Click the image above to get this year’s FREE Disney Parks vacation planning video! It’s easy to watch online and get a bunch of free planning advice straight from the Mouse himself.
I watch this video every year (yes, I’m a total nerd) and it always has lots of great information on planning trips. The sections on My Disney Experience, MagicBands, and FastPass+ are especially helpful.
This year I’m watching the video for Disneyland, because I hope to make my first trip there before the end of the year! Read more...
At the top of my Disney World bucket list was staying at Disney’s Polynesian, and I finally checked that off last month! In this review, I’ll share my experience of staying in a Standard View Studio at the Disney Polynesian Villas.
You can also check out my review of the new pools, dining and more at the Polynesian in this post!
Disney Polynesian Villas Standard View Studio
The Polynesian received a major upgrade in 2015 with a redesign of the lobby, upgrades to the pools and dining, and addition of the DVC villas and bungalows. Read more...
The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is likely the most popular annual event at Walt Disney World. It is also an enormous event – the size and scope of the festival can be overwhelming for sure!
To make the most of your day (or more) at the festival, it helps to have some insider tricks from someone who’s been many times before. I’ve been six out of the last seven years and have lots of ideas for saving you time and money. Read more...
The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, especially at Walt Disney World! In this post, I’ll show you how to take an affordable Disney World Christmas trip that captures all of the holiday magic.
I’ll even tell you how much you’ll save using each of my tips and give an overall cost for the ultimate budget-friendly holiday trip.
When Does Disney World Decorate For Christmas?
The first question people usually ask about visiting Walt Disney World around the holidays is “When do they put the decorations up? Read more...
Here are my best tips and tricks for getting the most out of the Disney Dining Plan at Walt Disney World!
If you want some basic info, check out my Disney Dining Plan 101 post. I suggest reading that post first if you are new to the plans or this post may just confuse you.
Tip #1: Take Advantage of the Dining Plan’s Flexibility
My first tip is that the Disney Dining Plan is much more flexible than it may sound. Read more...
The annual Epcot Candlelight Processional is a holiday ritual for many people. The massive choir, live orchestra, and celebrity narrator have to be seen to be believed!
Lines build VERY quickly for the three nightly performances of the show, and often people who have been waiting in line for an hour+ will be turned away. The best way to be sure of getting a seat for this show is to get a Candlelight Processional Dining Package (which some people call the “dinner package”). Read more...
I have stayed at all five of the Disney Value Resorts in Walt Disney World and while I love the overall experience at these resorts, there are definitely some highlights and lowlights!
In this post, I’ll rank the Value Resorts and share my recommendations for first-time visitors and families.
Disney Value Resorts Ranked
There are five resorts in the “Value” category at Walt Disney World. Here they are with my rankings from best to worst:
- Disney’s Pop Century Resort
- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
- Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
- Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
- Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
I’ll explain my rankings next with lots of detail and pictures! Read more...
I’ve already had readers asking me when they should book their trips for next year, so I’m excited to share that Disney World has released 2019 packages and room rates!
Here are five reasons to consider booking your 2019 Disney World vacation now:
1) Making a Disney World package reservation only requires a $200 deposit which is totally refundable up to 30 days before your trip. You’ll have lots of time to set money aside and accumulate discounted Disney gift cards to pay off the balance on your trip! Read more...
Walt Disney World resorts are split into three main categories: Value, Moderate, and Deluxe. Value resorts are the most affordable and the most basic in terms of amenities.
Today I’m sharing a thorough review of Pop Century, one of Disney’s Value resorts, with a focus on what you get for your money when staying there. Is Pop Century actually a good value? Read on to find out what I think!
What It Costs
What you will pay for a room at the Pop Century Resort varies greatly depending on what time of year you visit. Read more...
Free Dining dates for 2018 have been released and you can book them now – get a free quote here!
Disney World’s “Free Dining” offer is by far it’s most popular promotion. It is pretty clear why… FREE FOOD at Disney? Ummm, yes please!
In this post, I’ll answer the most common questions I get asked (e.g. Is it always the best deal? How much can I save?) and share everything you need to know about Free Dining in this post. Read more...
I’m so excited to welcome my readers to the new home for my Disney content… The Budget Mouse!
The Frugal South started out as a place to share my money-saving strategies for everything from groceries to entertainment to travel.
Over the past few years it’s become clear that my posts about saving money on Walt Disney World travel are by FAR my most popular posts. So I wrote more Disney posts and The Frugal South grew into a place of about half Disney stuff and half other money-saving stuff… which made it a kinda confusing place! Read more...
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort sometimes gets a bad rap for being the oldest Moderate resort or for being huge/spread out.
While this is true, I think Caribbean Beach has a lot of strengths, including an incredible pool complex and recently refurbished rooms.
In this post, I’ll share my experience staying at Caribbean Beach as well as the pros and cons of the resort!
It took me MANY visits to Walt Disney World until I stayed at Caribbean Beach, and here’s why: up until 2016, it was the only Moderate resort that still sported double beds as opposed to queen beds. Read more...
Disney recently announced that they will begin charging a parking fee of up to $24 per night at all of their Walt Disney World Resort hotels.
But don’t fear! There are several ways around paying the new Disney World resort parking fee so it might not ever affect you. Read on to learn all of my suggested ways to avoid the new fee!
Disney World Resort Parking Fee Details
Parking fees have long been standard practice at many Orlando resorts, including the Swan and Dolphin and Universal resorts. Read more...
For a limited time, my preferred discount ticket Walt Disney World ticket provider is offering an additional $5 off three-day+ tickets when you opt for electronic delivery!
You can already save up to $68 per person when you get your tickets from Undercover Tourist, so saving even more just sweetens the deal!
I suggest opting for e-delivery of your tickets anyway so you get them as soon as possible. Read more...
One way to enjoy the incredible food at Walt Disney World is to use a Disney Dining Plan. The plan changes slightly from year-to-year, but 2018 brought a big change – alcoholic drinks are included in all dining plans!
People frequently ask me if they should get the dining plan for their vacation and my short answer is – it depends! This decision has gotten even more complicated with the addition of alcohol to the plans. Read more...
About five years ago I discovered a way to stay at Disney World Deluxe Resorts for a small fraction of what you’d pay by booking directly through Disney. This strategy has made it possible for our family to stay at places that we never dreamed we’d be able to afford.
I will share how to rent DVC points below in the hopes that your family can experience a stay at one of these amazing resorts, too! Read more...
Our family’s favorite place to stay at Walt Disney World is Animal Kingdom Lodge, hands-down.
There is SO much we love about it, which I will share in detail below. But what first-time visitors usually don’t know is that Animal Kingdom Lodge is actually made up of two distinct properties – Jambo House and Kidani Village.
In this post, I’ll share my review of the resort, the pros and cons of each property, and likely overload you with tons of pictures! Read more...
Like clockwork, ticket prices increase every year at Walt Disney World. One of my recommended ways to save money on park tickets at is to buy your tickets before the annual price increase… and it’s coming soon!
If you are planning a trip to Walt Disney World in 2018, I suggest getting your tickets ASAP from Undercover Tourist, my go-to source for discounted park tickets.
My personal choice would be to save $41 per ticket on a 5-day Magic Your Way ticket compared to Disney’s prices… that’s $164 in savings for a family of four! Read more...