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How to Save Money at Disneyland

Posted by Maria Inês Pinto on 12/09/2014
How to Save Money at Disneyland

It’s every child’s dream to spend a holiday at Disneyland – but sometimes planning this family getaway can be a budget nightmare for parents. The theme park tickets alone can be expensive and then you still have to add accommodation and travel costs plus expenses such as food and, of course, souvenir shopping.

Luckily, however, there are a few ways to beat the system and make sure you can enjoy your family holiday at Disney in a stress-free way without having to be concerned about going over budget. Here are a few handful tips for saving money on your next Disney holiday:

1.  Avoid Disney’s Holiday Packages

Disney designs holiday packages to offer you the convenience of saving you time in planning your holiday. But many times, these package deals can hide real discount opportunities. They usually apply to room-only on-campus accommodation and include park tickets in the total price too. However, as you’ll see down the list, staying on the Disney campus can wind up costing you more (especially when it doesn’t include meals) and there are easy ways to cut back on these costs. So, if your holiday budget is tight, consider booking your flight, hotel and theme park tickets separately. This will allow you to take advantage of different discount offers as they emerge which will mean you save loads more.

2.  Get Discounts on Theme Park Tickets

Although it is important to be wary of fake ticket brokers (especially online), there are ticket hubs both online and around Disney that offer great deals on park tickets. They usually offer 5% to 10% discount on entry tickets – this may not seem like a lot but it can easily add up when you’re travelling as a large family!

3.  Consider Purchasing an Annual Pass

If you visit Disneyland regularly, the option to purchase an annual pass is always one to consider. Even if you only like to visit it once per year, if you choose to travel this year in November, you can purchase an annual pass then and it will still be valid until October of next year meaning you can travel again during the spring or summer holidays. Do the math and see if it’s worth it for your family!

4. Travel Off Peak

One of the best ways to save money on your holiday expenses is to travel during the off peak season. Usually, for Disney, this means travelling after major school holidays. This will allow you to save on your flight tickets, since airlines usually offer great discounts during the off season, but accommodation options will also be cheaper! If you’re flexible with your travel times, this is definitely the best way to save.

5. Stay Off Campus…

Once you’re there, one of the best decisions for families looking to save some money on their Disney holiday is to stay at a hotel or holiday home off the Disney property. Although the Disney hotels offer a unique experience, they can get expensive if you’re travelling with a large group or if you simply have a tighter holiday budget. Luckily, there are many hotels and holiday homes located near the Disney campus that offer excellent accommodation facilities at great prices.

6. … And Eat Off Campus

When dinner time comes around, head off campus as well for cheaper dining options. Besides the fact that you will avoid the inflated prices of Disney restaurants, you’ll also get to take advantage of the several great websites that can offer great discount coupons on restaurants in the city.

Bonus: If you choose to eat at a fast-food restaurant, consider ordering à la carte. How often do you really finish your fries? And do your kids drink all of their soft drinks? Order only what you know you will eat and you’ll be able to save more than you think!

7. But Get Breakfast!

When choosing your hotel, select one with a bed and breakfast board. This will save you loads of money not only because you’ll be able to get breakfast for a cheaper price but because you’ll also get to bring some pieces of fruit from the breakfast buffet to pack as snacks for later on in the day. It’s a wonderful two-in-one!

8.  Pack Your Lunch

During the day, it will be harder to get out of the Disney property to get lunch and grab a few snacks. One great money-saving idea is to pack your lunch and snacks in the morning. Stop by a grocery store once you arrive and organise your meals for the rest of the day, then pack them in a soft cooler in your backpack. You’ll be ready to go!

9.  Free Water

Purchase a water bottle at the beginning of your trip and use the Disney water fountains to refill it for free! If you don’t like the taste of the fountain water (it’s not known for being the tastiest) bring some flavoured packets with you to sweeten it up.

10.  Pre-purchase Souvenirs

Kids will be kids and they are sure to be enchanted by the infinite Disney stores you’ll find on your way to the different rides. The souvenirs at these shops, though, can be quite pricey so if you’re looking to save some money but you still want to spoil your children a little during your family holiday, consider pre-purchasing your “souvenirs”. Go to your local Disney store, get each of them a small toy and give it to them during your holiday. It will save you money and keep them happy!