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  • [Fun] How to do Disneyland trip on Budget

    Well actually not that fun. :P

    How do you do a budget trip to Disneyland from AZ? I'd like to know your guys' ways. Hotels, etc. Thanks!
    Follow me on --> Twitter (@soda)

  • #2
    Re: How to do Disneyland trip on Budget

    We live in Chandler, AZ and for the first time this year bought Deluxe AP's, so we have done the trip several times. We are going next weekend, before we leave on a cruise out of San Diego.

    We have a parking pass so that we don't care about where we park/stay when going to the park. Nice to know I don't have to pay $12 just to park my car all day. Not sure if you have one or not, but definitely nice to have if you are an APer and go more than 5 times.

    We used priceline for the first time for this trip. Since we are driving (and have our own vehicle) we didn't need to stay right next to DL. We are staying in Newport Beach, which is about 20 minutes away, but is a very nice area to stay in. We got the Hyatt Regency - which isn't bad. Never stayed there, so we'll see. The weekend I am going seems to be a busy weekend for the hotels, as most around DL seemed booked up. When I switched to Newport, my priceline bid for $55 a night was finally accepted.

    We take my daughter's stroller in, and pack the bottom and a backpack with bottled water we get from Costco. We take one of the bigger bottles for each of us (5) plus an extra 1 or 2 in case we go through the others. We combo that up with the water fountains at various points to stay hydrated. Saves quite a bit of money not renting a stroller and paying the crazy prices for bottled water.

    We also buy the 100 calorie snack packs from Costco and take several of those in for when the kids get hungry. It's nice to pull out an individual bag of Cheezits, pretzels, chips, etc., when someone gets hungry. I also bring protein/meal replacement bars for my snack (my wife eats those sometimes, too.) Sometimes we'll make PB&J sandwhiches and stick those in the bottom of the bag to eat while waiting in line until we have time for a proper lunch (if that is the plan). We'll usually eat a meal in the park, because it's easier and a fun thing for us to do. As an APer, we get discounts on the food, so that definitely helps. We try to find the meals that seem to provide the most food for the dollar, and then share it around if the kids are still hungry, etc. I love the Turkey Legs for $7 - that's all I need and I am set for a while!

    We always make sure to eat a good breakfast before going in to make sure we aren't starting the day hungry - it goes downhill quickly if you are already hungry walking into the park. That may mean stopping at an IHOP, Denny's etc. before going in, but it's still much cheaper.

    As for driving - keep the speed to the speed limit (75 in AZ and 70 in CA) and your gas mileage will improve. I just set the cruise control and forget it - I have realized over the years that I am not in a race with everyone else and don't care if they are all passing me. Inflate your tires a little over (1-2 psi) the manufacturers recommendation to improve your MPG (and your treadwear as well). I usually get the car washed before we go - I like to start a trip in a clean car, but that's me.

    For dinners (if you will be staying mutliple nights), we sometimes go to the grocery store and get everyone a microwave meal and just heat it up in the microwave in the room. Our kids love the Kids Cuisine stuff and it's kind of a fun dinner for them. Cheap, too!

    Hope this gives you some ideas!

    Bryan

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    • #3
      Re: How to do Disneyland trip on Budget

      I think it's all about searching for the right deals. We save a lot of money by bringing snacks into the park, and maybe eating one "regular" meal a day. We try and watch our souvenir spending to special items, especially for our daughters. We usually let them pick out a few things that they've really been looking forward to getting. And of course it's the $50+ dresses. haha The only thing I bought last year was a mug for me, and my wife bought a shirt. Any way you do it, just have fun!
      Stockholder and Walt Disney Autograph holder!!

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      • #4
        Re: How to do Disneyland trip on Budget

        I did one trip from Ahwatukee when I was working in Tempe (GO DEVILS!!!) and now from Vegas.

