Lauren Cobello » Budgeting » Saving Money Hacks » How to Save Money at Disneyland
Disneyland is said to be the most magical place on Earth, but how do you save money at Disneyland you may ask? The rides, the food, the landscaping, the shows, fireworks, parades, they are all top of the line and created to amuse the child in all of us! Disney does it right when it comes to entertaining their guests, and because of this top notch service, many people may feel like a Disney vacation is out of their budget. But luckily, there are tips that frequent travelers know that can help you save on a Disney vacation! If you have ever wanted to take a trip to the most magical place on Earth, read on about how you too can save on a Disney vacation!
You don’t need to be a frequent traveler to take advantage of these tips. They are simple enough even for a newbie!
1. Visit during the off season.
You may have heard this before, so the question is, when is the off season? The off season at Disney is from January 1-February 13, August 3-October 1, and November 30-December 18. You will want to avoid peak seasons such as mid-summer and holidays which is when the park is packed. Off season prices are better, plus you will encounter less people. That means less time waiting in lines and the added value of being able to experience more.
2. Plan your meals ahead of time.
Would a Disney meal plan be to your benefit? Maybe. Before deciding on whether or not to purchase the Disney Dining Plan, look at the menus of where you would like to eat. You can find all of these online by simply visiting the Disneyworld or Disneyland website. This can give you a cost estimate to see if you and your family would benefit from the Disney Dining Plan or not. Either way, take advantage of all you can eat buffets to get the most dining bang for your buck. Disney has several to take advantage of.
3. Stay on Property.
Most people think that staying off property makes more sense, but the truth is you are better on property. Staying at a Disney resort may cost more, but you will definitely get more bang for your buck. Disney resorts include complimentary transportation to the theme parks, water parks, and Downtown Disney area. This eliminates driving costs as well as parking costs. You will also have the benefit of other perks as well. As a resort guest, you are also entitled to Extra Magic Hours at your favorite parks! Now that is extra value!
4. Ask Disney for the best deals.
Don’t be afraid to ask for the best deals. Disney has deals on packages and hotels but often they are not advertised. You simply have to call and ask for them! When you call to book or inquire into booking a vacation, just ask and see what savings you can snag. A call to 1-800-W-Disney will take care of it! You can also request your free Disney Vacation Planning DVD for extra money saving tips!
5. Find discount cards and passes.
Those who are Annual Pass holders, Florida Residents, Disney Visa Cardholders. DVC Members, and Disney Signature Dining Members can all get additional discounts at Disney. Found out if you are entitled to any of these cards and therefore, any of these discounts. The savings can be significant!
6. Opt for Magic Your Way passes.
With the new Magic Your Way Passes, you can find a ticket with a budget for your family. For smaller budgets, the cost of passes is greatly reduced when extra options you may not need or use are removed. Also, with the Magic Your Way Pass, the longer you stay, the less you pay per day. These tickets can be basically built around your needs and budget.
7. Book your own airfare.
It may seem convenient to book your airfare with Disney, but they will not find you the best deal. Try deal search sites such as Orbitz or Expedia to book flights and get the lowest price. You will often get a lowest price guarantee, which is reassuring!
8. Pack it instead of buying it.
Don’t be surprised to see a bottle of sunscreen that costs $5.99 at your local drugstore on sale for $15.99 in your hotel or park gift shop. These little costs can really add up and take a bite out of your budget. Make sure you pack everything you and the kids are going to need for your trip, and you could save quite a bit of money. Sunscreen, medications, health and beauty items will cost you up to five times as much at a resort or park shop, so be sure to pack your own.
9. Bring your own snacks and drinks.
Disney doesn’t prevent anyone from bringing food into the parks. You can bring snacks into the park, and empty water bottles to fill up at the water fountains. And, for an easy and affordable lunch, pack some food in a backpack, then store it in one of the lockers available to rent at the entrance to the park.
10. Say no to souvenirs.
T-shirts, mugs, etc. at the Disney shops can run you big bucks. Instead, buy souvenirs off property or buy them locally before you go and take the items with you to enjoy. You can find shirts and accessories that are just as cute for a fraction of the cost at DisneyStore.com. So just say no to park souvenirs and save.
A Disney vacation does not need to feel out of reach, and you don’t need to take a mortgage out on your home to afford one. By following these simple tips, you can be a savvy traveler and afford the Disney vacation you have always dreamed of.
For more travel ideas – check out my articles on how to save on travel.