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We took our two oldest grand daughters to Disneyland a little over a year ago. It was a dream come true. We stayed at a resort a couple miles away. They had a shuttle that ran to all the parks every day.
The resort was more like a condo with a complete kitchen, two bathrooms, and bunk beds for the girls. It was only around $100 a night.
We found the closest Walmart, and got snack and food for our dinners. We ate breakfast early, and then took the shuttle to the park of our choice. We took a back pack with snacks, and water. We went online and found the cheapest places to eat (best deals), and we ate lunch at the park. Then we would have a late dinner back at the condo.
There are also great souvenirs at Walmart, or shop the souvenir shops around where you are staying. Never buy at the parks, because they overcharge.
Hope this helps. Happy traveling!
By Mell from Traverse City, MI
If you need a stroller bring one from home. It cost $15 to rent one there and more for a double stroller plus there is not a basket underneath. There is just a net pouch on the back to hold all your stuff.
Bring hats and sunscreen. Then if your kids like to play in the water bring extra clothes or a bathing suit. There are little fountains they get to play in to cool off.
If you want a restaurant, travel at least 1 mile from the park. The ones around the park are more expensive. I believe they allow you to drive back in as long as you keep your parking ticket.
If you pack a lunch, you can picnic at a nearby park within walking distance. Bring all you need in the way of sweaters or coats (depending on the time of year). We get very chilly at night.
As soon as my kids found out we are going to Disneyland they started talking about what they wanted to get there to bring home. Being a frugal mom can be hard, but I just can't see spending so much money on t-shirts, hats and other souvenirs. I looked at the local Disney store, but that isn't cheap either.
My tip for saving at Disney is to always stay at a timeshare rental. For about the same cost as a hotel room, you will have a condo or house with bedrooms, bathrooms, living/dining area and full kitchen.