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  1. #16

    • I do believe in fairies!
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    Re: How to do Disney without going broke

    We are local and my DD lives in Orange so we don't have to pay for a hotel. But if we did you can get great prices for places that are not that far away (like 15 minutes away).

    #3. We buy a SoCal pass. The one with the block out dates on the weekends & during the summer. Wouldn't want to go then anyway. I go to the park at least twice a month, more in the fall. I Also buy the parking pass.

    #6. Pack our own necessities.
    We load up on snacks and bottled water and put it in a backpack

    #9. Don't buy bottled water.

    And one that wasn't mentioned. We bring an ice chest filled with stuff to make sandwiches, we also buy chips, cookies and other munchies. We go out to the car to eat and get off our feet for an hour or so during the hotest part of the day. It's actually very cool in the parking structure after all the cars have sat idle for awhile AND when we go to eat we can usually find a parking space near the escalators so we move. Just make sure you get to the park early enough to park in the structure.
    "While there is very little grown-up in a child, there's still a lot of child in every grown up." ~ Walt Disney

  2. #17

    • Ducksketeer
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    Re: How to do Disney without going broke

    My advise is a little different. I say you have to spend MORE money to save money. I would say that if you live in So Cal you should buy a pass. Maybe not the deluxe, but at least the Southern California pass (the one which allows you to go on many Sundays in the off season). First of all, a single park hopper is at $137. right now and the Southern California pass is $359. for the year. It pays for itself in a little less than 3 trips to the park. In addition, with a pass you don't need to spend the whole day from opening to closing buying 2 - 3 meals plus snacks etc. Trust me, they already have it figured out that the single day ticket holders spends way more in a day than a annual pass holder on one trip to the park. And even if I go only 4 to 6 times in a year on that pass, I usually don't need to eat meals in the park; usually we just go for a few hours and then go the the normal restaurants we like to go to outside the park (not touristy places) on the way home.

    Another way that spending a little more pays off is to eat at the service restaurants instead of at the stands. And I say this especially in the warm months. For one it gives a much needed rest because you force yourself to take more time with the meal. But the other upside is that you get refills on your beverages. So if you think you like to have a few servings of soda or iced tea, it's already covered. And you may find that the prices are just a little more than getting a burger, fries and beverage at a stand. Plus, you can still split a meal at the sit down place if you want to. Whoever suggested eating a sack lunch in the parking lot is a good idea is crazy. You are there to enjoy yourself, not punish yourself. Going to the car to eat; all the way back to the parking structure would be a complete waste of time. Some people think they are going to do that, but usually end up not doing it and buying food in the park anyway.

    And lastly, consider getting a Disney rewards credit card. We used to have one through VISA and we used it all year long for nearly all our retail purchases (paying the balance off every month without any interest charges). We used the card for gas, food, the dentist office--- everything. By the end of the a year we had usually enough reward points to pay for most of the cost of 3 annual passes. And for certain enough for just single day tickets if that were the choice.

  3. #18

    • formerly very helpful
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    Re: How to do Disney without going broke

    Have a virtual Disneyland trip on line.

  4. #19

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    Re: How to do Disney without going broke


  5. #20

    • Disney Fan 4 Life
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    Re: How to do Disney without going broke

    Quote Originally Posted by ravencroft View Post
    Article. No helpful tips on doing Disneyland.

    From the sound of that article, the author/authors are disillusioned and have some, umm, unique ideas on what the park should be. I think they need to stop going since it obviously doesn't bring them any joy. I on the other hand, plan to keep going because it does being me happiness.
    Here You Leave Today and Enter the World of Yesterday, Tomorrow, and Fantasy.