        1...plan your meals. For the day I drive. I make sandwiches and bring fruit to munch on.
        2...breakfast at the hotel? See if they offer even just a basic free breakfast. I also get a box of breakfast snack mix (the granola/fruit mix) to bring with me into the park as a snack in the morning while I am waiting in one of the lines.
        3...lunch outside the park. Not sure if you are planning a whole day in the park, open to close. I usually go early...get all the stuff done I want. Head back to the hotel to relax and grab subway for lunch (5....5 dollar...5 dollar footlong!).
        4...bottles of water and the crystal light packets. No need to buy pop in the park. Just refill your waterbottle and add a packet.
        5...dinner. I usually splurge here at the park. Maybe corn on the cob or a hot dog. This is the only meal money I spend inside.
        6...hotel. I stay at the Super8 on Katella most of the time. It is about a 10 min walk to the parks. usually great prices. Right now buy 2 nights, get the third free. Free hi-speed internet. Breakfast. It is not hte Disneyland hotel, but I also am only paying $40, so I can spend more days at DL throughout the year. Gardenwalk mall is next door if you feel the need for food options.
        7..souvies...I buy a pin a trip. That is it. I am actually collecting them for my Godchild and he will get them when I take him to Disney when he is 5. (only 3 now) he decided he liked Mickey the best, so that is what I collect for him.

        I do have an AP, but since I was planning 2 trips in one year, it made more sense (and was cheaper) to get the pass.

        That is all I have off the top of my head. Have a great trip!
        Glory, Glory Man United! And the Reds go marching on! On!! ON!!!

        I survived my first Marathon. Got my Mickey at WDW after 6:22:08 of "fun" on the course. Not happy with the time, so I will go back and be getting Goofy next year!

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        • #5
          Re: How to do Disneyland trip on Budget

          A few ways we cut the budget down
          1.Howard Johnson has a great deal for mice chatters. Here is a link Welcome MiceChat Members . Also, if you have the entertainment book you can book a room at the Howard Johnsons for $59 a night. Also, when I call to make a reservation I always ask if that is the best rate they can offer. Sometimes they will take a little more off. Be nice about it though.
          2.Eat breakfast in the Hotel. Bring snacks for the day. Eat only one meal a day in the park.
          3.If you know a nurse or someone that works in a hospital ask if they can buy tickets for you through their work. We saved $40 a ticket by having our friend buy them for us.
          4.Bring your own camera and ask CMs to take pictures of you rather than buying the ones they take. Remember to say thank you.

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          • #6
            Re: How to do Disneyland trip on Budget

            I've had really great success using Priceline and Hotwire to book 3 1/2 star hotel rooms in Anaheim close to Disneyland for $45-$50 per night. I've used this technique to stay at the Hilton across from DCA and the Hyatt Regency Orange County. Both hotels were awesome and I wholeheartedly recommend them.

            Other money saving tips would be to bring your own snacks to munch on in the park. Last trip there we picked up Rice Krispie treats and granola bars at Target and brought them into the park. That saved us a lot of money in the parks and kept us from being hungry and cranky walking around the parks.

            One of the cheaper family meals inside the park would be buying a whole pizza at Redd Rocket's Pizza Port. The slices are large and one slice is usually enough to fill me up. A whole pizza should be able to feed a family of 4 for under $40.

            Having a bottle of water that you can refill from drinking fountains during the day will keep you hydrated and save you a good chunk of change on sodas or other drinks during the day.

            I've found a lot of good money saving tips at this site and other Disney tip sites like m*[email protected]ers dot com. If you expect you might be going to Disneyland more than 3-4 days in the next 12 months then you'll probably have a hard time beating the Costco AP deal.

            If there are kids going on this trip search around for info on Disney Character and Toy outlets for souvenirs.

