It’s getting close to Spring Break, and you may be thinking about planning a trip to Disneyland. But ticket price increases were just announced and with tickets at over $100 a piece, that trip can get pricey. But that doesn’t mean you can’t afford to go to the Mouse House. It just means you have to figure out how to save money at Disneyland.
It’s possible, of course. You just have to do a little planning before you get to the park.
How To Save Money At Disneyland
Disneyland prices are on a sliding scale. One-day passes (as of February 2020) start at $104 and can go up to $154. That’s for the same one-day ticket. But the difference is the date. And I’m not even talking about months apart either. Just a few hours can make a ton of difference.
I’m looking at the May 2020 calendar right now, just as an example. On Wednesday, May 20, you’ll pay the lowest $104 rate to get into Disneyland. But two days later, on Friday, May 22, you’re looking at $154. That’s $50 difference for just two days later.
If you go back a month and look at Spring Break week, every day is $154. So sometimes, if you’re planning around school vacations, the price is unavoidable. But if your schedule is a bit more flexible, you can get a much better price by going on a less popular day.
Parking at Disneyland starts at $25 and goes up to $40 for preferred parking, which is a lot. So definitely choose to park in the cheapest spots, then just take the tram from your car to the entrance.
If you’re going to Disneyland with a bunch of people, definitely pack as many as you can (legally) into one car. That way, you can all chip in for parking.
Another option is to use a rideshare service, like Uber or Lyft. You can either take it from wherever you’re staying to the park directly or you can find free parking in some nearby neighborhoods and then take a rideshare service from there.
Keep in mind, though, that you will have to pay for a second ride to get back to your car, so if your tab will be more than $12.50 to you to Disneyland, it’ll be the same (or more, based on volume) to get you back. In that case, it just makes more sense to pay for the Disneyland lot.
And, side note: A lot of blogs will suggest you park at Downtown Disney for free parking. But, here’s the catch. It’s only free for up to three hours with a $20 purchase or up to five hours with validation from any Downtown Disney table-service restaurant. So that “free” parking is going to end up costing you more than just parking at Disneyland.
Souvenirs inside Disneyland can be so expensive, so your best bet is not buy any inside the park. Instead, stop by any of the souvenir shops around town while you’re near Disneyland or, if you’re a planner, you can purchase Disney items online or at your local Disney Store. Then, just pack your souvenirs in your luggage.
One of the things I look for when I’m booking a hotel is a free continental breakfast. That’s an easy way to save money on your hotel, but it’s also an easy way to save on your Disneyland trip as well.
You’re allowed to bring your own food into Disneyland, with a few caveats. You can bring in any food and nonalcoholic beverages for personal consumption (so don’t start selling strawberries within the park). You also can’t bring in anything in a glass container, anything that requires heating or reheating or refrigeration. And you can’t bring in anything that smells.
There’s a picnic area located outside the Main Entrance where you can sit and have your food.
If you have snacks, you don’t have to go to a designated area. You can just enjoy those while you’re walking around the park. If you do choose to eat at that times, though, keep in mind that you probably don’t want to pull out a tuna fish sandwich in close quarters. Go with peanuts or a granola bar instead.
And, if you’ve eaten all your snacks but you don’t feel like buying park food, you can go on the Boudin Bread Factory Tour. You’ll get a free sample of freshly baked bread.
It can be so warm when you go to Disneyland, so you want to make sure to stay hydrated. But carrying a half dozen water bottles would be way too heavy.
But you can bring one bottle and fill it up all day long. Head to any of the Disneyland counter service restaurants and you can request a free cup of water. You can then fill up your water bottle that way.
Do you have any other tips to save money at Disneyland? Be sure to leave them for us in the comments.