Both Lara and I love Disneyland!! It’s one of the things that bonded us as friends from the beginning. That, and the fact that both of our husbands love to poke fun of our love for all things Disney. We’ve actually visited Disneyland a few times together.
Our first trip together, we each had two babies and were both prego with a third (hence my glow aka ponytail & sweatshirt combo).
Our second trip, we had both had that third baby, girls for both of us. And thankfully for me, I had lost the weight and decided I would try to look presentable this time!
Our third trip happened this past December and by this time we both had completely gone crazy with the kiddo count. Lara at four and me at five! We looked like a field trip group wherever we went. It completely poured one of the days we were there! Lines for rides were amazing but we were all soaked!
Now having traveled to Disney a few times, I’ve learned a trick or two when traveling with kids, especially quite a few kids. My kids always like to leave with something and if you’ve ever been to Disneyland/Disney World, you know everything is expensive. And for my family times five! So I’ve found some freebies Disneyland hands out that let my kids feel like they’re getting a memento and I don’t feel broke when I leave.
1. Drawing: Animation Academy in Disney California offers a free drawing class by a Disney illustrator. You get step by step instructions and get to keep your drawing! Perfect for creative kids!
2. Stickers: Most employee have stickers on hand. In most cases they are stickers of Mickey’s face but if you ask one of the security guards, they usually have this super cute police Mickey. Being a police family, we love this one!
3. Buttons: If you are there and are celebrating something special, Disney has a button for it! Your first time, birthday, anniversary, celebrating your 100th time there… They also have special buttons sometimes, like these Carsland buttons we got when it had just opened.
4. Chocolate: Free and chocolate are two of my favorite words!! You can get a Ghirardelli candy at their store in DCA.
5. Photo: This freebie is for Disney Chase card holders. If you have that credit card, you are entitled to a free character meet and greet photo, one per day, each day of your visit. The special location is found over to the right of the Monsters Inc. ride and is usually open from 11:30am to 1:30pm. They give you a voucher and you redeem it at the photo center near the park entrance. They even let you add cute little borders and embellishments for free.
Feeding my family at Disneyland can add up so I’ve found some freebies that help me in doing that. If you’re not opposed to packing in your own food or at least partial meals, these freebies might help you too.
1. Cups of ice water: Bottled water is around $4 these days at Disney. (7 people time $4 waters equals craziness!) So we get the free cups of water from most restaurants. I pack along water enhancers like Crystal Light or Mio for times when my kids don’t want water.
2. Honey packets: These are found at restaurants that serve coffee or tea. I usually pack Jiff PB to go and bread or crackers for easy lunches while at the park. You could use apple slices instead of the bread or cracker option.
3. Ranch dressing: Found at restaurants that serve salad, of course. I’ll pack a 1lb bag of baby carrots and grab the ranch for a quick snack. You could also pack celery or any other favorite veggie.
4. Mayo & Relish: I do have a child who isn’t a huge fan of peanut butter so I’ve packed a tuna pouch, added the to go packs of mayo and relish found at restaurants that serve sandwiches. This can also be used with bread or crackers for a quick easy lunch.
5. Silverware & Plates: To be able to mix your tuna or spread your peanut butter, you need utensils. These are found at every restaurant along with paper plates and napkins. To get the plates, you’ll have to ask someone working at the restaurant as they are usually found behind the counter but I’ve never had anyone not give them to us.
There are times when we haven’t packed food and we just want to eat in the park. For those occasions, I have found a couple of places that fill our bellies without breaking the bank.
Pizza Port in Disneyland and Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta in Disney California: The pasta plates are around $10 but are about a two serving size. These are perfect for splitting between kids and my kids always feel like they’ve eaten enough. The salads are about the same price and are a pretty good size too.
Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen Express: For breakfast, we love getting beignets! You get ten for $10 and they are super yummy!! They also have a soda to-go cup you can purchase for $10 and get unlimited refills the day of purchase and each following day, you only have to pay a dollar for refills. Considering sodas are around $4 for a bottle in the park, this is a steal if you don’t mind walking to Downtown Disney.
With all this talk of saving money, you might have noticed the pictures of us eating at Blue Bayou and Goofy’s Kitchen. Yes, those places are expensive but I figure if I save money in other places, eating one really fancy or fun meal won’t hurt me or the pocket book too bad. Hopefully my post can help you on your next trip to Disneyland and maybe I’ll see you there! 😉
This post is linked to these parties!