1st Trip to Disney? Avoid These 10 Mistakes!

have a great Disney World vacation

Updated for 2018!

Vacations are designed to whisk you away from reality and give you a break from the ho-hum of every day. A trip to Disney World is very pricey, and if you are not one of the lucky ones who make multiple trips each year, then you are saving and planning for your next your trip for what could be years. Or perhaps it just feels like years. If you make all these plans and pay all this money, how could you possibly screw it up?

Easy.

People do it all the time. [Read more…]

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.

Spaceship Earth, Spaceship Earth ride, Epcot ball, Epcot, why visit Epcot, why go to Disney in the fall, should I go to Disney in the fall?, what is there to do at Disney in the fall, ship school and go to Disney World

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.

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Lower Your Stress on a Disney Vacation: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

10-ways-to-reduce-stress-at-disney-worldUpdated for 2017!

A Disney vacation, that will cost you a fortune and make amazing memories that last a lifetime, can be extremely stressful. Kids walk slow. Adults get irritable. Surely that’s not rain? Favorite rides break down. Plans have to be altered. Meals have to be delayed. Children get over stimulated, throw screaming tantrums in crowded gift shops while strangers stare at you. Lovers fight, parents fuss, and teens complain.

You have huge expectations regarding how your expensive and long-planned vacation should play out, and when things go wrong, people start to stress out. Just worrying about how much money you are spending is enough to turn up your stress level to high.

I ran across this photo on Pinterest (follow us using this Pinterest link ) that simply shared 10 ways to Stress Less, and I’ll expand upon those ideas a bit with a focus on vacation application, because these ideas can add greatly to your life, but more specifically, your next Disney vacation. [Read more…]

Can a Disney Princess Afford a Vacation at Disney World’s Bay Lake Tower Resort?

Bay Lake Tower at night, how much does it cost to stay at Bay lake Tower, the cost to stay at Bay Lake Tower, should I stay at Bay Lake Tower

My earliest  memory of a Disney hotel is riding through the Contemporary Resort in 1975. My family never stayed there for even one night, as my Dad made no secret that it was WAY out of our price range. I rode through the building by day, then rode home late at night in a 1973 Ford LTD to sleep on my parent’s friend’s couch 28 miles from the Disney property. We snuck our lunch into the park during the 1970s as well, which I absolutely hated. I vowed to stay at the Contemporary when I grew up. Now I look back, and I’m just grateful I was even in Orlando on vacation.

Here I am as an adult,  riding pretty much the same monorail through pretty much the same Contemporary Resort, but hark…what new building is that out yonder monorail window? THAT is Disney’s Bay Lake Tower. If you’ve seen it, you instantly wonder, how much it costs to vacation there? Ok, Disney Princesses, you might want to sit down…

With amazing views of Bay Lake, there is no closer walk to the Magic Kingdom from any Disney resort. The 16-story, 428-room Bay Lake Tower Resort, one of Disney’s Deluxe Resorts, was built to resemble the modern-styled Contemporary, with the two buildings linked by covered walkway. They also share multiple amenities, so you reap many of the fabulous benefits of the Contemporary just by staying next door.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! Photos of WDW during the Christmas Holidays

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Room perks of Bay Lake Tower

  • Free Wi-Fi, free wired high-speed Internet is available in all rooms
  • Flat – panel television
  • DVD
  • 24-hour room service is available
  • Your own patio

Resort perks available at Bay Lake Tower

  • arcade/game room
  • on site marina
  • massage/spa treatment rooms
  • 3 outdoor pools and a water slide
  • 4 spa/hot tubs
  • 2 restaurants within walking distance
  • coffee shop/cafe within walking distance
  • poolside bar
  • fitness facility and tennis
  • wedding services
  • room service
  • beach/pool umbrellas

How Can You Save Money on Disney World Souvenirs? One Four Letter Word…

Bay Lake Tower pool, photo of Bay Lake Tower pools, Disney pools, the best Disney pool, swim in Disney pools, swimming pools,

Let’s get to the price with no room discount and before taxes are applied. For Value Season, which includes dates in January, February, August and September, 2013 prices are as follows per night on a week day:

