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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