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  1. #1

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    Smile big family needs big savings

    Hi, we're a family of 6 . My boyfriend has 3 kids and I have my little one. We have never taken the entire family to the parks together yet but we want to plan this for this summer but we are on a tight budget. We'll be driving up from Nor Cal and we wanted to know the lowest cost options for us ( hotels and tickets and food ). I've normally gone with just friends or cast members who have signed us in but this time I'll actually be paying my way and I know the parks aren't cheap especially for a family this large. Any ideas or info would be much appreciated
    p.s. is there a mice chat app for iphones yet? hehe

  2. #2

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    Re: big family needs big savings

    1st: Know your travel dates, most of the major travel sites have a calendar with the days of the cheapest rooms...

    2nd: Try to go when everyone gets in for the kids price, (I think the promo ends in May-ish) Also if you can buy your tickets through AAA, you will get free parking.

    3rd: If you do get free parking, stay in Buena Park... it's usually $15-$20 cheaper per night and choose a motel that's close to Highway 91 (very quick trip to DL that way) You could try priceline but it is a gamble...

    4th: Whatever you do, DO NOT EAT IN THE PARK! Try to pack food for snacks/quick meals outside of the park. Also, there are plenty of fast food places around the DL area that would be cheap.

    5th: Most important, check out mousesaver.com, they have great tips for making your trip cheaper.

  3. #3

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    Re: big family needs big savings

    Mousesaver is a great site. Also for motels you can use kayak.com and check rates. I've actually stayed within a 15 minute walk to the park for as little as $45 a night.

    Packing snacks is a good idea, and there is a Mickey D's right across the street from the park for cheap meals.

    We had a thread somewhere where people talked about ways to save money.... I'll try to look for it later.




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  4. #4

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    Re: big family needs big savings

    Quote Originally Posted by penguinsoda View Post
    Mousesaver is a great site. Also for motels you can use kayak.com and check rates. I've actually stayed within a 15 minute walk to the park for as little as $45 a night.

    Packing snacks is a good idea, and there is a Mickey D's right across the street from the park for cheap meals.

    We had a thread somewhere where people talked about ways to save money.... I'll try to look for it later.
    Hopefully this is the thread your referring to Penguinsoda Looking for economy trip tips.

    I remember posting some comments on their myself.

    I've done Priceline the last 4 or 5 times I've gone and won my bids @ $50 or less for each night and stayed in 3.5* hotels. But the thing about priceline is that they only guarantee you beds for 2 people. Hotwire will guarantee beds for the amount of people in your party. Also check out www.hotels.com they run discounts fairly often as well. I've also stayed at the Residence Inn in Garden Grove which is about a 10 min drive to the parks. If you are able to get a 2 room suite that is cheap it also includes breakfast and has a full kitchen in all the suites. You would be able to make meals that way. But who wants to do that when their on vacation. haha! If you catch www.expedia.com at the right time they run some good deals.

    Definitely bring your own water or drinks, that will save you alot. And your own snacks. I bring a backpack and carry it around all day. After carrying a backpack for a better part of the day, it's an incentive to get you to drink your water, it'll lighten up the pack.

    Tickets are cheaper right now then what they are for the summer currently. Summer is always high season no matter where you travel to. I would recommend getting your tickets through AAA just so you could get the free parking in the Mickey & Friends parking structure.

    I'll be going this summer also, and I'm from NorCal. Live just on the other side of the valley from you in Castro Valley. Maybe I'll see you at the parks.

  5. #5

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    Re: big family needs big savings

    Lots of other knowledgeable people know more about the hotels than i do, but if you want to eat cheaply in the park try the Goldenhorse, the chicken/mozzarella sticks come with fries, (or apple slices and a drink box for the kids, which fills me up and i am not a child) or the Refreshment Corner has a similar kids meal with a turkey hot dog, (again fills me up). Supplement these with snacks and all the fun, and you will not me thinking about eating for most of the day.

