Go To Disneyland On A Budget

Posts on Mix In Some Magic may contain affiliate links, which I earn a small commission from. These are provided for your convenience at no price increase to you and help me provide you with great content.

Visiting Disneyland can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be! You can go to Disneyland on a budget. It is possible! In this article, I’m sharing ideas to help you go to Disneyland on a budget. I know these ideas will help you get you on your Disneyland vacation and save you money in the process! I’ve used each and every one of these ideas to save money on our Disney vacations. I’ve found them to be the best way to go to Disneyland on a budget.

Disneyland Planning Call

If you need help planning your Disneyland vacation, I have a complete guide to planning for Disneyland that will walk you through a step-by-step planning process for Disneyland. Also, check out my top top Disneyland tips here. I also have a planning phone call that’s super popular! In this phone call, I can answer all of your Disneyland vacation questions and give you lots of tips and info tailored just to you and your group!

The first time I visited Disneyland as an adult with my kids, my in-laws generously paid for our vacation. It was so nice of them and we had such a great time! After that, I was hooked and desperate to get back to Disneyland as soon as possible. The problem was, we simply could not afford it. My husband was working and going to school and I was working small jobs to make ends meet while caring for our little children. Even though we didn’t have the money for a vacation, I was determined to get us back to Disneyland as soon as possible.

I started looking for ways to save a little bit of extra money to help us get there quicker. I came up with some pretty creative ideas that really made a difference! I’ve got a bunch of ideas on saving for your Disney vacation here. The little savings started to add up, I was slowly but surely building a Disney vacation fund! But, whenever I would price out a Disney vacation, I would always feel a little discouraged. It just felt so expensive.

So, I decided that in addition to saving money whenever possible, I was going to figure out how to make our Disney vacations cost as little as possible. I knew that there had to be lots of ways to go to Disneyland on a budget, and I was determined to find them. I did tons of research on hotels, park tickets, and airfare. I talked to lots of different people who had visited Disneyland and asked them how they saved money on their vacation.

Armed with lots of information, a plan, and a little bit of savings I knew we could go to Disneyland on a budget! I was a little worried that because we were trying to do Disneyland on the cheap that we wouldn’t have as much fun or that our kids would somehow be missing out. I was completely wrong! We had a great time and it was actually pretty satisfying to know that we had saved so much money on our Disneyland theme parks vacation.

Since then, we’ve been able to go to Disneyland on a budget quite a few times and I love sharing this information with others. Taking your family on a Disneyland vacation is pretty amazing! I hope this information will help you get to the Disneyland resort with your family soon! I know with a little careful planning you’ll be able to go to Disneyland on a budget too!

How To Go To Disneyland On A Budget

Here are some of the best ways to go to Disneyland on a budget!

Buy Discount Park Tickets

Discount Disney Tickets

You can save money if you buy your Disney park tickets at a Discount. Discount Disneyland tickets are available and are a great way to save some money. Even if you’re only saving a few dollars per ticket, when you’re buying for a family, that little bit of savings here and there can really add up to big savings in the end.

I always buy my park tickets through Get Away Today. It’s the best place to buy your tickets. I’ve been using them for over 15 years and I won’t buy my Disney park tickets anywhere else! Their tickets are always discounted off the gate price, so you know you’re getting a great deal.

They often have amazing, exclusive deals like Adult tickets at Kid’s prices or buy 4 days get the 5th day free. They are ALWAYS cheaper than purchasing through Disneyland.

They have a Peace of Mind plan that you can add to any of your purchases. This option allows you to change your plans if you need to. Let’s face it, unexpected things come up. Life happens. The Peace of mind plan is there just for those times. I love this option. It’s especially helpful in the world that we’re living in today, you just never know what’s going to happen!

Get Away Today offers layaway plan options. Yup! That’s right! You can put down $175 on your dream Disneyland vacation and make payments. This is so helpful! For lots of families, making payments on their vacation is a great option. Your trip must be paid in full 5 days before you leave.

