Disneyland on a Budget

disneyland on a budgetDisneyland on a Budget

I’ve been trying to a find a way to Disneyland since 2014.  I go to Disney World about 4 times a year and I just had to get back to CA.

 

But I live in the northeast and CA/Disneyland is a very expensive trip for me.  Starting with flights that are never under $300/RT/each.

 

I just recently got back from the Disneyland trip that I’ve been planning for years and it really was perfect.  I can confidentially say that I’ve gotten my Disneyland fix for the next few years.

 

But a whole bunch of work went into it.

 

For example, I did a lot of research before I decided that my trip would be happening in mid-September.  In fact, I waited a whole extra year to make sure I got the date just right.

 

Mid-September was the perfect time in terms of crowds, weather, and travel prices.

 

I also spent hours doing research and read 1 very important book.

 

2017 Version

2018 Version

Ok, enough about my planning journey.  Let’s start saving you money on your Disneyland trip.

 

Cheap Disneyland Hotels

disneyland on a budget

I’m just going to say it. It was nearly impossible to find anything under $100/night. I spent months looking, reading articles, making lists, checking prices, etc.

 

In fact, while doing research, I came across an article by Hotel.com giving a list of budget hotels near Disneyland.  Here are the prices that came up when I looked into them.

 

1. Holiday Inn Express & Suites Anaheim – $219/night
2. Spring Hill Suites Anaheim – $264/night
3. Alamo Inn – $97/night
4. Quality Inn – $93/night

According to Hotel.com, a budget hotel at Disneyland costs about $126/night.

I was able to stay at one of the nicest hotels near Disneyland for under that price.  Let’s see how we can make that possible for you too.

 

What you should look for:
1. Quality (obviously)
2. Walking distance from Disneyland
3. Free Parking
4. Free breakfast

 

To get a room around $100/night you’re going to have to stay off-site. Actually, Disneyland only has 3 hotels on-site and they are all high priced. I will show you how to get a good price for a Disneyland hotel.

 

My experience: I’m a DVC member which means I get to use my points to book rooms. The only DVC hotel at Disneyland is the Grand Californian and it’s very popular.

 

Long story short, I was able to book 2 of my 4 nights at the GC though I hunted them months and months before. Those other two nights were spent off-site.

 

I got a great deal at the Hilton Anaheim by using a deal I’ll link to below. My rate was at about $100/night with parking being $16/day. The hotel was AWESOME.

 

It was so big it gave this perfect impression of grandeur.

 

 

The Disney Vacation Club has 1 hotel at Disneyland Park, that’s the Villas at the Grand Californian.  You booked these villas at a cost of points per night.  The average “cost” for a night in one of their studios is 20 points. You can rent points from here and get a room for $320/night or $16/point.

Other inexpensive hotels
  • Anaheim Carriage Inn
  • America’s Best Value Astoria Inn & Suites
  • Motel 6 Anaheim Maingate
  • Days Inn Anaheim Maingate
  • Anaheim Maingate Inn

Cheap Disneyland Tickets

disneyland on a budget

Disney keeps such a tight grip on their ticket sales that it can drive anyone crazy.  I remember my time at Disneyland where they asked to take a photo of me for my ticket, and they really do check it every time you scan in.

Disney makes sure that every person in their parks has paid their fair share.

And with that, it hurts me to type that cheap Disneyland tickets exist but the discount isn’t huge.  I spend most of my time trying to find ways to save more than 10% on Disney tickets. Let’s talk about how you get those discounts.

The cheapest and easiest way to get Disneyland tickets is through an authorized reseller.  I purchased mine through Get Away Today.  They send me a voucher that I just exchange for tickets at Disneyland.  It’s a quick and easy way to save.

Another way to save on Disneyland tickets is by procuring Disney gift cards at a discounted rate.  This is great for all things at Disney including tickets, food, souvenirs, and more.

Get Away Today has the best Disneyland ticket deals.  They sell at the cheapest, are the most efficient, and the safest.  I don’t recommend any other company.  I used them and picked up my tickets when I checked into the Grand Californian.

