Friday, November 22, 2013

Road Trip: Disneyland on a Budget

Disneyland really is the most magical place on earth (unless you're the one paying for it).

A few years ago, we looked into a family trip to Disneyland. After airfare, hotel costs and the park entrance fee, it was going to be well over our budget.

Now that I'm older, and a seasoned road tripper, it only seemed fitting that we tag on a quick stop to Disneyland at the end of one of our crazy road trips. If you've read any of our previous blogs, you will know that we love cramming in a ton of attractions to our very short road trips. This is usually because of time constraints and cost.

Things to consider on your upcoming Disneyland trip:

If you choose to fly to Disneyland, I recommend sourcing out cheap flights with Orbitz. If you're from Canada and live close to the border, it's always cheaper to fly from one of the American border towns :)

You can also ask a local travel agent to look into flight costs for you. They can recommend the best time of year to go to Disneyland (obviously the summer months are when you're going to incur the longest lineups).

If your flying to Disneyland, you will need to get from the airport to your hotel, and into the park. Most families opt for a taxi or shuttle bus.

You can choose to stay at a hotel in Disneyland, but that can be quite costly. We like to source out cheap hotels from Orbtiz when travelling. It's also a good idea to read hotel reviews from past guests to get a general idea of what the hotel is like. 

Being seasoned road trippers, we opted to skip the cost of airfare, hotels and taxis and do a road trip to Disneyland. This saves a huge portion of your overall cost for your Disneyland trip.

We also enjoy travelling at night, as there is less traffic on the road. This also gets us to our destinations for daytime, leaving us lots of time to explore the various attractions.

Park entrance fee:
We paid $92/person for our day pass in to Disneyland. I did look online for coupons or discounted tickets, but had no such luck.

Eating meals in restaurants can become quite costly. Make sure to eat a huge breakfast before heading off on your Disneyland adventure. We also opted to bring in water and snacks for the day. I've been told you're not allowed to bring in outside food, but we weren't stopped at the gates.

Lastly, be cautious of your spending. Disneyland can be an exciting experience, and it's easy to get wrapped up in the moment. Set a budget for your spending money per person, for each day you're there.

Here is our story:
Spinning in my Minnie Mouse dress

We stopped in Disneyland near the end of a road trip to Arizona. We arrived at Disneyland around 9 am and were there until midnight. We had to leave right after to make it back home in time, before our vacation days ran out. Some highlights of the park for us (adults) were the Mickey mouse parade, the Indiana Jones Adventure ride (go around 9 pm when most kids have gone home), the Pirate of the Caribbean ride, the teacup ride was really cute, we met several of the characters - but knew we wouldn't be able to meet them all in one day.

A few important tips:

- map out the park before you go. Prioritize which sections you want to see most. Disneyland is huge, and it's hard to see it all in one day.
- Flip flops are a bad idea in Disneyland. No matter how much you love wearing them, they will kill your feet after a few hours.
- For those in need of refueling after a long day, there is a Starbucks in Disneyland :)
- Most importantly, act like a kid and have fun.

You may also like:

Road Trip to Antelope Canyon
Road Trip to Zion National Park - Angels Landing
Road Trip to Arches National Park
Road Trip to the Athabasca Glacier

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