Disneyland and Disney World Travel Tips!

BIG List of Disneyland and Disney World Insider Travel Tips from TheFrugalGirls.com

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Planning a trip to Disneyland or Disney World??

Check out these Disneyland and Disney World Travel Tips from your frugal friends shared right here, and on The Frugal Girls Facebook Page

Disney Travel Guides

Katie said: “I used the Book “Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids” and booked through Disney.   We utilized the book for money saving deals and time savers.  I then paid off the vacation buying Disney Gift Cards through our Giant Eagle that offers Gas Rewards.  So probably we had $8.00 of 30 gallons of gas = $240 of free gas for paying for a vacation we were going on anyway.  Best vacation ever!”

Rebecca said: “Book through Disney. They have the best rates, and sometimes they give away the dining plan which is an amazing value.”

Best Disney Park Tips

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Peggy said: “Buy your tickets from Costco! We got the three day flex passes, which also include Universal Studios, Sea World & The San Diego Zoo/ Wildlife Park. It was SO much cheaper than buying directly from these parks (you can get adults & kids)!!”

Gale said: “Safeway or Vons in Southern CA sells discount tickets for admission to Disneyland.  We are taking one of our granddaughters and one of our grandsons there next week or so!”

Laura said: “Eat at Pecos Bill’s Cafe in Frontierland at Walt Disney World. They have a free toppings bar where you can get caramelized onions and sauteed mushrooms and cheese sauce for fries.”

Kimberlee said: “We live near Disneyland and go a few times a year. My advice would be get the Adult Chicken Meal @ the Plaza, located at the end of Main Street. We get two dinners and two extra biscuits, and it feeds our family of four. And when I go with my mom, we get the Alfredo Chicken at the Pizza Port to share. Don’t buy the kids meals, they are not worth the $$$!”

Tiff said:
“If you buy coffee, save your cup and you can get free refills all day long.  Get drinks at Rancho Del Zocalo (at Disneyland), and go back for free refills all day.”

Laura said: “For free coffee refills, get them at the Market House on Main Street.  You *must* keep your receipt to show the cast member each and every time you stop by for a refill.”

Cheryl said: “We often shared meals and brought our own water bottles to refill instead of buying beverages in the park.”

Tiffany said: “I always stop in the quick service restaurants to get cups of water instead of paying for bottled water.”

Disney Insider Park Tips

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Myra said: “Several restaurants from Disneyworld participate in Restaurants.com.  I’m not sure if Disneyland offers the same, but it’s worth checking.  Also if you are a AAA Member you can get discounts on the rental car, park tickets, hotels, etc. Have fun!”

Ashley said: “We try to eat outside of the park, especially at ‘All You Can Eat’ buffets for lunch. It is usually cheaper, and you can have a big meal and a light snack at dinner time. You can go in and out of the park all you want.”

Christine said: “Go off season if at all possible with a special. Don’t buy souvenirs until near end of your trip, after you have really decided what you want.  Set a budget for gifts, and take a list of people who you are buying for.  You can get free water at any place in the park, so take Crystal Light packets to make it taste better.  Enjoy the free things like monorail rides, boat rides and touring some of the resorts.”

Disneyland-Free DVD

Meg said: “We go to Walt Disney World almost every weekend & the biggest savers are to pack food, drinks, rain gear & use your camera instead of photo pass.”

Lori said: “Bring a loaf of bread and PB&J to make sandwiches to take with you to the park.  It is easy to eat a quick lunch while in line.  If your kids are “I want” kids, hit the dollar/discount stores before you leave for Disney.  Pick up little trinket Disney items to give the kids each day.  Could be candy, bracelets, shirts, toys, etc.”

Karen said: “Pack food and drink! I didn’t know we could take into the park, but we stocked up with food from Walmart and ate our snacks and lunches from what we had packed – we saved TONS of money!”

Insider Disney Park Tips

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Michell said: “We went with the grandkids and for snacks I made homemade Rice Krispy Treats that I wrapped individually.  They were great snacks for waiting in lines, they packaged easily and everyone loved it.”

Maura said: “We pack up one suitcase with snacks, bowls, cereal, spoons, foam coffee mugs and lids (and coffee/ filters), juice boxes, and eat breakfast in our room in the morning. Then we have an empty suitcase at the end of the week for any souvenirs we may want to bring back.  We fly Southwest Airlines so we don’t have the extra bag charge.”

