Daily tips and tricks to help you achieve your travel goals

100 Ways To Hack Your Next Disneyland Trip

100 Ways To Hack Your Next Disneyland Trip
Day 20/365

Let’s face it, even though Disneyland is dubbed the Happiest Place on Earth, it’s also one of the more expensive places to visit. With ticket prices increasing and hotel rates surging, it can cost a pretty penny to visit the original Magic Kingdom. Add to that crowd levels, wait times, and figuring out things like MaxPass, FASTPASS, mobile order, and Disney gift cards, it can be overwhelming to plan a trip.

100 Best Hacks

Below, find my 100 best tips for hacking your next Disneyland trip, from making room in your budget to learning the secrets of where to sit on rides, this list will help you create the best trip without coming home to a mound of debt at the end of it. Plus, you’ll be the hero of the day who planned an awesome trip for your family!

Before Your Trip…

Before you even think about going to Disneyland, sit down and evaluate how much you can spend. If you can’t find the money in your budget, think of ways to earn more or cut back on things you don’t need.

1-5: Start With Your Budget

Never go into debt for a vacation. Start with prioritizing your finances so that going to Disneyland doesn’t stress your family’s basic budgetary needs.

List all of your income and expenses to build the foundation of your budget

6-10: Save at Home

Making small changes here and there around your house can have a big impact on your budget and allow you to travel more often.

Natural cleaning products are much cheaper than commercial products

11-15: Save While Shopping

Of course, you have to spend money. However, you can spend it wisely with these tips.

Cut back on your grocery bill with these tips

16-20: Save on Fuel

Especially if you have a long commute, fuel costs can take up a large portion of your household budget. Find out ways to cut back on your fuel consumption, benefiting not only your wallet, but improving air quality as well.

Learn how to lower your fuel consumption

21-25: Save While Shopping Online

We’ve increased our online shopping in the past few years due to the increasing convenience and decreasing costs. Maximize your online shopping dollars by utilizing these tips.

  • Buy Amazon gift cards at office supply stores to get 5x Chase Ultimate Rewards earning when shopping at Amazon
  • Shop and earn with Rakuten
  • Start any online shopping session with Cashback Monitor to be sure you use the best shopping portal
  • Earn cash back with shopping portals like Swagbucks, TopCashback, and Giving Assistant (referral links)
  • Stack credit card offers, shopping portals, and store rewards programs to maximize your spending
Rack up Chase Ultimate Rewards every time you shop at office supply stores

Earn Extra Money…

If your budget is already stretched too thin, consider some ways to put some more cash into your Disneyland fund without taking it from your current income.

26-30: Make Money With Swagbucks

Swagbucks is an online program that allows members to earn points called SB to redeem towards gift cards or PayPal transfers. You can earn in a variety of ways, including using their search function, watching videos, discovering offers, and shopping through their portal.

31-35: Other Ways To Earn Extra Cash

If you need to pad your budget with some extra income, here are some more ways to earn money to put toward your Disney fund.

Clean out your garage and make some money at the same time!

Save During Your Trip…

Here are some hacks to save on flights, rental cars, hotels, transportation, tickets, and purchases in the Parks.

36-40: Save On Getting There

In any travel budget, the biggest expense is often just getting there, whether that is plane tickets, a rental car, or ride shares.

For our family, flying is generally cheaper than driving due to using points on plane tickets

41-45: Save On Staying There

Lodging doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Here are some tips to save on your stay.

46-50: Save With Disney Gift Cards

Disney gift cards are widely available at many retailers, from Lowe’s to your local grocery store. You can often find great deals to buy them at a discount ahead of your trip!

While Disney Movie Rewards used to have fun card designs you could get by redeeming your points, you can still buy themed cards on the Disney Gift Card site

51-55: Save On Souvenirs

Every family has different rules for buying souvenirs while on vacations. In our family, the kids have to save up their money in order to buy their own souvenirs, and I rarely buy souvenirs myself. Other people may put a higher priority on souvenir shopping. You can reduce your souvenir budget by implementing some of these tips.

  • Buy souvenirs ahead of time at shopDisney during a sale
  • Shop for souvenirs at your favorite local retailer like Target, Walmart, and JC Penney’s
  • Buy items like glow sticks and Disney-branded trinkets at the dollar store
  • Give kids (and parents) a personal allowance and encourage them to save up to buy their own souvenirs
  • Shop at Amazon for favorite Disney-branded merchandise
Buying souvenirs at Disneyland

56-60: Save at the Parks

Here are some more ways to save money while you’re at Disneyland.

Bring your own glow cubes to eat at Blue Bayou, and limit your meals in the Parks to save money

Making The Most Of Your Trip…

In the next few categories of tips, you can save time and stay dry, healthy, and comfortable while you’re at Disneyland Resort.

61-65: Save Time

Time is money when you’re paying for an expensive vacation like Disneyland. Use these tips to maximize your time in the Parks.

  • Scheduling Travel Around the School Calendar
  • Either go early or stay late to enjoy low wait times
  • Familiarize yourself with Park policies before you go, such as these new policies implemented this year
  • Use Mobile Order to save yourself time in line at Quick Serve restaurants
  • Buy MaxPass or at least use the FASTPASS system to save yourself time in ride lines
Try to go when crowd levels will be lower, like during Lunar New Year in January or February

66-70: Stay Dry

Whether it’s water rides or a rainy day, here are some tips to stay dry at the Parks.

Being prepared is the best way to combat rainy days at Disneyland

71-75: Stay Healthy

Make sure everyone is feeling their best on your trip with these tips.

76-80: Stay Comfortable

No one is having fun when they’re uncomfortable. Make sure you keep the troops happy with these tips.

  • If your kids are too old for a stroller, have them carry a bag or backpack with a water bottle and snacks
  • You can rent a small locker for $7 or a large one for $10 to put in supplies for nighttime, hold extra water, or store purchases
  • Top 10 Gadgets for Travel
  • Check the weather ahead of time, dress in layers, and wear comfortable, broken-in shoes
  • Consider bringing healthy foods for your hotel room and snacks in the Parks to offset the heavy Park fare

Having Fun!

What is a trip to Disneyland without the fun, right?! Now we get to the good tips for maximizing your family’s fun in the Parks.

81-85: Tips For Little Kids

Disneyland is for everyone, even the little ones. While they may not remember the trip, you will, and you’ll have the adorable pictures to embarrass them with when they’re older.

Sit in the back with your little kid on Splash Mountain

86-90: Tips for Big Kids

While you may have to deal with eye-rolls and snarky comments, you can reduce their frequency by learning these tips for big kids at Disneyland and maybe even get a thank you.

Unstructured fun at Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

91-95: Tips for Rides

Here are my best tips for rides at Disneyland.

Special photo op for Hyperspace Mountain

96-100: Tips for Shows

Disney has some of the best shows around, and when you sit down to watch, you realize how much you needed the break anyway! Read on to find out the best tips for the most popular shows.

Waiting for the Pixar Play Parade

There you go, my best 100 tips for hacking your way to Disneyland. Do you have anything to add? Let us know in the comments below!

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