Disneyland is a magical place, there is no doubt about that, but the price tag for magic is pretty hefty these days. Tickets alone for a family of 4 to attend for just one day would be over $500. But most families don’t go for just one day. Plus, there’s hotel, transportation, food and souvenirs.
It adds ups fast but there are small ways to save on your Disneyland vacation that can add up to a big savings.
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Look for ways to save on tickets.
Many people don’t realize that they can actually get discounted tickets for Disneyland. Get Away Today offers exclusive deals on tickets to Disneyland. If you’re only going for one day, you can’t purchase tickets online but you can give them a call to purchase your tickets.
Also, if you have a friend or family member that works at Disneyland, you may want to ask them. I was really shy about this but thanks to my mom not being shy, I saved $500 dollars on park tickets! Believe me, I know that it can feel like you are taking advantage but the worst that can happen is the person says no. If you are polite about it, it’s not going to hurt anything to ask.
Bring on the snacks.
Packing snacks will help keep your spending down at Disneyland. Decide in advance to get one treat per person, if you want, in the park and then fill your bag with snacks to help you stick to your plan.
Eat as many meals as you can outside of Disneyland.
I don’t eat breakfast because I do intermittent fasting but I made sure to feed my son from food we had brought before we went to the park. Since he has a pretty early bed time, we did not stay super late at the park. So, for dinner we ate at a restaurant near our hotel.
We only ate one meal in the park which I estimate saved us at least $40.
Bring refillable water bottles.
You do not want to get stuck paying for water at Disneyland.
Pack some refillable water bottles and use the water fountains. It’s also pretty likely that you can get in with juice for your little one. I didn’t want to chance it but I have read, again in the Facebook groups, that some people have gotten in with soda!
Stay further away from the park.
Thanks to this travel membership I have, I was able to get two nights hotel stay for $127. One thing that helped keep the price low, was that I chose a hotel that is technically in Buena Park, not Anaheim, and three blocks from the park.
Carry cash or use a special vacation debit card.
I am a big fan of carrying cash because it helps you stick to a budget but if you are uncomfortable with this, get a debit card in advance that is for spending money only. This way, you don’t even have to bring your other money along to the park.
Cash or a limited amount on a card will make you much more mindful of what you are spending and keep you on a budget.
Buy your souvenirs elsewhere.
Prior to our trip, I saw in various Disneyland vacation Facebook groups that many moms recommended buying your souvenirs at home and bringing them along, rather than buying them at the park.
I have to admit, this was a difficult concept for me to get on board with. Instead, I decided that I would buy my son one of those bubble wands and I would buy myself Minnie ears and that’s it.
I did exactly that. (I also purchased glow sticks ahead of time to pull out during the parade.)
My parents had gone with us, though, and wanted to purchase souvenirs for everyone else. I suggested that we head down to Walmart in Anaheim, as big box stores in touristy areas always have souvenirs.
My parents stocked up on their souvenirs and since it was close to Christmas and I still had some shopping to do, I ended up buying some Disney gifts. (Different budget, so I still stuck to my Disney spending plan!)
I do love my Minnie ears but, if I had it to do again, I would have gone to Walmart first and bought some there. I probably would have bought a much less expensive bubble wand, too.
I hope these tips will help you see how you can save money on a Disneyland vacation!
How have you saved money at Disney?
About the Author
Hi! I'm Inez, the owner and content creator of For the Love of Mom, a website dedicated to helping moms thrive in motherhood by offering helpful advice, tips and resources.