I don’t think you’ll find better prices, but if you do find a better deal anywhere, Get Away Today will match it. Their customer service is top-notch and they care about their customers and work really hard to make sure they have a great vacation! Purchasing Disneyland vacation packages through Get Away Today is a great way to go to Disneyland on a budget!

Please be aware that a park ticket and theme park reservation are required to enter all of Disney’s theme parks right now. Don’t wait until the last minute to buy your tickets and book your reservations. They can fill up so, book them 120 days in advance whenever possible.

Buy A Multi-Day Ticket

When you go to Disneyland on a budget, you want to make sure you’re getting the best value out of your Disneyland park tickets. A one-day ticket will cost you the most per day and I don’t recommend this option. The only place to buy a one-day ticket is through Disneyland and there are no discounts available on one-day tickets.

You can save more by purchasing a multi-day ticket(a 3-day ticket or more will save you the most money per day). The more days you go, the cheaper the ticket is per day. Don’t book a multi-day ticket through Disneyland! This will cost you extra money. Buy your tickets from Get Away Today. Their tickets are always discounted off the gate price.

Skip the park hopper tickets

Disneyland has a one park per day ticket option and a park hopper option. Park hopping allows you to visit both parks(Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park) on the same day. Park hopper tickets cost extra and I don’t feel like they are worth the money. Especially, when you’re trying to go to Disneyland on a budget. There’s plenty to see and do at each park for multiple days, so skip out on the park hopper. It will save you money and isn’t necessary when you’re trying to go to Disneyland on a budget.

Visit When Your Kids Are Young

Children’s tickets to Disneyland are cheaper than adult tickets. Children ages 3-9 can use a child’s ticket. After age 9, they will need an adult ticket. Children 2 and under do not need a park ticket. So, if you can visit when your children are younger, it will save you a bit of money. We always like to visit right before our kids turn three so we could get them in for free! It feels good not to have to buy at least one ticket!

Visit During The Off-Season

Visiting Disneyland during the off-season is a great way to go to Disneyland on a budget. Because fewer people visit during the off-season, the hotel prices are cheaper. It’s the best time to visit! Not only will you get to visit Disneyland during a less crowded time, but you can also save money! The off-season at Disneyland is from mid-September through mid-November(before Thanksgiving Break) and mid-January through mid-March.

Deciding when to visit Disneyland can be overwhelming. I’ve got a complete guide to the best time to visit the Disneyland resort here. It will give you information about every single month of the year at Disneyland and includes things like weather, crowd calendars, packing lists, what to expect, and more!

Get A Good Deal On Your Hotel

Getting a good deal on you’re hotel is huge when you are trying to go to Disneyland on a budget. A good hotel deal and really save you a ton of money! I love to book my hotels through Get Away Today. They negotiate great prices with the top hotels and exclusive perks like waived resort fees and free parking. They partner with many hotels in the Disneyland area and you can always find a great deal. They often have deals like stay 3 nights get the 4 night free! Getting free hotel nights is always a good idea! If you can book a deal like that, it’s a great way to save money. If you book a vacation package through Get Away Today with hotel and park tickets, you can use my code MIX10 to save an additional $10.

The Disneyland resort hotels are great, but they are expensive. If you’re trying to go to Disneyland on a budget, you will want to skip the Disneyland hotel, Paradise Pier and Grand Californian and go with a cheaper hotel nearby. There are so many great, affordable options right around Disneyland. I like to book a hotel room within walking distance of the park because it’s so convenient. Get Away Today can help you find the perfect one. Check them out here or give them a call at 1-855-GET-AWAY and tell them Melissa from Mix In Some Magic Sent you for the best deal!

I’ve got a bunch of hotel reviews that might help you decide where you’d like to stay on your Disneyland vacation.

