Category Archives: Disney on a Budget

Art of Animation Resort Landscape of Flavors and Laundry Facilities {WDW 2017 Day 5}

Our last day in Walt Disney World. So sad! We spent some time around The Art of Animation Resort. Find out what to expect at the Art of Animation quick-service restaurant, the Landscape of Flavors, and the Art of Animation laundry facilities.

Art of Animation Landscape of Flavors

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The Magic Kingdom WDW 2017 {Day 4}

The much-anticipated day at The Magic Kingdom WDW 2017! We took it easy much of our trip and planned only the Magic Kingdom and didn’t visit any other parks this time around. We planned to get there early for the opening, hit as many rides as possible early on (without fastpasses), return midday for a rest, and go back in the evening.

Here is Day 4 of our WDW 2017 trip. You can find Day 1, Day 2 part 1, Day 2 Part 2, and Day 3 here.

The Magic Kingdom - the new "rope drop" - taking it easy with kids - how to visit the most rides before noon

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Disney Magic Series: Saving on Souvenirs

Let’s face it, a Disney trip with all the extras – snacks, character clothing, souvenirs, etc. – can be expensive!

Don’t worry. If you plan ahead you can have all those extras without breaking the bank.

I will show you how to save on Disney souvenirs.

I’m sharing all my tips to give your kiddos a Disney trip with all the bells and whistles on a shoestring budget. From planning ahead, to inexpensive very special mementos, to totally free!

The biggest tip to saving on souvenirs is to buy ahead of time.

You can find Disney merchandise all over the place! I got a a pile of great things from the Dollar Tree, Walmart, and TJ Maxx. Since our Disney vacation is near the holidays, I wrapped all the gifts in Disney holiday paper from the Dollar Tree and labeled each so I can strategically give the right gift at the right time.

I made sure to get a lot of Disney books and activities to pull out anytime the kiddos need a distraction.

I also got things that will come in handy at the parks. Water bottles from the dollar store will be perfect for refilling at the parks and clipping to the stroller. Glow sticks and flashlights from the Clearance section of Walmart are perfect for nighttime fireworks and parades when those carts of toys roll by.

Another important tip is to Use What You Have.

Round up all the kiddos’ Disney toys and clothing and make sure to bring them on the trip, if you can. We have small Mickey and Minnie stuffed animals, Disney PJs, and Disney clothes we packed up and brought from home. It’s a lot harder for the kiddos to beg for some Disney merch when they have their own things with them already. If you leave home without bringing along Disney shirts and small toys, the excuse, “you already have one at home” will never fly!

An added bonus for bringing small Disney toys or stuffed animals is that the cleaning crew may play around with them and stage a scene for the kiddos while you are out of the room.

Did you know that you can get character PJs at Walmart for $3.50!?! These are pretty much the only pajamas my kiddos wear! When my little guys was just getting out of the feetie pajamas I started buying him Carter’s and others for around $12′ but then I happened to look at Walmart and find PJs with the exact same quality for about $5 and after-season sets on sale for $3.50! I always check at the end of the season for for clearance sets – long sleeve in the Spring and short sleeve in the fall. Such a great deal! This means we wear nothing but Disney pajamas our whole trip since we have so many!

So, if you had room in your suitcase, you brought plenty of things from home that you already had or purchased for a fraction of the price, but what about special souvenirs that will remind you of your trip when you get home?

My absolute favorite souvenir in all of Disney World are the Silhouettes!

I have several silhouettes from my visits to Disney World growing up. They are all proudly displayed at my parent’s house, and I am continuing the tradition with my kiddos.

The best part about the silhouettes is that they are such a special reminder of a wonderful family trip, even better than a snapshot, and they are one of the best deals in Disney! If I remember right, you get three copies for $12 and can purchase frames for under $9. I had each kiddo sit separately for their own silhouette, but a less expensive option is to put them both into the one silhouette.