            Cheers and good luck!
            Disneyland Trips: 76, 77, 78, 80, 81, 83, 84, 86, 90, 98, 99, 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 09, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15

            Disneyworld Trips: 08, 10

            Disney Cruise: Disney Fantasy 13




            Disney Resort Area hotels visited since 2008:

            Disneyland Resort: Disneyland Hotel - Grand Californian Hotel - Hilton Anaheim Convention Center - Hyatt Regency Anaheim/OC - Crowne Plaza Anaheim/Garden Grove - Holiday Inn Anaheim on Manchester - Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim on Walnut - Hilton Garden Inn Anaheim - Marriott Fairfield Inn Anaheim

            DisneyWorld: Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary Resort - Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village - Port Orleans French Quarter

            If you have any questions about Disney vacation logistics, travel planning or hotel experiences feel free to ask me.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: How to do Disneyland trip on Budget

              We live in Mesa and as of the last couple of years, take 2 cars for our big family. We pack 2 plastic crates of food. There's stuff like chips, bread, microwave popcorn, fruit snacks, Kraft Easy Mac, and the like. We also have a cooler for sodas, water bottles, string cheese, and lunch meats. We usually use Blythe as a break area to get gas, eat something cheap (like Taco Bell), and stretch.

              Mom works for Best Western, so there's usually an employee discount. This last summer, we stayed at BW Cypress. We had stayed there the previous year. We stayed there 1 night this year to extend our stay when there were no rooms left in the Disneyland area. It's a pretty good hotel. Staff is nice and they have a good breakfast. You still have your usual breads and cereal, but there is also fruit, yogurt, eggs, and a breakfast meat (bacon, sausage, or ham). The hotel is in Stanton off Katella and Knott Ave. You're near Huntingtion Beach and Knott's Berry Farm, too. One thing to stress is take advantage of your hotel's continental breakfast.

              Because we usually go to Disneyland in the summer, we usually leave a little room in the budget for things like frozen lemonade. I have no problem using drinking fountains in the park. They're usually plentiful. There is a convenience store south of the park on Harbor Blvd if you want to buy a bottle of water and use the bottle by refilling it at the drinking fountains. If you bring in a couple cans of soda, you can cheat the heat by going to a counter service restaurant (like Tomorrowland Terrace or Award Weiners) and requesting a cup of ice. Those places will also give you a cup of ice water if you ask for it.

              If you're looking to buy dinner outside of the parks without busting your wallet, KFC is on Ball Rd just west of Anaheim Blvd. Specials are usually advertised on TV. Del Taco is off Manchester and Katella and is really cheap. They're also open late. In and Out is on Brookhurst north of Ball Rd. I think Pizza Hut is Brookhurst and Katella?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: How to do Disneyland trip on Budget

                As for myself I say a lot of that is good advice... I also work for Best Western and the employee discount usually cant be beat... but for my Haunt trip this weekend for the Saturday meet I am breaking my loyalty and pricelining since a coworker who sits next to me wound up surfing priceline between our calls and wound up booking the room for me on the first try... and yeah... this is my first time doing Priceline so lets hope for the best... the rate I got on priceline rivaled and matched what I could get and the Best Western Cypress was the closest to Knotts so Priceline actually got me closer on this trip.

                When it comes to the parks, I always try and stay at one of the hotels near the park so we could save on the parking costs and as for meals I usually plan to do one major meal in the parks

                Oh yeah and on the driving I second the idea of driving the speed limit and also since we come from a hot climate known as Arizona, my sister and I make it a habit to leave at night while its a tad bit cooler... not to mention at 3am and 4am there is less traffic on the road... As for stuff like gas I milk every bonus perk I get from my job... meaning if there is a way to get the gas cards for gas then I save them up for Disney or Cali trips only and I save my bonuses and stuff for gas or restaurant cards... or even the gift cards for hotels if I plan on using hotels... I also dont buy souveniers unless its something I really want but since im a pin collector I do splurge a little on pins whenever possible and stick only to LE's unless I see one I really want... im a nut for attractions pins!

