Disney on a Budget

It is no secret that I live the single momma life.  Which means one income pays all the bills.  Life can be a little tight around here.  BUT we always find that extra bit of money to get our Disney fix on.  It isn’t easy but it is possible.  So how do I do it?  How do I do Disney on a budget?  I ask myself this all the time….here is what I came up with.  I mean,  this is how I do it:

  1. Annual-Pass We are Annual Passholders.  My first year I purchased our Disney passes through AAA.  There is a slight discount that saved me about $25 per ticket.  However, you must be a AAA member to qualify for the discount and tickets must be paid in full.  Renewing I opt to pay Disney direct and I utilize the flex pay.  Paying for Gold status a little each month.  This really helps stretch that dolla!
  2. We eat before we go to the parks.  Let’s face it Disney food can be quite costly for a single momma with two very hungry kiddos.  Our favorite place to stop for a quick bite is Chick-Fil-A.  We get a great meal for a fraction of the Disney price AND leave with a full belly.  Definitely can make it to lunch without hearing those three money eating words, “Mom, I’m hungry.”
  3. fruitWe bring snacks.  Yes!  Disney will allow you to bring a few munchies into the parks.  Now, don’t pack your whole fridge.  Bring a few apples, grapes, carrot sticks, maybe even a Gogurt. Anything that will fit in a small lunch bag.  Then put this bag in your back pack.  You may even want to freeze a bottle of water to keep the snacks cold.  It is Florida and we are known for those warm summer temperatures all year round.  Well, for the most part.  We aren’t called the Sunshine state for nothing.
  4. disney waterWe get ice cold water from Disney for FREE!  That’s right ya’ll!  Free water at Disney.  The magic words are, “May I have a cup of ice water, please?”  Just say this magical phrase at any F & B stand or restaurant where they serve fountain drinks and you will get it for free.  You will thank me for this one later.
  5. We buy souvenirs only for special occasions.  We only visit WDW EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND.  So, I limit purchases.  It is ok to say no most of the time.  Then when you purchase a goodie the lil one’s cherish it more.

 

So now you know, how I do Disney on a Budget.  Don’t get me wrong it is so fun to spend that money in the parks, but to feel that squeeze in my bank account later is not so fun.   And for anyone worried that we are missing out on Disney Treats and Dining.  We definitely are not.  Occasionally I do  purchase treats in the park and make reservations for  Disney Dining,  BUT only for special occasions.  It is ok to limit these purchases.

I truly believe, magic is in the eye of the beholder.

 

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Toy Story Land Tips

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By now you have probably heard TOY STORY LAND is open!  If you haven’t…you know now.  Unboxing day was June 30th with a soft opening June 29th.  If you didn’t arrive early and I mean early; the park surprised guests with a 6 am opening on Saturday; then you were stuck waiting in a very long queue.  Crowds waited 90 minutes and longer just to enter the land.  The line for Slinky Dog Dash wrapped around the old Toy Story Mania queue, The Great Movie Ride Queue, and ended near ABC Commissary.  Waiting nearly 6 hours!  I decided to play it safe and wait til the hype ended…I didn’t attempt visiting the new attractions til the day after it originally opened.  Here are my thoughts about Toy Story Land:

IMG_4471Be prepared to wait in long lines for all three rides.  When we entered the queue for Slinky Dog Dash we were informed it was a 265 minute wait (only 10 minutes after park opening- to the general public.)  Yes! This was an extra magic hour morning for resort guests.  HOWEVER, the queue moved quickly and we waited only 110 minutes.  Definitely worth the wait.  Most of the queue is open with minimal coverage.  I would recommend bringing an umbrella, wearing a hat and lots of sunscreen for protection from the sun and other elements.  This ride is perfect for kids of all ages with a minimum height requirement of 38″.

IMG_4376Toy Story Mania is the same ride and still holds an extensive wait time.  The queue now begins inside Toy Story Land.  As you exit the ride keep your eyes open for the NEW Popsicle Wall and Checker Wall.  We waited 65 minutes to ride. Of course if you download the NEW Disney Play app for Android and iPhone the wait time flies by. This app is interactive with games, trivia, and music.

Alien Swirling Saucer is the third ride in the all new Toy Story Land and had a wait of 75 minutes.  Due to the heat (there is like no shade in this area of the park) we decided to wait til next week to ride when we can utilize our FastPasses.

NOW how do you score a fast pass?  Book a resort stay and you can reserve your FastPass 60 days in advance.  Resort guests have a better chance of grabbing a FastPass for Slinky Dog Dash.  If it is not available definitely grab one for the Alien Swirling Saucer.  FastPasses are a little more difficult to get for Annual Passholders, as we can only reserve 30 days in advance.  Remember FastPasses open at 7am 30 days out.  It is possible to get FP’s for Alien Swirling Saucer or Toy Story Mania 30 days in advance.  But not both as all rides in TSL are Tier 1.  I have yet to see one available for Slinky Dog Dash.

