Hey guys! I have noticed that the question I am asked about the most is, how do you afford to go to Disneyland so much? Believe me, it’s not easy! Lol I’m not rich, I don’t live in California, and I work just a normal day job. So, I’m going to break down how we do it for you, so you are able to enjoy more Disney magic too! This is going to save you time, money and a splintering headache!
First things first!
I go online and I hop on to my go-to websites to check the travel dates that I am thinking about. It’s very important to be flexible. The time that you may want to go could be a whole lot more expensive than, we’ll say the week before. I also check crowd calendars to try to go during a lesser busy time, although this is not always feasible. I usually only use a handful of websites now because I can’t find better pricing through anyone else!
The first stop is:
Skyscanner.com and Kayak.com to check flights. The reason I check flights first is because they usually fluctuate the most. I never try to book a trip without at least 6 months to monitor prices. I play with flight dates, to see which times of the month are going to be the cheapest to fly. After I figure out flights, I jump over to Hotels.com.
The second stop is:
Hotels.com for hotels and prices. I do have a couple of hotels in the California area that I prefer to stay at, so I do check those first. After I check out the hotel prices for the weeks around the time frame that I’m thinking about traveling, I then weight out the pros and cons of the pricing. So if my hotel is more expensive on the week I travel, but the flight is not… VS the hotel is cheaper than my flight, to see what would save me the most money. After I figure out hotels, I jump over to Undercovertourist.com to check out the crowd calendar.
The third stop is:
Undercovertourist.com for tickets. I have also found that their crowd calendar is the easiest and most accurate one to use. I throw that data into the mix! Then I take a look at tickets, still on Undercovertourist.com. I have used them for 97% of my tickets to Disneyland, and I have never had any problems. The second website I monitor for tickets Is aRes.com, keep in mind their prices do include a $2 per ticket fee. For a complete breakdown of ticket prices and websites for you to compare, click here.
Alright, so now we have looked at flights, hotels, crowds, and tickets. We have a ballpark figure of how much we need to save. Like I said before, I usually start planning about 6 months in advance.
The reason I plan so far ahead of time is that I don’t like spending money. Plain and simple.
Why plan ahead?
You will receive way better pricing either by planning early or by monitoring for price drops.
- 99% of the time you won’t be able to beat their prices.
- They price match if you can find lower prices.
- You will earn nights as you go. They have a promo where if you stay 10 nights, you get 1 night free. Guess who has 3 free nights saved up to use on our trip to Mexico? THIS GIRL!!!
- And last but certainly not least, they have an option to pay at the hotel instead of right now.
Okay so let’s circle back around to #4… This is your new best friend, tell your dog he has been replaced as man’s best friend. Why choose this option? Because you can book right this second on most hotels and get the cheaper rate VS waiting until the last minute and paying twice as much.
You need to cancel, change rooms or the price drops… Just let them know! They are all about flexibility!
Now, book your hotel right now:
Using the pay at hotel option on Hotels.com so you can grab the cheaper rates you want and deserve!
I’ll give you an example of my current hotel that we are staying next week for D23.
I booked a couple months ago, my hotel with taxes and fees is $138.00 a night.
I just looked up the same hotel for next week and with taxes and fees, it’s now $203.00 a night!
Booking early with the pay at the hotel option has now saved me $254.00!!!! And it allowed me enough time to save the money I needed for this trip!
I told you, you now have a new best friend! Now that you’ve booked your hotel, move on to step two.
Book your flight before paying for park tickets. You can do this a little later on, maybe a couple of months out from your departure date. I would monitor tickets throughout the month up to your departure month. Do this by hopping on Skyscanner.com to monitor prices, snag those when you can. The sooner the better. I have heard that ticket prices are at their lowest 1 month out. I have NOT experienced this… We did an experiment, and I lost about $200 waiting for prices to drop. This may not be the case for you, and I would guess it would also depend on where you’re flying out of!
Wait until the last minute to purchase park tickets. Why? Because unless there is a crazy deal on tickets going on, these prices will not change too much. So, I usually leave these until the very last minute. Undercovertourist.com likes to give you extra days at the park for free with some promo tickets, so I pop on their site periodically for prices. YES, YOU DID JUST READ THAT CORRECTLY! Undercovertourist.com has promo tickets that are buy 3 days get the 4th for free on pretty much all of their park tickets from time to time. They do sell Disney World. Lego Land, Universal Studios tickets and so much more!
If you have figured it out already, you are now making payments on your Disneyland trip! You don’t need to save up one lump sum and book everything in one day! I know, some of you are thinking, how do you figure?
Payment #1 FLIGHTS
Payment #2 PARK TICKETS
Payment #3 HOTEL
Yeah, but what about food? We still need to eat and facture that into the cost… Well, guess what folks, you still need to eat every single day. I cover this in two separate blog posts.
How to save money on meals and snacks in the parks. There’s no need to spend a ton of money eating in the park every day.
What to pack and buy ahead of time, so that you can save money in the park. Purchase these a little at a time.
Give your self-time to save! Time to arrange for reservations! Time to gather things to buy beforehand little by little! And most off all, time to live a stress-free life without the headache of planning a Disneyland vacation!
If you need help planning your next vacation, I’m here for you! You can leave me a comment or reach out to me directly at FabulouslyDisney@Outlook.com.