Thrifty Thursday: Fun & Laughter for Cheap or Free!

Disney vacations are a big investment no matter how we might flip the coins, but there are so many fun ways to make it magical on a budget, your family will never remember you are frugal. You will not be called a party pooper or cheapskate when you utilize any of these tips!

Did you know you can visit the horses that pull the Main Street trolley as well as other horses at the Tri-Circle-D Ranch at Fort Wilderness for free?  While you are Fort Wilderness be sure to check out the free movie and marshmallow roasts each evening! 

Another great Fort Wilderness frugal tip for all you campers.  Fort Wilderness campsites are large enough for two tents so if you have other camping buddies, pitch both tents in one campsite and split the site fees!  Half price accommodations! 

Speaking of sharing accommodations… if you have Disney-loving grandparents, consider getting a 2-bedroom suite rather than 2 separate 1 bedroom or studio size rooms.  Be sure to contact your Disney agent for more details on all the options for saving on larger suites or rental homes.  By the way, the larger rooms have full kitchens so you can do some real home-cooking in the room which will save a bundle on food.

We all are trying to pack less so we can use the carry-on option when we fly.  Another great advantage of the larger Disney resort suites is the washer/dryer combinations.  You can pack less thus saving the dollars required for checking extra baggage on the flights now!  Disney resorts also offer laundry facilities in their resorts for guests who do not have washer/dryers in their rooms.  Pack less – save money!

We all have our favorite travel mug to refill for pit-stops.  Well, now, if you stay at a Disney Resort, purchase one of the resort refillable mugs.  This makes a great souvenir to use at your favorite coffee/soda pit stop when you go home AND while you are Disney… Refill them the entire stay!

One last tip this week… we all have cameras on our phones these days.  Consider taking your photos instead of paying for souvenir photos taken by a Disney cast member.  Watch for another family in the parks taking pictures and offer to take one of the whole family, so Mom or Dad are not missing in their photo, they will return the favor so you will have a great family vacation photo.  This also means you have more original pictures than the typical photo pose taken by Disney cast members at the main entrance of the park.

Till next time – make Disney magical not expensive! ~ Leigh Anne

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Leigh Anne, originally from Mississippi, lives in North Alabama with her husband and a menagerie of furry kids (FIDS), including dogs, cats, exotic birds, fish and a lionhead rabbit. Figment, her African Grey parrot, is named after Disney’s small purple dragon, Figment. She works as a motivational speaker and pastoral counselor. In 1974, Leigh Anne marched with the Enka High Marching Band in the Magic Kingdom daytime parade. Leigh Anne fell in love with Disney while on her Disney honeymoon with her husband in 2002. They have made an annual trip back to Disney to celebrate their anniversary every year since. Since they own a piece of the mouse with their Disney Vacation Club (DVC), some years they go twice! She also plans to be the grandmother that introduces all her grandchildren to Disney World first. She has a great start ~ 2 out of 3 so far! As a DVC member married to the best Disney shopper in the world, Leigh Anne has lots of experience in finding the most frugal way to have the most fun in the parks and resorts! Leigh Anne admits to being spoiled as a DVC member but is always on the lookout to keep their WDW vacations fun and frugal! She blogs at Queen of Hysteria and tweets @la_haygood

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