Everybody thinks of Disneyland when they think of family vacations. So many people think it is too expensive for their family, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some of the best ways to save money at Disneyland. We always plan our Trip with Get Away Today to make the trip even more affordable as they will help you save on tickets, your hotel stay, and character dining.
The best tip is to budget for all the money you are planning on spending in the parks. It’s helpful to sit down with your family and create a souvenir budget and food budget before you go. It can be easy to get a little out of control when faced with all the amazing stuff you can buy in the park. By having a limit set before-hand, you can avoid over spending and focus on enjoying rides and making memories instead.
Everybody wants to bring a piece of Disney magic home with them and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. One of the best ways to save money on souvenirs is to buy them before you go. You can get Disney merchandise at so many different retailers for a discounted cost. Make sure to watch for Disney store coupons and sales since they offer park merchandise on their website as well. Your kids won’t know the difference, but you and your wallet will! Another great option is to look for free souvenirs within the park. Yes, there are actually souvenirs that you can get for free for your family within the park! One of the most known are the celebratory buttons. City Hall or any of the shop counters can give you pins to celebrate things such as your first visit, birthday, engagement, honeymoon and anniversary. They are completely free and cast members are always sure to smile and congratulate you when they see them.
You can visit the Animation Academy in Disney California Adventure Park and take a class from a Disney animator. The best part is that you are able to keep those sketches to always remember you got to work with a bona-fide Disney animator. You can also ask a cast member at the end of the Jungle Cruise for a free map of the ride or grab a free copy of The Buena Vista Bugle at the Starbucks in DCA.
Pressed pennies can be another less expensive and fun souvenir idea. There are several machines throughout the parks and they only cost two quarters and a penny. You can choose from different characters and other Disney-themed images that are pressed onto the penny for you to keep. Out of all the collectible items within the parks, this option is one of the best priced. It’s also fun for your kids to watch for the different penny machines throughout the resort.
Character autographs can also be almost-free if you purchase an autograph book (plain or Disney-themed) ahead of time. All it costs is the time it takes to stand in line for your favorite characters! We found autograph books from the dollar store that were Disney and Star Wars themed and the kids loved them. They don’t have to be expensive and your kids will love grabbing the souvenirs. Some of the characters will even draw little pictures with their signature and my son loved looking through them.