7 Ways to Save Money During Your Disneyland Visit
Written on September 27, 2007 by Kevin.
People at my work sometimes ask me how I can afford to go to Disneyland so many times in a year. Experience is key I think. Being the sole financial provider in the family, I have to think frugal and how to stretch the dollars that we budget.
Each trip, we come across new things that we realize we are overspending on or otherwise just don't need. Here is a good starting list on how to keep Disneyland a bit more affordable.
Under 3 is free - Yes that's right. Disneyland offers children under 3 years old to enter the park for free. Some people will say that the children cannot remember things at that age and maybe that is technically right but that doesn't mean I could have them sit at the house staring at wall. Either thing they won't remember right? Kids at this age have a right to be stimulated just like the older children and we make sure to do that with Rylan and Kaitlyn. We want them to experience everything possible even if they cannot remember it. As a parent, I see that many other parents don't give their children the credit that they really deserve. Just because they are young does not mean they are not intelligent and don't deserve to be treated equally.
Pack your lunch - A couple visits ago we tried this by packing P&J sandwiches. They quickly became flattened and really became worthless at that point. I have heard many people bring bagels which would hold up much better. We decided on small boxes of cereal and healthy granola bars this time. It worked out OK to fight off the hunger a bit longer and was a bit healthier I presume. We are very open to further suggestions on this one..
Choose wisely - OK. You cannot bring your own food so you are going to stick it out and eat purchased meals. Choose wisely because there are many things that will set you back $8+ easily. Kids meals are overpriced and the portions are jaw droppingly small. We learned this the hard way. This time around though we were a bit prepared. Massive corndogs cost $5.80 which includes chips/apple bites. A large chimichanga only cost $5.00 and a huge turkey drumstick will set you back $6.00. By themselves they may seem like a lot but compared to the rest of the park these are the most affordable. Fruits can also be purchased for a high but fair price. Also, if you are a AAA member, ask restaurants and they may offer a 10% discount.
Water is way overpriced - We reviewed and reviewed the weather forecast for this last visit and we were betting on rain. When the sun decided to shine for the entire day, it got hot and we purchased bottle after bottle of water. These ring in at almost $3 a piece. Yikes. Our second day, we brought water bottles that we had purchased at the local grocery store. One six-pack for the price of one bottle at the park. Much better. We learned a hard lesson on that one.
Collect on freebies - Children are looking for souvenirs to take home to show their friends and family I imagine. We had a budget aside for gifts but it is very easy to overspend really quickly at these stores. The unique toys that they only sell at the park are very tempting. Depending on the age of your child, ask around at the Disney Vacation booths and they will give your child a few free stickers. No obligation. Just free stickers. Make a trip to the Jungle Cruise and pickup your free souvenier map as well. If you are in a hurry, ask the cast member at the exit. They should be able to get you one. City Hall offers free pins for your 1st park visit, birthday, anniversary and more I imagine. Cast members will typically spot these and give you a bit more attention.
Leave the first aid kit at home - Disneyland has first aid stations throughout the park. They offer the basics free of charge including band-aids, Tylenol and others.
Time is money - If you have a complaint, let it be known. For the first time ever, we had multiple complaints on Saturday. We talked to the customer relations at both California Adventure and Disneyland they offered us free fast passes to any ride. We ended up using these throughout Saturday and did not need to stand in any lines except for the new Finding Nemo ride.
Have any tips of your own?