Disneyland ferris wheel

6 Tips to Save Money When Going to Disneyland

Author Bio

These six tips to save money when going to Disneyland with your family differ from other lists you may find. They give you tips that will save health as well as money. In addition, they engage every family member in an exciting preparatory game called – you guessed it – “6 tips to save money when going to Disneyland.”

Instruct all family members who are going that this vacation trip begins NOW! This is the first day of vacation, and it begins with everyone playing the game – according to directions. Any person who refuses to play without solid reason does not go on the trip.

The Six Tips Game Rules

The rules for the “Six Tips” game work well at Disney World also. They work well for Disneyland Tokyo, Cedar Point, Knoebels, Six Flags Magic Mountain, and other theme parks. While this article focuses on Disneyland in Anaheim, California, you can apply these six tips to save money when going to Disneyland to any vacation.

Family Dinner

1. Assess your character: The game begins with all family members sitting at a table together. Any child who cannot read sits beside, and works with, a player who can read.

Each player receives a list of the 66 character traits and has five (5) minutes to circle the traits that will save money on vacation. When time is up, players add circled traits and write their totals.

Evaluate together which traits fit the criteria, and how well your family does at exercising those traits.

Money-saving traits such as appreciation, contentment, thriftiness, and self-control are essential. Use the acronym ACTS to remember them easily.

Make it clear that every family member, young or old, will need to exercise these four (4) character traits both before your trip and during the time at Disneyland.

Let’s look at them individually.

  • Appreciation for what you have tops the list. Appreciate the fact that you get to go on a vacation. Appreciate the fact that you can go to Disneyland, a place many would love to visit. Appreciation will save money because those who are grateful for what they already have are less likely to spend too much.
  • Contentment goes hand in hand with appreciation. Be content with an affordable trip to Disneyland. Demanding more will spoil what you already have. Enjoy both Disneyland itself and your time there together. Don’t think it can only be really good if you get to spend more. Be satisfied.
  • Thriftiness cuts costs – and you all will want to do this as you prepare for your trip and while you are enjoying Disneyland. Look for bargains before you leave home that will save money at Disneyland. Search out bargains at Disneyland instead of simply buying what “everyone else” buys.
  • Self-control helps the family make wise decisions at Disneyland. Each member will need to control desires to purchase impulsively. Disneyland staff know how to make souvenirs and attractions call to you invitingly. If you are going to economize, each family member will need to think through every temptation and make good decisions.

2. Read your clues: You will need the character trait thoroughness in the second game step. Instruct every family member who can read that he or she must read everything.

Begin with the Disneyland package offers and brochures you receive from a travel agent, online, or elsewhere. Package offers may give 5 or 6 tips to save money when going to Disneyland, but read the tips carefully. The savings may be on things you would never purchase a la carte.

Read the details. If Grandmother and Grandfather are going with you, reading will show them that they must pay the full admission price, even if they go on no rides. Read every clue at home and at the park to save money and headaches.

3. Plan your menus: Now your game moves to diligence – and food. You will need to eat while at Disneyland, and the food in the Park is pricey.

You can save money by taking your own food to Disneyland, and diligence in menu planning can increase the savings.

Involve the whole family in planning what to take. Make a list of foods you like that are healthful. Be sure the foods you choose will be easy to carry in the Park, and easy to eat while standing in Disneyland lines.

High-protein trail mixes will keep you going, while candy may spoil the day with sugar crankiness. Shop before you go. Use coupons diligently to save money wherever you can. Check Internet lists of “foods for road trips”. Foods that are easy to carry and handle can help you save money at Disneyland.

4. Outfit your backpacks: Ultra-lightweight backpacks save money, despite an initial $20 cost. Exercise discretion as you look for an ultra-lightweight pack that folds into its own small case.

Put into your backpacks money-saving things you will need in the park. Begin with your Disneyland tickets – purchased online at a discount. At a local store that carries Disney merchandise, buy Disney lanyards with coin purse to hold tickets, IDs, and a few coins.

Buy each family member a Disney character plastic drinking bottle, too, and pack it empty. You can fill them later at Disneyland water fountains. Add ziplock plastic bags of snacks and hand/face wipes. Don’t forget dollar-store rain ponchos so you won’t have to buy the more expensive ones at Disneyland if rain hits.

DIY Disneyland souvernirs

5. Create your own souvenirs: Perhaps the most important of our 6 tips to save money when going to Disneyland is to exercise creativity – making Disneyland souvenirs before you leave home!

Disneyland mouse ears, shirts, autograph books, etc. can destroy a budget! Your creativity and your resourcefulness can save the budget.

Visit local stores’ Disney departments and purchase Disney-character clothing at savings. Make those must-have mouse ears together at the kitchen table (instructions / videos online).

The Internet also gives crafting instructions for items like Disney autograph books and Disneyland tee shirts. Need more ideas? Just run an Internet search on DIY Disneyland souvenirs.

6. Allocate your money: the character trait equitableness comes into play as you decide how much spending money the family will have. Allocate a set amount for each family member, including parents, to spend at Disneyland.

Make a firm rule that no one will receive a penny more except in the event of a real emergency. Let older children handle their own money. Give younger children their money as needed.

Remind children now and then, without nagging, to think twice before spending at Disneyland. Exercise your own self-control by firmly refusing to advance more – even against future allowances. Carry one credit card for emergencies, and leave the rest of your credit cards in a safe place at home.


Those 6 tips to save money when going to Disneyland, all used diligently, should avoid finding yourself in debt to your eyebrows when you get home. In addition, you and your family will all have built important character traits into your life that will continue to help you save money in the future.