Disney ‘Dollar Store’ Water Bottle Craft

Water Bottle Crafts Disney

Mary said: “Buy your souvenirs at Downtown Disney rather than inside the park.  Buy your autograph books before you go into the park.  An interesting website to visit for some handy tips is the Touring Plans Blog.”

Brooke said: “There is a discount store in downtown Disney that has everything under $10 if you have kids that want something small to bring home.”

Lori said: “I went to a local Disney Outlet Store and stocked up on shirts for the whole family to take along… only $4-6 per shirt there, rather than $20 in DisneyWorld!”

Space MountainStacie said: “The cheapest and best thing we did was take lots of colorful cardstock (from my stash of scrapbook stuff), and sharpie markers. Then we got autographs from all the characters we saw (and they are everywhere), and took photos with them. When we came home we put together a scrapbook with all the photos and autographs! So fun and special and almost free!”

Amy said: “I take all of our own “glow” toys.  Glow bracelets at Target are 15/$1. Dollar Tree had glow wands and swords, perfect for a little Tinkerbell or pirate. We also did pin trading this year for the first time.”


Becca said: “All the Walmarts near Disney carry many isles of Disney merchandise. T-shirts are $5.00… not $20.00! The products are all authentic Disney merchandise! Before the parks open, head to Walmart and make it a “that day” event! Buy everyone a shirt to wear to Disney that day, a hat, and a toy for after, or a stuffed Mickey to carry that day!”

Nikki said: “Buy trading pins and lanyard on eBay!! Save major $$ and it does not matter what pins you get, since you will be trading them in the parks!! Buy tickets from local hospital, Disney donates them and the hospital discounts them to make money for the hospital!!”

Big Thunder Mountain

Lauren said: “The Free app Undercover Tourist gave accurate wait times for rides, parade times and restaurant menus!!”

Shannon said: “Just went in July.  Download Ridemax – totally worth the money ($15).  It prints you a schedule – we didn’t wait more than 20 min. for any ride!”

Lela said: “If you want something really cheap you can Camp in a Tent for around $50 a night.”

Disney Travel Guides

Monica said: “If you haven’t found a place to stay, check out Homeaway. We got our OWN house with a pool for $500 a week (all taxes & cleaning included!). Three bedroom, two bath, ten minutes to the parks!”

Disneyland Disney World Travel Tips

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How Do YOU Save Money at Disneyland or Disney World??

Leave a comment and share your tips for stretching your dollars at Disney Parks…

Then… check out even more Fun Travel Tips:

Los Angeles Travel Tips

Los Angeles Travel Tips - from TheFrugalGirls.com

Orlando Travel Tips

Orlando Travel Tips at TheFrugalGirls.com

Tampa, Florida Travel Tips

Tampa, Florida Insider Travel Tips

San Diego Travel Tips

San Diego Travel Tips at TheFrugalGirls.com

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  1. Susie says

    As a Disneyland Annual Passholder, I want to share a warning about this: Nikki said: “Buy trading pins and lanyard on eBay!! Save major $$ and it does not matter what pins you get, since you will be trading them in the parks!! <>

    Also, regarding this tip: Laura said: “For free coffee refills, get them at the Market House on Main Street. You *must* keep your receipt to show the cast member each and every time you stop by for a refill.” <>

    • Susie says

      Whoopsie! I lost my remarks to these tips. As a Disneyland Annual Passholder, I want to share a warning about this: BEWARE OF SCRAPPERS, aka counterfeit pins. If the eBay price seems too good to be true, it probably is. These pins are worthless. This goes both ways – beware of what you are trading for in the parks. Many people unknowingly pass on scrappers without knowing they are fakes (or knowingly trade them to gain real pins).

      Disneyland’s Market House is scheduled to close for refurbishment/transformation into a Starbucks. They will no longer honor free refills with a receipt.

  2. Jolynn says

    Barksdale AFB ITT has different military pricing for Disneyland. They just don’t tell us if there is a limit or not.



