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There are many ways you can save money at Disneyland.
You should also know that many of these discounts are rather substantial. When you combine these larger discounts with all of the smaller ones, you can get a lot more magic for a lot less money.
Now everybody knows that vacations at Disneyland and Disney World can be rather costly.
Park tickets, airfare, hotels, dining, souvenirs, and other special extras can add up quickly.
However, you don’t have to destroy your budget because you want to take your children to meet Mickey.
You can travel to Disneyland many times a year and use lots of different tricks in order to save money. All it takes is a little planning and research.
In this article, we will show you 30 ways that you can save money at Disneyland.
1. Purchase discount Disney tickets.
Okay, first things first. Let’s start with the obvious one. You can save a rather large amount of money just by using a third-party middle-man.
Both of these websites have a large amount of ticket options that will allow you to save money at Disneyland. Some of these discounted options also include special perks. So take a look at some of these options and see if they may be right for you.
2. Stay at a nearby hotel
Disney hotels are absolutely fabulous. However, think about how much time you will actually spend in your hotel during your entire vacation.
You may be surprised to find that all you really need is a cozy bed and a sanitary bathroom. This is why you should know that there are many hotels that are just across the street from Disneyland. They are much cheaper than the Disney resorts and will provide you with everything you need.
However, hotels owned by Disney will often have lots of appropriate themes and excellent benefits. This is why you should carefully consider all of your options when you are trying to decide what your best value will be.
One of the more economical reasons to purchase lodging at one of the non-Disney owned hotels is that they offer free breakfasts. By eating a large breakfast for free, you can start your day off right and not need to eat as much while you are dining in the park later in the day.
3. Stay at a Disney hotel
There are also many ways to save money at Disneyland when you stay at a Disney hotel. This is because there are many freebies when you are a guest at a Disney resort. That’s why you should check out all of the prices and combine these deals with the extra benefits.
These benefits include free parking and free transportation to and from your hotel to the park. So basically, you should try to snag some cheap rooms during a sale. You may find it cheaper to stay on-site.
4. Employ a travel agent.
Disney pays travel agents. This means there is no extra expense for you to you to make use of their services, so you can find even more ways to save money at Disneyland. These agents often know about the best deals, so it makes sense to listen to their travel tips and take advantage of their knowledge.
5. Cash in your hotel points or your frequent flyer miles.
Some of the greatest expenses you will incur on a Disney vacation are hotel and airfare costs. So if you have enough points in your loyalty accounts, you may have to pay nothing for these aspects of your trip.
In order to get more details about these additional ways to save money at Disneyland, you should keep a close eye on the points in your various loyalty accounts and use them appropriately.
6. Mousesavers website
Mousesavers is a site on the internet that helps you save money at Disneyland. This means that if you want to save even more cash, then you need to subscribe to their newsletter in order to get a wide variety of exclusive offers.
7. Sign up for all of the proper Disney emailing lists.
Disney always has many different deals and sales throughout the entire year. These deals include things like discounts for a lot of different vacation-related items. These specials range from things like resort discounts and less expensive dining plans. They also include many other items involved with your vacation.
So sign up for all of the emails from Disney World and make sure you don’t miss out on a deal.
8. Bring your own gear
If you have children that are four years old or younger, you will probably need one or more strollers. Therefore, you might want to consider bringing your own. Rental costs for Disney strollers begin at $15 a day and get even more expensive from there.
You may also want to consider bringing an umbrella stroller that you own or maybe even renting one from a third party.
Many of the essentials that you might want to buy at Disneyland will be more expensive at the park than they would be at other locations. You should pack baby supplies and ponchos if it is possible to do so.
9. Making grocery runs.
Dining in the parks every single day of your vacation is going to cost you a lot of money. In order to save money at Disneyland, you should eat a few of your meals using supplies that you can stock in your room.
If you do not want to travel with lots of snack foods from home, walk about one or two blocks from the entrance to Disneyland to the CVS Pharmacy at Katella Avenue and Harbor Boulevard. Once you are there, you can load up on cheap snacks.
10. Disney snacks
Although Disney snacks are more expensive than regular snacks, they are still quite a bit cheaper than buying entire meals. You can save tons of cash by eating some of the wonderful Disney snacks that are available in many locations all over the theme park. There are an even greater number of options to be found during special events.
