The Ultimate Disneyland Tips

Posted on April 22nd, 2013 by Discount Debbie

A couple of weeks ago I posted about Disneyland money saving tips. Well after spending 5 full days at the park, I’m ready to update you with what I think are the ultimate Disneyland tips. Some of them have to do with saving money, some are just some advice. I spent HOURS researching blogs, Pinterest and anything I could find that had to do with Disneyland. I even feel confident calling myself a Disneyland expert.

(thank you Lissarie Photography for the amazing picture of my daughter with Pluto!)

Moneysaving Tips

1. Bring snacks. I mentioned this before, but seriously this may be the most important piece of advice. The food is expensive. And Disneyland has a very powerful trick, they only sell food that smells amazing and hard to resist. Who spends $4.99 on a corn on the cob? This girl! I couldn’t resist the smell. Do your best to bring your own snacks and stay clear of the food vendors. Do enjoy yourself with a treat or two, but you will go broke eating at the park.

2. Shop away from the park. You’d think you could just go outside of the park for extras like shampoo, snacks, souvenirs , etc, but even the stores close to the park are dollars more than what you’d normally pay. If you have the time, get to a store as far from the park as you can. Our hotel didn’t have conditioner and I didn’t bring any thinking they would and the cheapest I could find was $6.99 for a small bottle–RIDICULOUS! Even a soda that would normally cost you $1.99 was up to $2.99!

3. Be prepared for all kinds of weather. We had been watching the weather and felt that is was going to be warm during our visit. Well it wasn’t. And we were NOT prepared with our clothes. It was actually quite cold which made us have to end up spending $50 on a sweatshirt. That was an unfortunate expense that we should have thought about, but our mind was on sun, not cold and rain.

4. Plan for one or two nice meals. Sometimes it’s torture to know you “can’t” spend money or that you are on a budget. Knowing you will get a reward is a great way to keep you motivated. Instead of saying you won’t eat out at all while at the park, plan one nice meal with your family. We had one night where we went to the Blue Bayou in the park and it was INCREDIBLE. The bill was too, but I am so glad we did it. It’s definitely worth planning for.

5. Skip the Dole Whip. I feel almost sacrilegious saying this, but every thing I read said you had to try one and I wished I hadn’t wasted the $4! I didn’t like it and it was a waste. So if you aren’t a fan of pineapple, this is definitely one you can skip despite what you read on the internet.

General Tips

1. Don’t hop back and forth between the parks. We had hopper passes which I was glad for, but I think we could have planned better and stayed at one park one day and the other park the next day. It took a lot of time to walk between the parks and time we could have used for rides.

2. Download all the Disneyland apps for your smartphone. There are a ton of apps out there that give you info on the parks. They give you wait times for rides, restaurant info, parade info and even where you can find characters. Just search Disneyland on your smartphone app finder and you’ll see a ton. All the good ones are free and really helped us.

3. Try Ridemax. This is an amazing program. It really works too! It’s not free, but at $14.95 for Disneyland, it was worth it. Basically you put into the program what time you’ll get to the park and what time you’ll leave then all the rides you want. It will tell you what order to go in so you have the least waits. It really really worked and helped us get the most out of our time. I HIGHLY recommend it.

4. Take advantage of the Fast Pass system. A fast pass is available on certain rides where you can get the pass that will tell you to come back at a certain time and then go into a fast pass line. This means less of a wait for you. It’s fantastic! You can’t get a bunch of fast passes for a lot of different rides, but you can do one at a time until a certain time. These will seriously help your sanity. Waiting in lines is no fun and this helps so much!

5. Take breaks. Disneyland is overwhelming. It’s easy to get frustrated with all the crowds, pricing, your children, etc. But a vacation is supposed to be fun and enjoyable. It will really help you to take breaks and take things slow. Planning your day will help so you aren’t sitting around wondering what’s next or where you’re going. Breaks are great for kids too. Meltdown happens far too quickly for children and can ruin a day very quickly. Take the breaks you need to and keep everyone happy and rested.

Are you planning a trip to Disneyland? Let us know if you have any questions! We are Disney experts now so ask us!


Thrifty Disneyland Tips (Hopefully)

Posted on March 26th, 2013 by Discount Debbie

A really important part of being a Thrifty Diva is planning. I honestly believe that if you don’t plan to save, you won’t save. So with that in mind, I’ve been searching high and low for ideas on saving money on our trip to Disneyland in two weeks. The last time we went, I didn’t have a plan and we ended up spending way more than we needed to. And now with two children in tow, we’ve decided we must have a plan. Even if we spend half of what we did last time, we’ll be doing better.

So…here’s our plan. I’ll be sure to update you all after we go and add any other tips we may have learned.

1. No souvenirs. At least we won’t be buying any at the park. In addition to the cheaper places around the park, we can even hit the stores now and take stuff with us for the kids so the kids don’t miss out. Today we went to JCPenny where we found Mickey Mouse t-shirts for the kids for $8 each! You won’t find that kind of deal inside the park and my kids couldn’t care less where it’s from. We’ll hide some gifts in our suitcase and give them to the kids in the park so they’ll have some surprises.

2. Packing a lunch. The park doesn’t allow you to take in a cooler, but Disneyland will allow you to bring food in unlike a lot of theme parks. Also Disneyland offers free water to you along with free cups of ice. If you bring your own water bottle they will fill it for you! No bottled water for us! If you do need to bring a lot of food in a cooler, there are lockers just outside the park that will fit coolers. If you are unable to pack a lunch, you can always eat outside the park for much cheaper too. There are many fast food options around the park.

3. Book through a travel agent. This is something we’ve already done, but super impressed with how much we saved with going through AAA. We were able to get a free photo pass and a discount card good for restaurants and other shops. It definitely saved us time and money letting someone else do all the work. I had already compared pricing, so I knew we were getting the best deal possible.

4. Hit up the dollar store. This is another one we have done. We need things like ponchos for water rides, snacks for the plane ride and other miscellaneous items like first aid kits. These can add up at the park, but will cost way less here at home.

5. Check out Target princess dresses. One of the things I really wanted was some kind of outfit for my daughter to wear in Disneyland. At well over $60 per dress in most locations, I figured that may be out of the question. Then I was shopping in Target and found the perfect Disney princess dress. I bought it at $25 and we’ll pack it away. My 2-year-old will never know it wasn’t bought at Downtown Disney!

Do you have any other tips for my family and I? I would LOVE to hear them!

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