    1 day 1 park adult $85
    1 day 1 park child $79
    1 day park hopper adult $120
    1 day park hopper child $115
    2 day 1 park adult $160
    2 day 1 park child $152
    2 day park hopper adult $190
    2 day park hopper child $178
    3 day 1 park adult $215
    3 day 1 park child $190
    3 day park hopper adult $230
    3 day park hopper child $215
    4 day 1 park adult $225
    4 day 1 park child $200
    4 day park hopper adult $255
    4 day park hopper child $235
    5 day 1 park adult $240
    5 day 1 park child $220
    5 day park hopper adult $265
    5 day park hopper child $250

  3. Summer says

    A Disney World tip for everyone:
    Disney world hosts national cheer competitions during the months of January-April. They are only 1 or 2 weekends per month. Unless you want to get completely overrun by loud cheerleaders everywhere you go: in the parks, in the hotels, on the buses, in dining areas, DON’T GO when there is a cheerleading competition. Check the UCA website for information when competitions are held.

  4. Logan Hartley says

    If you intend to take your child out of school for your Disney vacation, look into the Disney YES! (Youth Education Series) programs that Disney offers throughout the year (not during summer months). You can score a big discount on your whole family’s park tickets for enrolling your child in an educational program run by the park (and maybe even some overdue “parents only” time!

  5. Linda says

    My uncle worked at Disney World for many years, so my aunt had lots of little tips for getting the most out of your Disney adventure! Here are a few that she taught us & a few we learned on our own:

    #1 – when you arrive in the morning at whatever park you are going to, don’t start your experience at the FRONT of the park. Ride the monorail, ferry, train, or just walk to the back of the park & make your way forward…the majority of people start at the beginning so it’s very crowded in the a.m.!

    #2 – eat your meals at “off” times – Noon & 5:00 – 6:00 pm are the WORST times to eat! Most people eat then & the lines are LONG!

    #3 – if it’s a super-hot day, plan an attraction where you can sit down in the A/C around 2:00 pm. The Hall of Presidents was always our fave – I’ve taken more than one cat nap in there! LOL

    #4 – If you are staying in a time share or any place that has a freezer/frig, freeze partial bottles of water to take with you. Top them off with water before you head out for the day + take extra bottles of water to continue topping off the ice bottles. Put everything in a back pack [insulated if you have it]. Even though Disney doesn’t want you bringing in your own soda & stuff, they don’t say a word about water! I loved the idea that someone else posted about taking the Crystal Light or Kool-Aid sticks to add flavor – some of those are “energy” drinks too…always a good thing on a Disney day!

    #5 – I agree w/ other commenters about taking your own snacks – apples work great [but not bananas], and INDIVIDUALLY WRAPPED protein bars, nuts & salty snacks. Having snacks & water makes waiting in line…and staying on BUDGET sooo much easier!

    #6 – Remember sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, fold-up rain ponchos, band-aids for cuts/blisters & your own tylenol/advil…yes, everyone will need a backpack to help carry all that! lol Don’t get discouraged at Disney World if it rains in the afternoon during the summer – that’s just a Florida thing & it will most likely clear up within an hour – it’s a good time to eat lunch! :)

    #7 – I know this is a repeat, but I do this all the time: Shop at Dollar Tree, Wal-Mart, Disney Outlets, Downtown Disney, online, etc. for cheaper than in-park prices on souvenirs & trinkets! I always get glow sticks at Dollar Tree for cheap & fun nighttime parade/firework-watching. We even shared with some little kids beside us waiting for the Laser Light Show at EPCOT…they were thrilled & it made my kids think a little about sharing during the overwhelming glut of entertainment & materialism that unfortunately accompanies the “Magic”. :)

    #8 – If they are still doing it this way, follow this tip: When you go to Hollywood Studios, if your kids want to be in the Jedi Training Academy [they wear brown capes, get toy light sabers & “fight” Darth Vader], sign up for a time ASAP before you do ANYTHING else! It fills up sooo fast but it is an amazingly fun & FREE experience for the kids…get a couple of cameras going if you can – for video & snapshots! When my older boys were into that, they just picked from the audience – we never got picked – and that was sooo disappointing. Two years ago, my youngest son actually got to participate because they were doing the sign-ups!

    #9 – Take some time before hand to go online & see what attractions you just HAVE to do – you WILL NOT have time to do everything!

    #10 – This goes w/ #9 – PLAN an itinerary so you aren’t criss crossing the park a hundred times & wasting your time & energy walking! But remember that the itinerary should be FLEXIBLE!!!! 😀

    That’s all I can think of now…except I’m thinking I should write one of those “Tips for a Disney World Vacation” e-books! LOL

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