If Disneyland is the happiest place on earth, then why do our wallets look so sad near the end of the trip? After spending hundreds of dollars on tickets, paying for a hotel room, and airfare/gas to get there, it’s hard to imagine spending even moremoney inside the park!
A trip to a Disney park truly is a dream for kids—and parents for that matter. There really is no feeling quite like walking through the magical world of Disney for the very first time.
But the magic won’t last very long if your wallet can’t keep up with the adventure. Don’t let thoughts of money drag you down during your family’s big vacation.
Instead, try taking advantage of some of these great tips to keep the costs down:
1. Keep your receipts:Disney may charge an arm and a leg for a pink princess hat, but you can save a ton of cash just by checking for discount offers on each one of your receipts. Many receipts include same-day discounts for Downtown Disney in the fine print, so always read over your receipts carefully before tossing them.
2. Get discounted tickets for various memberships: Are you a member of the military, AAA, AARP, or a D23 fan? If so, Disney probably offers a discounted ticket rate for you! Never forget to check your eligibility for these discounts before buying your Disney passes.
3. Use the Disney shuttle: If your family plans to stay at an off-site hotel during the trip, you can skip the whopping $17 parking fee by taking advantage of the Disney shuttle.
4. Have your picture taken for free: It’s hard not to spot the Disney Photopass photographers when you walk in, but keep in mind that their professional pictures will cost you a pretty penny. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t nicely ask if one of them could take a photo of your happy family on your cell phone for free.
5. Buy your kids’ souvenirs beforehand: As a parent, you definitely want your kids to have something special to remember from their big trip to Disney, but the steep prices make it hard to buy anything they’ll really want. A brilliant way to get the best of both worlds is to buy Disney toys and clothes from inexpensive retailers beforeleaving for the trip. Just hide the gifts in your bag, and surprise them with all their new stuff while you’re there!
6. Skip the stroller rental fees: Unless you want to pay $15 per day for a rental, it’s easier (and cheaper) to just bring a stroller that fits within Disney’s size parameters (36 inches by 52 inches).
7. Check Costco for gift certificates: Every savvy shopper knows that Costco is the best place to go for discounted gift certificates. Before your trip to Disney, take a drive over to Costco and see if you can snag any great deals for popular Downtown Disney restaurants, like Bubba Gump or Rainforest Café.
8. Bring your own food: While you’ll definitely want to try out some of the awesome snacks in Disneyland, you can save a ton of money in the park just by packing a few water bottles and some sandwiches. Make sure to eat a good breakfast before heading out of the hotel, so you don’t walk into the park already hungry!
9. Dress the kids up yourself: Although your little girl could get a beautiful princess makeover at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, you’ll end up paying an arm and a leg just for the costume! Save yourself the time and money by buying your kids their favorite Disney costumes before the trip. If you’re visiting the park this summer, you can already find great discounts on Halloween costumes online.
10.Open a Disney Rewards Visa card: If your family loves visiting the parks, it’s definitely worth it to check outDisney’s credit card program. By getting this handy card, you’ll start receiving discounts throughout your entire vacation. From no-interest Disney vacation packages to discounts on resort dining and other amenities, you can save a ton of money by using this card in the park.
How does your family try to save money on vacation? Tell us in the comments!