Who says you can’t save money in Disneyland and still have a great time?

You certainly can and this article reveals some of the really awesome ways and tips for saving money in Disneyland that really work.



When it comes to getting customers to think about buying products from a company, businesses spend marketing dollars.

Usually, the marketing dollars are spent through TV ads, radio spots, social medium sites, and periodicals.

First, this company has paid $25+ million to members:

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In addition to advertising the product to resonate with the customers, marketing firms endeavor to leverage the logo of the company to make it recognizable to the customers as well as provide a tagline or a slogan.

Some of those slogans can be:

  • McDonald’s – “You deserve a break today”
  • Subway – “Eat fresh”
  • Nike – “Just do it”
  • Skittles – “Taste the rainbow”
  • And much more

Sometimes, slogans stick and when a product is named the customer off the top of their head might blurt out the slogan.

This is a marketer’s dream as it shows the impact and power of the marketing campaign and when a product is on top of mind for a customer that is a good thing.

Another such slogan is the “Happiest place in the world” or Disneyland.

A parent taking a family for a vacation trip to Disneyland may argue, coming from a financial perspective that Disneyland does not make them very happy.

Specifically, for a family of four to purchase a four-day Park Hopper Ticket, with each child being over 10 years old, just to enter the park will cost $1580.

That amount of money will certainly put a dent in the family’s vacation budget bill but certainly will make Disney happy.

Fortunately, there are ways that one can reduce their costs.

Let us, therefore, travel to the happiest place in the world and cut our expenses by looking at 25 ways that a family can save money and make everybody happy in the process.


25 Best Ways & Tips to Saving Money at Disneyland


1. Plan 

As with all things financial, it is important to have a plan in place as it relates to the spending of money.

A good tip on saving money when preparing for your Disneyland trip is to gather the family together and talk to all involved about the trip, the excitement of the adventure but bring in the practicality of the expenses.

It is a good opportunity to teach the younger members of the family about enjoying the use of money but sticking to a financial budget plan.

As part of this planning strategy of how much you are going to spend in Disneyland itself and other related expenses, be candid with all involved but to the point of not putting a damper on the excitement.

Also, it would be important to set budget limitations for each member of the family by giving them a specific amount that they can spend inside the park.


2. Discounts

The next important tip is trying to purchase the tickets from authorized sellers rather than buying the tickets at the gate.

Also, if a trip to Disneyland is an extended stay it is less expensive to pay for a seven-day ticket rather than a two-day ticket.


3. Skip the Hopper 

In proximity to Disneyland is the Disney California adventure.

To experience both parks on a one-day excursion to Disneyland there is a package called the Park Hopper.

This means that when you pay for the Park Hopper you don’t have to pay for the extra parking to go to other Disney adventures.

If you are on a limited schedule and want to experience both parks then this package may be a good bargain for you.

However, if wishing to experience both parks and you have more time, it is better to visit one park one day and then the other park the other day as a one park per day ticket costs less than a Park Hopper ticket.


4. Free is Good 

Ticket prices vary according to the family member’s age.

Children under the age of two do not have to pay for entrance into the park.

Children ranging in ages from 3 to 9 are admitted when the children’s ticket prices are paid.

Anyone over 10 years of age has to pay the adult ticket cost.

This may be the deciding aspect of planning your trip to maximize a children’s experience before they reached the age of 10.


5. Seasonal 

Another aspect of ticket prices and the possibility of those tickets increasing in cost is what time of the year you are planning on your Disney excursion.

Often, at the beginning of the calendar year, ticket price increases go into effect.


6. Dates 

As it relates to dates another important determination that correlates with ticket prices is what is known as value dates.

By looking at the Disneyland ticket calendar it is best to be on the lookout as to when tickets will be at their lowest price. What may drive the ticket prices is any anticipation of low attendance.

In conjunction with these value dates, you might also be able to find a hotel room for your family that may be offering promotions over specific dates in the calendar to attract guests as well.


7. Avoid Conventions 

A caveat that may affect ticket prices, as well as the cost of lodging, is when there are conventions scheduled in the city of Anaheim.

One of the big draws for convention attendees is the opportunity to take in Disneyland while they are attending their convention.

You can check the Anaheim city calendar by clicking here.


8. Offsite 

A choice that you will have is your selection of lodging.

