Disney & Travel + Leisure

Saving Big at Disneyland

DisneylandSaving Big at Disneyland in California

Just thinking about the outrageous expense of a Disneyland vacation is enough to stop all plans in their tracks. Try on some of these tips to make your trip Disneyland trip magical, and budget friendly.

Plan your day around your kid’s schedule. Staying on track with naps, meals, and routines will prevent stressful meltdowns. Make sure everyone eats before going to the park to avoid hungry tummies inside the gate. One way to save on meal expenses is to reserve a hotel room with a kitchen.

Although it is a wonderful experience to stay in a Disney Hotel, it comes with a hefty price tag. There are several neighborhood hotels within a close distance to the park that are very accommodating. Combine that with the conveniently located grocery store and you have the potential to save hundreds of dollars on food. You could prepare everything from a simple pot of spaghetti to packing sandwiches for tomorrow’s adventures.

Check the availability of a shuttle with your hotel. Parking costs $15 per day. That can add up very quickly- especially if you are planning on visiting the parks for a couple of days. Hotels usually provide a FREE shuttle service throughout the day and have specific pick-up and drop off times and locations.

One of the biggest, frivolous expenses you will encounter is for souvenirs. Unless you have an endless supply of money in the bank, you are also guaranteed the constant fight with “Pleeeeaaaasssseeeee! I have to have it!” from your kids. Prepare them, even if they are young. Explain to them that they are going to see so many things that they will want to take home with them, or eat. Tell them that they will be able to have a few treats, but that they cannot have them all.

Most kids will be very cooperative if you take the time to explain what is going to happen. You will need to decide on a budget for the extras and stick to it. Buying an extra something here and there can add up. Mainly because the cost of items are higher than store prices. An amazing way to curb this expense is to buy your souvenirs ahead of your vacation. Pack them in a suitcase and give one to your child at the end of each day. Take advantage of the time to unwind and spend a few calm minutes with your kiddos. You could also use this time to reflect on how they behaved.

If you apply these few tips the next time you visit Disneyland, your vacation won’t break the bank. What is your best tip for surviving Disneyland on a budget?

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32 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. Dandi D

    We would really like to take our children there some day.

  2. Robin (Masshole Mommy)

    We go to Disney World every year, so I am the queen of saving! These tips are spot on.

  3. I would love to visit Disneyland with my family. Thanks for these great tips!

  4. Pam

    Souvenir costs can add up so fast. These are great tips to save money at Disney.

  5. Catherine S

    These are great tips. I like the idea of buying the souvenirs ahead of time.

  6. Those souvenir prices are crazy sometimes. I like your ideas. I’ll definitely try to avoid the parking fees too.

  7. Great tips! I would love to go to Disney but the cost has always deterred me.

  8. These are great tips. We’ve been to each Disneyland and Disney World. One of my favorite trips was when we rented a condo about 20 minutes from the Disney World parks. There was a huge grocery store near us that has tons of fantastic Disney souvenirs at a much better cost. Our kids never knew the difference!

  9. I hope to get to disney one day. Tips like these will come in handy.

  10. Rosey

    Oh boy, I do get the ‘can I haveeeeeeeeeeee it’ request for souvenirs. Best to set the record straight early, I agree. 🙂

  11. These are great tips for anyone wanting an adventure at Disney. As much as I love Disney movies and characters I have just never felt a calling to roam around the parks.

  12. It has been many ears since I have been to Disney. I am thinking theme parks are not my idea of vacationing now that the kids are older Disney is a good plac to go always though

  13. These are all great tips. I have never been to Disneyland, but I want to go so badly!

  14. Thank you so much for sharing this. I love Disney, but it can get so expensive. These are great tips.

  15. We have not been to Disneyland, but I would love to! I think the souvenirs are outrageous at all the theme parks. My kids know better than to ask for one!

  16. Kristi

    I love Disneyland and I love saving money.. so I appreciate you sharing all of these ideas. thank you.

  17. Pam

    Disney can definitely be pricey! These are great tips for creating a magical vacation and keeping the cost down.

  18. We always set a budget for our kids for their souvenirs and make sure we stick to that. We also pack snacks and drinks in our bag so we aren’t having to constantly be buying food.

  19. These are excellent tips. I have two young ones and we’ve never been to Disneyland (even when I visited LA years ago, I skipped it for some reason.) Keeping kids fed and on a schedule is definitely huge.

  20. These are good ideas. It’s the little things that always seem to add up. I’d consider getting a hotel room with a kitchen next time.

  21. It would be great to be able to save while visiting Disney, but the souvenirs and other stuff are just so pretty to resist. I usually give the kids a certain spending budget so they would learn to spend their money wisely.

  22. You’ve got great tips! I love that you can still save while having fun at Disneyland! How awesome is that?

  23. Our Family World

    it will be great to save a lot from Disney, since my kids loves disney, this post will surely help me to save some!

  24. Jeanine

    I’ve never been so sadly dont have any tips but I am loving this. I know if we do ever go I would need some savings somewhere as there are 9 of us and its going to be a huge expense!

  25. This looks like such a great place to visit.
    We have checked out WDW in FL several times.
    My family needs to take a trip out to Disneyland.

  26. Awesome! This will be so helpful for our trip to Disney! Thanks for the help!

  27. My family and I have never been to Disneyland. Hopefully we’ll get there one day!

  28. These are great tips for Disney, since we are going in the spring i will keep these in mind. A big thing is keeping up on naps for my daughter, i want to stay on track and that can get tricky when on vacation.

  29. It helps to be thorough and cut where you can. There are some expenses that are unnecessary. As you pointed out, it gets expensive so you have to plan well in order to make the budget!

  30. Rosey

    a Disney Vacation can get very expensive. Finding ways to save is always a big hit with the parents. I was looking at a Disney Cruise recently, but it’s way out of our budget right now that’s for sure.

  31. It really does take some research, planning and a ton of patience to plan a Disney trip, especially if you want to be frugal. I love all these ideas. Thanks for sharing them.

  32. These are very good tips! It’s important to talk to your kids about your spending budget and how much food or stuff they’re allowed to buy when you’re in the park.

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