    Bringing in water bottles and snacks are one of the easiest ways to save money, as many people have mentioned. Although it there are only the two of us we put about 8-10 bottles in our backpack (about the size of the ones kids bring to school) along with favorite munchies. A few times, to save on dinner when we are coming for the evening only, we run through the Katella Del Taco and get a couple of bean and cheese burritos and throw them in in there too. Bag checkers have never said anything about these being prohibited, although the voice on the tram asks you to eat at the picnic area. We have never had a problem snacking inside.

    Also, take a camera. These make better souvenirs than anything you can buy. But if the kids must buy something: give them a set amount with which to buy their treasures. This is what my parents always did. Two things happen, the kids learn a lesson (the value of money, decision-making skills, candy v. toy choices, delayed gratification,) and you don't get hounded every minute for non-essential items. You set the amount based on your budget then and can save money in that way.

  6. #6

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    Re: big family needs big savings

    PLEASE check out the Marriott Residence Inn Maingate! It's walking distance (if you have really small ones you may want to bring a stroller). They have GREAT rooms that will fit all of you. One kind of room is two stories - two bathrooms - way fun - price can be very reasonable depending on the deal you can get. All the rooms have kitchens and fireplaces. Parking is FREE, they have enormous FREE breakfast. Just that will save you a fortune. I would suggest you call there directly for rates - the manager can direct you to find the best rate. Every room has a full kitchen with all the pots, pans, utensils, etc you can bring (or pick up) groceries -this will save so much $$. If you want, the staff will have your groceries delivered for you - there is no extra charge for this - just the cost of the groceries. They also have a cool outdoor fireplace and barbecue area for you to use. There are free light dinners (like hotdogs etc) a few nights a week, I believe. The staff and management are amazing. We used to always stay at the Disneyland Hotel but once we discovered the Res Inn we haven't even considered staying anywhere else - we LOVE it that much! Good luck!
    Last edited by UptownDisney; 02-04-2010 at 04:37 PM. Reason: typos
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  7. #7

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    Re: big family needs big savings

    This was all great information everyone. I'll look into all of this and hopefully come up with a workable budget plan.

  8. #8

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    Re: big family needs big savings

    Quote Originally Posted by 1Disneylandfan View Post
    Hopefully this is the thread your referring to Penguinsoda Looking for economy trip tips.

    I remember posting some comments on their myself.

    I've done Priceline the last 4 or 5 times I've gone and won my bids @ $50 or less for each night and stayed in 3.5* hotels. But the thing about priceline is that they only guarantee you beds for 2 people. Hotwire will guarantee beds for the amount of people in your party. Also check out www.hotels.com they run discounts fairly often as well. I've also stayed at the Residence Inn in Garden Grove which is about a 10 min drive to the parks. If you are able to get a 2 room suite that is cheap it also includes breakfast and has a full kitchen in all the suites. You would be able to make meals that way. But who wants to do that when their on vacation. haha! If you catch www.expedia.com at the right time they run some good deals.

    Definitely bring your own water or drinks, that will save you alot. And your own snacks. I bring a backpack and carry it around all day. After carrying a backpack for a better part of the day, it's an incentive to get you to drink your water, it'll lighten up the pack.

    Tickets are cheaper right now then what they are for the summer currently. Summer is always high season no matter where you travel to. I would recommend getting your tickets through AAA just so you could get the free parking in the Mickey & Friends parking structure.

    I'll be going this summer also, and I'm from NorCal. Live just on the other side of the valley from you in Castro Valley. Maybe I'll see you at the parks.
    Thats the one, yes!! Thanks for finding that! (Now I need to bookmark it!)




    Help me get more security in Pingvinivlle! Click here!


    Quote Originally Posted by AGhostFromThePast
    all you need to know about the mommy stick is.. out of all the bad things that could happen to you... it's right between wetting yourself and death.

