Prepping for Disneyland: Saving Money

How to Save Money at Disneyland

We're almost headed to Disney and we so stinking excited.  Since it's just days away I'm in full prep mode.  I wanted to share my best tips for saving money and preparing for a Disney trip:

1. Purchase Disney Gift Cards at Target with Target Red Card to Save 5%

Set your budget ahead of time and purchase Disney Gift Cards in that amount ahead of time.  You can save 5% when you use your Target Red Card.  If you buy $500 worth of gift cards you save $25 which for me is totally worth it.  Then use your gift cards for all your meals, photo passes, souvenirs, etc.

2. Purchase Hotel & Tickets with Get Away Today

I'm always looking for the best places to book travel and for Disneyland I have to recommend Get Away Today.  They have won several awards and offer discounted travel that can't be beat.  Please be careful where you buy your Disneyland tickets because not everyone is an authorized dealer.  With Get Away Today you can get $10 off any 2+ night Southern California package with my code (exclusive for my readers only) below.  On top of discounts Get Away Today offers free travel insurance and a Layaway Payment Plan.

Get Away Today is not just for hotel and park entrance but also offers discounted Character Dining which is a must for every trip.  If you're taking a long vacation and attending other So Cal parks Get Away Today offers discounts to many of those parks as well.

3. Pre Purchase Souvenirs

Disney Park Bag- Souveneirs

Souvenirs are wildly overpriced at the resort so buy ahead of time and hide the goodies until you get there.  You can place a new souvenir on your child's bed each morning and pull it out once you get to the park.  This cuts down the amount of begging inside the park.  Be sure to also grab bubble guns and glow sticks ahead of time for parades.  You can also make your own Autograph Books to save lots.  I used printables from Pinterest, laminated them and bound them myself.  Of course there are some items you might just have to buy if you get asked but at least you can save a few bucks.

4. Stay at Hotel with Breakfast Included

Save time and money by grabbing breakfast in your hotel.  The best case scenario is a hotel that includes continental breakfast.  You could save at least $50 a day for a family of four which can really add up.  If breakfast isn't included you could pack breakfast items to eat in your room.  If that doesn't appeal to you eating breakfast at your hotel will still be cheaper than in the park.

5. Take Snacks and Lunch into the Park

My kids could eat all day long and tell me they're hungry about once an hour.  I can't imagine the amount of money we would spend if we bought all their snacks at the resort.  Plus if I bring items with us I can choose much healthier options.  Don't get me wrong there are lots of goodies that we can't pass up in the park but those are specialty items.

6. Don't Buy Bottled Water

Carry refillable bottled waters or when making food purchases ask for complimentary ice water.  We drink a lot of water so we take in refillable bottles.  Even our waters have to be cute so when I found these refillable bottles I was giddy.  They are so cute and very functional.  They are double-walled 18/8 stainless steel thermal bottle which keeps hot drinks hot for 12 hours and cold drinks cold for 24 hours! You can grab yours from Isty Bitsy Wear.

7. Plan Sit Down Meals Ahead

Plan out your budget and start looking at menus online.  Plan meals that fit within your budget.  Make sure you call 60 days ahead to make your reservations.  You can't make them more than 60 days out and you don't want to wait past that because they sell out quickly, especially during peak seasons.

8. Don't Buy Park Hopper Tickets

A Hopper Ticket can cost you as much as an additional $25 per day.  That adds up for a family who is going for several days.  We purchase tickets for 1 park per day and we never feel like we are missing out.  Especially because we have little ones so running back and forth from park to park isn't really a viable option for us anyway.  We just plan each day out ahead of time based on parades and shows so we know which park we want to hit on what day.

9. Don't Pay for Parking

If you're not staying on the resort you have the option of walking, taking a hotel shuttle or using an Uber.  Otherwise, parking at the resort is $20-$35 per day.  Again that really adds up.  Ideally pick a hotel that is within walking distance but most area hotels offer shuttles that run all day which will save you lots of money.

10. Utilize Disney Photographers

You don't have to purchase a photopass to use the professional photographers around the park.  They are happy to use your camera to take a photo.

For an extra $10 off your vacation package through Get Away Today use code: fresno10

Be sure to check back to see all the details from our vacation which will include reviews, tips and way too many pictures.

Also be sure to check out Disneyland Reveal,  Packing Your Disney Park Bag and Disney Style

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