You can save even more money on your Disneyland trip by booking a tickets + hotel package with them.  Use promo code PLANNING10 for an even better deal.

Read more here

Cheap Disneyland Food

disneyland on a budget
On my most recent trip to Disneyland, I spent only $300 on food for two and the trip was 4 nights/5 days. That’s only $60/day and we ate really well!  We went to at least three restaurants and went on a food tasting tour within the entire Disneyland Resort.   Here’s how I managed to keep my costs low.

One of the first things I did when I got to Anaheim was head to the Walmart that’s one mile away from the resort.  While there I purchased water, crystal light packages, snacks, and breakfast on the go.  This is the strategic list that I use for every Disney vacation.  Actually every vacation period.

Buying groceries made my snack spending disappear.  So did the money I would have spent on non-alcoholic drinks. Even when we sat down to eat all we asked for was a cup of ice and we used our water and crystal light juice powder.

Carnation Cafe within the Disneyland Park is a signature location to eat during your trip. Not only is the food great and the environment fantastic, but its also inexpensive.  We had a great meal for cheap here.

Cafe Orleans, also within the Disneyland Park was another perfect place to eat.  It was actually on our food tour to try the Monte Cristo sandwich there. The sandwich cost us $20, the fries $7.  Both of which we shared.  This sandwich is huge, I’m seriously not kidding.  I have a very healthy appetite and two of the four pieces was enough.

While at Disney California Adventure, make sure to head over to the Cozy Cone Motel in Cars Land and try both the Mac n Cheese cone as well as the Chili Con Queso cone.  Cone number 3.   They are $8.99 and two of them will not only be the most delicious thing you’ve had but it will fill you up.

I could go on and on about saving money for your Disneyland trip but with these tips alone you can save a ton of money on your trip.

Make sure to do your research and buy the best guidebook on Disneyland that’s out there.  With this book you won’t wait in line over 20 minutes, ( I used it and didn’t), you’ll have summaries on all the places to eat, the rides and so so much more.

 

2017 Version

2018 Version

disney on a budget

19 thoughts on “Disneyland on a Budget

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    We go to Disney World every year and there definitely are ways to save on the trip. You have some great tips here in this post!

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    You offer some exceptional advice here. Disney is extremely expensive. I got to go once on the company dime 😉

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    I love this post! We’ve been to Disney a few times and that wouldn’t have happened if we hadn’t done things on a budget. These are some great tips.

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    I kind of miss the days when Disney wasn’t so expensive and didn’t require so much planning and research. But I’m glad to resources like this one to help me avoid the pitfalls of spending all my money on things I don’t need and missing out on great deals.

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    There is so much research needed to plan a trip to Disneyland. I’d love to one day stay on site as I have never had the chance to do that. I think it’d be a great first time experience for my husband!

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    I love that you can do Disney on a budget, I hope that my family gets to go some day!

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    I searched high and low for ways to save on Disney tickets and couldn’t come up with anything we trusted. Good to read here that you found a source.

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    I have actually never been there before, but I’m definitely going to keep these tips in mind. Thanks for sharing them!

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    Oh man I wish I read your post before I go. The criterias you listed quality,walking distance from Disneyland,free Parking and free breakfast are really complete. I cannot believe I missed the ‘walking distance’ criteria… As you can imagine… I suffered because of it…

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      It happens for sure. Disneyland is a totally different dynamic than Disney World.

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    These are some great ways to save money when going to Disney. It’s definitely on my bucket list and I’ll be sure to come back to this post to help me!

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    These are all such great tips! I have never been to Disney Land, but have been to Disney World over a dozen times!!!

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    I want to come to Disneyland just to see Cars. Unfortunately, with the flights we would need along with hotels and tickets, it is completely out of the budget. You have really great tips, though, for those that can get to Disneyland!

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      Totally get it. I’m on the east coast so my trip was only possible because I used points for the flights.

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    We might be heading there this winter so I will for sure pin this to refer back too in a few weeks, thanks for all the great tips.

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