Rachel Bennett

9 Tricks for a Cheaper Disneyland Adventure

6 kids at Disneyland....and CHEAP?!

Who doesn't love to go to Disneyland?! And when you have a chance to go for CHEAP, YOU TAKE IT! Our chance came fast...and I'm talking 2 days notice before heading out!

As the wife of an Entrepreneur, life has its ups & downs for sure....and once in a while a GREAT opportunity comes and we JUMP on it. Life is ALWAYS an adventure with Jase!

The Jase-man had to do some work in California, right during Winter break for the kids and I told him, if he's traveling I want to go....especially if the kids don't miss that much school. So off we went!

I planned the trip in a day, packed the whole car while the kids slept....and off we went to California, and the kids had NO IDEA! (We like to do surprises in our family.....as often as we can!) We told them we were going to California to see the ocean, visit a cousin and play in the sunshine while our Daddy worked! They were stoked....and they had no idea that Disneyland was included on this trip!

9 Tricks For a cheaper Disney Adventure

(many of these ideas I have gathered from my fabulous traveling friends, who are also Disney addicts)

#1 Find the Best Ticket Price

- There are many sites to find cheaper tickets, travel agent friends (

Enchanting Deals

) who can do a whole hookup for hotel & tickets, or even military discounts. Normally we go with Enchanting Deals because she has the best hookups...but this time because of Our Daddy working in California our hotel was taken care of...so we invited our Military Grandparents to join us and we got the Military Discount for most of our tickets.

?? How many days do you do Disney ??

We like to do atleast 3. I feel like in 3 days you can see mostly everything, if time of year isn't too busy.

Of course choosing a

hotel close enough to walk to Disneyland Park

is important, if the hotel is not close enough to walk to the Disneyland Park, then we make sure it has a shuttle to the park. This is quite nice for when the day at the park has been long and walking home is just too hard for little feet!

The next craze is

DISNEY PINS & Lanyards

. I had no clue about this till our first trip to Disneyland years ago and everyone was wearing lanyards with disney pins, and everyone was trading them with ANY cast member at the park....totally didn't expect this one. Luckily the Target/Walmart down the street sells cheaper lanyards than on the park. Now Disney Pins are a bit tricky, they are trademarked and cast members will only trade with trademarked ones. But trading is quite fun, so part of our budget we include a pin for each kid and then they can trade with cast members while we are there.

We also try to look for toys that they can associate with a favorite ride or experience at Disneyland. Our 2 boys got very excited about the Light Sabers after they got a chance to train to be Jedis. That was a perfect souvenir.


are something we like to prepare for. WE found some awesome Star Wars fruit snacks at the dollar store, we bought plenty. You can find snacks in many disney characters, so we stock up and bust those out as we pass the candy parlor and ice cream shop.

But we do treat the kids to a big ice cream from California Adventure on the hottest day we are there. On the pier they have the biggest soft serve and the price isn't TOO ridiculous!

I find that my kids appreciate when we actually buy something from the park, IF they DON'T GET IT EVERYDAY!

See these are the moments we all wait to capture & will remember forever, that moment makes all the cost worth it.


- P

urchase autograph book OFF park site

. Get as many autographs as possible, this helps my kids feel like they are meeting movie stars. (truthfully, I'd rather they idolize minnie mouse than a tv star)

-Waiting in line, Pose next to props! This is perfect for passing the time quickly & makes for fun pictures.

-Picture of the picture Disney takes. At certain rides (splash mtn, astro blasters, california screamin, etc) they take pictures of you going fast or shooting things, We take a picture of the screen instead of buying the picture.

-Innoventions Exhibit in Tomorrow Land has GREAT places to pose & have fun, my boys loved the Iron Man area!



Make a photobook!

If this is an event that happens every couple of years, or this is the first time, MAKE YOUR CHILD A PHOTOBOOK! We made individual photobooks for each kid after the first time we went in 2009. They would read & look at that book almost every day for a very long time, they still bust it out to look at all the characters and see all the fun / silly things we did! You can find great deals on Shutterfly, mixbook, etc. Groupons have great deals as well.


for the other rides you can't get on right away.

We like to get a Fast Pass for a Ride, then hit all the rides in that land while we wait for the time to come up.


Don't forget about

Rider Switch Pass - 

Also known as the Parent pass, is FABULOUS!

We use it often

because we have so many littles that don't hit the height requirements. If part of your family CANNOT go on the ride because of height or baby is sleeping, when you get to the front of line to get on the ride ASK FOR A RIDER SWITCH PASS! Once you are off the ride, you can go through the Fast Pass line and get straight on the ride (occasionally there is a wait).

c) Easy Meals:

-I make PB&J ahead of time, and when you're running around and starving, everyone LOVES PB&J.

-Meat & Cheese sandwiches: bring a small squishy cooler bag with sliced meat & cheese & a loaf of bread. We stop near main street and snag a bunch of mayo,mustard & ketchup packets & have our meal.

-Oatmeal packets. I stop off at the Baby Center off Main street & heat up water in their throw away cups & dump my oatmeal packets in.

-Microwaveable soup containers. These fill bellies fast too, not the favorite meal. but definitely great for a cooler Disney day. (heat up at the Baby Center)

-Hot Cocoa packets, heat water up at the baby center and everyone LOVES hot cocoa. Better than paying $2-$3 a cup on park site.


GO WAY EARLY to favorite character meetings

, i.e.: Anna & Elsa meet! I went over to the Fantasyland to stand in line 10 minutes before they said they would open the doors, when I got to the line it was a 2 hr wait in line (I didn't wait). The next day I went an hour early to stand in line and I was behind 10 people. So I happily waited, while HUBBY took the kids on rides around Fantasyland. We got to meet Anna & she talked to each of my 6 kids, took individual pictures with them & signed all their autograph books. I didn't mind waiting cause it made their YEAR!

awesome shows

that'll make just as many memories as the rides.

 - Pixar play parade (California Adventure) - Has all the characters from your favorite Pixar shows, and they will shake hands & get close to you while dancing in an awesome parade. Show up at least 30 min early to get a good seat.

 - World of Color (California Adventure) - One of my favorite night time experiences, the kids LOVED IT! Get great places to view it by getting a FAST PASS for World of Color EARLY in the morning of that day. If you don't get a chance to get a fast pass, the NEXT BEST place to view it is on the Paradise Pier right outside Ariel's Grotto. It gets packed up there, so make sure you have enough people to save space at least 45 minutes before it starts.

#9 Gratitude Walk home & Smiling more! 

At the end of the day I have to remind myself that kids walking for miles + rides & thrills = over stimulated & exhaustion! So back to hotel is always whinny & full of meltdowns. I like to talk about all the fun things we saw, have them tell me their favorite moments, we try to emphasize how lucky we/they are for being at Disneyland...and this Attitude of Gratitude helps the walk home seem less as long. Then when I get back to the hotel, I quickly write down our favorites so when the whole trip is over, I don't forget all these things.

Now Smiling More...This is mostly for me, but if you're a busy mom & sometimes get caught up in the time schedule...I forget to have fun & enjoy those wonderful smiles on their faces. But those pictures help me to remember. AND hubby and I do the same thing I tell the kids to do, TALK about our favorite moments & the awesome experiences we're having right then!

And of course after the Photobook is published & we look over it weekly....we know it was well worth it!

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