There is no doubt by the abundance of Disney posts on my blog that I am quite a large fan of the happiest place on earth.
BUT, that doesn’t mean I have a ton of money and spend hundreds of dollars on every trip.
That actually couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, I get better at saving money each time and many times, I have gone and only paid parking!! I should also mention that we have passes which is the only way we can even have the option of going so often.
I thought I would round up all my tips on how to do Disneyland on a budget without the kid’s knowing the difference! Here are 8 tips for…
First, the biggest thing ever I could suggest is BRING YOUR OWN FOOD AND DRINKS!! Seriously people. Seriously. Even if you have your favorite foods there that you love, still bring food and drinks. Sodas and water are the same everywhere and you might as well spend a fraction of the price and bring in a cooler. I throw everything in the stroller, but you could always grab a locker and just make one or two trips back throughout the day (the train goes all through the park and would get you back to the front quick and is a pretty fun ride!). The only rule is no glass. As far as food goes, I always bring snacks and when we are there for the whole day, we may grab lunch but nothing else (we like the corn dogs in New Orleans Square because they are good and affordable- if you are a pass holder it gets you a discount!). You can even make lunches fun! Avery doesn’t object to a boxed lunch when it is in one of these cute little boxes from Wholeport and it has a Mickey Mouse sandwich inside!
Photos- bring a camera and take a ton of pictures!! It sounds obvious, but you could even make a game of looking for letters or even the hidden Mickey’s all around the park. Whatever it is, when the focus is on the family and those photo memories which are my favorite part- everyone benefits in the end and is not focused on spending money.
Penny Passport- This thing is so much fun and all I have to do is bring it, a couple dollars in quarters and a few penny’s and Avery is happy!! She loves collecting them, watching them being made and looking at them later. Plus it is another game of spot the coin machine, more focus on less expensive fun rather than all the toys and such in the stores.
Characters- I love seeing the characters and getting pictures with them as much as Avery does and she is so excited about getting their autograph! I made her book so it cost me about a dollar because I used mostly what I had on hand but even if you bought one, it is still affordable fun!
Make your own Disney swag! I know that it is tempting to go buy the shirts and outfits for the Disney trip, but it is just as fun to make your own! I will share a tutorial on my blog but you could also even just bring dress up clothes or old Disney Halloween costumes!
Play games- I shared a scavenger hunt I made for Avery HERE and it was so much fun! This was one of the days where I only spent money on parking! We had so much fun with this game that we didn’t even stop in one store! There is a version HERE that is much more complicated for older visitors, mine is directed at younger children.
Pin trading- this is something that I would like to try so I have talked to some people about it. They had a few rules that I thought I would share, first they got a bunch of pins off ebay. They said not to stress too much about which ones because you are going to trade to get what you want but then only trade with the cast members. At Disney many of the cast members where the necklaces and little fanny pack type things with pins on them and it is free fun!
Buttons at City Hall- there are so many special occasions that they recognize and they write your name and give them out for free! We are always joking with cast members too and one liked us enough to give us give us “Honorary Citizens of Disneyland” buttons. These could become a collection in themselves!
I hope that you are able to use some of these ideas!!! How do you save at Disneyland?!