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Here's What It Actually Costs To Spend 4 Days At Disneyland

Mom.me logo Mom.me 5/19/2019 Gretchen Bossio
a person standing in front of a building: girl at disneyland © Provided by RockYou Media(mom.me; purpleclover.com) girl at disneyland

For decades, Disneyland has been called “The Happiest Place On Earth”, but, some might more aptly call it the most expensive place on Earth.

No doubt, Disney vacations come with quite the price tag — and a wide range at that. You can go the uber "budget" route all the way up to an ultimate VIP experience. Luckily, Disney gives you enough options to choose what fits your family best! For us, we fall somewhere in the middle — a lot of budget choices sprinkled with some pixie dust of vacation mode fun.

But really, what does it actually cost to vacation at Disneyland? With tickets around $100 for a day’s visit, $30 stuffed animals, and donuts that cost almost $7 … Disneyland vacations can hit the vacation line of your budget hard. How do you even prepare?

If a Disney adventure is on your radar, now is the time to start saving! And to help you figure out what you might need to tuck away, I’m sharing all the nitty gritty of the expenses related to my most recent Disneyland adventure.

Here are the details so you have some perspective on our trip: Two Disney girls (my daughter and I) flew from Seattle to John Wayne Airport for a girl’s getaway in the month of February which is generally considered a slow time of year. We opted to stay at a non-Disney hotel across the street from the park entrance and we visited the park for four days.

Airfare: $412.80

We flew Alaska Airlines from SEA to SNA, the closest airport to Disneyland. We strategically packed only carry-ons to avoid the checked baggage fee.

Accommodations and Park Tickets: $1004

For four nights we stayed at The Anaheim Hotel on Harbor Blvd. which was just a 7-minute walk from our hotel’s front door to the security line at Disneyland. I booked a hotel/park ticket package through Get Away Today - it was the best price I could find and they had great customer service! In regard to park tickets, we chose to save over $100 by choosing one park/day tickets instead of Park Hoppers. Something to consider if you don’t mind having designated days in Disneyland and designated days in California Adventure.

Transportation: $50.98 + $13.94

I opted to use Super Shuttle for the ride from the airport to our hotel. $50.98 was our AAA rate plus gratuity. One evening we took a Lyft to get ice cream as a special treat -- I can’t visit Southern California without popping into Pinkberry!

MaxPass: $90

We didn’t intend to use Disney’s MaxPass — which lets you reserve your FastPass times on your phone and have unlimited PhotoPass downnloads — every day, and the first day we didn’t. But then we gave it a try on day two and never went back! It saved so much time and was absolutely worth the $15/day per person cost.

Pre-Trip Purchases: $240.26

We had about six months to plan, dream and buy for our Disney trip. I made lists of all the essentials for a few days of California livin’ and watched for sales on what we needed/wanted. It was my goal to buy little in the park and take advantage of more budget-friendly Disney branded items from Target, Hanna Andersson, The Disney Store and Amazon.

I bought a new swimsuit. My daughter and I both chose a Disney sweatshirt and new tee. She got a pair of princess pajamas. We bought an autograph book and classic Mickey ear hats. We ordered trading pins from eBay. Etsy came through with some darling handmade bows and a Mary Poppins-themed dress. There were some snacks and toiletries purchased with our trip in mind, but I let those fall into our regular grocery budget instead of tallying it towards our vacation.

Food: $386.46

Over the course of our Disney days we had three sit-down reservations and shared meals and snacks whenever we could. We love that strategy because you get to try more things! And there TONS of delicious things to try at Disneyland and California Adventure!

Souvenirs: $97.14

This trip was not about souvenirs. In fact, we really avoided the shops. We hardly browsed the first three days and only chose only one thing each on our final day along with some small gifts for her younger siblings back at home.

All in all, our trip came in right under $2300. $250 of that was covered by Disney gift cards I had from a promotion and birthday/Christmas gifts. The rest we diligently saved for before leaving.

Now, your eyes might be wide-eyed at the idea of spending thousands on a few days of fun or perhaps you’re thinking $2300 for four Disney days is quite a steal. Either way, this Disney mom believes that nothing really beats the magic of Disney … as long as you can wisely manage the expense.

WATCH: Is the new Disneyland Flex Pass worth it? (Provided by Buzz60)

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Disney fun is worth every dime in my book!

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