Unless you visit Disneyland frequently, there’s a chance you could be making some big mistakes on your Disneyland vacation. I work for Get Away Today and one of my favorite perks is visiting Disneyland often. I go at least once a year and I love it!
I’ve put together five of the most common mistakes that families make when planning a Disneyland vacation to help you save time and money.
Not booking enough days
Long gone are the days of being able to do Disneyland in just one day. Not only are there two full theme parks, there's no possible way to hit everything in both of them even if you spent a full day in each park!
I always recommend at least a three-day ticket, preferably a park hopper. That will give you at least one full day in Disneyland, a full day in Disney California Adventure Park, and your final day can either be split between the two parks, or in your favorite park.
If you're going during a busier time or just want to save a little time to relax, consider a four or five-day ticket. That’s my favorite way to do it.
Not making a plan
There is so much to see and do at the Disneyland Resort. Not only are there nearly 100 attractions and entertainment options within the parks, but the downtown Disney District has a lot to offer as well.
It's smart to familiarize yourself with the top attractions, shows, treats, and more before you leave home. Browse my Disneyland articles to get ideas. Download the official Disneyland app now to see the park map, wait times, park hours, restaurants, and much more in real time.
Make a list of the rides and shows and rides that are most important to your family. Prioritize them so you don't miss something that you were looking forward to!
Staying too far away
Time is money at Disneyland. When you spend less time getting to and from the park, it will be easier to arrive early or stay late to enjoy shorter lines and more attractions.
I recommend staying within walking distance – the closer the better because you'll probably walk 5-10 miles per day inside the park. Or choose a hotel within 1-2 miles of Disneyland that offers local shuttle service with the ART or PCA buses. These shuttles are part of Disney's transportation system, and they are a convenient way to get to the parks.
It may be tempting to stay farther than a mile or two away to save money or for another reason. Be aware that traffic near Disneyland is heavy, and it may take longer than you expect to drive there. Give yourself additional time to park and take a shuttle to the park entrance.
Not planning for food
Eating in restaurants and enjoying famous Disneyland treats like corndogs, churros, and Dole Whip are part of the fun of going to Disneyland. Many families love to splurge on character dining.
However, if you aren't intentional about food, you can make two rookie mistakes.
- Spending too much on food
- Leaving the park to save money on food
Expect to spend at least $15 per person on a basic quick-service meal at Disneyland. Treats like churros and Dole Whip are $5-7 each. That can add up fast if you buy all your food in the parks.
It's tempting to head for McDonald's, Panera, or IHOP across the street from Disneyland. This is a mistake because you'll walk at least a mile round trip and spend 1-2 hours on a quest for cheap food. And you probably won't save as much as you expect.
Disneyland allows you to bring food into the parks. Bring your own sandwiches, snacks, and drinks in a day pack or stroller to save time and money at Disneyland. There are several local grocery delivery options that will deliver to your hotel, including AmazonFresh, Walmart, and Vons.
It'll be more fun to splurge on food that is special and memorable when you make a plan to save money on your other meals.
Related: 30+ Ways to Save Money at Disneyland
Paying too much
Does ANYONE still buy tickets at the Disneyland ticket booths? I hope not.
You save money on your tickets when you buy in advance from Get Away Today. It saves time and money to plan ahead!
It's also easy to overspend on a hotel. Get Away Today has exclusive arrangements with dozens of hotels near Disneyland that can save you money. If you find a lower price on the same hotel and ticket package, we will beat it.
Finally, save an extra $10 on any of our Disneyland packages by using Tips for Family Trips' exclusive promo code: Tips10Trips
How else can we help?
Want the best price on a Disneyland hotel and tickets? If you’re thinking about booking a Disneyland vacation, check out our Disneyland packages at getawaytoday.com or call any of our reservation agents at 855-GET-AWAY.
Save $10 on any Southern California vacation package at Get Away Today when you use our exclusive coupon code: Tips10Trips.
Read more about our partnership with Get Away Today here.