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I received a note from Sherri, a friend and reader of Disneyland Obsession , that read

“Hey, tell me how to go to Disneyland on a strict budget. I figure you would be a good person to ask.”

That has to be the number one thing everyone is trying to figure out, whether it’s your first trip, or just the next trip you take, how can you get to Disneyland and stay on a strict budget? To get started answering that question, look at everything that goes into a trip to Disneyland.

Transportation to Anaheim:

If your traveling alone there’s not much doubt that flying may be cheaper than driving depending on the mileage your car gets. But I would never recommend you travel to Disneyland alone. Disneyland is a place best enjoyed with a group.  That said, it’s about 1000 miles round trip, from Northern California to the Parks. So calculate the mileage of your car to determine the number of gallons of gas you’ll need for your trip, and multiply that times the current price of fuel.


The best deals on Hotels are in the off season. That’s the best time to visit Disneyland when there are no major Holidays or special events planned in the Anaheim area. Room rates will also be better the farther away from the Disneyland entrance you get. But there is a trade off choosing a Hotel that is some distance from the Park. You’ll have to arrange for shuttle service or tram service to the Park. Many of these shuttle services are free with your Hotel stay some are not. If you drive your car to the Park then you will pay a parking fee every day that you use a Disneyland Parking garage, currently $15.00 a day. That’s why I recommend one of the Disneyland Good Neighbor Hotels. These Hotels are very clean and comfortable, and many are just across the street from the Disneyland entrance, and within easy walking distance to the Parks. And many offer free parking for your car, and some offer continental breakfast with your stay. You can trade that free parking, and free breakfast savings  toward the price of a Hotel that”s a little closer to the Parks.

Park Hopper Tickets:

Disneyland has many special offers for discounted tickets during the off season. Right now they are offering a 3 day Park Hopper Ticket for $169 per person through April 14, 2011. And this is a perfect number of days to set aside for your visit, not to long, and not to short. A 3 day visit won’t break the bank. There are many offers currently, and they change from season to season. And remember the price per day of your ticket goes down the longer you stay.


This one can be hard to nail down. Here are a few of the things we do when we travel to Disneyland. Take a small ice chest with sodas, milk, sandwich items things that can be put in microwave for late night snacks, and in between meals. If your Hotel doesn’t offer a continental breakfast cereal and milk, instant oatmeal, and hard boiled eggs  will start your day. Popcorn at night when you are settling down for the evening, resting your feet. Anything that you enjoy as a lite meal will save you from hitting a restaurant and save you a great deal of money. Bottle water to take to the park will save you from having to purchase some of your drinks in the Park, and can be refilled. And there is always McDonald’s and sandwich shops and restaurants near many of the Hotels, all of which will save the budget conscious Park hopper a small fortune compared to the priced inside the Park.

I do recommend that you plan a visit to one of the excellent restaurants in and around Disneyland, they offer a great dinning experience for around $30 per person and up.

So lets add it up! If your planning a trip for 2 to Disneyland here is a tally that will give you a good idea of the cost.

Transportation by car at 25 miles to the gallon    $120

Good Neighbor Hotel 119.00 a night total          $357

Park Hopper Tickets (2) 169                               $338

Meals on a budget 3 days                                    $200

Grand total                     $1015

Divided by the 3 days that about $169 per person per day.

If you cut that down to a 2 day visit your looking at $322 for your Park Hopper Tickets. Around $240 for your hotel. Transportation cost remain the same at $120. And of course meals would be less at around $150.

Total cost on a 2 day trip for 2 about $832

So figure out what you can afford, and start planning Sherri, it will be one of the best things you’ve every done for yourself.

Hope that helps a little.

And if anyone has any other ideas or suggestion, please share them with our readers.

See Ya In The Parks!

3 Responses to “Disneyland On A Budget”

  • Glenn:

    Thanks Pamela
    For the great suggestions in your comment. But I will say that I for one would be a little concerned about arranging for tickets to the Parks by renting them. Because I am one of those people that believe if anything could go wrong, it will go wrong for me.

    I can understand the process that is used by ticket renting services, but it just doesn’t feel right to me.

    A 6 day ticket is purchased by one of these companies at $36 dollars a day and then rented to the visitor for $50 a day, making the service $14 a day profit for providing the service, and saving the guest that’s visiting the park for a 3 day visit $12 a day, or $36.

    It all sounds good, but I think for me, ordering the tickets direct from Disney, and having them in my hands before I leave home, just feels better.

  • Pamela:

    I typically visit Disneyland several times each year. Another good idea for tickets is to rent them. There are plenty of reputable companies in and around Anaheim. My favorite is They are super easy to work with and you will get tickets for around $50.00 a day which is about a $20.00 savings off of Disneyland’s current special.

    My choice for hotels is to visit, most hotels range from $60.00 to $100.00 per night and many come with a full (HOT) breakfast.

    If you plan to splurge on a nice meal at the parks make it dinner for World of Color. You are gonna pay around $36-40 dollars but you will have the best viewing for the show. My recommendation would be to eat dinner as early as possible so that you can be one of the first in line for your viewing section. (Hint: viewing areas do fill up quickly. They typically start letting people into their sections about an hour before the show so get there early)
    Also the Disneyland Resort is currently offering 30% of your dining bill at select restaurants throughout both Disneyland and DCA. Check your park guide for the listed places.

  • Glenn:

    And here is one more thing to check out. It may help you choose the best time to visit Disneyland.

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