If you want the full Disneyland experience then you may want to stay at the Disneyland resort hotel.

However, there will be an associated increase in staying at these hotels.

A viable option is to book a room for the number of nights stay that you need in a hotel that is nearby.

These hotels will be cheaper and may offer a variety of amenities such as a free breakfast to start your day off and help to minimize food expenses.


9. No Car 

If at all possible, not renting a vehicle while in Southern California will save a considerable amount of money.

This expense for a vehicle will not only be in the rental fees but various payments to parking the car as well as attending Disneyland which could run you as much as $25 a day.

A powerful tip in saving on your transportation costs would be to stay at a hotel and utilize a rideshare company such as Uber or Lyft.

Also See: How to Save Money Visiting Vegas & How to Save Money in NYC.


10. Food Delivery Apps 

Another major expense on a Disneyland vacation is the necessity of eating food.

The options would include eating at a restaurant at the hotel, eating at various restaurants within proximity of the hotel, or utilizing a food delivery service such as UberEats or DoorDash.

By ordering your food to be brought to your hotel room through one of these food delivery services you may realize some food cost savings.



11. Search Restaurants 

If considering eating at a Disneyland-themed restaurant you will realize that not only are you paying for the food but you are paying for the presence of Disneyland characters.

These restaurants may charge anywhere from $25-$50 for an adult meal.

If wishing to do this simply conduct your research and find out what best matches the experience that you want as well as stay within your budget.


12. Water Bottle 

A good idea to cut down on the purchase of beverages at Disneyland Park, and their associated high fees are simply to bring a refillable water bottle for each member of the family.

The bottle should be brought with you as they can be expensive if purchased inside the park.

Again, this company has paid $25+ million to members:

SurveyJunkie (only USA, Canada, Australia residents allowed). You can earn money sharing your thoughts. They have already paid $25+ million to their 20+ million members just for sharing their thoughts and opinions. Click here to join SurveyJunkie for FREE

This will keep everybody properly hydrated as well as cut down the cost of buying expensive drinks at the park.


13. Skip Sides 

If eating at one of the food service providers at Disneyland, it may be a good idea just to buy a food item rather than purchasing aside as well.

This especially, if the children that are with you are excited about getting back to the rides, may have a tendency not to finish their meals.

Leaving uneaten food at the table is not a good strategy.


14. Share Meals 

Before your trip to Disneyland, a good point of discussion to cut down the cost of the vacation is to get assurances from everybody in the family about sharing meals.

Therefore, once in the park and meals are bought, the meals can be shared as agreed upon when the preplanning process took place.


15. Big Breakfast 

Before going into the park, it would be a good idea to have a fairly satisfying breakfast so that enough calories are consumed to match the energy needed when enjoying Disneyland.

Eating a bigger than normal breakfast may be a good idea to get everybody off on the right foot for the exciting day.


16. Snacks 

A good idea to cut down on the costs of buying food at the park and keeping everybody nutritionally satisfied with enough energy is to pack snacks.

The eating of snacks will keep everybody’s energy level high and their stomachs satisfied.


17. Entertainment Book 

A great way to save on meals and other items is through the purchase of an entertainment book.

The books are no longer printed but can be purchased for less than $25 and access to the discounts is through an app that is downloaded on your smartphone.

The possibility of purchasing one of these books to utilize in Orange County may be a way that you can save money as well.

To learn more about this potential option you can access the book here.

Also, you get a 30-day free trial.


18. Autograph Book and Pen 

One of the exciting things to do for your children in anticipation of meeting their favorite Disney character is getting that character’s signature or autograph.

Rather than purchase an expensive autograph book on-site, have your child purchase a book before leaving and decorated it accordingly with Disney characters and symbols.

That way they can take their book to the park to get their favorite character’s signature.


19. Max Pass 

To capture your exciting Disneyland excursion, a good idea is to upgrade your ticket to include Disney Max Pass.

This can be purchased by one individual which will allow the unlimited downloads of photos for your photographic album as well as being able to share photos across your social media platforms.

By buying Max Pass you will save yourself money rather than purchasing the Photo Pass service.


20. Camera 

Located all around the park are photographers associated with Disney’s photo pass.

This is an added dimension for Disneyland to make additional money.

