Tag: Disney

Paying for Disney souvenirs with pennies a day

Souvenir shopping is one of my all-time favorite activities, especially at my happy place, but Disney souvenirs can be VERY expensive.  To help with costs, we started saving our pennies and all of our extra change goes towards our souvenirs, but saving without a plan can be unfruitful, so we created a modified savings plan.

There are lots of ways to budget and save, but I’ve found that this is the one our kids love to use.  First, we have a “Wish Fund” jar and a general penny fund.  I collect whatever spare change we have and place in general penny fund to start the process.  For instructions on how to create your own “Wish Fund” jar, read my previous post here.

I then created a spreadsheet starting at 1 penny, then adding a penny per day for 365 days of the year (day 2=$.02, day 3=$.03, up to $3.65 for the last day of the year).  I created 3 columns (one for each month per quarter) and had 4 pages total.

It’s easy to start with any spare change you have, but the harder part comes as the year goes on.  To help with the ‘larger’ savings, I would add any extra funds from our budget starting from the end of the list.  For example, if I had an extra $20, I would subtract $3.65, then $3.64 and so forth, with $1.85 leftover (place this in your general penny fund).  I highlight each day of savings, so I don’t lose track, and my kids love to see if we can ‘get ahead’ throughout the year.

If you stick to adding WITHOUT subtracting any funds, then you’ll have over $600 dollars for your souvenirs!  I like to give the kids a certain dollar amount per day for souvenirs and allow them to budget their money to get the items they want.  Once their souvenir money is assigned, I use the rest for our ‘snacking’ fund and don’t feel guilty about getting my daily Dole Whip fix.

Have fun exploring the World!

How to plan a trip to Walt Disney World

I’m frequently asked where to begin when planning a trip to my favorite place, so it’s time to write it all down for you 🙂

Photo credit: Disney

Step ONE in planning a trip to the World is getting a FREE Disney Parks DVD.  When you order the DVD, you will also get online access to the same DVD footage, so you can start your planning right away.  If this is your first trip (or maybe your fifty-ith) you may want to consider working with a knowledgeable travel agent.  I frequently plan my own trip, however, on occasion it is nice to give someone else your details and let them take care of the rest.  There’s no additional cost for you and plenty of great benefits such as knowing my agent can make all kinds of changes to my reservation if necessary.

Step TWO is deciding what time of year works for your schedule.  Each time of year has its own pros and cons.  January used to be a pretty light month, however if you are going during Marathon weekend, a RunDisney event, expect summertime-sized crowds.

February is a good choice, but park hours may be limited and there may be more refurbishments happening during this month as they ramp up for summer.  March is busy most of the time due to Spring Break, which happens almost every week with people from across the US.  April is surprisingIy busy due to Easter holidays and the Flower & Garden Festival, but still less busy than the summer months.

 

May is the start of summer season, but you can still get around the World without too much difficulty.  June through August is pretty nutso.  I personally hate going in the summer due to the excessive heat and incredible crowds, however it works for my family due to the kids’ school schedule, so we make do.  September is one of my favorite times, but expect frequent rain showers and there is always the possibility of hurricanes.  October and November are my absolute favorite months to travel to WDW because of the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and the International Food & Wine Festival.

  

We also got married at WDW in November, so I’m definitely partial to going during November.  December is absolutely heavenly with the decorations and wonderful Christmas treats.

Check out my next post for Step THREE (where to stay) and Step FOUR (create a plan).

Have fun!

The Character Queen

Even when I go to Disney by myself, I enjoy meeting the characters.  You can read my previous posts HERE about where to find characters at the World.

When Mary Poppins likes your “flair”

Other adults do too and there’s one in particular who has made a name for himself by creating dubsmash videos.  Dubsmash is an app for adding your ‘video’ to famous songs and phrases.

The Character Queen

Dustin Hayes, AKA the Character Queen, has some of the BEST dubsmash videos.  You can follow his shenanigans on Facebook and Instagram.  Check out his videos 🙂

 

 

 

Have fun!

