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Planning Your Disneyland Trip

Your kids, like most kids, are freaks for Disney. Their rooms are outfitted floor to ceiling with Disney—they even have Disney themed sheets on the bed (thank goodness for those Pottery Barn kids coupon code, right?).

You’ve got all the movies, the games, the toys—your kids dressed up as Disney characters for Halloween and you poured over the recent Monsters University casting information. So what’s next?

Obviously, it’s time to take a trip to Disneyland. Now is the best time to grow. It takes less than a second for a child to go from loving Disney to deciding it’s “for babies.” You want to go before they cross that threshold!  At the same time, you aren’t made of money…so how do you facilitate the trip without forcing your family to drown in debt?

1. Go with Friends

You can often get group and family passes at a discounted rate if you are taking a large group to the park. Pair up with another family (or two) who have also been trying to finance this trip. In addition to a group discount rate on park passes, you can split the cost of a large hotel suite instead of having to buy a bunch of separate rooms. The more people splitting the cost, the easier it is for your family (and theirs)!

2. Look for Discounts

There are discounts available on everything from merchandise to meals to transportation. For example, if you’re planning on spending all of your time at the park (especially if you’re staying at a park hotel), you aren’t going to want to rent a car to get you to and from the airport. Look up LAX airport shuttle information and find out if they offer discounts or deals.

Spend some time reading up on the different restaurants and diners in and near the park. Most of their websites will have coupons that you can print out and bring in to save money on food. The same is true of gift shops. Spend a couple of weeks seeking out these discounts before your trip.

3. Pack Your Own

Take an extra suitcase with you that you fill with snacks (you probably don’t want to pack any liquids though). Granola bars, fruit snacks, etc—it doesn’t need to be a large suitcase but it should be its own bag. This way you won’t need to resort to park gift shops for snacks when your kids get hungry. As an added bonus, by the end of the trip you’ll have eaten everything you brought with you and you’ll have an extra bag in which to pack all of the souvenirs you want to take back from your trip.

Tip: Also pack reusable and filter-enhanced water bottles. Pack them empty in your carryon bag and then use them both at the airport and at the park—fill up at water fountains instead of buying bottles of water when you feel thirsty.

These are just some of the things you can do to make a Disneyland trip more affordable for your family. Have you found any “spending hacks” that helped you? What were your favorites?

 

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