MUST READ – Budget Travel Series: How to Save Money at Disneyland

May 17, 2011

How to Save Money at Disneyland

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UPDATED AS OF FEB 5th 2012

 Also Check Out  – How To Save Money At Disney World

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So saving money can be hard sometimes especially when traveling – all those costs add up like gas, food, and of course souvenirs. Well Budget Savvy Diva is here to help you out – I will be dishing all my best budget travels tips as I write a play – by -play on planning and enjoying my upcoming trip to Sea World in San Diego. To get caught up on what has already happened – To find out more about the budget travel series .

 

So you want to go to Disneyland – the happiest place on earth but you do not want to pay a FORTUNE. Well Budget Savvy Diva – who worked 3 years at the resort and attended the parks over 100 times – has the low down on HOW you can save money.

Deciding When To Go:

Though the price of ticket does not change – except for the slight yearly increase – which affects both Disneyworld and Disneyland at the same time, the amount of enjoyment will vary on how many people are attending the parks the time you are going. When I taught new hires at Disneyland I told them of a study where it was determined that the average number of attractions that a guest will enjoy in a day is 10. This means that it is slightly less then $10.00 per attraction if you divide by the ticket price.

The best days to go is Tuesday or Wednesday by far. The worst is Sunday – try and avoid Sunday – due to the amount of annual passholders who live around Disneyland – Sundays even on off-season is VERY heavy.

Best time of the year is Sept – Nov and Feb – May. Please note that Spring Break is SUPER BUSY – I remember many times that both California Adventure and Disneyland being sold out during those few weeks.

Because Disneyland sits on a mere 40 acres when it is busy you really feel it. There are some sections such as Adventureland that seem to always feel packed even on a light day. When the amount of people reach a certain level Disneyland enforces traffic flows using guest control which means a lot more walking for you to get where you need to go.
Resort Tickets
This is one of the more important tips to help you save money. It is much better to buy your tickets separately, outside of a package. The Disney packages do make things much more convenient, but the cost is a great deal higher
Parking:
Try and carpool because parking is at a new high of 15.00 per car – there is not many other options BUT if you want to know Budget Savvy Diva’s trick is parking at Downtown Disney which gives you three hours for free – and moving the car and re-parking. It takes about 20 minutes to do – I know this might not be a possibility for you. Again I am extremely frugal and try and cut as many costs as I can.

Food:
First off – Have a Large Breakfast – common sense I know. But there have been times I have been SO excited to go to Disneyland that I plum forgot breakfast. Food like the prices seem to rise in cost every year. To give you a reference whole fruit ( banana, apple or orange is 1.79) .
Bring your own food: Disney has no problem you bring food into the park – just nothing in glass. Try and bring at least two snacks for every person in your party. Trail mix is great to munch on. Do not bring anything that can cause havoc in your bag such as a juice box – it might become an empty juice box when you get off of space mountain :)

Knowing where to eat in the park is important to. There was a general consensus between us castmembers about where to eat in the park and where not to eat.
Let’s get where NOT to eat:
– Tomorrowland Terrace – The food at best is average.It is your normal burgers and sandwiches. But the prices are pretty high – no entree under 8.00. I do not want to be mean or anything but I would rather walk across the park then eat anything from there.

– Village Haus Restaurant – Again greyish burgers and greasy fries. It is located in Fantasyland and gets full pretty quickly.
Where to Eat:
– Redd Rocket’s Pizza Port – Located in Tomorrowland is AWESOME with a capital A. The pizza is not that out of price and the slices are HUGE – this restaurant always has a lot of traffic but also has a lot of space and indoor and outdoor seating – because of the heavy business there is always fresh pizza being served. PLUS you can buy a whole pizza pie perfect for a larger number parties. The pasta I hear is amazing – the Chicken with Alfredo Pasta is always a hit. There was a time when the cafes for cast members would periodically serve the Chicken Alfredo and you thought it was pizza day at school by how excited cast members were about it. Also the salads are made fresh right in front of you – always a plus. There is a soda fountain where you serve yourself so you can control the amount of ice you get. The soda is already chilled so you really do not need that much ice.
– Rancho Del Zocalo – Located near Thunder Mountain – you can actually see the attraction as you eat. Hand-downs this is where I eat every time. I L.O.V.E this restaurant – I find the food to be quiet good and the prices to be fair. Most plates are around 12.00 ish dollars – my husband and I always share a plate. . Entrees include citrus fire-grilled chicken, 4 cheese enchiladas, soft tacos, burritos and even a tostada salad. The salads are made to your liking right before your eyes – again a plus. I have a gluten allergy and they were very quick to get a chef who personalized the meal to fit our needs free of charge. The outdoor eating is beautiful – we sometimes go there just to take a break and watch people ride thunder mountain.

Dole Whips – If you have not had a dole whip then you NEED to get one – you will thank me. Words cannot describe how awesome it is. The dole whip cart is located next to the original Tiki Room in Adventureland. Dole whips are pineapple flavored – but it is not exactly ice cream nor yogurt – it is very airy soft serve. Unlike other food products that have rose in price at Disneyland during the years – dole whips have not. Dole whip cost 2.79 and boy to the pile it high. My husband and I love to get a dole whip and watch the Enchanted Tiki Room.
Though there are other amazing restaurants at Disneyland – these are the one’s I feel you get the most bang for your buck.

Other tips:
– Bring in your own water bottles – you can always fill them up at the many water fountains.
– Also did you know that you can get free water from any service counter – that is right – save over 2.70 every time you ask for a cup of water.

Bring extras: Suntan lotion, digital cards or film for your camera, baby wipes, ponchos, anything and everything you can think of that you might need at the park. They are all available inside for purchase but you will again pay a premium. Instead, once inside the park, rent a locker for just a few bucks and place those items inside. Then when you need them they’ll be waiting for you. Another biggie is a stroller. If your child is still in a stroller, bring yours. The strollers for rent start at $10 per day

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