There is so much to see as you meander through Andy’s backyard.  New Disney Walls, Green Army Men, Over-sized Toys, and more magic then you can ever imagine.  And don’t forget to enjoy a special treat at Woody’s Lunchbox.  This is where you can try the new S’mores French Toast Breakfast Sandwich.

Remember Buzz and Woody are always looking for new recruits and you are on their radar!  I hope these tips help you.  If you would like to book your future resort stay at WDW please send me a direct message.  I am a Pixie Planner and I can’t wait to sprinkle some pixie dust on your next vacation.

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Tales from the Haunted Mansion Volume 1: The Fearsome- Book Review

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This book review is written by my daughter, Allison.  She is also known as Duffy’s Doodles on Instagram.

“Welcome foolish mortals, to the lonesome library of the Haunted Mansion”. In this hair raising book, you will be reading the frightening tales of the Fearsome Foursome. The Fearsome Foursome are the four main characters who try to out-spook each other with grim fictions of their own.
This blood curdling book is crafted around the narrator and librarian of the Haunted Mansion, Amicus Arcane. Arcane tells and narrates the stories of the four friends, as well as enticing the reader.
The plot of the story revolves around middle school friends Tim, Willa, Noah and Steve. With a common bond of seeking out and crafting ghost stories, the four form a club for telling of such tales of terror – The Fearsome Foursome. A mysterious accident destroys their club house and lands each with an invitation to visit a particular haunted mansion. There they meet the spirited home’s librarian Amicus Arcane. He regales them with his own tales of terror from one of the many ghostly tomes in the old library. Very special tales, about each of them.
The stories themselves, come across as fun campfire tales of terror woven around a loose connection to the Haunted Mansion itself. References (like a secondary character named Rolly) and use of familiar Haunted Mansion lines remind the reader that this IS a tome from the Mansion’s own library.
I actually was very entertained by the story line and illustrations that appear on every other page. Peppered with deliciously dark drawings (along with fun ghostly images), Amicus Arcane’s first volume is a feisty macabre read and the perfect pick for those tweens who enjoy a good ghost story. I personally would recommend the book for ages 10-13. The read is light, but can a little graphic. (But no more than a PG horror film).

 

 

Thank you to Disney Press for the complimentary copy of this book for this review.

Life is Full of Whimsical Things

Life is full of whimsical things…so shouldn’t your closet be too? Well, hot dog (said in my best Mickey Mouse voice),  do I have a treat for you!  Today I am featuring tee’s that will make your wardrobe squeal with delight. Whimysland Designs are the most magical tee’s in the kingdom and feature the art of  shop owner, Tasha .  Tasha is a student by day and artist by night.  She enjoys creating whimsical tee shirt art inspired by all your Disney faves.  From Churros to Disney Villains you will find the perfect tee’s to make your Disney Day the most perfect day!

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All shirts are available online at Tee Public.  Tee’s are available in crew neck and v neck styles.

 

The Spookiest Ears to Wear this Halloween.

This is Halloween This is Halloween! Halloween, Halloween, Halloween, Halloween!!!


So of course you need to dress up in the spookiest Minnie Ears that ever did bewitch the Kingdom!

Well, BOO to YOU! Here is this season’s most spine tingling (yet super cute) Minnie Ears from some of my favorite small shops on ETSY.

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1.  3-D Spooky Web Minnie Ears from  Space Travelears ($35.00):  Get tangled up in the most magical spider webs ever spun.  Designed with a flexible headband these ears are perfect for adults and children.  Made with a filament on a 3-D printer the ears are light weight and incredibly sturdy.  They will not bend! Toss them in your park bag or bump them when getting in or out of the car (like me…I do this all the time!) and the ear maintains its shape.  Other designs available on Etsy.  Stay tuned for a future post featuring The VHS and The Movies Minnie ears from Space Travelears.

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2.  Candy Pumpkin Ears from Shiny Sky Rainbows:  Decadent and oh so sweet, these ears are the perfect treat!  Made with purple and green satin ribbon swirled like a lollipop and topped off with two little pumpkins.  Next shop opening:  10/21/2017

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3.  Halloween Mouse Ears from Pop Creative Designs ($18):  These ears add a touch of pizazz to any Candy Witch Costume.  Made with black and silver metallic spiderweb fabric and adorned with a sparkly orange bow.  The ears are filled with polyfil for that soft yet firm Minnie ear shape.DSCN2836

 

4.  Haunted Mansion Inspired Ears from Girl Power Creations:  You may be a foolish mortal, but you will feel like lucky number one thousand.  Because there is always room for one more!  These ears are crafted with black and grey damask fabric; trimmed with black beads and finished with a ghostly green satin laced bow.