Skip Disney Genie Plus

Genie Plus is the system that has replaced the old FastPass/ Max Pass system. When you purchase Genie Plus, you can enter select attractions using the Lightning Lane. You can find out more information about Genie Plus and how it works here. Genie Plus cost $20 per person per day. It’s a great thing to have, but it can be quite expensive for a whole family on every day of your trip. I suggest skipping Genie Plus when trying to go to Disneyland on a budget. If you’re visiting during the off-season and take advantage of things like Rope drop, Rider switch, and the Single rider line, you can maximize your time in the parks and not be able to experience all the rides and attractions without paying extra for Genie Plus.

Use Rewards To Pay For Plane Tickets

Using credit card rewards to pay for your flights is a great way to go to Disneyland on a budget! We got a Southwest card a few years back and have used the rewards we earn from it to fly our family all over the country. It’s been amazing! You’re already spending money on things like gas, groceries, and activities. You might as well get rewarded for your purchases! If you’re interested in the Southwest rapid rewards card, you can find more info here. I’ve also got a whole podcast about how to responsibly use credit card reward points to pay for your Disney vacations. This is a great episode filled with info to help you go to Disneyland on a budget! You can find the Apple version here, or check it out on Spotify here.

Drive To Your Destination

If you don’t have reward points to pay for your flights and you don’t live too far away, driving to Disneyland is a great option. We live about 10 hours from Disneyland and usually drive when we visit with our family. It saves us so much money! 10 hours in the car might seem like a long time, but it goes by quickly, and honestly, flying doesn’t save us much time. By the time we drive to the airport, park, go through security, wait for our flight to board, layover, pick up our bags, pick up a rental car or wait for the shuttle and then drive to the parks it’s an 8-hour day! We could have driven it in 2 extra hours and saved hundreds of dollars!

So, if you’re able, consider skipping the airport and just driving yourself to Disneyland. The savings are huge and totally worth it! Driving can really save money and help you go to Disneyland on a budget.

Ask For Disney Gift Card Instead Of Gifts

Gift Card

If your kids are anything like mine, they have a bunch of stuff. Toys, clothes, kick knacks and trinkets cover their bedroom floor. They have so much stuff! Every birthday and Christmas they get bunches more that they really don’t need. Instead of toys, why not ask relatives for Disney gift cards(or cash) to help your family save for your Disneyland vacation? People want to give your family gifts that will be useful, so they’ll be happy to have a helpful suggestion! You can use the gift cards to pay for food and/or souvenirs on your Disneyland trip!

Make The Trip A Gift

We often turn family vacations into Christmas gifts. By gifting our family with a Disneyland vacation we can use part of the money we would have spent on Christmas gifts and put the money toward our Disney vacation. Our kids might get a little less on Christmas morning, but they never seem to mind! The anticipation of an upcoming vacation is very exciting! I’ll wrap up something to announce the trip and put it under the tree. Turing your vacation into a Holiday gift is a great way to save money and go to Disneyland on a budget.

Here’s a cute countdown chart that’s a great way to announce a Disney trip to your kids! Counting down the big day is a great way to build anticipation!

Buy Souvenirs In Advance

When my children were little I would always buy their souvenirs in advance. Souvenirs at Disneyland can cost a lot of money! You can find great Disney souvenirs at Walmart, on Amazon, or even at the dollar store. You know what your kids like and if you can buy some things in advance it will really save you money!

I would buy all my souvenirs in advance and tell the children that while we were on our vacation Tinkerbell would be visiting them every night while they were sleeping to leave them a special gift if they behaved themselves in the parks. My kids loved this! Each night after they fell asleep, I’d leave out something for them to find the next day from Tinkerbell. Sometimes it would be a small toy or coloring book. Sometimes it would be a shirt to wear to the parks or a Disney stuffed animal.

If they ever asked for souvenirs in the parks I’d remind them that Tinkerbell would be bringing them something special that night and they always forgot about whatever souvenir they had just seen. It worked perfectly! Plus, it helped with their behavior while we were in the parks. If they started having trouble I would just remind them that Tinkerbell wouldn’t visit if they didn’t behave and they would straighten right up.

