How to save at Disneyland
Magic isn’t cheap.
The average family vacation to Disneyland costs thousands of dollars. And this year, Disneyland hiked its prices again. If you’re over 10, a ticket to get into the park now costs $99. This is up from under $50 in 2004.
A two-park ticket is up to $155. Although the actual cost of a Disney vacation can vary widely, here are some ways to save money at Disneyland.
- Travel young. Kids under 3 get into Disneyland for free. Plan on hitting the park before age 10, when kids are bumped up to paying adult prices.
- Buy discounted tickets. If you search online and at other vendors, such as Tours4Fun, you can often find tickets marked down. Plus you’ll earn Cash Back. If you buy online, make sure it’s an authorized seller. Never buy tickets on eBay, Craigslist or from some stranger on the side of the street.
- Travel in the off-season. If you can plan a trip in September, when most kids are starting school, you can score great hotel deals (and the lines will be shorter). The busiest (and most expensive) times of year are spring break and the winter break, and summers can be packed, too.
- Stay close to the park. You may find cheaper hotels across town, but if you stay close to the park, you will save on transportation costs and can theoretically stock up on snacks and eat in your room, rather than paying a comical amount for a cup of grapes and a pretzel on Disney grounds. (Disneyland offers food vouchers, which are convenient but not cheap.) The cheapest Disney hotel is Paradise Pier.
- Get help planning. Look for travel guides who specialize in Disney vacations, like Kim Bush with Love The Mouse Travel. These experts know every in and out of the Disney kingdom and will help you plan your dream vacation and stick to your budget — and it costs nothing extra to you. With all of the different options and packages that can get so overwhelming, it’s crazy not to get this free help.
- Shop the deals. You can find various Disney deals throughout the year. For example, save 20 percent on premium rooms at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa or the Disneyland Hotel on certain nights Aug. 16-Sept. 24. (Notice the timing again; this is the back-to-school zone where you can find great discounts.)
- Save on your airfare. With Cash Back deals that can save up as much as 10 percent on your airfare, you can save some serious change (on $1,000 of airfare, that’s $100 back). Priceline.com is currently offering up to 10 percent Cash Back, plus 50 Shop Gold Points that you can redeem for other goodies. This is one of the best Cash Back deals for airfare you can find.
- Bundle, bundle, bundle. Look for packages and bundles that can save you money. OneTravel is offering up to $14 Cash Back, plus a special deal: Bundle your travel and take up to $30 off your fees.