                But I find the best way to save money on any Disney trip is to find someone who has a discount they can get on tickets... I know through our call center we get discounts on the disney tickets but if I didnt have that luxury I would find someone who does that I know... In fact a friend of mine who lives in Cali is having me order his Haunt ticket for him for this Saturday.

                Packing a cooler is a good way to go too... Wal Mart and Fresh and Easy are awesome to pick up some snacks before for that drive across the desert... Oh and singing music is a must... it doesnt have to be my tradition of singing ABBA's greatest hits CD across the desert but it should be something upbeat and singable... maybe the Disneyland soundtrack or something Disney to get yourself in the mood! For us it better be ABBA this weekend and either Sweeney Todd or The Nightmare Reworked or something Tim Burton.... but yeah... theres a lot of ways to save on things... one is eating outside the park whenever possible nbecause my thought is that I budget _____ amount of dollars for the Disney trip and if I use money saving tips on the first few days it will allow me to do something extra special one of the nights as far as dining or something like that!
                Add me... I dont bite LOL!
                http://tamasurvivor.tumblr.com/

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                Commence Dragulation... Dragulation complete!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: How to do Disneyland trip on Budget

                  Sounds like everyone does about the same things. lol

                  Every Disney trip we make is done on a budget. I do a lot of research to get the best hotel rate I can. The Micechat rate someone posted earlier at HOJO is pretty good. I've got that booked now in hopes that they'll offer those days as entertainment rate days. We always stay someplace with free wifi and free parking. Since we drive, the continental breakfast is not overly important as it's just as easy to bring what we want for breakfasts. $59 for the HOJO plus $5 for milk and cereal is way better than the extra $50 a night for say Desert Inn. We also always stay within walking distance, usually right there on harbor between I 5 and Katella.

                  We tend to travel in the spring too. The past several trips we've taken they've offered the "Everyone plays at the kid's price" tickets so we've saved money that way. We also always prepurchase the tickets as that's another cost savings. This year I plan to upgrade to DAP's during our trip as we'll be going back again within a year and it'll save us almost $200 on the ticket cost for the next trip.

                  We always pack snacks, milk, and a case of water from Costco. We generally pack in something like PB sandwiches for lunch too or we plan to go back to the room for lunch but that's totally dependent on who I am travelling with. I generally freeze 2 water bottles each night. We each take a a cold bottle of water in the morning. If we're packing in lunch, the frozen bottles go in the lunchbox. If not, they go in the backpacks. We often get a locker since it tends to be cool morning and evening when we're there. That way we can store jackets and/or lunch. It's worth the $7 per day to me to not have to carry stuff around and that's less than we'd spend on lunch. If you don't like the flavor of the water in Anaheim, there are places to refill a water bottle with filtered water or you can add one of those flavoring packets.

                  We generally split any snacks we purchase during the day. We'll also split meals when we can agree on food.

                  We limit the souvenirs we buy as well. We always bring home goodies for the family and we always get a new ornament. My daughter collects pressed pennies. I take lots of pictures. Oh, I also always take extra batteries since they are so expensive in the park.

                  We generally leave at about 6 am. It's more of a time saving thing as I hate rush hour traffic. lol I always buy a couple of those single serve cups of cereal and we stop at the first rest stop to eat. She can't eat until she wakes up more. I think it's about an hour out so it's pretty good timing for a small stretch, some food and a chance to go potty. I buy the single serving cups for convenience. We can just throw them in the trash before we leave. We generally stop once for gas and another stretch. That stop has consistently been at an AM/PM but I can't recall where exactly that is. This time we're stopping in Indio at a truck stop with Valero fuel. It's what I use here at home and I can buy a fuel gift card ahead of time. I'll stop there both directions and whatever is left on the card I can use after we get back. For fuel economy, I set my cruise control and stay with the flow of traffic. We usually get to the park around lunchtime the first day and traditionally eat a corn dog from the red wagon. It's $6 for a big corn dog and either chips or apples. I think it's one of the most filling, cheap meals in the park. It's also the only time I ever eat a corn dog. lol

                  Planning ahead is the best way for me to save money and stay within my budget. Searching out the best deals and eating like we do at home helps us a lot both moneywise and healthwise.

