Decisions, DecisionsBefore you start calculating, make a few general decisions about your trip:
- How many days will you stay? Three days may be enough, and according to our poll (below), many visitors stay only one or two days. Disney California Adventure can be visited in a day (or a little less). Using Ridemax to reduce your time in line, you can do everything in Disneyland in two days, and even have time to visit some of your favorites twice.
- Are your travel dates flexible? If they are, you may be able to save money on your airfare by traveling a day or two earlier or later than you originally planned.
- Are you planning to visit other attractions or go other places besides the Disney Resort? Your answer will help determine whether or not you need a rental car, and for how many days.
Saving Money on Hotel Costs
- Try our tips for finding hotels near Disneyland.
- If you are a AAA or AARP member or in the U.S. military, you probably know that hotels offer special discounts for you, but what you may not know is that there are often better deals available. This will help you find them.
- If you think you need more two hotel rooms, consider a two-room suite in an all-suites hotel. You'll get more privacy than cramming everyone into a standard hotel room, and you may be able to reserve just one room instead of two. Some hotels also offer rooms that can accommodate more than just 3 or 4. They're hard to find, but we did the work for you and they're all listed here.
- Simply choosing the hotel with the lowest daily rate can be a costly mistake. Parking fees, resort fees, WiFi fees and fitness center fees will increase your total bill, while free breakfasts and any other things such as discount tickets can lower it. They're all included in the individual hotel profiles we provide here.
Saving Money on Transportation
- Do you really need a rental car? If the Disneyland Resort is your only destination, find a hotel that has a Disneyland shuttle, is on the Anaheim Trolley route or is close enough to walk. Take a shuttle from the airport instead of renting a car and save $30 to $40 or more a day total. If your hotel also has an airport shuttle, you can save even more.
- Try some of the online booking services for discount airfares, such as Hotwire or Priceline.
- Check the Disneyland web site for special "kids fly free" and other promotions.
- Check airfares for John Wayne Airport (Orange County), Los Angeles International Airport and Burbank. Be sure to include other costs when comparing them, such as shuttle fees or car rental rates. There's no point in saving $50 on airfare and spending an extra $75 on transportation.
Saving on Disneyland TicketsOur summary of Disneyland discount ticket options can save you money, but the easiest way to lower the ticket cost is to spend less time in the park. Use Ridemax to spend less time in line, then pack up the towels and sunscreen and spend one day at the beach instead of the park. And rent a car for just that one day instead of the whole trip.
A family of four, with one child over 9 (the age Disneyland starts charging them adult admission) could save $100 by buying tickets for three days instead of five, and you might actually get to enjoy more attractions than if you went for three days without Ridemax.
Saving on Meals
- Bring a picnic lunch. Disneyland won't let you bring outside food into the park, but they have lockers just outside the gates where you can stow a small cooler. Or go back to your hotel for a rest and eat in your room.
- Choose a hotel that includes free breakfast in their rate, or eat fruit and granola bars in your room.
Disneyland Budget ItemsGetting There:
- Airport shuttle
- Car Rental
- Personal auto expenses (gas, tolls, parking)
- Car rental
- Anaheim Trolley, Taxis, Buses
- Ridemax Subscription
- Special Meals
- Child Care, Pet Care, House-Sitting
- Airport Parking
- Trip Insurance
- Stroller, Wheelchair, ECV Rental
- Kennel fees
- Other expenses
Poll: How many days do you plan to spend at Disneyland?☐ One
☐ More than four