11. Do non-park activities for a day
There are many things you can do with your family outside the park. So why not spend one of your days by taking a break from the theme parks and experience many of the other vacation activities in the area.
For instance, you can lounge by the pool, have a meal at a non-park restaurant, or eat at a fast-food facility. There are literally hundreds of places and activities waiting for you that are much cheaper than a ticket for yet another day at the park. This type of practical planning will most definitely help you save money at Disneyland.
12. Say no to the park hopper option.
Another way that you can save money at Disneyland is to skip the park hopper option. This is because park hopping involves an enormous amount of time, and could be something that is too challenging for families with young children or elderly individuals in their group.
13. Visit Disneyland before your kid is three-years-old
As soon as each one of your kids is three years old, they will require a ticket in order to visit Disneyland. The discounts for children are not very much, so it pays to go to Disneyland when your kids can still get in for free. In addition, children must pay adult prices when they turn ten years old, so be sure to go again when your children are still nine or younger.
14. Get yourself a Disney Chase credit card
Chase bank offers two different types of Disney credit cards that Disney patrons should seriously consider acquiring. Using these cards earns you Disney dollar rewards that you can use at the theme parks.
However, a much bigger benefit is the long list of merchandise and dining discounts that are available by using these credit cards. This is why you may want to consider this option if you want to save money at Disneyland.
15. Purchase Disney gift cards
There are cash machines all over Disneyland, and they allow you to withdraw money from your bank for a fee. If you would like to avoid this charge, then purchase Disney gift cards which can be used like cash anywhere in the magical kingdom. These cards have no purchase fee whatsoever.
You can use Disney gift cards for a rather large percentage of your expenses at Disneyland, including paying for a vacation package before you take your trip. When you get these cards at a discount, you will save on everything you purchase with these cards.
You should also be aware that there are many ways that you can get them. However, you may want to consider getting cards at Target using the Target RedCard which provides you with an additional five percent off of merchandise purchased at Target.
16. Enroll in Y.E.S.
The Disney Youth Education Series (Y.E.S.) is an amazing way for your children to learn while you are visiting Disney. It also allows your family to get even more ticket discounts. Doing this allows for you to have the best of all worlds and have a learning experience while saving money and having fun.
17. Use the photographers, but don’t use PhotoPass
Disney’s PhotoPass service is an awesome way to capture your Disney memories, but it is not something that everyone can afford. However, there are Disney PhotoPass photographers stationed all throughout the park waiting to take your picture with their equipment. While these professionals are stationed to take your picture so that Disney can sell you a print, you should also know that they are more than happy to take a picture of you with your own camera.
18. Purchase MaxPass
However, you may prefer the high-quality pictures taken by the Disney photographers. If this is the case, then have at least one individual in your group get Disney MaxPass. With this deal, you can get free, unlimited PhotoPass downloads and share the images online. You can buy MaxPass with the Disneyland app after you have entered the park.
The price for one day of Max Pass is about the same as the price of downloading a single picture. So if you want several pictures, MaxPass will allow you to save money at Disneyland.
19. Travel to Disneyland during the off season
Travel to Disneyland during the off season, so you can save money and get even more out of the valuable time you have in the magical paradise. During this period of minimal activity, which lasts from January to the beginning of May, the prices for hotels drop quite a bit, so this is a great time to see if there are any good deals to be found.
20. Stay away from the Anaheim Convention Center conferences
The Anaheim Convention Center is the largest convention center in California, and it keeps getting bigger every few years with new additions being built. The most recent of these additions is a gargantuan 200,000 square foot expansion.
When these massive conferences are in town, the prices for hotel rooms increase enormously. Therefore, make sure that you avoid these events, so you can get more reasonable rates.
21. Buy Disneyland character dining vouchers in advance
Disneyland Character Dining is a most delightful aspect of any Disneyland vacation. When you purchase Disneyland Character Dining vouchers, you save about ten percent off of the regular price for Disneyland Character dining. This is because you do not have to pay tax or a gratuity when using a voucher.
22. Never Buy Soda or Water at Disneyland
Certain months of the year can get rather hot.
This is why you are going to need to drink lots of water if you are there during the summer.
So just go to any vendor or restaurant that sells fountain drinks and ask for a cup of ice water.
You don’t need to spend several dollars on drinks or bottled water. The wonderful employees at Disney will make sure that you are never thirsty.
