Disneyland trips can be expensive, but there are so many easy ways to save on a Disneyland vacation and have a completely magical trip. Here are my Best Tips for Saving Money at Disneyland.
1. Stay Off-site
This is the number one way to save hundreds of dollars a night! The Disneyland hotels are amazing and so beautiful but if you are working on a budget, staying offsite is a huge savings!
If you stay at one of the hotels across the street from Disneyland the walk to the park is just minutes, really just the same as staying at onsite.
One of our favorite off-site hotels is Grand Legacy at the Park. It’s the hotel we always recommend to our friends. Super close to the park, a great view from the front tower and a fun pool for the kids.
You can see my hotel review for Grand Legacy at the Park here.
I did a quick search to compare pricing. Four nights, August 9th, 2018 through August 13th, 2018 at Grand Legacy at the Park would be a total of $744.12, while the same nights at Disneyland Hotel would equal $2,282.90.
Staying at the Disneyland Hotel is amazing, but if the budget is tight, off-site is a great way to save!
2. One Park Per Day Tickets
Park Hopper Tickets, that allow you to visit both Disneyland and California Adventure on the same day, are a fun option for the whole family. Especially since the parks are so close together. But buying one park per day tickets is a great way to trim the budget.
Even with our annual passes we often find that, with three kids in tow, park hopping just doesn’t happen. Especially when Disneyland is busy and lines to get into each park are long.
Regardless of how many days, you will save $50 per person going with one park per day tickets vs Park Hopper Tickets.
So, wether they buy 2-day one park per day tickets or 5-day one park per day tickets, a family of 4 would save $200 over buying 2-day or 5-day Park Hopper Tickets. A family of 5 would save $250, again, regardless of the number of days they purchase tickets for.
That savings is based on current regular ticket prices in August of 2018.
3. Discounted Disneyland Tickets
The most important tip I can give you is to make sure you buy discounted tickets from a reliable authorized ticket source like Get Away Today. If you buy tickets from an unauthorized source or a resell site, you will spend so much more if they end up being fake. It’s not worth the risk.
Offers vary depending on the time of year, but you can often find deals that include adults at kid prices and 4th day or 5th day free tickets.
Currently, Get Away Today is offering 2019 vacation packages at 2018 prices.
They even have a layaway option if you want to make payments! If you use the promo code Pencil, you can save $10 off a Southern California package when you book with Get Away Today.
4. Plan Your Meals Ahead of Time
Meals can be a budget buster at Disneyland, especially for families.
You don’t have to have a strict itinerary of where and what you will eat every day, but it’s good to have an idea of budget friendly options for each meal. This is so important, especially when you are at Disneyland with your family. In the hustle and bustle of the day, it’s easy to get hungry and eat whatever is close, but nobody wants to pay top dollar for a not so great meal. That’s why I recommend doing your research before going. Check out my Delicious Things to Eat at Disneyland for more ideas!
One of the best budget friendly meals inside the park are the famous hand dipped corn dogs. You can find them at the Little Red Wagon at the end of Main Street in Disneyland or at Corn Dog Castle in California Adventure.
We are huge Disneyland foodies and love to eat in the park, but we often eat at least one meal outside of the park.
One of the easiest is breakfast. We bring easy on the go breakfast items and keep them in our hotel refrigerator, or walk over to McDonald’s for a breakfast sandwich before heading into the park. Grand Legacy at the Park is just a short walk down to McDonald’s.
With young kiddos, we often head back to the hotel mid afternoon for a nap. Before we head back to the park for the evening, we will order a pizza to our room or get tacos from Jim Boys Tacos, located right in front of Grand Legacy at the Park. Jim Boy’s Tacos is so good we actually ate there twice on our last visit!
5. Set a Souvenir Limit Before the Trip
After years of buying way too many stuffed animals and souvenirs at Disneyland and Disney World, we have set a limit of one souvenir per trip. Our kiddos look forward to finding that one special souvenir for the entire trip and spend more time deciding if that is the one they really want. So, wether you set an expectation of quantity or a dollar amount per child, I think the important part is planning ahead and sticking to the plan.
Souvenirs and keepsakes do not have to be expensive! One of my favorite very special keepsakes are the hand cut silhouettes on Main Street. They are only $9.99 not including the frame and the artists are amazing!
For friends and family at home, I recommend souvenir treats! Disneyland has an amazing variety of delicious cookies, candy and caramel apples that are always appreciated. Disneyland treats are budget friendly, and many of them are easy to pack!
6. Shop Your Closet
I always spend a lot of time planning our family outfits when we do a big Disney vacation. Sometime I go all out on special outfits for my kids, but a lot of times I use clothing from their closets and add one new Disney accessory for the trip.
For this Disney World trip, I bought a new shirt for myself and used outfits my girls already had to coordinate. I think it’s especially easy to use comfy sun dresses for girls and a pair of Minnie Ears they can wear throughout the trip.
Custom hats are also a fun accessory you can mix and match, especially when it’s hot and sunny. These can double as a souvenir too! We bought these hats from The Maddest Hatter Co shop on Etsy.
For more Disneyland tips check out:
29 Amazing Things to Eat at Disneyland
5 Easy Dinner Ideas for Busy Weeknights
My five FAVORITE recipes for busy families!
- Quick to make
- Light on your budget
- Easy to clean-up
- and...most important...absolutely DELICIOUS
Some great tips here especially as we’ll be visiting Disneyland for the first time next month. We’ve been to WDW multiple times but it’s our first West Coast trip. We try to keep the budget down by eating at a lot of the quick service restaurants. I presume like at Disney world you’re able to bring in your own food and coolers?