Are high ticket prices stopping you from taking a family trip to Disneyland? It doesn’t have to be because there are ways to save money at Disneyland.
You can go on your trip when you use our Disney money-saving tips on how to do Disney on a budget. Here’s how you can make your wallet happy at the “happiest place on earth” with 10 easy ways to save money at Disneyland.
Plus we’ve got a voucher for a free one-night stay at any Country Inn & Suites hotel in North America. You could use it at the new Country Inn & Suites Anaheim near Disneyland or at any other Country Inn & Suites.
To enter the giveaway: visit Country Inn & Suites Anaheim and leave a comment below about what you like about the hotel.
Update: The giveaway has ended but you can still use these 10 easy ways to save money at Disneyland.
10 Easy Ways to Save Money at Disneyland
1. Visit During the Off-Season
Avoid the crowds and visit during the off-season from September to March. Or more specifically:
- The middle of January to the middle of March (except President’s Day Weekend)
- Middle of April to the middle of May (exception: Spring Break)
- The middle of September to the middle of November (except Halloween)
By going during the off-season you’ll pay less because Disney ticket prices are based on the good old law of supply and demand.
Where there’s more demand, there’s less supply. Meaning, if Disney thinks everyone wants to visit, the price of the ticket costs more.
Single day ticket prices vary depending on the date. Disney divides the year into six tiers: tier 0, tier 1, tier 2, tier 3, tier 4, tier 5, and tier 6 dates.
Pro-tip: Weekdays, especially Tuesday through Thursday, are less crowded. This means the lines are shorter and you can get on more rides.
Pro-tip: Kids under 3 get in free. So bring your little ones before they age out.
And if you’re flying, kids under 2 fly for free! Make sure you know these tips on flying with a baby or toddler.
Pro-tip: Skip the line. You get 3 FastPasses for all rides (except the Radiator Springs Racers) when you listen to a timeshare presentation at the Disneyland Resort.
2. Take Advantage of Special Discounts
Disney offers discounts for groups such as the military, credit union members, and more.
Active, reserve, and retired military can get 5-Day Park Hopper tickets for $246 and 4-Day Park Hopper tickets for $226.
If you qualify, you can buy six tickets to use for yourself, family, or friends. Tickets are valid through December 19, 2018.
Pro-tip: Disney employees get 16 free visits a year and they can bring guests. Plus they get 3 free passes a year that they can give to friends. So buddy up and make friends with someone who works at Disney.
3. Disneyland Passport
Depending on how often you visit (or want to visit), it could be worth buying a Disneyland Passport.
A Disneyland passport is valid for an entire year and comes with certain benefits:
- Disney Southern California Select Passport for $369 (visit both parks on the same day on select days; up to 10% off select dining and merchandise; no holidays or peak days)
- Disney Deluxe Passport is $729 (visit both parks on the same day on most days; up to 10% off select dining and up to 10% off merchandise; no holidays or other peak days)
- Disney Signature Passport for $999 (visit both parks on the same day on most days; up to 15% off select dining and up to 20% off merchandise; free parking; December holidays and other peak days excluded)
- Disney Signature Plus Passport costs $1,149(visit both parks on the same day; up to 15% off select dining and up to 20% off merchandise; free parking; no blackout dates)
Pro-tip: Buy your Disneyland Passport in February, and it’s valid for 13 months.
4. SoCal City Pass
You can save $137 per person on tickets to 3-Day Park Hopper Disneyland, SeaWorld San Diego, and LEGOLAND California when you buy a SoCal City Pass.
An add-on option for the San Diego Zoo or Safari Park is available.
The SoCal City Pass is good for 14 calendar days, and you can visit the parks in any order. The Disneyland pass is a three-day Park Hopper with early admittance to the parks, also known as Magic Morning.
Pro-tip: Disney Magic Morning (early admission to Disneyland 1 hour before the park opens) is included in the SoCal City Pass.
5. Eat Breakfast Before You Arrive
Disney opens at 8 am (most mornings) and if you have a ticket that gives you Magic Morning, you can get into the park as early as 7 am.
So eat breakfast before you get to Disneyland or you’re going to be starved.
And if you’re like me, you get hangry. And that is not fun for anyone.
Why pay a small fortune for breakfast when you can eat ahead of time. Or better yet, get breakfast for free when you stay at a nearby hotel that offers free breakfast like the Country Inn & Suites Anaheim.
6. Bring Food and Snacks
You can save a lot of money when you bring your own food and drinks (non-alcoholic) to Disneyland.
Technically you can’t bring outside food into the park unless you have special dietary restrictions like gluten-free, etc. But you can eat your food at the picnic areas outside the Main Entrance.