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From our home to yours…Have a Ghastful Halloween!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Darla- Finding Nemo DIY

Here is a fun DIY costume that is super easy to throw together (((last minute even))) and perfect for Halloween!

darlaIt’s Darla that scary girl who unintentionally kills FISH!  She is the first female Pixar villain and so underrated that we thought we would shine the spotlight on her this ghoulish season.

Everything you need for this costume can be found around the house.

Materials needed:

*purple shirt *blue, pink, and gold glitter *fabric glue *Elmer’s glue

*plaid skirt or denim shorts (we improvised and used denim shorts)

*print out of “Rock n Roll Girl” graphic on cardstock

*brown metallic eyeliner *gray or white pipe cleaner

*two pigtail holders * two bobby pins *knee high socks *plastic fish

*Ziploc bags *clear hair gel and water *scissors

First things first:

Rock-n-Roll-Girl-Darla-ShermanThe shirt:  Cut out the Rock n Roll Girl print following the black bold lines to keep the shape of the graphic.  Glue glitter with the Elmer’s glue onto the letters for that added sparkle.  Blue glitter on Rock and Roll, pink glitter on the letter n and Girl, and gold glitter on the star.  When this dries glue the graphic onto the shirt using the fabric glue.  Make sure to place a piece of cardboard inside the shirt to keep from gluing the fabric together.  Place a heavy book over the graphic to keep it flat while drying.

The fish in the bag:  Drop your plastic fishy into the Ziploc bag.  Fill a quarter of the bag with hair gel and top off with tap water.  Just a little over a quarter, not too much water because you will need to tie the bag shut.  The hair gel makes the water look under the sea bubbly.

The hair and makeup:  Darla hair is easy.  Make two pigtails and secure.  Darla is a young girl and she doesn’t wear makeup; use the metallic brown eyeliner to add freckles on your nose and just under the eyes.  She has lots of freckles!  Shape the pipe cleaner and position around the mouth like headgear.  Tuck the ends of the pipe cleaner behind ears and secure with bobby pins.

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Slip on your bottoms, socks, and shoes and your ready to go!

Happy Fall, my friends!

 

Summer Favorites!

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Like Olaf. we are really big fans of Summer.  But the Florida heat can be too much to handle.  If you are looking to stay cool…fashionably cool check out my Summer Favorites!

  1.  Dole Whip Minnie Ears from Bibbidi Bobbidi Loot ($28):  Just as delicious as they are sweet!  Show off your favorite Disney treat with these adorable ears.  Made of yellow and white yarn, a light weight headband for children of all ages (including the young at heart!) and adorned with a yellow bow topped with a pineapple (of course!) Sarah is an artisan with a great big Disney heart.  She originally designed  her ears  to celebrate the best part of being a Disney Princess – Princess Hair! They are styled to look like swirled braided hair formed into Mouse Ears showing off your favorite Princess, Character, or Treat!
  2. Rapunzel Choker from Clarke’s Geek Bowtique ($8.01):  Your princess will find happiness where the sun shines in this beautiful choker by Clarke’s Geek Bowtique.  Inspired by our favorite Tangled princess it is designed with soft purple velvet and embellished with a delicate sun burst charm.   Vikki, shop owner and designer is an aerial circus performer by day and by night you will find her delicately handcrafting jewelry and hair accessories for you! Another favorite from her shop is the Dole Whip Choker.IMG_20170707_213727_312
  3. Mickey Mouse Ice Cream Tee from Planet Orlando ($17.99)  I scream, You Scream, We all scream for Mickey Ice Cream!  Oh my Disney!  With three scoops of ice cream and topped with the most magical mouse ears ever; this tee is naturally sweet!  Also available in Donald Duck and Tangled flavors!  Perfect for the whole family.  We also love the Star Wars Mickey tee for boys!
  4. Animal Charm Bath Bomb from Georgia Charms ($5.25) Looking for a little R & R in between Disney Play Days?  Just drop a Georgia Charms Bath Bomb into your warm bath water and enjoy!  These bath bombs are full of luxurious fizz that give off lots of beautiful color, calming aromas, and a pinch of biodegradable sparkle.   Each bath bomb comes with a surprise charm.
  5. Pink Lollipop Minnie Mouse Ears from Shiny Sky Rainbows ($34.99) Oh the good ship Lollipop; It’s a sweet trip to the Candy Shop. These ears are sugary sweet and are perfect for strolling along Main Street USA.  Made with a hot pink and white satin ribbon swirled together they replicate the iconic swirl pops found in Magic Kingdom’s Confectionery.  lollipop2