Disneyland castle

So you are going to Disney and trying to figure out how it won’t cost you a small fortune and you oldest child? I get you! Disney can quickly get expensive but there are several tips that can help you go to Disney on a budget.

These tips will help you save on your hotel, hotel and ticket bundles, ways to save on food and more!

Click for the top things to Disneyland and the ultimate Disney packing list head here.

A dream is a wish your heart makes

Rapunzel at Disneyland
Pluto at Disneyland

Top 10 Tips for Traveling to Disney on a Budget

  1. Bring in your own food-

Disney lets you pack in your own food, they just don’t let you bring a hardback cooler in. There are two ways to bring food- you could use a bigger cooler in the lockers outside the park and leave the park to have a picnic or you can bring in non refrigerated food in your bag or stroller or put food needed to stay cool in a small soft cooler. This is our favorite bag to bring to Disney. We load it up with snacks, diapers, wipes, a collapsible blanket for parades and more! Amazon Pantry delivers right to your hotel! 

Food that we brought in included:

string cheese


applesauce pouches

protien bars

pb and j sandwiches we assembled the night before

peanut butter and pretzels

2. Don’t buy Bottled Water-

Bottled water at Disney costs a lot and will add quite a bit to what you are spending a day. Many people don’t know that Disney gives you free tap water in cup if you ask at any of the quick serve food places. Make sure you stay hydrated and save money by asking for water and not paying money for bottled water.

3. Don’t buy Souvenirs in the Park

Souveniors in Disney have a huge markup. Yes, you can get some cool things you can get anywhere else but if you are trying to go to Disney on Budget then save your money. You can buy ears on Ebay or Etsy before you go. Dollar Stores often carry Disney Items. Or if you want to buy something while on vacation the Target in Anaheim is loaded with Disney merchandise for a fraction of the price you would pay in the park.

4.  Use Get Away Today to find hotel deals with free nights and/or ticket and hotel bundles-

I have used Getaway Today for every trip to Disney I have been to. They always constantly have great deals and prices and are great to work with. They have amazing customer service and great tips they share constantly on their social media. You can even put your Disney trip on layaway making payments on it up to a few weeks before you trip. To get $10 off your Getaway Today package use the code WGAT at

5.  If Eating in the Park, Find Budget Friendly Options

Some of the food establishments give you more bang for your buck so to speak, they are more affordable and/or larger portions to keep you full longer. Here are some of the more affordable options in the park that will also keep you full.

Budget Friendly Place to eat in Disney

Daisy’s Diner in toontown offers personal pizzas around $7

Pluto’s Dog House offers $7 hotdogs

French Market Restaurant is my favorite and I always get the chowder in a breadbowl. It is filling and under $15

Another filling option for $15 and under is Rancho Del Zacalo where they serve Mexican fare.

Edelweiss Snacks is the place to go if you’re lookin’ for a giant turkey leg that are under $12!



Disney princess Disneyland

6. Find a Hotel That Gives you Free Breakfast-

A lot of the neighboring hotels offer free breakfast with your stay, take advantage this. Make breakfast your biggest meal of the day before you head in to the park. This will make sure you are eating less in the park which can quickly add up.

7. Skip the Hopper Pass

By only buying the one park a day pass you can save money on tickets. There is so much to do in each park that having a hopper pass isn’t always necessary especially with small kids. It can be hard doing all the walking to just get to the other park.

8. Drive Instead of fly

If this is possible, you can save a lot of money on your Disney tip. Depending on where you live, flights can be anywhere from $150 all the way up to $1000 a ticket. So if you are really committed to Disney on a budget, make a road trip out of it!

9. Bring Your Own Stroller or Rent from City Stroller

Having a stroller for your kids (even the bigger ones) is a must! All that walking really tires little legs out. If you want to save money, you can bring your own stroller. Airlines let you check them. I always rent a double stroller from City Stroller. I have found them to be affordable and honestly a life saver. And they deliver the stroller to your hotel and pick it up! They have this side by side where my youngest always is in one side and my older two rotate the other one when they get too tired.

10. Order Kids Meals or eat Family Style

Disney has kids meals that are smaller portions but more balanced as they usually come with fruit and/or vegetable. Anyone can order them and they are typically much cheaper than adult meals. So buy a kids’ meal and if still hungry, eat one of the snacks you pack. You can also order something larger and then share it family style as we all know sometimes kids don’t always eat very well and so it can help save money from them wasting their own meal.

While Disney is not the cheapest vacation out there, it is possible to do Disney on a budget. Use these tips to help save money and go and make some great magical Disney memories!

Disneyland on a Budget

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