    “To all who come to this happy place; welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past...and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America...with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.” - Walt Disney, Disneyland Opening Day Speech 1955


    View my new Budget Disney Blog here: http://budgetdisneylandresort.blogspot.com/

  6. #21

    • Former Churro Jockey
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    Re: How to do Disney without going broke

    Slightly off topic, but do Disney Dollars still exist, or is it all gift cards now? When I worked there, a lot of parents would give their kids a set amount of Disney Dollars to spend for the day, and the child had to make sure they budgeted properly if they wanted just one big souvineer, or a smaller souvineer plus other things like a churro, etc. It saved money AND taught the kids a valuable lesson at the same time, plus it was fun for the kids!
    Disneyland Cast Member
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    My interview with MiceAge about working at Disneyland:
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  7. #22

    • Chief Troublemaker
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    Re: How to do Disney without going broke

    I think one of the key things is research. Food & souvenirs are the biggest variable (IMHO) and you can really save a lot by researching prices and deciding ahead where you are going to eat and what you want to buy to commemorate your trip. Decide ahead what is important to you, figure the cost, and budget around that. When my BFF & I went in February we did a lot of research on Disney restaurant menus so we kinda knew what basic food prices were and poked around Disney store online to kinda price merch. Plus reading a LOT of threads on MiceChat and another Disney forum that had anything to do with pricing of food or merch. This gave us a general idea for a daily budget. We planned on breakfast in our room, bringing snacks & water into the Park, and having only one meal &/or one snack in the park. We then made a daily budget and stuck to it. We'd put our daily amount in our backpacks & no more. If we had money left over we'd roll it to the next day. If we spent it all before the day was through, too bad! We weren't on a real 'tight' budget (left outselves a little daily wiggle room) & we each managed to save enough each day for my BFF to buy a Dooney (one of the small ones) and I bought a LeSportSac 'It's a Small World' bag along with our other pre-budgeted souvenirs (pins, a t-shirt, & other goodies). But I think our philosophy works no matter what your budget is.
    "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.​"

  8. #23

    • Disney Fan 4 Life
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    Re: How to do Disney without going broke

    Quote Originally Posted by Big D View Post
    Slightly off topic, but do Disney Dollars still exist, or is it all gift cards now? When I worked there, a lot of parents would give their kids a set amount of Disney Dollars to spend for the day, and the child had to make sure they budgeted properly if they wanted just one big souvineer, or a smaller souvineer plus other things like a churro, etc. It saved money AND taught the kids a valuable lesson at the same time, plus it was fun for the kids!
    I was just looking this up. You can call and purchase them or pick them up at the resort. If you call to purchase it will cost you $15 for shipping. Here is the site information https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/fa...isney-dollars/.
    Here You Leave Today and Enter the World of Yesterday, Tomorrow, and Fantasy.

    “To all who come to this happy place; welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past...and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America...with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.” - Walt Disney, Disneyland Opening Day Speech 1955


    View my new Budget Disney Blog here: http://budgetdisneylandresort.blogspot.com/

  9. #24

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    Re: How to do Disney without going broke

    There may not be much of an "Off-season" anymore in terms of crowds, but there are definitely times of year when the hotel rooms are less expensive!

    The AP also gives you some discounts inside the park, even if the admission price doesn't actually save you that much $.

    I think the person who suggested just saving up twice as much money as you need before you go had it right! Yes, we all want to make sure we are getting a good value, but if you spend your whole trip worrying about trying to pinch every penny, what is the point of even going at all? I consider myself lucky to be able to afford a Disney trip every couple years. If I pinched pennies, I could maybe go every year, but I wouldn't be able to have as much fun. I would rather go less often and go "in style" each time

    Another tip - Pack very carefully! Things like toiletries, umbrellas, jackets, medicine, etc. are very overpriced at WDW and near DL. Avoid expenses by planning for unexpected things like unseasonably cool weather, rain, or illness. I have a little travel survival kit with pepto bismol, tylenol, cold medicine, etc. just in case anyone on the trip gets sick so that we don't have to shell out $20 for something that costs $5 at home.

  10. #25

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    Re: How to do Disney without going broke

    It was a really fun little "game" for us adding up all our food purchases each day & seeing what we had money left for. I don't feel a tight budget ruined the magic at all.

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