Studio – Standard View – $431

One Bedroom – Standard View – $535

Two Bedroom View – $726

Three Bedroom Grand Villa – Lake View – $1838

For Summer Season, which includes dates in June and July, 2013 prices are as follows per night on a week day:

Studio – Standard View – $482

One Bedroom – Standard View – $584

Two Bedroom View – $924

Three Bedroom Grand Villa – Lake View – $2040

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And check out Holiday Season, for all of you who really want to experience the Christmas holidays at Walt Disney World. 2013 prices for December 20th to December 31st are as follows:

Studio – Standard View – $609

One Bedroom – Standard View – $776

Two Bedroom View – $1299

Three Bedroom Grand Villa – Lake View – $2441

Notice those are not weekend prices; weekend princes are, of course, even higher.

What Are the 5 Worst Times to Vacation at Walt Disney World?

Bay Lake Tower Living Room, Disney living room, great Disney resorts, love Disney resorts, Disney Princess Resort, Disney sleeper chair, Disney sleeper couch

Have you caught your breath yet?

I did my price research at expedia.com  and Disneyworld.com. What I’ve shown you are show room prices – exactly what you would pay, pre-tax mind you, if you booked a room with no discounts. Remember that prices change frequently, so don’t make any reservations without checking the prices out for yourself.

There are other options for staying at Bay Lake Tower. You can travel during times of year when Disney offers discounts on rooms. I have noticed these occur most often in the fall and pre-spring, when your children are in school.

The Disney Vacation Club offers a chance to pre-pay for your room through a financial arrangement similar to a time share. That topic is for a different day, but it’s certainly not cheap, although I am a fan.

So can a Disney Princess afford to stay at Disney’s Bay Lake Tower without a discount? If you can’t pick up a room discount, you just might have to sell off some of the royal jewels!

price to stay at Bay Lake Tower Disney World

Nine Cheapskate Tips to Celebrate a Birthday at Walt Disney World for FREE!

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.

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

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Updated for 2017!

If you can remember sneaking food into the Disney theme parks back before it was officially OK’d, then you might have grown up to be a Cheapskate Princess! Walt Disney World has some of the best food around, yet dining at Disney certainly doesn’t come cheap.

Children under the age of three can eat free from an adult’s plate at WDW buffets. But unless your children are still of the “Kids Eat Free” age, or you managed schedule an Orlando vacation during the Free Dining promotion, then you will spend a lot of money on food for you and your whole family. Because I complain constantly that food at Disney just kills my cheapskate budget, I’m always looking for ways to lower my food bill. I would much rather spend money on other things besides my breakfast, like jewelry, or Disney handbags… [Read more…]

Disney Food Tip #3: Bring Ziplocks In Your Theme Park Bag

You need

Updated for 2017!

If you ever took part of your dinner out of a restaurant with you to snack on later, then you just might be a Disney’s Cheapskate Princess! Walt Disney World is a vacation spot known for serving great food, but dining at Disney has a reputation for being rather pricey. The good news is that portions are usually reasonable, and many people feel the portions are actually quite large. When you walk away from your meal, your tummy will be full even if your wallet is significantly lighter.

We asked our  Cheapskate Princess Facebook Fans if they traveled with Ziplocs to save money on food, and we’re sharing their ideas. [Read more…]

1st Trip to Disney World: Should You Travel during Christmas?

Disney World at Christmas

Updated for 2017!

It seems that spring and summer are often the time planning begins for colder weather vacations. Lots of people want to visit Disney World during Christmas, and who can blame them?  If you have ever scheduled a vacation during the Christmas holidays to avoid putting up holiday decorations in your own house, you might be a Cheapskate Princess! While we’re talking about scheduling, the question must be asked. Is Christmas really the best time of year for you to visit Walt Disney World? [Read more…]

1st Trip to Disney World: Tips on Picking the Correct Shoes

pick-the-right-shoes-for-a-disney-vacation

Updated for 2017!

Planning a first trip to Disney World or Disneyland? Did you realize that you can walk from 8 to 12 miles each and every day on that upcoming  vacation? That, my dears, is a lot of walking, and many hard-core Disney park travelers walk more miles than that per day. If you have ever worn comfortable shoes that didn’t really match your outfit to a theme park, choosing function over high fashion, then you just might be a Cheapskate Princess. [Read more…]