Ah, Disneyland. "The Happiest Place On Earth" for some, and the money-eating people trap set by a mouse for others. From the souvenirs to meals to the tickets themselves, Disneyland does not spare you any expense on your family vacation, but there are some tips and tricks to avoid making your bank account cry.
Here are 10 ways to visit Disneyland without going completely broke:
1. Fly with JetBlue
If you are going to fly to your Disney destination, consider booking your plane tickets through JetBlue, one of the most affordable airlines. Often times, they have discounted prices or deals for cheap, yet enjoyable flights.
2. Eat outside of the park
If you have one special meal planned in Disneyland, save for it. There are multiple cheaper restaurants right outside of Disneyland to spend your money on. You can also book a close hotel or condo and take a quick lunch break during the day.
3. Take a shuttle or book a hotel that is within walking distance
Staying at a hotel within walking distance of the park is fantastic. You can either walk or take the shuttle at the beginning and the end of the day. You can also save up to $20 a day by avoiding parking fees.
4. Take a reusable water bottle to the park
No one wants to pay $3 for a water bottle every time they are thirsty. Bring your own plastic and refillable water bottle to carry with you through the park. You will be surprised at how much money you save.
5. Souvenir shop before you go
It is easy to waste money at the souvenir shops in the park. One sure way to reduce your spending is to purchase shirts, autograph books and other Disney gear from cheaper stores BEFORE you enter the park. Not only will you look great decked out in Disney attire, but your wallet will thank you as well.
6. Snack around the park
Many people believe that Disneyland will not allow you to bring in your own food. Wrong! You can pack your own snacks and water bottles. Pack some fruit snacks, granola bars and whatever else to keep you moving throughout the day. Sure you can splurge on one of Disney's divine treats, but that doesn't mean you have to splurge every time your stomach growls.
Buying Disneyland tickets ahead of time instead of at the park can save you hundreds, especially if you purchase them during the off-season. There are many different options when purchasing tickets, particularly discount tickets. Get Away Today is a great discount agency.
8. Have your kids save their own money throughout the year
When you save up money for your Disneyland fund, get your children to pitch in as well. Or give your kids a "Disney dollar" when they complete their chores and behave in months prior to your trip. That way, when they are in the park, they are able to spend their own money on any souvenirs they might want.
Many people say to stay off the resort because the Disney-themed perks are not at all worth it. Well, they actually are. If you can book a stay in a Disney hotel on a discount price, you will potentially save hundreds of dollars. Public transportation is provided, as well as a wonderful and intricate environment. Not only do you avoid pay for parking, but after the long haul, all you have to do is walk a few minutes and drift off into peaceful slumber.
10. Skip the park hopper pass
Many frequent Disney travelers swear by this technique. If you want to visit all the parks at Disney, do so on separate days. That is, don't spend money to travel back and forth throughout the day, but pick one day only for California Adventure and one day only for Disneyland. This will cut $50 off of your ticket prices. Not bad.
Chakell Wardleigh has a Bachelor of Arts in English. She spends her days silently (mostly) correcting others' grammar. She adores all things nerd, such as Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Shakespeare, and anything else that whisks her away from reality. She currently works as an editor for the FamilyShare team. You can usually find her with her nose in a book, laughing too loudly, or belting out songs from Hamilton.