Everyone wants to go on a Disneyland vacation (or at least everyone should want to) but I feel like a large reason people don’t go is because of the large price tag that comes along with a visit to The Happiest Place on Earth. Well I am a firm believer that everyone needs some Disney magic in their lives, so I’ve decided to do a little post about some simple money savers you can implement into your Disney getaway. Obviously there are several other things you can do to save money, but I feel like these are a lot of the main ones you hear about and some of the simplest. We’ve given this same advice to many people throughout our life and it seems people tend to pick and choose which money savers they use and which they disregard – and thats great! Do Disneyland your way. Make it personal and special to you so its a trip you never forget and always cherish. But also keep in mind that you still may/most likely will need to save and budget for your Disney trip because those tickets are still a bit pricey even if you can find a discount somewhere.
- So lets start with tickets. Keep in mind not all places that claim to have GREAT DISNEY DISCOUNTS are credible. Do your research, read the fine print and ask around. The only real place my family and I trust for any kind of discounted ticket is Getaway Today. There are also Annual Passes (there are a few variations of these) but they are a big upfront purchase. They could be worth it if you plan on visiting Disneyland several times that year, but again definitely do your research and plan your trip/s as best as possible before buying an Annual Pass to make sure you’d get enough bang for your buck.
- Look at hotels as soon as possible. Hotels are cheaper the further in advance you buy your room/s. The hotel will be more expensive the closer you get to your date. Also with hotels, keep in mind location. There are Disney owned hotels that are expensive, but the Parks are also surrounded by other, good hotels. Hotels closer to the park are typically more pricy.
- If you find a hotel that will suit you thats a bit of a distance away, make sure it has a shuttle to the park. Shuttles are much more inexpensive then parking at Disney’s parking structures. Taking a shuttle verses parking on Disney property will absolutely save you a few precious bucks. Parking is up to $25 now, I believe.
- Bring your own food in. Its allowed! Disney’s food is expensive (but delicious). Even quick bites to eat are several more dollars than these items are back at home. You can have snacks in your bag and you can pack your breakfast/lunch/dinner/whatever in a cooler and rent a locker at the entrance of the Park to keep it in so you aren’t carrying it around with you.
- Don’t get a Photo Pass. I’ll admit this one kind of makes me sad. You read this money saving advice all over, and it totally makes sense but its also a bummer. Disney offers photo passes which basically is a card that the Disney photographers use to store the pictures they take on their nice cameras in the park. You can view your photos online and pick which ones you want to order or order then entire load of pictures. Sounds like no big deal – except that the pictures aren’t cheap. A single picture is $12+ and the whole batch of pictures is high $30’s or low $40’s. If you don’t get the Photo Pass all together, you’re eliminating some temptation. However if you do get it, I recommend getting tons of pictures taken so if you end up ordering all the pictures, $40-ish ends up feeling like a steal. Do you get what I’m saying? If you opt out of the Photo Pass, keep in mind the Disney Photographers can still use your own camera/phone and take good pictures for you – and thats free!
- Are you going to park hop (aka buy a park hopper ticket?) Just letting you know, if you aren’t planning on hopping parks, your ticket will be significantly cheaper. This one is tough though because park hopping = awesome.
- Collectibles are addicting. Be careful. I’m not going to tell you to completely avoid souvenirs from the park, but I’m just giving my two cents here. Our momma is the queen of Disney collectibles and though we are not quite as invested in collectibles as she is, I can vouch that collectibles are so fun and so addicting but that also adds up and next thing you know you’ve spent…a bit of money on your collection. So be warned. (however if you do have Disney collectibles lets talk! we want to see what you have!!)
- This sort of goes along with the bring your own food in advice, but another helpful money saver is don’t eat breakfast in the park. Maybe your hotel has continental breakfast? If not maybe your hotel has a fridge or toaster and you can bring cereal and milk or bread/bagels/poptarts. You can have much cheaper breakfasts in your hotel verses the expensive park breakfasts.
- This one is pretty self explanatory, but if you are going to eat in the park, find big meals that you can share!
Those are only a few money saving tips and I know there are dozens of other helpful tricks to save some of your hard earned money. If you have more feel free to share them – I don’t think theres a single person who doesn’t want to save even a few dollars.
Good luck, happy travels and have a magical time in Disneyland!