 

Disney Dream Cruise: Meeting the Characters

When I graduated from college, I treated myself to a cruise with my good friend, Karrie. At that time, Disney didn’t have its own cruise line, but there was an option for coordinating a Carnival cruise and days at the World. The cruise was ok, but definitely not something I truly enjoyed or planned to do again. Nearly 20 years later, I had the opportunity to cruise again, this time with my family on Disney Cruise Line.

Disney Dream

There was definitely a difference, as noticeable as night and day.  I LOVED cruising with Disney and look forward to doing it again.

Castaway Cay

 

 

 

 

 

One of my favorite perks of cruising with Disney is character opportunities.  There are characters on the ship and on the private island.  Your daily newsletter, “The Navigator” has lists of all character times and locations, so you and your family should be able to find the character you want to meet, but don’t be afraid to ask a cast member if you need help.

My youngest was excited to meet Captain Jack Sparrow, however we missed him on our first day at Castaway Cay due to weather issues.  She was extremely disappointed and worried that we might not meet him at all.

While we were waiting onboard to meet Aladdin, a cast member asked if she had met all the characters she was looking for.  As she explained that she couldn’t find Jack, the cast member asked for her name and told her to look for him the next day on the dock.  She was ecstatic and could hardly sleep.

Early the next morning, we were one of the first people off the ship so she wouldn’t miss Captain Jack.  He called her by name as he came traipsing over the hill and said, “I heard you were looking for me!”  Then he spent 10 minutes in conversation with her and it became the highlight of her trip.

Of course, I met my favorite character in the Port before we ever boarded the ship 🙂

Captain Mickey

Have fun!

Mouse savers

Sometimes when I plan a trip to the World, I need to stay off-site (GASP!  I know it’s rare, but it does happen).

So, where can you find the BEST deal that still has some great Disney perks?  Check one of my favorite sites for cost-saving deals:  MouseSavers.com

Mousesavers.com

Mary Waring, the creator of MouseSavers.com, has been providing FREE information about Disney since 2001.  Her site offers hundreds of pages about Disney discounts, as well as info on other Disney-related travel or entertainment such as Disneyland vacation packages, Disney’s Broadway shows or Disney on Ice.

And if you HAVE to visit other theme parks in the area, she does provide info on possible discounts.

I love that Mary shares her immense knowledge on how to save money, especially for hotels at and nearby the World.  She also has extensive reviews for these hotels and offers excellent advice when trying to locate that less expensive option close to the World.

Have fun!

Disney x COACH

COACH and Disney teamed up to create some BEAUTIFUL items for that special Disney collector. I recently received a gorgeous hang tag and can’t wait to add it to my travel bag 🙂  (Even the box is super cute !)

Hang tag from Mickey collection

The Disney x COACH collection launched in July 2016 in celebration of Coach’s 75th anniversary, however the current webpage for Disney x COACH states:

“It’s been fun, but our limited-edition collection featuring custom illustrations
of Mickey Mouse is no longer available.
Thank you for your interest!”

But don’t despair, you can still find some great Mickey-themed COACH pieces at Dillards, Amazon and eBay.  (Click on the underlined names to access these sites)

Have fun!

 

Last minute Halloween (Disney style)

Kids aren’t the only ones who like to dress up for Halloween, however this year it snuck up on me and I didn’t have a costume planned by Monday. So what to do? Pull out the vinyl cutter and create your own.

iron-on-mickey-design

Earlier this year, I made some pirate themed Mickey ears (I’ll post on that one later), so I decided to follow along with that theme. I used a red t-shirt, traced a Mickey pirate design, cut out in layers and ironed on. It took about 10 minutes and worked perfectly for my last-minute costume.

 

 

mickey-pirate-swords
Clipartkid.com

 

Silhouette School blog has excellent tutorials and you can find out how to trace an image for cutting HERE.  I highly recommend this resource when learning to use your vinyl cutter.

Also, this will be a perfect addition to my Disney trip wardrobe 🙂

I hope you and your family had a Happy Halloween!

halloween-2016

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