17 Secrets to Saving Money at Disneyland

A trip to Disneyland won't be cheap, but you won't overspend if you follow these tips.
  • Some of my favorite additional ways to save money are:
    • My favorite cheap snack to get is a side of fries. It’s usually not on the menu, but you can order them for about $3 where ever fries are served alongside an entree. The chili cheese fries at Golden Horseshoe ($4.59) are a great deal too, and they can easily become an entire meal.
    • Pressed pennies make a great inexpensive souvenir to collect. They cost from $.51-$1.25 to create. The coin press machines are hidden all over the park, each with unique designs to press into your coins. Disneyland sells expensive display wallets to collect your coins in, but you can buy any old ‘pressed coin collectors wallet’ before you visit the park. And I’ll let you in on a little secret: Cast Members at City Hall on Main Street USA will give you a very nice printout and map to all of the coin press machines in the resort for FREE!
    • Buy official Disney pins for Disney Pin Trading online long ahead of time. Once you buy an official Disney pin you can keep trading it with cast members for a newer or more desirable pin over and over for the rest of your life. Cast members roam the theme parks looking for guests to trade with, and can’t refuse any fair trade. If they have a pin you want, you can trade them for it. Disney sells the pins in the park for about $8-$14 each, but you can find them on eBay for $2-$3 each. You can even buy less desirable pins at an even greater discount, since you are getting them to trade and not to keep.
    • Look for deals on souvenirs & dining just outside the resort. Some of the local souvenir stands in Anaheim have some great deals. The gift shops in some of the “Good Neighbor Hotels” just outside the resort also offer bargains as well. I even found a bin of official Disney trading pins for $2.50 each at the gift shop in the Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites Anaheim (1240 S Walnut St), which was an incredible deal! And the Walmart in Anaheim (440 N Euclid St) has a whole section of discounted Disney merchandise. They are open 24 hours, so you can even stop by at the end of your night.
    • You can also find blank books to make into autograph books at dollar stores such as the “99c Only” stores. I even found official Disney themed ones there. I bought a blank Carsland themed book and a pack of Disney stickers for each of my nephews for a total of $1.98 per child, and they loved them! You can also find cheap Disney themed autograph books ($3-$5) at private souvenir shops and hotel gift shops just outside the resort. – John Glass (author, 100 Things You Don’t Want to Miss at Disneyland)

    • Tamara

      I love these tips! Just went to Disneyland last month and once is not enough. I’ll be trying out those chili fries next time I’m there. Thanks, John.

  • Lisa

    Love this article with so many great ideas! Thanks for sharing.

  • ogdad223@hotmail.com

    is this also for Disneyworld or not