For many families a trip to Disneyland is the vacation of a lifetime, but those unforgettable memories do not come cheap. It can cost as much to take your family to Disneyland as it would to take them to Europe. Sure, your five year old might not be as excited to see the Louvre as she would be to see Mickey Mouse! So if your family has its sights set on Disney this year, you better start planning now. The right planning can mean the difference between a fun and stress free Disneyland adventure and the strain of empty pockets on day 2 of your trip.
Disneyland might be expensive, but there are some tried and true money saving tips you can use to reduce the cost without reducing your fun. Just consider some of these money saving strategies for the happiest place on earth.
1. Buy a City Pass if you plan to see more than just Disneyland
The Anaheim area is home to some wonderful attractions, including Universal Studios, Sea World and the world famous San Diego Zoo. When you buy a City Pass you get a three day Park Hopper pass for Disneyland and California Adventure, plus a one day pass to Universal Studios in Hollywood, Sea World in San Diego and either the San Diego Zoo or the San Diego Wild Animal Park. Best of all, you get those tickets at a 30% discount off regular price.
2. Buy your snacks and drinks before you enter Disneyland
The Target store on Harbor Boulevard is the perfect place to stock up on the things you will need to keep your kids happy once in the park. By shopping ahead of time you can buy a bag full of goodies for a less than the cost of a few bottled waters and hot dogs in the park.
3. Pack a lunch before you leave your home or hotel
You are not allowed to bring box lunches into the park, but you can put them in the lockers outside the park. Then just head out the exit to enjoy a fun and inexpensive lunch with your kids, all for a fraction of what you would pay in the park itself.
4. Take along kid-friendly healthy snacks
Bring an assortment of healthy snacks for your kids to carry in their fanny packs. You will save a lot of money, and the kids will enjoy some healthy food while waiting in line for those great rides.
5. Pick up a copy of the local newspaper when you arrive in town
Look for money saving coupons in the travel section. Also look for money saving coupons online. Even if you do not find coupons for Disneyland, you can save money at other local attractions and put those savings toward some of the fun extras inside the park.
6. Plan out
Schedule your special events ahead of time to avoid snap decisions once in the park. Go through the list of special features, including character lunches and behind the scenes tours, and pick the ones you and your kids most want to do.
While nothing can make a trip to Disneyland cheap, you can save money and still enjoy a wonderful vacation at the park. As with any vacation, the proper advance planning can make all the difference in the world.