My kids are too old for that now, but they have very fond memories of Tinkerbell bringing them little gifts on our vacations! It really helped us go to Disneyland on a budget. It was a fun way to add some Disney magic to their vacation and also save money at the same time!

Eat Breakfast At Your Hotel

Eating breakfast at your hotel is a great way to go to Disneyland on a budget. I like to find a hotel with free breakfast, but if that’s not possible I will bring our breakfast food from home(if we’re driving) or run to one of the nearby grocery stores or CVS to buy a few things to keep in our hotel room for breakfast. Eating breakfast before you arrive at Disneyland not only saves money, it also saves time. You don’t have to take the time to find breakfast for everyone once you’re inside Disneyland. You can just enjoy the parks!

I would often pack a small breakfast “to go” for my kids with a granola bar, applesauce or yogurt, fruit, or some dry cereal for them to eat on our way to the park in the morning. It worked out great!

Bring In Your Own Food For Lunch And Snacks

Good News! You can bring in your own food for meals and snacks to the Disney parks. This is perfect for people on a tight budget. When I visit with my family, we only eat one meal a day in the parks. By bringing in our lunch and snacks we save so much money! I pack things like sandwiches, chips, Capri suns, and cookies. I load everything into a small soft-sided cooler and stow it under the stroller or in. a locker. I’ve got a whole post about bringing food into Disneyland with lots of tips and helpful information. Make sure you check it out!

Split Meals or Order Off the Kids Menu

I don’t know about your kids, but my kids never seem to eat as much as they think they are going to. This leaves us with a lot of wasted food and frustrated parents. So, we started splitting meals. We can order four chicken finger meals with fries and feed our family of six easily! I’ve got a whole post on the cheapest quick-service dining options at Disneyland here that you should check out.

You can also order off of the kid’s menu. Young children aren’t the only ones who can eat kid’s meals! I often order off of the kid’s menu and I find that it’s usually just the right amount of food for me. Saving money on food is important if you’re trying to go to Disneyland on a budget.

Bring Your Own Stroller

Your kids are going to need a stroller. Trust me. Walking around the Disney parks all day is brutal for adults. It’s nearly impossible for kids. So, keep them as happy as possible by letting them ride in the stroller! Disneyland has strollers that you can rent, but you can save money if you bring your own stroller.

The cost of renting a stroller for a few days adds up and that’s money that you don’t have to spend if you bring your trusty stroller from home!

Have A Well Packed Park Bag

Disney Parks Bag Essentials

Planning ahead and bringing everything you need with you to Disneyland park will save you money and time! Having a well-packed park bag is so valuable! You don’t want to take the time to find and buy bandaids because your kid has a blister or pay three times the price for a small box of Advil because you have a headache. Also, you’re going to have a headache at some point. Trust me. By bringing everything you need with you to the parks, you’ll save money and stress! This is a big deal when your trying to go to Disneyland on a budget!

I like to bring things like pain meds, chapstick, bandaids, hair ties, sunscreen, and hand sanitizer. My bag is a little bit like Mary Poppins’s bag! I’ve got everything our family could possibly need inside! I’ve got a post with a full list of everything I always carry with me in my Disney parks bag. You can find it here.

Thanks for reading my post on how to go to Disneyland on a budget. I know from personal experience that it’s possible to take a cheap trip to Disneyland and still have a great time! By following the ideas above, you’ll be able to get your family to Disneyland and do it without breaking the bank! Check out my Disneyland tips section on my website for lots of info to help you with your Disneyland trip planning. Please let me know if you have any questions! I’m here to help. I know you’re going to have a great time at the happiest place on earth!

Make sure to check out my podcast for lots of Disney planning information! You can find it on Apple PodcastsSpotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Just search for “Mix In Some Magic” Follow me on Instagram for more Disney tips and lots of Disney fun!