Friday, October 2, 2015

Disneyland on the cheap

Disneyland is expensive. One day, one park ticket is $93.00/child and $99.00/adult. If you want to make that ticket a Park Hopper so you can visit both Disneyland and California Adventure Park, add $40 per ticket.

Right now, Disneyland has an awesome military discount.

Disneyland Resort is saluting active and retired U.S. military personnel by offering Military Promotional 3-Day Park Hopper Tickets. You can visit both theme parks each day of your ticket!

Purchase through December 18, 2015 — and receive admission on any 3 days for just $132. Valid for admission through December 20, 2015.

Get your military discount tickets at MWR.

The hotels also have military discounts. The prices vary.


Outside food or beverage items are not permitted in either of the Disneyland Resort theme parks.

Let's be honest. You don't go to Disneyland for the food. At every theme park I've ever been to, the food is always less than remarkable. We have one picky (sensory) eater. On more than one occasion, we've paid for a meal that went uneaten.

And if you're bringing littles with you, they're going to get tired and you're going to get tired. People get overwhelmed when they hit the gates and they rush from attraction to attraction without really living in the moment. So my suggestion is this:

Prior to your visit, go to the grocery store. Make sandwiches. Buy healthy snacks. Leave them in your hotel room. If your room doesn't have a fridge, get a cheap cooler and stock it with ice. Right around lunch time, take a break from the park. Go back to your hotel room, have lunch, and let the littles take a nap. Disneyland is supposed to be the happiest place on earth...but not if everyone is cranky from exhaustion.

Hydration is important! Disneyland will give you free ice water at any location that sells soda. Bring an empty water bottle or buy a refillable mug at the park then refill it with water. One soda costs about $3, which adds up. The water is free.


There are vendors throughout the park trying to sell toys to your children. They whir and light up. And they're all expensive. When my son was little, we bought a Buzz Lightyear toy that had spinning lights when you pushed the legs together.

It was broken within a day. If you shop online prior to going to the park, you can get this toy cheaper. Then when you get to the park, give it to your little. The same goes for almost every toy. Your kids aren't going to care that it wasn't paid for at the park.

Another thing you see at the park, especially when it gets dark, are accessories that light up. Your kid will want one. Hell. I want one. Every dollar store has glowstick bracelets, headbands, and glasses. Stock up at home and save money when you get to the park.

If you want cheap souvenirs, bring a roll of quarters and a roll of pennies. There are stations to press pennies throughout the park. 

My personal favorite thing are the pins you can get at Disneyland / Disney World. They're relatively inexpensive. (Though they can get expensive.) You can trade pins with cast members and other guests. There are rules of etiquette. The gist is, don't be rude when asking to trade. I found these pins at

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