Travel Tips and Warnings
Still want to go to Disneyland or Walt Disney World? Got a family member that just won't give in despite your best efforts? Then read and memorize these tips for maximum savings during your trip.
- Fight tooth and nail for a shorter trip. If they want a week, suggest four days. If they want a weekend, try just Saturday. If they want to go for the day, then what about just driving by and waving?
- Don't buy guide books. There are plenty of these things and they come in dozens of flavors (The Official Guide, The Unofficial Guide, Disneyland for Big Dummies, etc.). It's easy to get carried away and spend hundreds of dollars on them, just to read the same information that you can get on the Internet for free. True, some of them do have valuable money-saving tips, so we recommend reading those in the book store.
- Avoid Disney media. There's nothing that can get you roped into buying more souvenirs that you don't need than getting yourself all hyped up for a Disney trip by immersion in Disney media. For a full year before your trip, avoid Disney commercials, posters, movies, books, CDs, radio shows, and happy meals. Don't watch ABC or ESPN. If you see someone in a Mickey Mouse shirt, avert your eyes. You'll thank us for it later.
- Bring your own food. You aren't allowed to bring it into the parks, but nobody can stop you from wolfing down a good brunch while you wait in the long line to get in.
- Stay in your car. If you have reclining seats, you may be able to avoid expensive hotels completely.
- If you get any special collectible items during your trip -- such as pins, mugs, etc. as part of a package or promotion -- immediately sell it on eBay when you get back home. You might also consider buying a bunch of cheap postcards or collecting any free paper products that say Disneyland on them (brochures, napkins, etc.) for later eBay sale. There are people who collect all this stuff.
- When walking in the parks, don't look up, look down. People are always dropping money.
- Your kids are going to want to buy a lot of stuff. Before your trip, stand in front of the mirror and practice saying "No" five hundred times.
- No matter what you do, don't let anyone talk you into buying an annual pass. Sure it looks like a great deal if you're going to be going back to the park a lot, but having one means you'll be going back to the park a lot -- and isn't that what we're trying to avoid?
Special warning to spouses of Disney fanatics
Use the advice on this site with care. A bitter divorce may be far more costly than a Disney vacation.