I absolutely am in love with Disneyland. My husband and I have had Disneyland Annual Passes multiple times.Being able to get away and have pre-paid date nights is the best! However, Disneyland trips can be extremely expensive. That’s why we do Disneyland cheap! Due to going so many times, I have acquired some tips and tricks on how to do Disneyland cheap.
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Having an annual pass was one way we were able to go so many times and make things cheaper. See this post if you want to see whether or not a Disneyland Annual Pass is worth it for you. And don’t forget to buy cheap Disney apparel before you go on Amazon! (Affiliate link).
B and I were able to buy annual passes for our anniversary present this past year. That means we were able to go on our days off work for a full day or even just for the night to watch fireworks and get dinner. The Disneyland Annual Pass is so worth it for me. So how do we do Disneyland cheap? Let’s look at a typical Disney day for us and I’ll show you.
Usually when we are spending a full day at Disneyland, we will wake up at our usual time and take our time getting ready. Wake up time is sometimes 8 AM for me. We eat a good-sized breakfast at home so we aren’t starving when we get there. This saves us from being hungry all day and saves money.
What I Wear to Disneyland
SHIRT: I always choose a Disney-inspired t-shirt! I can’t go to Disneyland without a Disney t-shirt. See the picture above? That’s one of my favorite Minnie and Mickey shirts. It’s so comfy and lightweight! Below, are some of my other favorites that I have!
Click on a shirt to buy!
Bottoms: If it’s summer and I know it’s going to be hot all day, I’ll wear shorts. If it’s winter and I know it’s going to be cold all day, I’ll wear jeans. Most of the time, when the weather is in the middle, I wear leggings or work out pants. They are usually thin enough to keep you from getting too hot. However, they also keep you from freezing at night if you are staying super late. (Which we usually do.)
Shoes: I always wear shoes to Disneyland, not sandals. I do not have really good walking around sandals. If you do, power to you! I choose between my Little Mermaid VANS or my converse. If I know we are going to be walking a lot and staying for a very long time, I will wear Nike’s. I am used to walking every day at work, though. If you are not used to walking all day, wear walking or running shoes. It will save you from having sore feet at the end of the day. Blisters and tired feet can ruin the night for you. In the picture below I have my Little Mermaid VANS. I’m pretty sure they don’t sell them anymore. However, click here and you can find tons of cute Disney VANS! The Toy Story ones are some of my favorites!
Mickey Ears! Mickey ears, the wonderful things that you wear to Disneyland. I usually choose ears that match my outfit that day. It might sound ridiculous, but I seriously love Disney! I mean, look at my ears in every picture. Of course I have too many pairs of ears, so I have to wear them somewhere! The cute Little Mermaid ears I’m wearing in the picture above were a birthday present from my best friend. Of course, they match my Little Mermaid shirts!
Want to save even more money? Buy these ears on Amazon instead of buying them in the park!
What I Bring to Disneyland
Then, I choose which backpack I want to bring. If it’s a cold day, I will usually bring a bigger sized backpack to fit more clothing layers in. Or I will just stuff my jacket in my hubby’s backpack! (I’m sure he loves that.) If it’s going to be a hot Disney day, I use this sized backpack below. Loungefly has amazing Disney backpacks that are the perfect size. Click on the backpack to buy!
In my backpack, I always put a light sweater rolled up in the very bottom. You never know if it will get chilly at night. Every time I leave my jacket in the car, I never go back to get it. It’s too much of a hassle and I’m always having too much fun!
After the sweater, I will usually put snacks in there for the whole day. Disneyland allows you to bring your own food and water into the park. (As of right now.) I like to bring energy bars, apples, chips or popcorn, and small things like that which will keep me from getting super hungry. I will also stick at least one water bottle in there. If I am bringing a bigger backpack, I will bring two waters and a Gatorade or something.
Other things always in my backpack: chapstick, sunglasses, a beanie (cold weather), hair ties and bobby pins, etc. Obviously my wallet with my annual pass will be included as well.
One Stop on the Way
So once I am all decked out, we hop in the car. Since we are usually leaving the house by 10 AM, we get as close to Disneyland as possible and find a SUBWAY. This is the best and cheapest thing we have done in order to cut down on lunch cost. We can’t eat lunch before we go because it’s just too early. But what we can do, is order SUBWAY sandwiches and stick them in B’s backpack right before we head into the park. This way, we only pay around $12 for our lunch instead of buying food in the park.
Sandwiches from SUBWAY or any place you like, usually last a couple of hours depending on the weather. We usually eat them around 12:30 or 1 and they are still good. Snack on the food you bring from home, and you’re set until dinner!
Disneyland Park for Cheap
Before you enter the park, you have to pay for parking. Parking as of right now is $20. I haven’t found a way to make this any cheaper. We just pay the $20 and get into the park.
Once we are in the park, there isn’t anything else we usually need to pay for. Of course, I always see merchandise I really really want! There are always cute Mickey ears that I want to buy, or a new purse or clothing. Our annual pass helps us save some money on these things. You can save anywhere from 10-20% depending on your pass. However, most of the time, I can find something like it online somewhere. It may not be the exact thing, but there are always places to find Disney merch! Amazon is one of my favorites. Find Disney merch here. Find these Starbucks cups here!
When it comes to treats like ice cream or dole whips, we usually don’t indulge. However, when we do have the money, we each usually pick one treat that we want for the day. It’s a great way to save money and still feel like you’re having the Disneyland experience. During the Beauty and the Beast craze, I was able to try the grey stuff…”It’s delicious.”
What About Dinner?
Dinner is usually decided before we even get to Disneyland. We usually decide whether or not we are eating in or outside of the park. If we are staying long enough to watch the fireworks show, World of Color or Fantasmic, then we will eat inside the park. However, if we are trying to beat traffic home or just staying until traffic dies down, we will eat outside of the park.
Eating in the park is actually not as bad as you would think. Yes it is expensive, but they give you big portions so it’s worth it. Also, our annual pass gives us a 10% dining discount. There are two restaurants that are my favorite. Pizza port in Disneyland next to Space Mountain is one of my favorites. Their fettuccine alfredo is amazing! And the portions are always enough to last us a while. My second favorite is Pacific Wharf Cafe in California Adventure on the Pier. They serve San Francisco Boudin bread bowls with clam chowder and other amazing soups. It’s a really good place! I mean look at this tortilla chicken soup bowl!
So Do Disneyland Cheap!
No matter how you get there or what tickets you have, you can still save money in the park! If you have helpful tips on how you save money at Disneyland or California Adventure, comment and let me know! B and I have had so many wonderful adventures at Disneyland. The picture below is a picture from our first date ever, and then this past year.
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