I splurged and got two silhouettes and four frames for just over $50, but I ended up with two framed pictures for myself, two extra copies, and two framed pictures for Christmas presents
for the grandparents. You can’t beat it! Of course, you can always get by with just the three copies and frame them yourself for less!

The last tips I have for low-budget Disney souvenirs are things I haven’t tried myself but plan to…AND THEY ARE ALL FREE!

We will be visiting Disney World days before my birthday and it will be the two little ones’ first time visiting the Magic Kingdom. We plan to stop at the Disney Vacation Planning booth to pick up our free celebration pins. That’s right – FREE! You can also pick up family reunion, honeymoon/wedding, anniversary, or a general “I’m celebrating” pins. Such a great small trinket to give the kids, and a wonderful way to get a more personalized experience.

There are more free souvenirs that I have read about from various sources, including Theme Park Insider and Disney Tourist Blog, but haven’t tried.

Apparently, you can go up to any cast member working in transportation and request a set of cards with various Disney characters and modes of transportation on them. How great! You can also get Sorcerer of the Magic Kingdom trading cards from the Firehouse at the magic Kingdom. My little ones would just like to look at the cards, but older kids can play the games and really get into it.

I also learned your kiddo can receive a “drivers license” from the Tomorrowland Speedway. As a former cast member who worked in this location daily, I’m looking forward to taking my 2-year-old to that one! There is also a “pilot license” at the Dumbo attraction. This is another one I’m looking forward to trying since my 2-year-old recently discovered Dumbo and is sure to love the ride.

Your kids can also earn diplomas from participating in Captain Jack Sparrow’s Pirate Tutorial at the Magic Kingdom and Jedi Training Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Those sound like amazing experiences and fantastic souvenirs, but my kiddos are a bit too young.

Another fabulous tip that I have read about in multiple locations is that you can have “pixie dust” sprinkled in your kids’ hair for free. This is such a good alternative to the entire Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique experience. Granted, it may not be quite as special, but you can give you child a similar experience with a discounted princess costume from home, a fun hairdo from Mom, and some Pixie Dust from the Main Street Barber Shop.

This last tip I have is perfect for us since we, after much debate, decided on the Art of Animation Resort. The resort offers free drawing classes to resort guests. From what I gather this is offered three times daily and you can learn to draw your favorite Disney character and take the moments home with you. This is one I hope not to miss because I have a Disney fan who asks me to draw characters all the time and I do my best but usually have him scratching his head!

There you have it! Disney Souvenir Savings from planning ahead, to inexpensive very special mementos, to totally free!

More from the Disney Magic Series…

Coming Soon: Disney Magic Series!!!

I can’t hide my excitement.

We’re going to Disney World!!!

I am a Disney Fanatic from waaaayyy back. We took a couple trips when I was a kid, I took my first trip alone with a friend senior year of high school, and I worked there as part of the WDW College Program. Just the thought of it makes me giddy!

Since deciding to stay home with my kiddos, we have been fortunate enough to not only spend some great time at the cabin, but to tag along with my parents on a great Florida vacation last year. We visited my grandparents and made a last-minute decision to swing by Walt Disney World on our way home. It was fantastic and we did it perfectly for traveling with a 1-month-old and a 16-month-old.

I was so excited to learn my parents would like to repeat the trip this year! I have been frantically planning, researching, and trying to hold back my excitement.

I’ve decided I can’t hold it in any longer! If it is going to consume my every waking moment (too much?), I might as well share everything with you!

So here it is. The Disney Magic Series is on it’s way!

I’ll be honest and say that I don’t have a concrete plan for this one yet.  I was going to wait a bit and get it all ironed out, but I’m way too excited to get started. I might as well share the decisions I’m struggling with over where to stay first. I’ve come across some deals and some great ways to pick where to stay, I just can’t decide!

Here’s a sneak peek at what I’m outlining for this series. Topics are subject to change, but this will give you a good idea of what’s in store!

Check back soon! I hope to have the first installment out within the week!!!