You can rent an unrefrigerated locker from $7 to $15 a day and store coolers up to 18″ x 25″.
Pro-tip: Here’s a list of where to find cheap or free snacks at Disneyland:
- You can buy snacks for less than $5 at Maurice’s Treats and the Bengal Barbeque
- Order the “side corn dog” (no apples or chips) for $6 at the Little Red Wagon, the Golden Horseshoe, and other places
- $6 gets you a Kid’s Mickey Check Meal (Smoothie, apple, banana, carrots, goldfish crackers, and a water)
- Get a free piece of chocolate from Ghiradelli at California Adventure
- Take the Boudin Factory Tour at California Adventure and get a free piece of sourdough bread.
Thanks to my friend, Steve Franco, for the tip about Maurice’s Treats and the Bengal Barbeque.
7. Bring Reusable Water Bottles
Save money and the planet and bring reusable water bottles when you visit Disneyland. I LOVE the Takeya reusable water bottles because they’re double-wall insulated so drinks stay cold! With little ones, the stainless steel comes in handy because they don’t break when dropped. Buy your 2 pack here.
You can get a free large cup of water with ice at all Disneyland restaurants.
And there are filtered water stations and drinking fountains throughout the park.
Pro-tip: Bring Kool-Aid packets, Crystal light, or ice tea and turn that free cup of water into a refreshing drink.
8. Bring Your Own Stroller
If your kiddo or kiddos are little or may get tired after a long day at the Disneyland, bring your own stroller.
A single stroller costs $15 a day to rent. And there are no double strollers. Wagons are not allowed in the park.
One of the best travel strollers for trips and around town is the Pockit Lightweight Stroller.
Pro-tip: If you’re visiting with friends and you each need a stroller, you’ll save $5 if one person rents both strollers. You’ll only pay $25 for two strollers vs $30.
9. Use the Disney PhotoPass Photographers
You’re probably thinking, “What? Are you kidding me? They cost a fortune.”
Use the Disney PhotoPass photographers. I’m totally serious.
Don’t buy the professional photo.
Pro-tip: Give your camera to the photographer and have him/her take your photo with your camera. Boom, you’ve just saved money and now have a professional photo.
10. Stay Off-Site
You’ll save the most money on your Disneyland trip when you stay off-site at a hotel like the Country Inn & Suites Anaheim.
I love staying at Country Inn & Suites hotels. The rooms are clean and there’s plenty of space. And the buffet breakfast is filling.
So I was excited to learn that a new one opened near Disneyland.
The Country Inn & Suites Anaheim is a new 174-room hotel that is walking distance from the Main Gate and offers:
- Free hot breakfast including Belgian waffles and yogurt parfaits
- Free Wi-Fi
- View of the fireworks at Disneyland
- Modern interiors with stylish furnishings
- Large rooms with spa-inspired bathrooms
- Bar serving spirits, wine, local craft beer, soups, salads, and sandwiches
- 24-hour fitness center
- Outdoor patio
- Pool and whirlpool
- Reading lending library
Pro-tip: Avoid booking your trip when there are conferences at the Anaheim Convention Center. Because hotel rates will be higher if they aren’t sold out.
Are you dreaming of a castle, princes, princesses and a visit to the Magic Kingdom? Or is a relaxing trip to the beach more your speed?
Whatever your preference, with over 470 locations worldwide, from as far south as Panama to as far east as India, there’s a Country Inn & Suites hotel where you want to travel.
And now there’s a Country Inn & Suites near Disneyland. (There’s also one near Disneyworld.)
Here’s how to enter to win a voucher for a free one-night stay giveaway at any Country Inn & Suites in North America:
- Visit Country Inn & Suites Anaheim
- Leave a comment below telling me your favorite feature of the Country Inn & Suites Anaheim by 9 pm, Pacific Time on January 30, 2017
One winner will be chosen at random at 9:01 pm on January 30, 2017.
You can save money on your trip to Disney. Looking for more money-saving ideas for a future vacation? Here’s how to save $5,000 in 3 months.
Don’t let the cost of visiting the “happiest place on earth” get you down. These 10 easy ways to save money at Disneyland can turn that dream vacation from a wish into a reality.
Tips such as visiting during the off-season, use special discounts, buy a Disneyland Passport or SoCal City Pass, eat breakfast before and bring your own food and snacks.
Remember your reusable water bottle and stroller (if needed) and let the Disney Photographers take your Photo.
But the biggest money saving tip for your Disneyland vacation is to stay off-site at a hotel like the Country Inn & Suites Anaheim.
Remember to enter our one-night giveaway at any Country Inn & Suites by telling me which is your favorite feature of the new Country Inn & Suites Anaheim hotel.
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Featured image courtesy of Steve Franco.
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