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10 Ways to Save For a Disneyland Vacation

Vacations can be expensive especially when they are for popular theme parks like Disneyland.  I am certainly not made of money either but here are 10 tips I have to share with you of things I have done to make it possible for my family to vacation at Disneyland once or twice a year since 2009.

10 Tips to help you Save money when planning your Disneyland Vacation. 

#1- Apply for Disney Chase Visa card-  

I know many of us don't 
want to go into debt with credit cards but this is one card that has awesome rewards. I get 2% back every time I use my card, which  turns around for points. Those points can be cashed out to a disney gift card which I can use to pay for anything in the Park, tickets,  and even hotels (Disney property hotels). Another option is I could  save my rewards and use them to pay off my airfare on my card  to anywhere.  Certainly check it out and see if it works for you. Oh  an you also get discounts in the park and even at your local Disney store too. Oh and there are other secret perks too, you will have to  become a member to find out.

#2- Plan a year out- 

It always a good idea to plan your trip ahead of time.  When you plan ahead you can get the best rates and even set up a payment plan. Set aside money each week or month. This is similar to planning ahead but can be used for  a specific goal like for your food or souvenirs. Lots of people have shared charts on how to do this by increasing the amount you save each week, I'm sure you can find it on google or Pinterest.

 #3Look for the best deals on airline flights

I know this one is something many people don't think about and they just drive there instead. Sure driving might be a better option but it doesn't hurt to look at flights too. I've been known to get great flights within  California via Southwest Airlines.  One trip I paid $60 roundtrip  per person, yes those deals do exist, well maybe not that good but   pretty darn close. Fridays and Sundays are typically the most  expensive days to fly, just keep that in mind.   

 #4- Stay at a hotel you can afford within your budget

Sure all of us want to stay at one of the Disney Property hotels but sometimes it just isn't in the budget and that is ok.  Certainly shop around  before you book to find the best rates for your budget.  I have often gotten the best rates by booking directly with the hotel instead of using 3rd party website.  

#5- Buy a LOT of pins to trade beforehand

On eBay,Etsy and Amazon you can find people selling Disney trading pins either individually or in a LOT of like 25 for one price. They are mostly gently used but that is ok because you can use them to trade with other cast members. Be sure to bring your own lanyard too.

 #6-Skip character breakfasts

First off those character breakfasts are often over priced for the same amount of food you can get elsewhere.  If it is a special occasion and your budget allows then sure go for it. It is a fun experience, but most of the time you can see the character in the Park. I have often seen characters on their own walking around the Disneyland hotel too, hint hint.

 #7- Have snacks in your room

I do this all the time. I will keep bottles of water, fruit and pretzels in the room for us to snack on when we are not in the park.  Many hotels have a mini fridge and you can even stop at a local grocery store and get things like yogurt, cereal and milk to help you save money on breakfast. 

 #8-Eat at restaurants outside of the park

This is a tip that my family really doesn't do because of our food allergies but if you don't have dietary restrictions several chain restaurants are located within walking distance from the parks.

#9-Order the kids meal

Inside the park most of the quick service options offer a kids meal.  The kids meal is often cheaper than the adult and comes with a decent portion of food and it includes a drink.  This tip won't work for the restaurants like Blue Bayou, kids menus there are specifically for the kids.

 #10-Be flexible-  

This is very important because sometimes things happen in life that are out of our hands.  Sometimes rates change and are lower for special promotion and if you are flexible you can save quite a bit of money by switching your plans to that date.

Do you have a tip that could help others save money on their vacation planning?