Friday, January 13, 2012

Saving at Disneyland

Saving at Disneyland
Plan Ahead to Have Fun
When planning your Disneyland vacation it is important to consider what type of hotel stay will best fit your family and what your food budget will be.  You may also want to consider what attractions are most important to you so that you can plan your time accordingly.

Once you decide what kind of experience you wish to have you can shop for the best deal within those perimeters.  Although saving money is important, remember if you cut too many costs and have a miserable vacation all of your money you saved will be lost.  Consider where and how you would like to spend the budget that you do have.

Travel Off Season

September through November, with exception to the Thanksgiving weekend, is the best time to visit Disneyland Resort.  The weather is still nice but not too cold.  The crowds are small so you can ride the rides as many times as you want.  The staff is not rushed so the food is usually well prepared.  The prices are awesome in September and October too.  By choosing to visit Disneyland in September and October you can save anywhere from $300.00 to $500.00 on your hotel package.  This season is a great deal.

Make Hotel Reservations Online

My favorite place to stay is Holiday Inn Main gate. If you book through Get Away Today you will get a free hot breakfast and the accommodations are clean and very comfortable. There is a shuttle to ride back and forth to Disneyland and it is still close enough that we have plenty of time to travel back to the hotel for nap time (a must with young children).
Saving at Disneyland
The Best $5 Cupcake I Ever Ate!

Saving on Food
Whether you are a regular guest or it is your first Disneyland experience, the food prices can often be shocking.  If you go prepared, however you need not starve.  If you stay in one of the Disneyland hotels bring your coffee maker from home, because there is not one in the hotel rooms and the price for a morning cup of Joe is outrages.

The two cheapest places to find food in the park are in Mickey’s Toon Town and California Adventure Food Court. In Mickey’s Toon Town we opt to share a sandwich, the sandwiches are huge and the small pizzas are great too. In California Adventure two stir fry meals will serve a family of four. I am also told that the bread bowls are a yummy deal; ask for your soup or salad on the side so you can save the leftover bread for later. 

More Money Saving Tips

  • Choose a hotel that serves a hot breakfast and fill up before you enter the park.

  • Take snacks with you; they usually won’t stop you if you have small children and a few granola bars.

  • Stay away from the children’s menu. We order two adult plates and share with the kids. There is always plenty of food.

  • Plan your meals for the day around your trips to the hotel room. Sometimes we eat in the park but many times we will plan to eat lunch at the hotel on the return trip to the room. Sometimes we will eat lunch in the park and then eat dinner after nap time before we re-enter the park…you get the idea.

  • Take gift cards for nearby restaurants. We often receive gift cards for large restaurant chains like Olive Garden or Chicfila from cash back rewards. They are great to have when you are traveling.

We also find that keeping sandwich making supplies and snacks in our room is a real lifesaver.  Not only can snacking get expensive, it is sometimes hard to find good food late at night.  

If you are driving to Disneyland, you may want to read Saving Money on Fuel.
I also wrote a blog post on Saving Money at Sea World San Diego.

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How I became Considering frugal

Fueled by the growing list of pollution related allergies my family suffered from each day, and inspired by my 97 year old grandmother who could recycle ANYTHING before recycling was cool, back in 2011, I decided (in the spirit of the Julie/Julia Project...) to embark on a journey to see just how much one family could do to change our planet. I didn't consult any other parties before I launched this idea. Thankfully my husband, daughter and son are usually my biggest supporters. Here is the catch; as I'm normally very thrifty (you can note from early blog posts), I was looking for ways that I could reduce our carbon footprint and make socially responsible purchases without increasing our spending. Mmmmmm. We succeed in changing some of our habits a bit and finding ways to reduce our footprint. There were lots of fun epic fails alone the way too! But the biggest change we have made over the course of the last six years, was to move from the mega city of Phoenix to Wyoming. You can read my full bio on my About Me page.

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