Rather than utilizing this service bring your camera and ask that individual or other guests to take photos of you and your family together.


21. Fastpass 

Another purchase option at Disneyland is through Fast Pass.

This package allows you to view shows that also provide dining options.

Using the Fast Pass is the easier way to ensure that you get the best viewpoint for the various shows that are under this service.

As part of the Fast Pass service, you can also use this pass for access at preferred viewing shows after the first show has been sold out.

You should check out this option to see what is best suited for your family.


22. Card Services 

Sometimes, through other retailers, you will have the option of purchasing Disney gift cards at less than their valued price.

One such retailer is Target.

Through the use of their Target Red Card, you may save 5% off purchases at Target as Target sells Disney and other gift cards.

Other retailers including Kroger and Sam’s Club which periodically offer Disney gift cards.


23. Credit Card Benefits 

Credit cards will sometimes offer reward dollars that can be used at Disneyland and also provide a 10% discount when using the card in the park on certain purchases.

Also, certain credit cards will offer other perks such as allowing the cardholder to be involved with special meetings with Disney characters.

One such card is the Chase Disney Premier Visa.


24. Budget

Of course, no vacation is complete without the purchase of a souvenir to remind you of the great time that you had.

When looking for a souvenir at Disneyland, you will not be disappointed.

To keep the spending manageable some good tips would include giving the family members a set amount that they can spend, loading a Disney gift card with a certain amount, or if they can delay purchasing the item after they leave the park and finding another retailer.


25. Power Bank 

In the world of smartphones and people using their devices constantly, while at the theme park, the use of the smartphone will quickly draw down on the battery life.

Rather than utilizing the various charging stations at Disneyland a good idea to cut down on the cost would be to take your portable battery bank.


Personal Story

Living in San Diego in the 1970s with two sons of course required several visits to Disneyland to take in the sights and sounds of this wonderful family park that is enjoyed by both the parents and the children.

In those days you could buy a coupon book that had a certain amount of rides that were classified with the letters of the alphabet.

The beauty of this was that the coupons in the book weren’t always used and so subsequent trips would allow us to use any coupons that we still had remaining on additional visits.

Even then, it was expensive to eat in the park so we always packed a lunch and drinks for the kids and would leave the park, have our lunch and refreshments, and then go back into the park.

For the kids probably it wasn’t all that exciting not to eat at the park but for us, as parents, it certainly was exciting to cut down the costs of dining at Disneyland.


Saving Money Visiting Disneyland FAQs


In What Year Did Disneyland Originate?

Disneyland opened in 1955.


What Were the First Ticket Prices to Enter Disneyland?

The ticket prices when Disneyland opened was for one dollar for adults and $.50 for each child.

Additionally, at the time, the park had 35 rides and it was an additional cost to enjoy those attractions.

The added cost was anywhere from $.25-$.35 for adults and $.10-$.25 for children.


You Can Do It

Disneyland provides great family entertainment.

It is clean, wholesome, and memorable.

To provide that experience requires a significant payroll and other expenses that need to be covered by the customers and still be able to turn a profit.

The unfortunate reality is that an experience at the happiest place in the world takes money but the memories that are created are high-value and a good return on the investment.



Attending Disneyland is a priceless opportunity for all involved but it doesn’t have to be as pricey.

By being frugal and managing other options within your control you can reduce the cost of attending the happiest place in the world and bring a little happiness to your budget and wallet in the process.

Again, this company has paid $25+ million to members:

SurveyJunkie (only USA, Canada, Australia residents allowed). You can earn money sharing your thoughts. They have already paid $25+ million to their 20+ million members just for sharing their thoughts and opinions. Click here to join SurveyJunkie for FREE

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Apart from being a seasoned Personal Finance expert who has written for top publications around the world, I bring significant personal financial experience. Long story short... through bad financial choices... I found myself $100,000 plus in debt. I was able to dissolve this indebtedness and regain financial solvency. This financial turn around was accomplished through reading, studying and implementing a financial plan. My financial plan included paying down my debt through budgeting, being cognizant of where my financial resources were being spent, changing my attitude about money and understanding the binding chains of the improper use of credit. Today, and for 10 years, I have been debt free and have invested wisely to enjoy my current retirement. This is allowing me to write to help others make, save and grow money wisely!