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Disneyland advice

Hello all, looking for advice for possibly taking the family to Disneyland next year (2019).

Looking for 2 adults and 2 kids (over 5 but under 10) For those of you who have been, what seems to be the best/worst time to go in regards to price and how busy it is? What were some places you stayed that was good? Any bad places? The average cost of food per day? Rides, games, and souvenirs? Were you happy with the length of time you went? Was the trip worth it?

Any other advice would be helpful, Trying to decide if we can save up enough in our time frame. Thanks in advance

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29 Responses

  1. Ruth Chalk Ruth Chalk says:

    Be prepared to spend thousands of dollars…. don’t be surprised at the price of water……um never actually been never want to go but I’ve heard it’s expensive…. especially the water…..

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  2. Kelly Smith Kelly Smith says:

    Stay in hotel off Disney area n take snacks n drinks with u souvienours off Disney property cheaper

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  3. Denise Purdy Denise Purdy says:

    We stayed at the Super 8 just a few blocks away. There was a convenience store on the corner. Bringing your own water and making sandwiches saved us a lot.

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  4. I went with 3 other people (3 adults one child age 6) and all in was just under 5k.
    We stayed at a nice hotel with a pool about 5km from disney, and the bus was $5 per person each way. We tried walking the first day but it was the worst idea ever.
    Bringing your own food saves a ton of cost, but ofcourse budget for at least one meal a day there.
    We went in January of 2016 and it wasnt busy at all. 15 minute max ride wait.
    We didnt go completely crazy with souvenirs, however my daughter did have a full makeover at the bippity bippity boutique. We were in Anaheim for 5 days, disney for 3 of them. I would have liked an extra day, but 3 was enough to see and do everything.

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  5. They also really really inflate the price of sunscreen in the park , never ever forget your sunscreen

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  6. Stay off resort, at one of the good neighbour hotels (Tropicana is nice and is walking distance to the park).

    Stop in at a grocery store to buy snacks – take in refillable water bottles with you.

    We always go over May long weekend and the crowds are reasonable, lines are short and there is the added advantage of still getting off peak season pricing.

    Lots of things can be bought out of park for cheaper – ie: if you’re doing Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, bringing the dresses down with you is often cheaper than buying in the park.

    Set a budget for souvenirs, and meals. There are lots of family friendly restaurants across the street from the gates that are reasonably priced.

    I always book via WestJet vacations and fly into LAX from Edmonton because it’s direct. You can book a shuttle when you buy your tix, or find a cab when you get there (we use shuttle service)

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  7. We went in November and stayed in the Disneyland Hotel. It cost a little extra but we didn’t have to cab or leave Disneyland. Water is free if you go up to a good service place and just ask for a cup of water. I actually didn’t find the food that overly priced. For like 15 US, we had a good sized meal with meat, potatoes and veggies. Character meals are expensive though. The plus of staying in the resort is Magic Mornings which get you into certain parks early. We packed little backpacks and brought granola bars and water bottles. We also bought Disney gift cards here and used them at the park as the exchange rate was better. We had a 5 year old with us and picked up some souvenirs here before we left and gave her something every morning from a “Disney Fairy “. She did pick out a stuffy on the grounds and it was 30 US. We had a great time and are planning Disneyworld next. So much fun.

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  8. I just went with my 3 year old, 5 month old, hubby and mother in law at end of January. Weather was perfect. Not too hot. Disney tickets cost us 1000 CAD since baby was free. Hotel off resort was about 400/2 nights. Flights were 1400 for all 5 of us. Wait times were minimal. We had the max pass and I would check in to a ride on my phone and get on the ride 20 minutes later. Without fast pass you’re looking at 1.5 hours for some.. Food is most expensive but there’s plenty of alternatives to Disney food. Get the shuttle from your hotel to Disney!

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  9. Trina Deagle Trina Deagle says:

    With the US dollar the way it is, I would guess $7,000 would be a comfortable number to plan for depending on how you are planning on getting there (driving/flying). The drive is amazing if you have the time and you can have more flexibility with where you can go. End of November to mid December was a great time to go. No-very little wait times. The hotels right across the street from the main entrance as good. Not much wow factor but clean. Stay ridge Suites was one of my favs as well, but a bit further away. They are nice because you can make meals there instead of having to go out. I always liked to find a place that included breakfast so we could fill up in the morning…one less meal to buy. Food in the parks was expensive. We went for a week and that was great. We got a 3 day hopper for Disney (we had no lines so one full day at each park and a third day to finish them off and repeat some of the rides we liked), and then saw some of the other great things Southern California had to offer…LEGOLAND, Universal, Walk of Fame, beaches. Depending on your kids you may want to think about 4 days at the parks instead so you can take your time. Pick a budget that you are happy with for souvenirs and stick with that. It may mean everyone only gets one thing, or lots depending on what that looks like. Once you get into the parks, all the rides are included so no extra cost there. If you are not walkers…start now and be prepared for sore feet at the end of the day! I would say the trip was definitely worth it! I am planning on taking another trip there too!

