Disneyland may be a quintessential family vacation, but it’s hardly cheap. Even for those of us within driving distance to this historic amusement park, entrance is still about $100 per head. But it’s Disneyland, and it’s an experience that every one of us should have at least a few times in our lives. So if you’re planning a trip to Disneyland, here are a few money saving tips.
Bring in Your Food & Snacks
I, for one, am a very poor planner when it comes to bringing food into parks. During my last visit to Disneyland, I didn’t bring in anything, and I paid the price. I spent about $140 on food in one day for just my son and I. (Yes, that’s an extreme amount since one meal was $100. But even spending $40 on food can bust your budget.) While I was breaking the bank for a $3 bottle of water, a root beer float, pineapple spears, and lunch, smarter guests were just digging fresh fruit and sandwiches out of their backpacks. And it’s convenient to grub on snacks while you’re standing in line.
Officially, Disneyland doesn’t allow you to bring in food, but everyone does and it’s never a problem. At the very least, you should bring in water which you can refill for free at one of the park’s water fountains.
Take Advantage of Company Discounts
See if your company offers discounts of Disneyland tickets, you might be surprised. I could’ve save about $30 on multi-day tickets, if I had bought them through my company.
Skip California Adventures
Unless you buy a package that includes free admission to California Adventures with your Disneyland ticket, it’s really a skippable experience.
Don’t Pay for Parking
If you are staying at a hotel, just utilize their shuttle service. Most Anaheim-area hotels cater to the Disneyland crowd and have contracts with shuttle services. We were able to jump on the shuttle for $7, parking would’ve cost $17. Of course, if you have a large family, it might actually be cheaper to park at Disneyland. You do the math on that one!
Avoid the Tempting Souvenirs
Not buying those Minnie Mouse ears might be difficult to resist; I ended up spending $40 on a pair of ears and a silly-Donald Duck hat. But if you can avoid it, you can actually snag those same items cheaper on eBay or Amazon. No, you won’t be purchasing them from the park, but it is all made in China (not by the Seven Dwarfs), so it really doesn’t matter where you get it from.