23. Take a refillable bottle of water.
You can also pack yourself a bottle of water and refill it throughout the day. You can fill this up throughout the day with any of the easy water bottle fillers or with free ice water.
Inside Disneyland Park you can find water bottle fillers everywhere. They are located at Tomorrowland Terrace, Rancho Del Zocalo, the French Market, and the Plaza Inn.
However, Disney California Adventure Park does not have any of these conveniences.
One of the best places to fill water bottles is the Wine Country Trattoria bathroom.
24. Get your souvenir shopping done before you go on your trip.
Disney products can be purchased everywhere. So if you’re a smart shopper, then you should consider purchasing items like books, shirts, clothing items, and trinkets before your trip so you can get a cheaper price.
You can purchase some wonderful Disneyland souvenirs at a much lower price before you ever set sail for the theme park.
There really is no reason to pay enormously high prices on the many souvenirs available in the parks when it is more frugal to purchase them at a discount before you go on vacation.
If you think your child will want to dress up during your trip, then bring a princess dress from home. If you want to have the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Disney princess makeover experience, you should be aware that you can bring your own princess dress instead of buying one of the outfits that are available in the park.
You might even want to consider buying a Disney princess dress from the online Disney Store online. They usually have sales, and you can get a dress for a much lower price.
25. Buy multi-day tickets
Single-day tickets are very expensive and do not usually have discounts. However, you can save money at Disneyland by buying multi-day tickets. You can usually find the best promo deals for multi-day visits between January and May.
26. Purchase an annual pass
Eating at the many fine dining facilities at Disneyland and purchasing your souvenirs at the park is expensive. You can run up a large bill rather quickly. One way to offset these costs is by acquiring a Disneyland Annual Pass.
By having an annual pass you can take advantage of many discounts. These deals offer ten percent discounts or more in many locations all over the park. That’s why you should consider this option if you are spending a lot on fine dining and souvenirs. An annual pass will pay for itself if you are spending enough over the course of your magical adventure.
You may even want to consider purchasing an annual pass for just one member of your group. You should crunch the numbers and see what solution will save you the most money.
27. Make your own souvenirs
You can pick up some cheap glow bracelets, glow sticks, and glow necklaces at a nearby dollar store. You can make lots of neat things with these trinkets.
In addition, they can also help you keep track of your children when it is dark. They are also handy for entertaining your kids while you wait for the firework shows.
You can also make lots of homemade goodies by buying regular items and adorning them with Disney art. Quite often, items made with your loving hands are FAR more valuable than the regular souvenirs that you buy in advance or at the park.
Here is a neat little article about how to make your own Disney souvenirs.
28. Buy Disney pins in advance
Trading pins while you are vacationing in Disneyland is fun. However, you should buy them online in bulk before you get there. However, you should be aware that many of the pins sold on certain websites are not authentic, so be careful.
29. Use Uber and don’t rent a car unless necessary
If you are taking a plane to Disneyland, you will not need a car if you plan everything correctly. First of all, you should be aware that the parking costs are expensive anywhere you go.
There are several different transportation options to get from the airport to your hotel. However, you can instead use Uber and go just about anywhere you want to go.
However, if you need to make any sort of day trip, there are lots of conveniently located offices for many of the best car rental agencies within the area.
30. Order a corn dog with out the chips or apple slices and save several dollars
Finally, here is one last piece of information that might save you even a few more bucks.
This is a trick that a lot of people are not aware of. Even though this deal is not on the menu, you can order the famous corn dogs a la carte.
If you order the regular menu-listed corn dog, you will pay several dollars more for a bag of chips or apple slices. In order to avoid this extra expense, just order any extra corn dogs without the side goodies. Every little bit counts!
Final thoughts about saving money at Disneyland
So as you can see, there are many ways to save your hard-earned money when you visit the Disneyland. All it takes is a little planning and some research, and you can save hundreds of dollars.
The wonder and excitement of this magical theme park is waiting for you at a discounted price. So why not take advantage of these phenomenal savings.
When you want to save money at Disneyland, you have lots of options to choose from. No matter what your specific situation may be, there will always be great offers waiting for you. All you need to do is shop around and compare prices so that you can save as much money as possible.
So why not visit Disneyland and experience the wonder and magic. If you plan ahead carefully, it may not be quite as expensive as you would expect.