It’s no question the Disneyland Resort is the Happiest Place on Earth. You wouldn’t be going there and you wouldn’t be on MiceChat if you didn’t know that to be true. One gamble, however, is deciding how to spend your money once you’re inside the main gates. The expenses don’t stop with the cost of your ticket; once you add in food, merchandise, PhotoPass, and other pieces of the magic, a day at the parks can be very expensive, which can put you in a crunch without knowing the quality of your purchase.

That’s where I come in. As a Disneyland Resort addict on a tight budget, I know firsthand how important it is to stretch a dollar and make the most of the magic, without overdrafting your debit account. I present to you Broke in Disneyland: my tips for the best values at the Disneyland Resort.

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It’s hard to find a quality memento, whether it’s one that really gives you bang for your buck, something to make this visit stick out, or finding one that’s a meaningful souvenir for family & friends. One of my favorites that really fits the bill is the Disneyland Resort Official Album, it’s perfect for almost any guest.

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The Official Albums have been in circulation for decades, featuring music from all across Disneyland Park and of course more recently, the entire Disneyland Resort. The track lists even feel like a day in the parks, starting with songs from Main Street, USA in Disneyland, working clockwise around the Hub, then crossing over into Disney California Adventure. It’d depend on your favorites, of course, but the selections feel like the Greatest Hits of Disneyland Resort attractions, with classics like “Grim Grinning Ghosts,” “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me),” and “The Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room.” These albums also feature newer songs, as they are updated every couple of years; for instance, the newest issue has music from Princess Fantasy Faire, Buena Vista Street, and Cars Land.

That’s part of the catch, though; select, iconic Disney Parks songs will always be part of the Official Album releases, which doesn’t leave much room for new material. It’s a perfect souvenir for a new Disney collector, but many hardcore fans probably already have a lot of these songs. At the same time, though, it is only through the Official Albums that we get any new audio at all!

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The Official Albums will always be special souvenirs for me because of how timely they are. Since they only come out every few years, it’s not a huge financial burden to pick them up as they are released, and it’s fun to look back at them over time. The first Official Album for Disney’s California Adventure is hilarious to listen to, featuring music from now-long-lost attractions like SuperStar Limo and Eureka! A California Parade. The newest Official Album, released in Fall 2013, is a special treat too as it is the first CD with the new music from Fantasyland and the fan-favorite “Suitcase and a Dream” from Red Car News Boys.

I know my Disneyland Resort T-shirts will become worn and faded over time, but the quality of the Official Album CDs (especially when immortalized through digital media) will last forever. These are a great musical memento of your Disneyland Resort visit, and a great value as a souvenir.

Are there other Disneyland Resort Official Album fans out there?