Thursday, January 12, 2012

How we planned & budgetted for a Disneyland Vacation.

I have been putting this post off long enough. One of my girlfriends will be going to Disneyland with her family in March so I needed to get my buns in gear & finally write this.
I will do this in bullets to keep it clean & easy to reference.

To some this may not seem BUDGET friendly, BUT you have to remember a budget doesn't mean cheap, it means working with a set amount of money.

We had put aside our money about 8 months before we actually went on this trip. Those 8 months were stress free because we didn't have to worry about saving & we knew what amount we had to work with.

Disneyland Vacation on a BUDGET

  • First & foremost make sure you get the biggest bang for your buck. I did my homework & am happy with the road that we chose. I went to our travel agent, asked friends who had been, & searched endless websites with tips/tricks for a Disneyland vacation on a dime.
    • COSTCO proved to be the most price efficient.Our $1,400 package included:
      • 2 night stay at the Disneyland Resort Hotel
      • 3 3-DAY park hopper passes
      • 2 Premium Character Dining Meals (Goofy's Kitchen & Ariel's Grotto)
      • A bonus $20 Disneyland giftcard
    • The Dave Ramsey Method....ENVELOPES. Husband & I have been using the envelope system since our Honeymoon (almost 5 years!).
      • Everything that we would be spending money on that week was categorized in an envelope: $925 (note-this amount included meals during our week of travel outside of the 3 day Disneyland Vacation)
        • Gas
        • Food
        • Snacks
        • Reagan Fun  $ (this included Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique)
        • Jax Fun $ 
      •  Set aside more than you think you will need... unexpected costs come up & it is better to be safe than sorry
        • It is VITAL that you do not spend more than what is in your envelope. NO CREDIT CARDS! Unless.... you have the cash to back it up with the receipt.
      • Mobile Apps
        • MouseWait was a huge help on our trip. It allowed us to see where restaurants were in relation to our current location. We could view full menus & prices of all dining spots (snack bars, sit down, fine dining, etc.). All of the rides were listing with the height requirement. It did all this & SO MUCH more. This proved to be the best Disney app we found.
        • Because we are budget crazy, we downloaded a spreadsheet app (Simple Spreadsheet) to keep all of our dining money in order (in case we used the credit card). This allowed us to see how much was left in our budget for meals each day. We put in what we budgeted for each meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner) & it would give us the difference left over after ever amount entered.
      • Reservations
        • Make them early! Like 2 months early. Places fill up quickly. 
          • To make reservations for Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique call DINING ((714) 781-7895). I know that sounds odd, but they are the ones who will set up your appointment. For more info check out this site: Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
            • We set ours up for an hour before our Ariel's Grotto reservation (good reason to call early)
      •  Random Costs
        • Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
          • The Coach Package includes hairstyle, shimmering make-up, princess sash, princess cinch sac and body jewels — $44.95, plus tax. PLUS TIP 
            • must be 3 years old
        • Mouse Ears
          • Range between $14-$17 
            • Embroidery is an EXTRA $7
        • Charactar Dining Meal
          • Goofy's Kitchen
            • Breakfast & Lunch: Adults (ages 10 and up) $25.99, Children (ages 3 - 9) $13.99
            • DINNER PRICE: Adults: $31.99, Children (3-9) $13.99
            • Hours: Brunch: 7:00 AM– 1:00 PM (Mon. thru Fri.), 7:00 PM – 2:00 PM (Sat. and Sun.) Dinner: 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM Daily 
          • Ariel's Grotto
            • BREAKFAST PRICE: Adults: $29.99, Children (3-9) $17.99
            • LUNCH PRICE: Adults: $33.99, Children (3-9) $19.99
        If you want to check out what we did on our trip you can go here: Disneyland Day 1 , Disneyland Day 2  , Disneyland Day 3

        Questions are more than welcome. Please comment or e-mail me at


        Lone Star Family said...

        Thanks for sharing this, we might be making a trip to Disney World this summer ;)

        Arielle said...

        great post! :) looks like y'all had a great time!