I am just going to say it, Disneyland is expensive! Plus it feels like they just keep raising ticket prices. But, we are in luck! There are simple ways you can save money on your next vacation to the Happiest Place on Earth!
Pay Attention to Specials
Last year Disneyland offered: stay 3 nights at a Good Neighbor hotel, get the 4th night free (check out below for info on what is a Good Neighbor Hotel). They have also had discounts on tickets when you by 3-day tickets or more. Many Offer Discounts do have restrictions as far as which hotels participate and the dates in which you can use the tickets, but if you are flexible in planning your vacation there are great deals to be had!
Visit One Park Each Day
Adding the ParkHopper option on to your tickets can be pricy. Yes, the ParkHopper allows you the flexibility to go between the two parks, but if you want to save money, select one park for each day.
Stay at a Good Neighbor Hotel
Disney has agreements with several hotels that are located in the Disneyland vicinity. These hotels have to be inspected by Disney before they can get the “Good Neighbor” title. Plus they are routinely inspected to make sure they stay up to Disney’s standards. The Good Neighbor hotels are placed into 4 categories: suites, superior, moderate, and deluxe. Many good neighbor hotels have continental breakfast available. You do want to watch for parking fees. Parking does cost extra at the Disneyland Resort and some Good Neighbor hotels as well, you just want to make sure you factor in parking fees when you are pricing out your vacation. Also, not all good neighbor resorts are within walking distance to the parks. Those that are not, usually have a shuttle type service or they participate in the city bus transportation system. Most hotel shuttles/busses do have an extra cost. Make sure to add those in as well when creating your budget.
Buy Souvenirs Before You Go
Amazon, Target, JC Penney’s, and Kohl’s (in addition to others) all have a great selection of Disney merchandise. You can buy your t-shirts and sweatshirts before you go. You can also buy coloring books and toys beforehand and give them out to your children when you are there [a great idea is to provide something new each morning to get them excited for the day].
Bring in Your Own Food and Snacks
Did you know that you can bring in your own food, drinks, and snacks into Disneyland? Think about all the money you can save when your child asks for a churro and you pull out a granola bar instead. Ya, your kids might not love it as much, but your budget will! Check out Disneyland’s food policy here 🙂
Bring a Refillable Water Bottle
Southern California can get hot. You need to make sure you and your family stay hydrated! Bottled water isn’t free at Disneyland, but the water that comes out of the fountains and taps are :). You can even get ice from one of the drink stations and then fill up your water bottle. Just make sure your bottle isn’t glass. Those are not allowed.
Set Budget Expectations Ahead of Time
My kids are always in the I want mode. We try hard to have conversations with them before we go about what extras they will be able to get. This means having to make tough choices, like not wondering through World of Disney store in D0wntown Disney. That will just be torture for your children if they can’t buy anything and torture for you because you will continually have to tell them no. Set a budget ahead of time and make sure to communicate it with your family and kids, so there are no surprises.
A few Extra Ways to Save Money
Target Red Card
If you have the Target Red Card (doesn’t have to be the credit card, it can be the one linked to your bank account) you can get 5% off Disney gift cards. You can stock up on gift cards and pay for your vacation package and/or bring some along and use them to pay for meals.
I do not suggest taking out a new credit card. No one ever made it rich off of rewards points. But if you already have a Disney Visa you can use your rewards point to pay for your Disney Vacation. You can also get discounts on certain merchandise online or in Disney stores.
These are just a few ideas to help you save on your next Disneyland vacation. I would love to hear your money saving tips. Let us know in the comments!
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