  9. #9

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    Re: big family needs big savings

    [QUOTE=elsa;1055798388]Lots of other knowledgeable people know more about the hotels than i do, but if you want to eat cheaply in the park try the Goldenhorse, the chicken/mozzarella sticks come with fries, (or apple slices and a drink box for the kids, which fills me up and i am not a child) or the Refreshment Corner has a similar kids meal with a turkey hot dog, (again fills me up). Supplement these with snacks and all the fun, and you will not me thinking about eating for most of the day. [QUOTE=elsa;1055798388]

    I wanted to amend this statement. We were there on Saturday and discovered that this past week they discontinued the mozzarella sticks. So husband got fish sticks instead. He said they were really good and satisfied him. It came with 4 fairly large sticks and a generous amount of french fries. The CM said mozzarella might come back in the summer, but she wasn't sure. In the meantime, she believed that they were available in DCA at over by Bug's Life, but she wasn't sure.

  10. #10

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    Re: big family needs big savings

    well hey! its someone from my neck of the woods!

    coming from a large family (both my bf and I have larger families of 5 and 8 lol) we can tell you the ways we go in cheap!

    First, we always try to go when its get in for the kids price OR when there is a 2fer deal going on. This year is great because they are giving free tickets for the "give a day get a day" promotion they are running, thats how we're going this year! (theres a lot of options in stockton, i've looked!LOL). That saves you some $ if you just wanna go to one park for one day.

    try getting a magic morning in with your tickets, that always makes it more kid-worth it to me!

    Also, the bset $10 you are going to spend will be on a locker! we stash all our own snacks in there and throughout the day will come back and get some munchies, we always carry water around with us and a few snack bars jsut in case

    Try finding some good cheap hotels, i'm in the process of doing that currently. I'm going in march (and later in may) so hopefully they will be a bit less expensive right now during the "off season".

    my parents used to set a limit to one toy and ONE bucket of popcorn to share (i think the popcorn is worth it, its $5 and you get popcorn and a cute bucket to take home) and we each got our own hot chocolate with a mug (i think those were like $5 also). that way each of us didn't complain, it had to be under $20 each, and if we could find 2 or 3 little things that added up to $20 we could get those... lol i actually coulda used that limit when i went in dec xD spent alot on stuff ireally didnt need... anyways, yea. that link has lots of good info!

  11. #11

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    Re: big family needs big savings

    Also, the bset $10 you are going to spend will be on a locker! we stash all our own snacks in there and throughout the day will come back and get some munchies, we always carry water around with us and a few snack bars jsut in case
    I'm new to this forum and found it looking for any tips or advice, etc for a first timer planning on going to Disney with family later this year (*We've found some good disneyland packages, anybody have some tips about where to find others?)

    I was not aware you could do what is quoted above. I had assumed it would be like most parks,rides, etc in that you are not allowed to bring your own drinks/food. As we'll be there for a better part of the day for 3 days this is good to know beforehand (I was getting a bit anxious about overpriced food and drink for the 4 of us).

    Thanks!

  12. #12

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    Re: big family needs big savings

    Quote Originally Posted by tmijs789 View Post
    I'm new to this forum and found it looking for any tips or advice, etc for a first timer planning on going to Disney with family later this year (*We've found some good disneyland packages, anybody have some tips about where to find others?)

    I was not aware you could do what is quoted above. I had assumed it would be like most parks,rides, etc in that you are not allowed to bring your own drinks/food. As we'll be there for a better part of the day for 3 days this is good to know beforehand (I was getting a bit anxious about overpriced food and drink for the 4 of us).

    Thanks!
    Others in this thread state, very clearly, differently.

    Quote Originally Posted by metchick01 View Post
    4th: Whatever you do, DO NOT EAT IN THE PARK! Try to pack food for snacks/quick meals outside of the park. Also, there are plenty of fast food places around the DL area that would be cheap.
    Or, somewhere in between. I go in with snack bars, but not with chicken buckets. We eat one meal in the park or at a resort hotel. We eat breakfast before we enter, usually in the car on the way. We pick up something on the way home.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

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