Follow Me

{outfit} Being Royal at Port Orleans Riverside + A Mini Travel Guide

  Friday, December 15, 2017 at 7:30 AM   |    Post a Comment     Tagged:,,,,,,,,,,, 

A Disney Travel Guide

Today's post includes a few tips for a trip to Orlando. Feel free to skip most of the copy if you aren't interested.

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know that I was in Florida earlier this week for a little vacation. I go to Florida a few times a year thanks to "free" flights with my Southwest credit card points (I pay $11.20 each round trip) and to make my Universal Orlando annual pass worth it.* Normally I stay at Universal because that's where my friends and I spend most of our time. Cabana Bay is our favorite place to stay, super fun!

Planning Our Trip

This trip, my friends and I decided to splurge and stay at Disney. We ended up booking a Royal Guest Room at Port Orleans - Riverside, and boy was it worth it! You're staying at Princess Tiana's palace and there are portraits of all the princesses on the walls. There are also tons of hidden touches like a faucet in the shape of Aladdin's magic lamp and fireworks on the headboards!

But What About Those Expensive Disney World Park Tickets?

Next on our list was Disney tickets. I won't lie to you. Disney tickets are PRICEY! My friends and I love Disney but don't go as often as we like because of that. Up until earlier this year we would get in free through friends who worked at Disney but most of them have left their jobs, so now it's up to us to get ourselves in.  Kristen and I knew at the point of booking this trip that we would be going at least one more time within the year so we decided to think about getting a Disney annual pass. They are far more expensive than our Universal ones so it was a big decision.

Basically, we had to figure out if we would go enough times in the 12 months to make the price per-day less than if we had bought tickets each time. After a lot of calculating, I figured out that the pass pays for itself after 8 (single-day) visits, 4 (2-day, 1 park) visits or 3 (2-day, any park) visits. Meaning if we took 3 trips in the year and went to Disney at least two days per trip, our passes are paid for! We already have a second trip planned during Universal's Celebration of Harry Potter so we'll only need one more.

How To Get Your Disney Annual Pass Cheaper

There are only deals on Annual Passes for Florida Residents or Disney Vacation Club Members. But there are other ways to get your Disney Annual Pass for less than retail. My route was to buy discounted gift cards. Here's how I did it for my Platinum Pass.

  1. Decide what pass you need. I bought the Disney Platinum Pass. It is $779 ($829.64 with tax)
  2. Buy $850 worth of gift cards from BJs for $816.92.
    • Costco also has gift cards for less than they're worth
    • Note: This is not the only way to get cheaper tickets. There is a way to do it with a Target Red Card but that's a bit more complicated so I didn't bother.
  3. Combine them on to a single gift card via Disney's official Gift Card website.
  4. Buy Annual Pass on Disney's website!
  5. Bring your gift card and use what's left during your trip!
  6. Don't forget to use your annual pass for discounts in stores and restaurants! Usually 10%
Throughout this year I will be keeping a spreadsheet to see how much money the pass ends up saving me in merchandise, dining and photos. My pass comes with Disney PhotoPass downloads which can be pretty pricey if you buy them for you trip. 30 days worth of downloads runs you $169 if you buy in advance and most people I know who vacation to Florida don't go twice in a month so it will add up.

What to Do

This trip we did a few super fun things that added to our experience (and price tag.) We visited Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios in only 3 days. Day one was spent between Epcot and Hollywood Studios. I'll share a bit more about each day when I post the corresponding outfits and will update this post with links to them as I'll include small guides to each park. But first, I'll share my 2 favorite parts of the trip:

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

To celebrate the Holidays and Christmas, Disney holds special evening events a few nights a week and closes down the park for only those with tickets. It is still crowded AND is a separately ticketed event (at around $100 a pop) but you're in the park without HOARDS of people from 7pm until midnight and get to enjoy free cookies, snacks and drinks! There are also special shows and parades specifically for the party. You can even get photos with some of your favorite characters. I attended the party last year so I already knew it would be a blast! This time we focused less on character photos and more on a fancy dinner (see below) and getting all those tasty snacks!

Dinner at Cinderella's Royal Table

Ever since I heard you could have dinner in Cinderella's Castle I've been dying to go! The only problem is, reservations are almost impossible to come by! Disney lets you book dining reservations 180 days in advance so I attempted to get reservation for each of the days we were staying by getting up at 5am to be ready for the reservation drop. I struck out all 4 days. But by a happy accident I was reading a Disney blog one day and saw that they would be opening up reservations during Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party later that day! I waited, my heart beating fast, for the tip of the reservation drop. I swooped in and snagged a 6:15 reservation for the day we'd be attending the party. While very pricey (about $79 per adult) the experience is totally worth it! I will share more next week when I post that outfit.

*Pro Universal Tip:

If you're going to Universal for more than 3 days, get a Seasonal Annual Pass, it's cheaper (make sure you check the blackout dates.) I have the Preferred Annual, which is a mid-range pass with no blackout dates. In addition to being good all year, you also get free parking AND 10% discounts at most stores and restaurants on property! Definitely worth it.

And now to my travel outfit! We arrived at the hotel around 8pm on Saturday so we didn't go anywhere that night. Mary Poppins was on TV so we lounged on our beds and relaxed.

Reindeer Sweater: J.Crew, Jeans: Mother (Marshalls), Boots: Vince Camuto 'Davilla' (Marshalls), Bag: Disney x Coach 'Patricia' with Mickey ears

And here are some photos of our room!

About Closet Fashionista

Loves to get bargains on clothes and is obsessed with Harry Potter and Disney. By day she is a freelance graphic and web designer. She also has a slight obsession with movies.

You can also find her on the web at her Harry Potter and Matthew Lewis fan sites.


  1. I'm seriously going to save this post for when Eleanor is a little older and we take her here. These are such great tips!

    Courtney ~ Sartorial Sidelines

  2. Oh I love that you took your Mickey bag there! ANd what a gorgeous room. I know places like Disney are expensive, so it's great you can get more value out of your pass, and it's so nice to treat yourself now and then too! One day I'd love to take the boys to Disney, when they are a little older :)

    Hope you're having a great weekend! I'm excited it's nearly Christmas! With most of the wrapping done and just waiting for the last gifts to arrive in the mail, we are trying to have a relaxing weekend as next week will be so busy.

    Away From The Blue Blog


Contact Form


Email *

Message *

Blog Archive

Search the Blog