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  10. Amber Morin Amber Morin says:

    We went over Easter! Line ups were fabulous, we went via air miles, and had direct flights, at amazing times.

    We went for almost 2 weeks, and got the 5 day SoCal passes through AMA. Which included 3 days at Disney, Legoland and sea world.

    We also did knots berry farm, which was amazing as well, as our 12 year old LOVES roller coasters

    We stayed at the Tropicana… where we could easily walk to and from the park, meals we NOT included. We went to Costco, and had fruits, beverages, oatmeal et etc in our room for snacks and breakfast.

    Different? Stayed at the grande hotel.
    Stayed in San Diego for a few days so we didn’t drive back and fourth as the highways can be ridiculous.

    For us, was a good combo of playtime, downtime, and rest. We didn’t feel rushed or tired. We actually enjoyed our time very much so.

    Definitely worth every cent

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  11. Melanie Rau Melanie Rau says:

    November and February are really quiet times. We stay in an Airbnb condo complex – 20 minute walk from the park (7 year old legs). We eat breakfast at the condo, pack snacks for lunch and pair with a sharing treat in the park, like a couple Mickey pretzels. That way it is only one full paying meal a day for supper. Park hopper tickets through AMA. Car rental free through air miles (if you want a car).

    Snacks are good in the long lines as well as playing heads up on your phone.

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  12. We use air miles for our Disneyland passes we had to save a lot for that but I find that a lot of places have bonus air miles. We stayed at the peacock Inn and Suites it was an awesome Hotel and the bus to Disneyland was just outside. We use our credit card points for flights but if you shop around you can find decent flights to Anaheim as well. It’s not a direct flight to Anaheim but it’s not bad. We made one reservation per day at one of the restaurants from the Disneyland app which is awesome. We had two adults and one child under 10. At Ariel’s Grotto our bill is about 160 with three meals and two adult beverages. Yeah that sounds expensive but we got to meet five princesses each one comes to the table and that saves you hours in lines waiting to possibly meet that princess. We also did a breakfast at the PCH Grill which is at the Paradise Disneyland Hotel and got to meet about 6 Disney characters and her bill is about $90 we also did breakfast at Minnie’s Plaza around the same price as the PCH Grill and again met at least 6 characters. We did fast passes which were $10 a day for each person but also saved a lot of time in line and with the fast pass all the pictures that they take you get linked to your Disneyland app. I suggest bringing in your own water or drinks and even some snacks if you like to save you some money throughout the day. As probably said before be prepared to blow money last year’s item that everyone had where these Light Up Bubble Wands that were about 25 bucks. We went in September and it was not too busy just make sure at least one of your days on the weekend so that you can see Fantasmic and the fireworks. In the off-season which is September they don’t always have Fantasmic and the fireworks every night but you can see a calendar on the Disneyland app or website.

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  13. Never go in summer. +40, 3 hour wait lines etc. End of Sept is quiet. Don’t stay on the resort, some hotels have shuttles. Buy a little cooler from wal mart and bring your own lunches, water. Costco online has the California pass. Lego land is neat, universal is more for bigger kids. Sea world isn’t worth it.

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  14. Sign up for the MouseSavers.com newsletter and follow them on Facebook. They always post great deals for Disneyland and Disney World. Park hopper is the best option for Disneyland because the parks are so close. Not worth it for Disney World.

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  15. We went in February, after Presidents Day, and we went in October for Mickey’s Halloween. Both were great! Always avoid any American long weekends. If you possibly can, avoid the Parks on the weekend. Weekdays are so much better.

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  16. You can request rooms at the Good Neighbour Hotels that face the park. At least one night we watched the fireworks from our hotel because the kids were too tired to stay and watch them.

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  17. Terry Curtis Terry Curtis says:

    There is a height restriction on many of the rides……hopefully your children are tall enough…. With my grandchildren we waited a couple years longer… Just to be sure everyone could ride

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  18. I thought flying into Orange County was much better than flying into LAX. It’s so much closer to Disneyland, the airport is great, you can shuttle, Uber or taxi for very cheap due to the distance.

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  19. We stayed in a rented house from VRBO, it was so nice and we had 10 people in the family stay there, very short drive to Disney. You can cook your own meals etc. Food in the park is very expensive. We also went on spring break so it was really busy. I think you can get your tickets at the Disney store in kingsway or if you have AMA.

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