Disneyland with a Large Family
By Andy and Lindsey Herndon
Traveling to Disney is expensive, but for those with large families the burden can be even greater. This “Travel Tip” came from a question from Las Vegas listener J.D. Smith. JD and his wife are parents of 7 children and wanted to know some money saving and travel tips for large families. So here are a few things our family has learned over the years.
– Buy Disney gift cards each month from grocery stores that have rewards programs/gas discounts for your kids spending budget. If you have a target red card and/or a target pharmacy card, you can get 5% or 10% off Disney gift cards too!
– Make your own autograph books.
– Make a list of each kid’s must do’s.
– Use the fast pass system.
– Purchase ART (Aneheim Resort Transit… the shuttle busses) tickets through getawaytoday.com
– Bring your own stroller if possible.
– Choose a hotel with a good free continental breakfast. (Best Western Plus Raffles Inn on Harbor does).
– Buy each kid one or two Disney t-shirts, a stuffed animals and a set of pjs on disney store online when it’s free shipping or high % discount codes. Go through ebates to get some money back. You will save lots of money this way!
– Do not purchase drinks inside the park. You can ask for ice water at almost every place inside the parks that sells fountain drinks. This will save lots of money.
– Take the monorail from Tomorrowland to downtown Disney and eat at Earl of Sandwich. It’s fairly inexpensive and an additional 15% off if you have AAA and show your card. Look around Downtown Disney if you’d like and then get right back on the monorail and head back to Tomorrowland!
– If your hotel room has a fridge, go to Target on Harbor Blvd. and buy bread, peanut butter and jelly and make sandwiches for lunches. You can bring a soft sided cooler into the park with sandwiches, snacks and water bottles that you can refill at various locations a round the park. Local Vons grocery stores also do online grocery delevery which we have done as well.
– For sit down meals in the park, Plaza Inn (fried chicken and potatoes and biscuits) on Main Street or Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante’ (Mexican) in Frontierland are good places to share meals. If you do Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante’ and buy sodas, it’s been said you can save your cups and come back all day for more soda.
– For large families with babies or toddlers in diapers or potty training, use the baby center in DL and DCA! Make sure to BRING CASH as they don’t take Credit Cards there. It is also our experience that supplies at the Baby Center are cheaper than going to the store and you only buy what you need.
– Get birthday, first time, anniversary or a celebration button at City Hall on Main Street if that applies to anyone in your party!
– Make a safety plan before you get there and review it once at the park. Buy kids lanyards with an ID card so if they get lost they can find a cast member and show them their lanyard. Take a picture each morning of your kids one by one from head to toe so you know exactly what they were wearing if they happen to get lost.
– Eat lunch and dinner at off times. You will avoid the long lines and be more apt to find a place to sit for all of your family.
– Big Thunder Ranch is a great all you can eat option. Try to eat a big breakfast and a couple snacks that you’ve packed for lunch and then go to Big Thunder Ranch around 3:00. This will serve as lunch and dinner! Then have a snack later in the evening. Adults are a little spendy, but kids are a decent price especially since it’s all you can eat. There is also some musical, crowd interactive, entertainment!
Hope these tips help! Leave others in the comments below! Would love everyone’s input!