We did these 5 things on our trip to Disneyland and saved over 50% on what we were planning to spend.
Planning a trip to Disneyland is one of the most exciting things a family can do. It can also be stressful. From the hotel, to the tickets, food, souvenirs and everything in between; a trip to Disneyland can be one of the most expensive vacations you plan. BUT it doesn’t have to be. Through proper planning and a well thought out game plan, anyone can plan a trip to Disneyland, no matter what your budget.
How To Save 50% On Your Disneyland Vacation
The very first thing we did when we were planning our trip was to set a budget for our trip. I learned the hard way, the best way to do this is to sit down with who you are going with and plan your budget together. I set our budget and priced things out on my own and then took what I found to my husband who lovingly told me “You gotta do better than that.”
My next step was to cut our biggest expense – lodging.
How To Save On Your Hotel For Your Disneyland Vacation
I had looked online at several websites, Travelocity, Expedia, Hotwire and Get Away Today to find the best prices on hotels. I found the best prices for every hotel I looked at was Get Away Today. But now that I knew we needed to cut costs anywhere we could, I decided I needed more help so I called Get Away Today. I talked with Lexi who was so helpful! I explained what we wanted to do, what our budget was and everything we were hoping to get. I felt like I was such a pain because I had so many questions but she was so nice and really found us the best deal.
We stayed at the ALO Hotel by Ayres, which was a little less than 2 miles from Disneyland, for 6 days for over $1,000 less than the first hotel I had looked at. We got such a great deal because the 3rd and 6th night were free so we basically only paid for 4 nights. When you’re looking for hotels ALWAYS LOOK FOR HOTELS THAT OFFER FREE NIGHTS.
Another way we were able to save on our hotel is we decided to drive straight through to Disneyland (and home). We cut 2 nights off of our vacation and were able to save $300. I will suggest if you decide to do this, do something very active with the kids the day you leave, and head out about 30 minutes up to an hour before bed time. This way the kids will be worn out and will sleep through most of the car ride. For more tips on road trips with kids you can check out this post.
How To Save On Disneyland Tickets
The best tip I have for saving money on Disneyland tickets is again to go through Get Away Today and buy your tickets when there is a promotion going on. Get Away Today often offers Adults at Kid Prices, 4th Day Free or other discounts throughout the year. Currently, through September 7th, you can save $13 per ticket on 3 day or more park hopper tickets when you travel through October 31st, 2018. You can also save $10 on ANY 2 day or more hotel and ticket package when you use code TFRUGAL at checkout or when you call to book your vacation.
How To Save On Food At Disneyland
By this point, I had saved over $1400 on our vacation but we both wanted to save more. We planned a few ways to save on food and learned some along the way. Here are my best money saving tips when it comes to eating on your Disneyland vacation.
- Stay at a hotel that offers free breakfast. Have a big breakfast every morning so you (and the kids) won’t be hungry early on in the day.
- If your room (or hotel) has a microwave, plan a dinner or two that you can heat up in the microwave. This could be store bought meals (one night we did hot dogs and macaroni and cheese) and another night we had our favorite Cheeseburger Casserole. I made it ahead of time, put it in individual containers and packed it in the cooler for the car ride down.
- Pack your own lunch and snacks. I made PB&J sandwiches in the room for lunches and packed fruit snacks, granola bars and rice krispie treats for snacks. You can also bring your own water bottles in to the park and fill them up for free at several locations throughout the parks.
- If you don’t have a fridge in your room, or don’t want to pack lunches into the park, leave the park for lunch and/or dinner. Not only does it give you and the kids a nice break from standing in lines, but it saves a whole lot of money. Instead of spending $40+ per meal at Disneyland, we ate at the Wendy’s by our hotel for $12-$15. PS Wendy’s all natural lemonade tastes SO good after a hot day at Disneyland.
- Try Downtown Disney for dining options. Tuesday night we ate at Taqeuria at Tortilla Jo’s when they had Taco Tuesdays. We got a plate of nachos to share and one taco for each of us and spent only $20 and the food was REALLY good!
- If you want to eat in the park, splurge on the treats! And share! The portion sizes on most of the treats are huge and we easily shared all of them (and felt full afterwards).
How To Save On Souvenirs At Disneyland
We were able to get all our souvenirs for FREE at Disneyland (and we got $75 worth of souvenirs)!! How you ask?! Gift cards! I had been buying everything from gas to groceries, gifts and more for the last year on a credit card from my credit union. We paid the card off each month to not incur interest but we did earn points. I had earned enough points to get all three kids a $25 Disney gift card that they could use for whatever they wanted at the park. Not only was it a great way for us to limit our spending, but it was also nice for them to learn how much they can get for their money, and to value their money. Talk to your bank or credit union to see if they offer a credit card that you can earn points with and you can get FREE souvenirs (or food) too!
By doing these things I was able to take our $5,000 vacation (the original amount I had planned on) and cut all costs down to only $2,300 including hotel, Disneyland tickets, food and souvenirs. If you want to see how you can save and take advantage of the Lucky 13 sale at Get Away Today click here. And don’t forget to use code TFRUGAL to save an extra $10 on any 2 day or more ticket and hotel package. Need more time to make payments on your vacation? You can also book your vacation for as little as $175 with Get Away Today’s Layaway Program! Find out more about it here.