from vacation. You went to Disney; you’ve made it. You are successful.

For many American families, a trip to Walt Disney World has become known as “a childhood rite of passage.” That rite of passage comes with a pretty steep price, and it seems to get more expensive every year. The face of that passage? Mickey Mouse, of course. You’ll probably see his face when you look at your Disney Visa card.

Mickey t-shirt, the Disney Moms, Disney Princess shirt, Disney World shirt

What’s the problem with “making it” to Orlando? Well, you’ll want to go back…

Keep reading Cheapskate Princess, because we want to help you get there without spending a fortune. You’ll need to buy a t-shirt while you’re there, because your shirt – along with the selfie you post on the Internet of you wearing it- is the physical symbol of your success, like a trophy…

Read: Save Money on Disney World T-Shirts by Making Your Own!

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you, standing independently in line for Space Mountain. If you’ve ever checked your credit card balance on your cell phone in line at a Disney theme park, you just might be a Cheapskate Princess!

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.

 

 

Enjoy reading Cheapskate Princess articles? Here is the best way to make sure you keep up with all the cheapskating Disney news. Over on the right side of this page, the right side of any Cheapskate Princess article, and you will find this box.

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Simply type your e-mail address in the blue box, and you will then receive a confirmation e-mail. Once you confirm your e-mail subscription, several times a week, Cheapskate Princess articles will appear in your e-mail in-box, just like Disney magic, and it’s totally free to sign up.

You don’t have to be a cheapskate to know that…is a real bargain.

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1st Trip to Disney? Why Hand Sanitizers are a Must Bring

how not to get sick on vacation at Disney World

Updated for 2017!

If you ever washed your hands 10 times a day to ensure you didn’t get sick on vacation, you just might be a Cheapskate Princess! Time is definitely money at Walt Disney World. Going on vacation in Orlando is going to cost you lots of pretty pennies, and if any family members wind up sick in bed, then there are certainly better things to do with your time, and conversely, your money. [Read more…]

First Trip to Disney: 10 Reasons to Stay on Property

why stay at a Disney World Resort

Updated for 2017!

If you have ever stayed at a hotel off of the Disney property to save some money, you just might be a Disney Princess! Our family has stayed both on and off Disney property, and the reason is pretty simple for staying off site. While there are some really excellent non-Disney resorts and hotels in Orlando, in most cases, staying off-site costs significantly less money. You can make a good argument for staying off site, but there are drawbacks.

Many of the reasons to stay on property are simply because Disney makes it so attractive to stay in their hotels. I’m going to refer to this effect as the Disney Splurge. You get what you pay for in life, and sometimes you just have to splurge on vacation to truly get the most from your hard-earned money.

Here is why staying on Disney property can be hard to turn down, even if it costs extra. [Read more…]