                  Enjoying the warmth and sunshine of Phoenix between Disney trips.
                  ***********************************



                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: How to do Disneyland trip on Budget

                    Originally posted by tamasurvivor View Post
                    As for myself I say a lot of that is good advice... I also work for Best Western and the employee discount usually cant be beat... but for my Haunt trip this weekend for the Saturday meet I am breaking my loyalty and pricelining since a coworker who sits next to me wound up surfing priceline between our calls and wound up booking the room for me on the first try... and yeah... this is my first time doing Priceline so lets hope for the best... the rate I got on priceline rivaled and matched what I could get and the Best Western Cypress was the closest to Knotts so Priceline actually got me closer on this trip.

                    When it comes to the parks, I always try and stay at one of the hotels near the park so we could save on the parking costs and as for meals I usually plan to do one major meal in the parks

                    Oh yeah and on the driving I second the idea of driving the speed limit and also since we come from a hot climate known as Arizona, my sister and I make it a habit to leave at night while its a tad bit cooler... not to mention at 3am and 4am there is less traffic on the road... As for stuff like gas I milk every bonus perk I get from my job... meaning if there is a way to get the gas cards for gas then I save them up for Disney or Cali trips only and I save my bonuses and stuff for gas or restaurant cards... or even the gift cards for hotels if I plan on using hotels... I also dont buy souveniers unless its something I really want but since im a pin collector I do splurge a little on pins whenever possible and stick only to LE's unless I see one I really want... im a nut for attractions pins!

                    But I find the best way to save money on any Disney trip is to find someone who has a discount they can get on tickets... I know through our call center we get discounts on the disney tickets but if I didnt have that luxury I would find someone who does that I know... In fact a friend of mine who lives in Cali is having me order his Haunt ticket for him for this Saturday.

                    Packing a cooler is a good way to go too... Wal Mart and Fresh and Easy are awesome to pick up some snacks before for that drive across the desert... Oh and singing music is a must... it doesnt have to be my tradition of singing ABBA's greatest hits CD across the desert but it should be something upbeat and singable... maybe the Disneyland soundtrack or something Disney to get yourself in the mood! For us it better be ABBA this weekend and either Sweeney Todd or The Nightmare Reworked or something Tim Burton.... but yeah... theres a lot of ways to save on things... one is eating outside the park whenever possible nbecause my thought is that I budget _____ amount of dollars for the Disney trip and if I use money saving tips on the first few days it will allow me to do something extra special one of the nights as far as dining or something like that!
                    What a coincidence. The room rate the hotel offered my mom was $38/night for each room. Strange how it was July and they were so empty. Last October for Columbus Day weekend, it was the cheapest BW in the area ($80 a night?) and they sold out, too.

                    While breakfast ends early (like 9:30), you'll love it. That really helps since you can fill up on breakfast and not have to eat for a while. My brother in law found pretty good Chinese food next to the hotel that's cheap. Del Taco and Carl's Jr are both at the intersection of Knott and Katella. I believe there are also grocery stores at that intersection. If you want good Mexican food for cheap, head north to Ball and Knott and you'll find a restaurant in what used to be Taco Bell.

                    Knott's Berry Farm is pretty close and you'll love how close the beach is to the hotel. It's probably about a 10 or 15 minute drive on city streets to reach Huntington Beach (You're only a mile or 2 past Beach Blvd). There's a souvenir shop in Huntington that has a bunch of different stuff. You could go there if you want something to take home. My ex-girlfriend found an "I-5" sign w/Mickey's profile on it.

                    Comment

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